What is difference between EDC, EDT and EDP? [Why does it matter?]

Perfumes can be one of the most confusing elements of beauty products. Sometimes, you just don’t know which perfume would suit you the best. But did you know there are various factors that affect how the perfume would work on you?

Perfumes do not work the same for everyone. There are various characteristics that make perfume unique. 

Any perfume does not consist of just one smell. Plus, there are various types of fragrances that differentiate them, most importantly on the basis of the number of fragrance oils in them. Knowing about them will enlighten you to know more about which perfume would be the right one for you! 

For this, you need to know about different types of perfumes. Let me brief you about the five major categories hierarchically:

Types of Perfumes
  • Eau Fraiche: The cheapest perfume available for those who often look for lighter smells.
  • Eau de Cologne: This one is generally used in after-shaves and rest in retail stores. 
  • Eau de Toilette: This one is often used for day-to-day purposes widely.
  • Eau de Parfum: This one stands the second best which is most commonly saved for special occasions.
  • Parfum: This one’s the best in the family but only some can tolerate its strong smell.

Now that you have got some idea about it, let’s take a look at it from the start.


The history of perfumes goes way back to the 2nd millennium BC when a woman named Tapputi created perfume for the first time in Mesopotamia. The art of perfumery in India existed in 3300-1300 BC in Indus civilization.

Many other such records are found in different cultures such as Arabs, Persians, and Greeks. Today, Italy and France rule the world of perfumes. Hence the above terms are French in origin and were coined in the late 14th century.


Let us have clarity on these terms first. 

  • Eau” means Water in French and it is pronounced as ‘oh’.
  • De” means From in French and it is pronounced as ‘the’
  • Fraiche” means Fresh and it is pronounced as ‘Fresh’.
  • Toilette” means Grooming and it is pronounced as ‘Twalet’.

There are a few factors that differentiate these from one another:

  • Concentration: Concentration defines the amount of perfume oils put into any perfume. Parfum stands first in this factor.
  • Longevity: This factor defines how long any perfume lasts. It often lasts more if applied on clothes or put on on the perfect places such as the back of the elbows, insides of knees, wrist, or neck.
  • Sillage: Sillage is pronounced as ‘see-yazh’ which refers to the trail of smell created by any perfume. Remember when someone passed by you and left a trail of their perfume even after they’re long gone? Sillage, my friend. 
  • Notes: Notes can be considered as the ingredients of any perfume. They are divided into 3 parts. Top, middle and base notes. Let’s see how they work:
How do Perfumes work?

How do Perfumes work?

Most of the perfumes are divided into three levels. As soon as you apply any perfume, you smell the top note. Top notes form the first impression of any perfume. They are perceived right after applying the perfume. They often last for 15 minutes.

Then comes Middle notes that are the heart of the perfume. They last for over half an hour to one hour. They are compounded with sweet mellow scents. They help diffuse the initial unpleasant smell of the base notes. 

Base notes are the rich deep scents that linger on your body the longest. Base notes and middle notes together are the main element of the perfume. In some perfumes, the base notes can be present even after 6 hours of application. 

Apart from these, various factors affect the longevity of any perfume. One of those is the way you apply the perfume. As mentioned before, there are a few spots to apply perfume to work their best. Another thing is you must spread the perfume rather than rubbing it vigorously. The place where you store perfume also plays a major role in its shelf life.

The best place to store it is in the dark at room temperature. 

One of the other major factors is your body temperature and skin type. If you have dry skin, the fragrance molecules will not stick longer. You must moisturize your skin with a scent-free lotion. Most of the perfumes tend to be attracted to oil.

The top notes hold longer on the oily skin. If you have normal skin, then all the fragrances will work true to their nature. If you sweat a lot, that hinders the fragrance molecules to last longer on your skin too.

Eau Fraiche in perfume

What is Eau Fraiche in perfume?

Eau Fraiche means Freshwater when roughly translated. This type of perfume consists of the lowest amount of perfume oils. It is the most inexpensive perfume available.

Due to its low concentration, it lasts only for 1 hour or so. This type of perfume contains only 1-3% of perfume oils. It is also very light and is preferred by people who like delicate smells. 

Eau Fraiche generally costs between $30-$50 for a bottle of 50ml-100ml. You can get it easily online or from Walmart, Sephora, or other fragrance shops. 

EDC Perfume

What is EDC in perfume?

Eau de Cologne means Scented Water. The term comes from its origin- Cologne, Germany where a man named Johann Farina introduced this type of perfume. Colognes are often regarded as man’s perfumes although some female perfumes also use these fragrances. 

