What’s the Difference Between Cologne and Perfume?
To most, the difference between cologne and perfume is simply their target audience, with perfume being marketed towards women and cologne toward men. Although this is often the case, the reality isn’t so simple. They’re actually different types of fragrances, both of which can be worn by men and women alike!
However, this raises the question: what’s the difference between a cologne and a perfume specifically?
Both perfume and cologne fall under the umbrella of fragrance, an assortment of concentrated scents diluted by alcohol or water. They both serve the same purposes, whether that be to make a fashion statement or complete the perfect outfit. However, their differences affect the times and occasions they’re best used for.
The difference between cologne and perfume lies mostly in their concentration. Perfume, or Parfum, has a higher concentration of extracts and essential oils than any other type of fragrance, usually between 20-40%. Naturally, it’s much heavier and lasts much longer than other fragrances. Furthermore, a lower alcohol concentration means it’s much gentler on the skin.
Perfumes often fetch a higher price due to the liberal use of pricey components, but you’ll also get much more use out of a bottle of perfume than you would with cologne. As the fragrance is so intense, barely any is necessary to create a pronounced effect that can last as long as eight hours, so a single, small application is enough to keep you feeling fresh throughout the day.
Cologne, or Eau de Cologne, is significantly lighter than perfume and features a lower concentration of oils and extracts, typically ranging between 2-4%. As such, it’s an excellent choice if you’re going for a scent that’s subtle but still noticeable. This quality often lends itself to more masculine fragrances, which lead to the two being associated. Of course, its lighter composition means it wears off sooner, so be sure to take the bottle with you for the occasional refresher.
Colognes are often much less expensive and can be bought in larger quantities due to their lower concentration, so even though a single application won’t last as long as a typical perfume, you can give yourself an extra spritz here and there without worrying about the cost. In addition, you can apply cologne in larger quantities without being overwhelming, allowing you to distribute the scent more evenly rather than choosing one or two pulse points. If you’re looking for a subtle and luxurious fragrance without breaking the bank, you’re best off with a cologne.
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