Everyone’s choice of fragrance is very personal to them and once you find a scent you love, you’re likely to buy it over and over again. With a wide range of different types of fragrances available, it’s easy to get a little lost when it comes to shopping for the perfect spritz. Ever ask yourself ‘what is eau de toilette?’ or ‘what is eau de parfum?’ What the difference is between the two and which one is better? Understanding a little more about fragrance will help you choose one that suits your own style and personality, whether you have more of a taste for floral and fruity or prefer something a little zestier or more masculine.

Scents explained

Scents can become a little confusing if you don’t understand the differences between eau de toilette and eau de parfum as well as the difference between traditional perfume and cologne. We have answered a few common questions you might like to know before purchasing your perfume:

What is eau de toilette?

Eau de toilette is known as the lightest fragrance type, often with the lowest concentration (between 5 and 20% aromatic compounds). It is refreshing when applied, due to its dominant top notes, but can evaporate fairly quickly.

How long does Eau de Toilette last?

Eau de toilette commonly lasts between 4-6 hours. However, this does vary from person to person and some may find the fragrance lasting longer than this.

What is the difference between eau de toilette and perfume?

Perfume is more expensive than eau de toilette but also more complex, with several notes of scent being released as it’s worn. Perfume has a high concentration of essences and because of this, usually lasts the longest out of any fragrance type.

Is cologne stronger than Eau de Toilette? 

No, eau de cologne has less concentration than any other fragrance type with only around 7% of essence, meaning it’s a refreshing spritz that can be applied and re-applied fairly liberally, usually lasting up to four hours.

Different fragrance types

With so many brands offering top notes, floral notes, eau de toilette, cologne and eau de parfum, you are definitely spoilt for choice when it comes to finding a fragrance that takes your fancy. The most common types of fragrances you will find instore are:


This is a timeless, classic scent which takes the power of nature to create the ultimate feminine fragrances. Notes commonly combined in floral fragrances for women include jasmine and roses whereas for men it’s fresh lavender and orange blossom. Available in everything from eau de toilette to cologne.


Light and fruity fragrances are fun to wear and give off a warm, mouth-watering scent. A mixture of refreshing berries and warm spice – slightly heavy but definitely not too full on.

Woody and Musky

A fairly heavy scent often with warm tones of vanilla and other sweet, smoky aromas. Alluding glamour and luxury, this scent is an ideal night time fragrance.


A fresh fragrance type will consist of citrus notes and is the uplifting scent that is often found in men’s aftershave. The freshness of the fragrance is often made up of citrus fruits such as lemon, orange and bergamot and then complemented with herbal notes. This cool scent is popular during spring and summer months.


A rich scent with seductive connotations, designed to make the wearer feel sexy. Oriental scents are popular in both men and women’s fragrance ranges and are often made up of warm spicy notes such as cardamom, clove and musk.

Fragrance notes 

Fragrances are broken into three different notes which contribute to their overall smell when put together. As soon as you apply your fragrance to skin, the smell changes and develops. This happens in three stages, which form the three main "notes" of a fragrance. These are called the Top Note, The Heart (or Middle Note) and the Base Note.

The Top Note is the initial smell that you get from a perfume, normally lasting only approximately 8-15 minutes. These are normally citrus, light florals or powdery scents.

The Heart Note is the main body of the fragrance and usually a more mellow scent, mostly consisting of heavier florals such as rose or lavender. These notes normally develop approximately 30 minutes after the perfume is sprayed, after the top note has cleared.

The Base Note is the last part of the perfume to develop and usually contains the stronger scents such as leather or musk. These notes help to anchor the fragrance and linger for hours on the skin.

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