EDC lasts only for two hours or so. As it consists of a lesser concentration of perfume oils it tends to be lighter. It only consists of 2-5 % of perfume oils. EDC can be worn right before you go for a date or when you’re just to go for a meeting. You cannot wear it early in the morning and want its fragrance all day long. It is often used as a refresher or a splash fragrance.  

EDC is often inexpensive because of its light fragrances. It ranges somewhere between $50-$60 for 100ml bottles. You can buy it from any nearby cologne or fragrance stores or online.

EDT Perfume

What is EDT in perfume?

Eau de Toilette refers to Grooming Scents. It is also referred to as aromatic waters. It was first produced in the fourteenth century for Queen Elisabeth of Hungary using Rosemary herb.

It is often applied right after bathing or shaving. EDT is used widely as it comes in an affordable range and lasts longer than EDC. 

EDT lasts for around 3-4 hours. It consists of 5-15% of fragrance oils. EDT is often popularly worn during the daytime. It does not have strong base notes, hence you can wear EDP later for nighttime activities.

EDT comes at affordable prices mostly somewhere between $45-$120 for 100 ml bottles. You can buy it from Sephora or Walgreens or any other fragrance store or online.

EDP Perfume

What is EDP in perfume?

Eau de Parfum refers to the second strongest perfume. It often has very strong smells as compared to EDT and EDC. Earlier it was only available in female fragrances but now comes in both.

It has a rich scent that people often wear every day. The only downside is if you can’t tolerate strong smells, you should rather try EDT. Although, some brands do have softer smells in EDP.

EDP lasts for between 4-6 hours. It consists of 10-20% of fragrance oils. EDP is believed to be worn more for nighttime activities or can be worn on special occasions. But it is also a popular choice for everyday wear.

As you might have guessed, they are understandably more expensive than EDT and EDC. The price range of EDP generally lies between  $80-$160 for 100ml bottles. You can get it from luxury perfume outlets or online.

Pure Perfume (Parfum)

What is Pure Perfume (Parfum)?

Pure perfume often referred to as Parfum is the most concentrated perfume and of course the most expensive one. Parfums often come in extravagantly designed bottles in a small quantity.

It can come in other forms too such as solid perfumes or pure oils that you just have to rub on your skin. People who do not like strong smells or feel allergic or have headaches around strong smells cannot tolerate Parfum.

Parfum lasts as long as 24 hours but its base notes are often too strong. It has a concentration of 20-40% of perfume oils. Parfums are considered to be a sign of elite personalities and are often saved for special occasions given its price!

A good Parfum can generally cost $30-$60 per 30ml. The prices can go as high as $350 for 50 ml. There’s actually no end to it. You must think it is madness but it’s more about taste! You can get pure perfume in exquisite perfumery stores or luxury perfume boutiques or online if you are well-versed with the names of the scents. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between perfume and Parfum?

Perfume is a broad word for different categories. While perfume is a mixture of fragrance oils and aroma oils. It is categorized into 5 categories whereas Parfum is a type of perfume.

Which type of perfume lasts the longest?

Parfum i.e. pure perfume lasts the longest (around 8 hours) as it has more concentration of fragrance oils than the rest. But it also depends on your pH and skin type. 

How to choose the right fragrance for you?

To choose the right fragrance for you, you must choose according to your skin type. It also depends upon the temperature surrounding you. You can wear EDTs when the weather is warm instead of EDPs. Plus, you can check the scents infused in the perfume as per the three notes.

Is alcohol used in perfume? Why?

Yes. When you smell any perfume, you don’t smell its ingredients individually. Rather you just smell something sweet or musky or light according to its notes. Alcohol dilutes the ingredients and it helps mix all the ingredients. Once you apply the perfume, alcohol and other water-like components evaporate, leaving the scent behind.

Parting Thoughts

“Perfume puts the finishing touch to elegance”.

– Gianni Versace

Isn’t that right? You have to smell well to be completely dressed well. Now that you’ve learned all about the types of perfumes, you must be able to choose the right scent for the right occasion. 

Although some types do not consist of a huge amount of perfume oils, they still work the best for the cause. You cannot use Parfum as a refresher likewise you cannot put on Eau Fraiche on your wedding day!

It’s all about what you feel like wearing mostly. EDPs will work the best for all occasions mostly except you live in hot climate surroundings. Remember: Your scent tells your story!

ARR Staff