Cologne, Perfume, or Eau de Toilette: A Quick Guide to Fragrance Shopping


Cologne, Perfume, or Eau de Toilette: A Quick Guide to Fragrance Shopping

Do you ever walk into a perfume store and get dizzy at all the options? Not only do you need to choose a scent you like, but it’s imperative to know (before starting your shopping), how long you need the scent to last and what occasion you will wear it for. It is also important to know if you have a specific budget in mind for the scent you want to purchase, as the more expensive variant of your chosen perfume will last longer depending on how expensive it is. Read more below on how to ensure that your fragrance shopping is a success.

Know the terms

There are a few different terms you need to know about buying a fragrance, Parfum, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, Cologne and perfume oil- all of which tell you the strength of the fragrance and how much of the fragrance has been dissolved in alcohol

Perfume oil

It contains a moderate amount of oil and does not last very long. It's more commonly found in roller balls and not an excellent quality  

Eau de Cologne

Sometimes just called cologne, this version contains about 2-5% of perfume oil and is more commonly found in perfumes made after shaving. The scent fades after about 2-4 hours and is great to keep on hand or in your handbag to apply during the day.

Eau de Toilette

It contains 4 - 10% of perfume oil and is more affordable than an Eau de Parfums. This kind of fragrance is more commonly used in the day and, like the Eau de Cologne, requires touch-ups during the day.

Eau de parfum

Containing about 15% of perfume, this one lasts for up to 6 hours. This kind of fragrance is more commonly used in the evening


Sometimes just called extract, this one has 20% of perfume oil and lasts for about 8-12 hours on the skin and even longer on clothes. You notice that the scent will linger on your skin from the morning to the evening and that it will smell better and better over the day as the notes mellow out. This is the most expensive fragrance you can find in high-end stores and will last for quite a few months to a year.



Smell before you buy

The names and concentrations of fragrance in perfume are not the only differences, did you know that different concentrations of perfume have different scents as well?

While the various concentrations of the same fragrance will always be similar and have similar notes, they won’t always smell the exact same. Various high-end Eau de Parfum’s are a lot stronger and more intense than that of the Eau de Toilette. Even though the Eau de Toilette is often more affordable, it doesn't always work to buy this variant if you want to save money - especially if you love the original Eau de Parfum’s notes. 

Once you have chosen the scent you like, smell the various variants in the range and even spray a little on your arms to sample. After a few hours, smell them again and see if you are happy with how the concentration of the notes reacts to your skin before making your purchase.

Now that you have your fragrance, learn how to make your scent linger
To make your scent last, moisturize first


Using a moisturiser is an age-old secret to making your scent last as long as possible. Meanwhile, it seems like it will just make the perfume disappear, using a moisturiser underneath the perfume locks in the fragrance molecules - allowing the scent to hold on to something.

Spritz your perfume in your closet

A quick way to keep your clothes smelling great and ready to go is to spritz the clothing in your closet with some of your perfume. Just 2-3 spritzes will do as you don't want the smell to be overpowering. We recommend doing this every week to keep your clothes smelling amazing.

Top tip: Use tissue paper

Take your scent even further by lightly spraying tissue paper with your fragrance and using the paper to line your draws. We like lining our sock draw and t-shirt cupboards with these sheets of tissue paper as they will leave a soft and lingering scent on your clothing.

Spritz the perfume on your hair

Now that you have the fragrance you love, ensure that you always smell good by lightly spritzing the perfume on your hair. We love this tip since hair makes for a great carrier for perfume. Because your hair moves around over the day, using a hair perfume means that the scent will be dispersed around you throughout the day. Be mindful of only doing one spritz at least 30cm away from your hair as to not add too many chemicals to the hair.

Apply your perfume correctly

While we almost always spray perfume on our wrists and then rub them together, this is perhaps the worst thing you could do with your fragrance. While this might seem to bring the scent out more, it ruins the scent. This act is not only aggressive to your perfume, but also ruins the molecules in the fragrance which affects the scent of the fragrance. We recommend spraying it on the skin and allowing it to settle and dry before getting dressed. If you want your scent to last, then apply the perfume to your pulse points like behind your ears, behind your knees, neck, ankles and your wrists. We also recommend spraying the perfume on your body as opposed to in the air. This not only wastes products, but the scent evaporates after a while. A direct spritz onto bare skin and your clothes is all you need to keep the scent of the perfume with you for longer.


 Look after your perfume to make it last longer

You didn't spend all that money just to waste your perfume, did you? The best way to ensure that you always smell good is to look after your perfume - no one wants to smell like rancid perfume! While perfume looks pretty on your dressing table, the best place to store them is in a cool and dark place in an upright position. If you can, then store the perfume in its original box to help keep moisture and light out. It’s also important not to shake the bottle, as this will allow air to infuse the fragrance and shorten its lifespan.