If you’ve ever been stuck in an airport with a duty free shop, chances are you’ve perused the fragrance section. And you probably noticed that they come in a lot of forms, like perfume and eau de toilette. Great, but what’s the difference between the different products? In short, all fragrances are largely the same, but they’re given a name based on the concentration of oil in alcohol and water.
Perfume – A corruption of the Latin phrase per fumum (through smoke). The most concentrated and expensive of all fragrance options. Slightly oilier, perfume, or parfum, is composed of 20 to 30 percent pure perfume essence. A single application of perfume can last up to 24 hours.
Toilette (eau de toilette) – A light spray composition with five to 15 percent pure perfume essence dissolved in alcohol. Usually lasts for about three hours.