Perfume vs Eau de Toilette

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Pure perfumes and the Eau de Toilette are similar but at the same time different. Their differences ranges from the price to the concentration and notes used. Whenever a particular fragrance name is mentioned, you would probably see the Parfum and EDT variant of the fragrance.

You see a fragrance like Perry Ellis 360° for women and you see EDT on it, you wonder why is it EDT? What's the difference between the EDT and the pure perfume? Or what's the difference between CK Truth perfume and the EDT variant? Well, they are quite different and the difference are explained below.

What is Perfume?



Perfume (Parfum) are fragrances with 20% to 40% concentrationof fragrance oil in their make-up. They are intense and bold with heavy notes that are perfect for cold weathers. They are very expensive and are under the luxury category.

What is Eau de Toilette (EDT)?

Eau de Toilette

Eau de Toilettes are liquid fragrances with 5% to 15% fragrance oil in their composition diluted with alcohol. They usually have flowery or fruity notes in their accords. They typically lasts for about 5 hours before needing a touch up. They are often considered as day wear or summer wear because of their lighter scent.

Difference between Perfume and Eau de Toilette (EDT)

The difference between perfumes and EDTs can be associated with the concentration. All other differences all stem from the concentration of fragrance oil and alcohol. Perfumes have an higher fragrance oil concentration than EDTs which makes the EDTs cheaper and readily available in shopping malls. Perfumes also uses heavier and bolder notes while eau de toilettes are generally of the lighter and softer note category. They therefore differ in intensity as perfumes have a denser intensity than that of EDTs.


The concentration of perfumes and eau de toilette are contrasting. Perfumes are generally more concentrated as they have 20% to 40% concentration of fragrance oil. Depending on the type of fragrance used and brand, these concentration differs.

Eau de Toilette is more diluted than perfumes in concentration. The concentration of fragrance oil in eau de toilettes is 5% to 15%. These fragrance oil is then diluted with a copious amounts of alcohol and sometimes water. This greatly reduced the concentration of eau de toilette fragrance.


The intensity of perfumes is very strong and intense while that of eau de toilette is not that strong. Perfumes are generally very rich and intense when applied, enough that it projects for quite a good distance. Perfumes are so intense that their scent preceeds the wearer into a room and lingers for some minutes after the wearer has left.

Eau de Toilettes are also have amazing intensity but on a lighter scale than that of perfumes. Their projection is good enough and the sillage is also great. They diffuse easily throughout a room but not in an overpowering way.


Another difference between perfumes and EDTs is their longevity. The average duration that perfume continues to be noticeable is a day, sometimes it can be noticed for some days. Pure perfumes stays longer on the wearer than EDT.

EDT only lingers for about 5 hours before the smell begins to lessen and disappear completely. The fresh notes in Eau de Toilettes doesn't not adhere long on skin or clothes as much as the pure perfume.


The mode of application of perfumes and EDTs have some slight differences. Though all fragrances can be applied on skin, clothes or even in the air if you are using a walk through method. Some of these methods are more suitable for some fragrances than the others.

For perfumes, they are applied in small quantities mostly on clothes and a little is dabbed on pulse points. EDTs are sprayed in a larger amount for a satisfactory sillage. EDTs are not advisable to be used on skin because of its higher alcoholic content. These may cause irritations on skins that are sensitive. Therefore perfumes are more sympathetic to sensitive skin as they have higher oil content.


Perfumes does not have a very long life span. Their composition allows.for more essential oil than all other types of fragrance. This makes them oilier and dense thus making them more susceptible to spoilage.

Eau de Toilettes, on the other hand, have a longer life span. They do not age easily due to their alcohol content level. Eua de Toilettes can last almost 5 years longer than a perfume made in the same time. 


Eau de Toilettes are the kind of scent you wear to the office. They are light and not overpowering. The are mostly floral or fruity in nature and this are fun and playful notes. They don't offend people even if you are in a closed cubicle like office. People generally are accepting of the lighter scent as it smells nice and doesn't choke them.

