Ask Ellbee ~ Fragrance

72questiongreenDear Ellbee,

Is it better to buy perfume or cologne?



Thanks for your question, Maggie.  The answer depends on just how much fragrance you’d like to wear.

You’ve mentioned two forms; however fragrances actually fall into one of four classifications:  Parfum (or perfume), Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Cologne.  The simple difference is concentration of scent, longevity and price.

Parfum contains the greatest concentration of scent elements ~ about 25%.  pretty_perfume_bottleIt is quite robust and long-lasting, and should require only one application.  It is, therefore, the most expensive of the four options.

At 18%, Eau de Parfum still has a substantial concentration of aromatics and is fairly long-lasting, but may fade by day’s end.  As such, eau de parfum is generally priced a bit lower than parfum. 

Eau de Toilette may contain as little as 10% and as much as 15% of the base scent.  It should be applied more liberally than parfum and eau de parfum, and may require more than one application.  Pricing reflects this.

Cologne contains the smallest concentration of actual scent ~ just 7%. Generous and frequent applications may be necessary.  While colognes are priced significantly lower than all other forms, it begs the question:  

Is it more economical to buy cologne when you must use more of it?
And just how frequently do you wish to reapply?


Ellbee’s favorite scents include Chloé, Acqua di Gio (Giorgio Armani),
Fabulous (Isaac Mizrahi) and Light Blue (Dolce & Gabbana).


The answer is truly a matter of personal preference….

As my nose is quite sensitive, I prefer to buy (or be gifted) my favorite scents in either eau de parfum or eau de toilette formats.  The concentration of scent is significant enough to linger without being overwhelming.  This also works well when wearing scent for another ~ as “scentillation” should always be an up-close-and-personal experience.  ;-D



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