Difference between Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum

Published on December 9, 2016

Whether you are looking to buy a present for someone or you simply want to buy something for yourself, knowing the difference between an eau de toilette and an eau de parfum is more helpful than you think. Not sure why that is? No problem! Keep reading this article.

Definitions

Eau de Toilette vs Eau de Parfum
Chanel No. 19 eau de toilette

An eau de toilette (EDT) is a scented solution a person sprays over the body after taking a bath or after shaving. It is considered a skin freshener and is composed of volatile oils, alcohol and water. It is the aromatic oils that give the eau de toilette its scent. Usually, an eau de toilette has between 5 and 15% aromatic compounds. The typical concentration is 10%.

Traditionally, eau de toilette was named from the flower the oil was extracted from. Modern fragrances are a mixture of various types of scents with top notes, heart and base notes. This goes for all types of fragrances. EDTs are usually fresh in scent and light. The top notes are the dominant ones and the first released. It usually has 2-3 hours of wear.

eau de parfum
A bottle of Chanel No. 5, eau de parfum

An eau de parfum (EDP) is a scented fragrance used on the skin and also on the hair and on clothes. It is a compound of volatile oils, alcohol and water. Typical volatile oil concentrations for EDP are of 15%, with a range of 10-20%. The dominant notes of EDPs are the heart ones. You can usually smell those once the top notes fade away. It usually as 4-5 hours of wear and it is considered strong, making it more appropriate for night than day wear.

Eau de Toilette vs Eau de Parfum

So what is the difference between eau de toilette and eau de parfum?

Although they are made of the same type of ingredients, the concentration of volatile oils tells an eau de toilette apart from an eau de parfum. The eau de toilette has a typical concentration of 10% and a range of 5-10%, whereas the eau de parfum has a typical concentration of 15% with a range of 10-20%. This makes the eau de toilette lighter and fresher as a scent, best suited for day wear. It has dominant top notes and usually lasts for 3-4 hours. The eau de parfum is stronger and lasts for 4-5 hours. Its dominant notes are the heart ones.

Comparison Chart

Eau de ToiletteEau de Parfum
Has a concentration of volatile oils of 5-15% (typically 10%)Has a concentration of volatile oils of 15-20% (typically 15%)
Meant for the skinMeant for the skin but can also be applied on the hair and clothes
Fresher, lighter, better for daywearStronger, more appropriate for nightwear
Its top notes are the dominant onesIts heart notes are the dominant ones
Lasts around 2-3 hoursLasts around 4-5 hours