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Article: What is the Difference between Cologne and Perfume?

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What is the Difference between Cologne and Perfume?

Does it matter if you put on cologne or perfume in the morning? Why does cologne feel lighter than perfume? Which one should you use to a special event? Is it just your imagination that cologne is for casual daily use and perfume is for evenings and celebrations? In short, what is the difference between cologne and perfume, and does it matter?

What is the Difference between Cologne and Perfume?

Yes, there is a difference, and no, nobody changed the names just so they can sell you more than one product. These kinds of scent, or fragrance, are simply based on how much oil is concentrated in the mixture of alcohol and water. Whatever you use depends on what effect you want, and how long you want it to last.

Cologne, historically known as eau de cologne (which literally means cologne water. Yup, now you now), is on the lighter end of the fragrance spectrum. It was what all perfumes were originally called, and it’s traditionally fragrance for males (which explains why the main cologne market is associated with men). It’s only made of 2-4% fragrance oil in a bottle of alcohol and water, and the scent wears off in a couple of hours.

On the other hand, perfumes are on the heaviest end of the fragrance spectrum. There’s eau de parfum, perfumed water (yes, literally), which is composed of 15-20% scented oil in alcohol and water. Because of the heavy concentration of oil, this can last anywhere from 5 to 8 hours. And then there’s perfume, with such a strong concentration of fragrance (20-30%) that the scent can easily last up to 24 hours.


Does it Matter?

On a hot summer day, you definitely don’t want to be stuck with a fragrance that’s almost one-third oil. Too sticky! Cologne or even lighter or medium scents, like eau fraiche (1-3% oil) or eau de toilette (5-15%), would be so much better. The oil won’t mix with sweat, and you’ll cool off as the alcohol and water dry on your skin. Just bring the whole bottle to spritz as needed.

If cologne is good for daytime in general, perfume is a good choice for a nighttime event, when the air is cooler and the sun is down. Cool air and less varied temperature changes will ensure that your perfume, which blends with your natural body chemistry, will still have almost the same scent at the end of the night as it did at the start. Perfume is the better choice for a special event, especially if you’ll be interacting with many people at once.

Pick Your Fragrance

The next time it’s time to choose your new scent, or someone sends you one of those gifts with eau de toilette on the bottle, pick wisely. Think about where you plan to use it, what you plan to use it for, and if it’s the best choice for the season, climate, temperature, and occasion. To make the best impression in the most effective way possible, pick your fragrance and wear it with confidence. Check out our best-selling cologne and best-selling perfume

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