The term perfume is generally associated with fragrances that are specifically for women, cologne and aftershave often with men's fragrances. These associations can make things rather confusing when choosing fragrances, whether for yourself or as a gift for someone else.
So, is Eau de Parfum for men? Yes, Eau de Parfum is merely a reference to the type of fragrance based on its strength of aromatic oils, the wearer doesn't come into it. We will delve deeper into what the various types of fragrances are and how they differ.
The Various Fragrance Types
This is the weakest option available, Eau Fraiche only has between 1% and 3% concentration of fragrance oils, so you will find that they wear off very quickly and you will likely need quite frequent sprays to top up the smell. Some might not mind this as a bottle of Eau Fraiche is less expensive because of the minimal fragrance oil used, however, the downsides are having to remember to spritz often and having to keep the bottle with you.
Eau de Cologne
Eau de Cologne translates to 'water from Cologne', referring to the city in Germany. This is where perfumer Giovanni Maria Farina created the first of this fragrance type in 1709. Following that, it became typical to name fragrances with 3%-5% strength Eau de Cologne.
Eau de Cologne is often, and mistakenly, believed to be exclusively for men. This is due to many fragrance brands using the name on men's fragrances, and marketing those fragrances specifically to male audiences.
Bottles marketed as 'cologne' often feature notes heavily associated with masculine fragrances, such as musk and various woody notes, which may also contribute to this pre-conceived notion of cologne being exclusively for men.
Besides the 3-5% concentration of Eau de Cologne, there is nothing that differentiates it from other types of fragrance. Both men and women can wear Eau de Cologne with great effect. How masculine or feminine a scent is depends on the notes that have been included in the scent's makeup. As well as the nose of those smelling it, of course.
Eau de Toilette
Also referred to as EDT, Eau de Toilette is possibly the most common type of fragrance you will find lining the shelves of your high street perfumery.
What exactly is an Eau de Toilette, you might ask? As with so many of the French words used in fragrance vocabulary, they look and sound remarkably like the English equivalent e.g. “parfum” in French means “perfume” in English. We can appreciate that the name Eau de Toilette might make you think of something you'd rather not spritz on your skin. It's a common misunderstanding, but “Toilette” in French has nothing to do with the word toilet in English.
Toilette refers to the morning ritual of preparing yourself for the day ahead. Toilette is the cleansing of your skin, applying a hit of scented mist to your face and hair, or dabbing your chosen scent onto your pulse points. Any and all of those things are your “toilette”.
An Eau de Toilette is a fairly light type of fragrance, with on average concentration of fragranced oil of 8-12%. The softer scent of Eau de Toilette can often make it a great option for summer when the warmer temperatures intensify aromas due to increased dispersal of perfume molecules.
Eau de Parfum
Eau de Parfum, (also known as EDP), translates from French as perfume water. It is composed of between 12-18% fragrance oils.
Eau de Parfums are up and coming. They're increasing in popularity thanks to being long lasting, kinder on skin thanks to their reduced alcohol content, and a more potent aroma when sprayed than those fragrance types with a weaker concentration.
Eau de Parfum is a great middle of the road option. Neither overwhelming or underwhelming.
Parfums, also sometimes referred to as elixirs or pure perfumes, are the most concentrated fragrance type with a concentration above 20% and up to 30%. The fragrance oils that give scents their aromas are the most expensive ingredient, so you will find that parfums are on the highest end of the scale for cost because of their higher concentration.
While pure perfume may cost more money, it could also be better for sensitive skin due to reduced alcohols which are inevitably found in larger volumes in weaker scents. Applying alcohol to skin can, over time, dry and irritate your skin, which can even have a knock-on effect for how your scent wears on you!
Alternative Products Associated With Fragrance
Often confused with colognes and other men's fragrance types due to the association with men. The term 'aftershave' has been used as a bit of a catch-all by producers of male fragrances. Many bottles are marketed as aftershave, however it's more than likely if you look at the bottle label it could be one of the above fragrance types.
To dispel the confusion between cologne and aftershave, Eau de Cologne is a type of fragrance whereas aftershave isn't. Aftershave is solely for patting on irritated skin post-shave and has no to little fragrance oil, usually composed of about 85% alcohols. If it is scented, the aftershave's scent won't stick around for long on your skin.
Essential oils are naturally occurring oils derived from aromatic plants. They're commonly used as ingredients across a broad range of fragrances.
They are extremely strong and potentially toxic if applied to skin neat and undiluted. By using minute amounts mixed with the correct ratios of water and other fragrance ingredients they become safe to wear and still smell fantastic.
Eau de Parfum Recommendations
Now that you understand the difference between fragrance types and know that absolutely anyone can use an Eau de Parfum or an Eau de Cologne, you might be raring for some exciting suggestions.
Eau de Parfum For Him: Inspired by Aventus - Executive
Aventus is an iconic scent, adored by many men and a long-term recurring addition to fragrance collections everywhere. Once you run out, it's not long before you feel the urge to spritz it on your wrists again and enjoy the sensational scent drifting around you.
The only potential hindrance is the cost. Considering Aventus' lofty price, you might prefer to use a cheap perfume that smells the same. We recommend Executive, it smells just like Aventus, but it is much better value.
Executive has the delicious balance of fruity notes and musk perfectly on point. It has so much versatility, making it the perfect accompaniment for any season, time of day, or occasion. Executive also has the same longevity as Aventus, meaning this delectable, world-class fragrance will stay with you for the entirety of your day and long into the night.
Eau de Parfum for Him: Inspired by Noir Extreme - Extreme
Extreme is a good example of an intense Eau de Parfum for men that is suitable for everyday use. This bold scent, which has been inspired by Noir Extreme, will help any man wearing it to feel confident and classy.
Men's fragrances like Extreme are so versatile that they can be used as a signature scent that's a go-to for every occasion. The nutmeg, mandarin orange and cardamom notes collaborate to make a warming, exotic mix that will be universally loved by all who smell it.
An Eau de Parfum like this makes for a great value scent and a high-quality addition to any male fragrance collection.