The difference between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette lies in the concentration of perfume oil. Eau de Toilette has a concentration between 5% and 15%, while Eau de Parfum has a higher concentration, between 15% and 20%.
Having had 6 years of professional experience in the fragrance industry, the distinction between EDP and EDT is a question I receive all the time, even from some top purchasing managers!
So what are the pros and cons of each fragrance type? When should you wear which? and are there any other noticeable differences between them? In this article, I will be going through each of these much-asked queries and explain everything you need to know about the age-old, EDT vs EDP debacle.
What Is Eau De Toilette? Is Eau De Toilette A Perfume?
Eau De Toilette is the most well-known and used of all the fragrance levels. But despite its huge popularity in the fragrance market, many are still confused as to what makes a fragrance ‘Eau de toilette’,… and before you ask, no, it has nothing to do with a toilet!
Eau de Toilette is defined as any fragrance with a concentration level between 5% and 15%. We will look a little later on what Fragrance Concentration is.
The term ‘Toilette’ refers to the popular French term, faire sa toilette, referring to the act of preparing and grooming for the day ahead. Meaning Eau de Toilette translates simply to ‘grooming water’.
What Is Eau De Parfum?
In contrast, Eau de Parfum is any fragrance with a concentration level between 15% and 20%. A little less popular than its Toilette counterpart, Eau de Parfum releases still make up a sizable share of the perfume market, with popular examples including the infamous Creed Aventus, and the Burberry Hero Eau de Parfum.
Remember, the Eau de Parfum and Toilette are not the only two concentration levels. In fact, there are five!
What Is Concentration Level?
So now that we have established that the biggest difference between the EDT and EDP is in their concentration level…what does that actually mean?
Fragrances often consist of two main ingredients; Alcohol and Perfume Oils.
The Perfume Oils give the product its distinct scent, while the alcohol dilutes the perfume oil, allowing it to be wearable on human skin and clothes.
The Concentration Level refers to the Oil vs Alcohol composition in the fragrance, meaning a product with a 10% concentration level, will contain 10% perfume oils in its mixture.
To find a more in-depth guide on this, check out here!
Differences Between Eau De Parfum And Eau De Toilette
So now that we know concentration levels are the biggest difference between the EDT and EDP, what else separates the two?
It should come as no surprise that fragrances with a higher concentration level will often have a more intense scent. This would of course mean that the EDP provides more ‘power per spra’y than the EDT, so fewer sprays will be needed to reach the intended smell.
Due to the higher levels of concentration, the EDP is also longer lasting than the EDT. We tested this out ourselves using the Eau De parfum And Eau de Toilette releases of the popular fragrance Dior Sauvage.
A few sprays of the Eau de Toilette release lasted for between 8 and 9 hours for us, while the same number of sprays for the Eau de Parfum was still projecting after 11 hours!
And although the exact length of time will rely greatly on the mixture of the fragrance, and other factors like the weather, for the same bottle, the Eau De Parfum will always last longer.
Another big difference between the EDT and EDP is in their price point. For the same fragrance, the eau de toilette will always be cheaper than the Eau de Parfum, since the most expensive component in the making of the perfume, the oils, is more abundant in the Eau de parfum.
This also explains why many perfume brands release both fragrance levels, in order to give people a cheaper option for the same fragrance.
|Eau de Toilette
|Eau de Parfum
Which Is Better? Eau De Toilette or Eau De parfum?
Since many fragrance brands will release both EDT and EDP editions, whichever one is better will often come down to subjective taste, but there are certain scenarios where one is often preferred to another.
So when is which one better?
Time Of Day
Since the eau de toilette editions have a lighter and less intimidating scent, the Eau de toilettes are most commonly used during the daytime. This is a trend best explained by Mary Wallace, the director of sales and marketing at D.S. & DURGA.
“Often, the Eau de toilette is both lighter and fresher, while the Eau de Parfum is richer and more lasting. For daytime or office wear, the Eau de toilette may be more comfortable and appropriate, while the Eau de Parfum offers more depth, which can be nice for the evening,”
Perfume is known to also be very sensitive to the climate you are in, since the perfume molecules move less in colder climates, a more powerful fragrance might be needed during the winter.
“In humid and hot climates, a crisp Eau de toilette may be preferable, while in cooler weather, an Eau de Parfum may offer more warmth and depth.”
Since Eau de Toilette is less costly than the Eau de Parfum edition for the same fragrance, the Toilette often does provide a better ‘bang for your buck’ for somebody on a slightly tighter budget.
This an opinion also shared by our good friend over in Germany, Jeremy Fragrance (he doesn’t know we exist), who released a video on Youtube in which he compared the edt and edp editions of 5 of the most popular fragrances in the world today, including the well-known bleu de chanel and Dior sauvage. In the video, attached just below, he concluded that the eau de toilette editions are better valued for money on 4 of the 5 fragrances he tested. He believed that the EDP editions of the fragrance often went diverted away from the fragrance ‘DNA’ and message, and gave an overload of certain scents.
In our opinion, ig really does depend. For scents like the Versace Dreamer and the Boss A Scent him, eau de toilette just works a lot better, but for a lot of Victoria’s Secret and Jean Paul Gaultier colognes, the Eau de parfum usually carries better.
But remember, before you make any purchase, be sure to try out a scent as a sample or even a tester to know exactly what you’d prefer before spending the big bucks.
Does Eau de Toilette Expire Quicker than Eau de Parfum?
Like most beauty products, perfumes do expire. Eau de Parfums do last longer than eau de toilettes due to their heavier concentrations. If you would like to know the shelf life of your specific bottle, check the neck or the bottom to find it.
Similarly, if you’d like to know how to make your fragrance last longer, check out this guide we wrote a little earlier.
The Scientific Research: Neurobiology of Sensation and Reward
Now that we have looked at the differences and simialries of the EDT and EDP from the application perspective, what can the science, as presented in “Neurobiology of Sensation and Reward” by J.A Gottfried (2011), reveal about the distinctions between Eau de Toilette (EDT) and Eau de Parfum (EDP)?
As discussed, one of the key factors differentiating EDT and EDP lies in their concentration levels. According to Gottfried (2011), the concentration of aromatic compounds determines the intensity and longevity of the fragrance. EDP typically contains 8-15% aromatic compounds, while EDT ranges from 4-8%, according to Gottfried’s research.
The Movement Of Molecules
Perfumes are complex compositions comprising various molecules with differing volatility rates. As Gottfried (2011) explains, the top notes, composed of small, light molecules, provide the initial olfactory impression and evaporate quickly. Middle notes emerge as the top notes dissipate, and base notes, composed of heavier molecules, become detectable while the middle notes fade. Understanding this scientific phenomenon, as detailed by Gottfried, elucidates why a perfume’s scent evolves over time.
Scientifically, higher concentrations of aromatic compounds correspond to stronger and longer-lasting fragrances, as Gottfried (2011) emphasizes. With EDP’s higher concentration compared to EDT, it becomes evident, based on Gottfried’s research, that EDP offers a more intense olfactory experience with extended longevity on the skin.
To read a little more on this,
So to summarize, the biggest difference between the Eau de toilette and the Eau de Parfum is their levels of concentration, with the EDP generally having a higher concentration. Other differences include their intensity, sillage(lasting power), and market price point.
There are a lot more than just the EDT and EDP however. Be sure to check out some of other articles to get an even better understanding.
The better of the two will come down to each person’s subjective taste, but a variety of factors including time of day, season, and budget can change what is best for you.