Difference between Aftershave and Cologne
By Claire Miles - January 13, 2023

The world of fragrances may seem intimidating, especially if you don’t know what you’re searching for. The language is meant to help you choose the correct smell, but you must first grasp what these terms signify. So, if you’re curious about the distinctions between aftershave and Cologne, keep reading.

Chart Summary
  1. It can be worn as a standalone scent
It should be worn with another fragrance
  1. About 5% aromatic oil
Between 1-3% aromatic oils
Aftershave lotion with razer and cologne

Getty images/Moment/ Jose A. Bernat Bacete


Cologne is usually weaker, with just around 5% aromatic components. Despite its low concentration levels, it will remain on the skin for a limited period. It’s fantastic to have as part of your daily routine, but you may need to replenish it as the day progresses.

An aftershave is a perfumed astringent lotion applied to the skin after shaving. Because it includes a relatively low amount of essential oil and around 80-90% alcohol, it should be combined with a complementary scent, such as an Eau de Toilette or Eau de Parfum. The gently scented product will refresh your skin, but the perfume will fade quickly.

Cologne vs. Aftershave

That said, Cologne is designed to be worn alone as a daily scent, while aftershave is used to soothe the skin after shaving. Regarding male scent, the phrases ‘cologne’ and ‘aftershave’ have become somewhat similar over time, but recognizing the difference is critical to picking the correct product for you.
Both are used after shaving the beard, but there is a distinction since they serve different objectives. After a shave, the primary function of aftershave is to moisturize and soothe the skin.

Cologne, on the other hand, is used to impart aroma. Only the face and chin are applied aftershave. However, Cologne is sometimes used in other places of the body, such as the wrists and chest, to provide aroma. Cologne has more perfume oil content than aftershave. As a result, Cologne’s scent lasts longer than aftershave, and Cologne is costlier than aftershave.