Perfumes are more intense and overpowering which means they are best used in open spaces. That way, their scent can spread out and doesn't necessarily cause irritations.

Does Perfumes and EDTs have the same smell?

Perfumes and Eau de Toilettes may or may not have the same smell or scent. The scent you get from perfumes are based on the fragrance notes in the composition. Sometimes the perfume version of the fragrance and the Eau de Toilettes version smell alike, just that the way de Toilette is more diluted than the perfume. The amount of fragrance oil also changes the scent of the fragrance.

On other types of fragrance, the perfume and eau de toilette smell completely different. Sometimes they switch up the notes, the heavier notes in the perfume version are replaced with lighter notes in the EDT. Notes such as musk and wood can be removed entirely from the composition and citrus or flowers can be introduced to give a fresher and lighter scent accord.

Difference between Perfume and Eau de Toilette (EDT) (Table)

There are several differences between perfumes and EDTs from the concentration stand point to the price range. The differences are summarized in the table below.


Eau de Toilette (EDT)

1. It has about 20%-40% composition of essential oil in its make-up.

It has 5-15% of essential oil in its composition.

2. It  can lasts for about 24 hours on clothes and about 10 hours on skin.

It has a longevity period of 3-5 hours after application.

3. It has a low concentration of alcohol.

It has a high concentration of alcohol.

4. It has a dense and intense scent due to its higher concentration of oil.

It has a lighter and fresher scent than perfumes because of its lesser amount of oil.

5. Perfumes are very expensive as they are in the luxury category.

Eau de Toilettes are cheaper compared to perfumes.

6. It ages faster because of its oily nature.

It takes longer to expire due to the presence of more alcohol.

7. Perfumes are compatible with people with sensitive skin.

Eau de Toilette can cause irritation on sensitive skin.

8. It is mostly used in the cold season.

It is worn in the summer season.

9. Perfumes are denser fragrance that are perfect for evenings.

EDTs are more suitable for a day wear with its fresher notes.

10. Perfumes are not suitable for closed spaces, it is worn in open spaces.

EDTs are very accommodating in closed spaces since it has a light scent.


The comparison between perfumes and EDTs has been in existence for some time now. If a fragrance got released, the first version to be launched is either the Eau de Toilette or the Parfum. Some people prefers perfumes while some are in love with the fresher notes in EDTs. It all actually depends on one's personal preference. If you are someone that likes intense fragrance with heavy sillage, perfumes are likely to be your cup of tea. EDTs are for people with their presence inclining to more floral and fresh scent that has a lighter sillage and not overimposing.


Why is it called Eau de Toilette?

Eau de toilettes are derived from a combination of French words. From a glance, it probably translates as Toilet water but the breakdown is totally different. 'Eau' means water, 'de' translates to from and 'toilette' means to get ready. So, Eau de Toilette means a liquid used in getting ready for an occasion or event.

Are Eau de Toilettes for men or women?

Eau de toilettes are for both men and women alike. Some people think that beacuse EDTs usually have flowery or fruity scents, they are more feminine but the actual fact is that some men actually prefer these light and soft note scents than the heavier scents in perfumes.

Which is better Eau de Toilette or Perfume?

Eau de toilettes or perfumes can not be classified as the better one as it depends on preferences. Your choice of EDTs or perfumes depends on if you prefer a lighter or heavy scent, or the occasion you want to wear it to.

Where are eau de toilettes sprayed?

Eau de toilettes are sprayed on the clothes and not advisable to be sprayed directly on skin. Their high alcohol quantity makes it irritating to sensitive or dry skins. Eau de toilettes are better sprayed at a distance and a little can be dabbed on pulse points of the body.

Is perfume more expensive or eau de toilette?

Perfume is more expensive than eau de toilette because of the concentration of fragrance oil in it. Since fragrance oil are rare and costly, this makes the perfume to be more expensive due to the high fragrance oil content.

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