What is Eau de Toilette & How Does it Relate to Different Fragrances?

What is Eau de Toilette & How Does it Relate to Different Fragrances?

Fragrance Is A Step Ladder With 5 Rungs

As you climb up or down the rungs of this ladder, you catch a whiff of the different concentrations of perfume essence available in any fragrance bottle. Distinct categories exist in the world of fragrances and we will soon see where the Eau de toilette fragrance type sits.

Fragrance Categories

The amount of perfume essence per fragrance category sets it aside from other categories. We would have a look at each of the categories available, starting with the fragrance category with the purest perfume concentration.


On the top of the perfume ladder sits the king - “Parfum” - which is the truest form of perfume essence available. It holds 20%-40% of a perfume oil/essence and its scent sits longer than the rest of fragrances available. These scents are almost exclusive to niche and indie-designers and may or may not be suitable for the skin or clothing.  Longevity is usually the best for these concentrated scents; however, you must also be cognizant of where you will be wearing them and what color your clothing is.  You may just overpower the room and if you are spraying onto a lighter garment, it may stain.

Eau de Parfum:

Just slightly below the Parfum rung of the perfume ladder is Eau de Parfum which is also known as EDP; it holds 15%-20% of perfume essence and should not be confused with Parfum. It lasts less longer than Parfum but its notes stay on the skin longer than an Eau de Toilette. Argos Bacio Immortale which means “Immortal Kiss”, Brivido Della Caccia which means “Thrill of the Chase” and Triumph of Bacchus are some available EDP fragrances you can get in the market. This concentration range is almost exclusively for the higher price tag designer brands and niche luxury fragrance houses. 

Argos Fragrances are all created in Eau de Parfum concentration and can typically last from 5 to 10 hours and up to 12 hours on the skin and even longer on clothing.  Argos Pour Femme Perfume is an example of Eau de Parfum and its scent trail ensures that you will remember the woman who wears it long after she’s gone. Argos Pour Homme, even though it is a fresh masculine scent that you would expect to dissipate within an hour boasts an 10 to 12-hour life on the skin and even longer on the clothing.

Eau de Toilette:

In terms of fragrance concentration, determined by the presence of perfume oil/essence per fragrance, Eau de Toilette is the third rung on the ladder of fragrances bordering Eau Fraîche and Eau de Cologne to the bottom, and the duo of Eau de Parfum and Parfum to the top. Also known as EDT, its notes last a maximum period of 4 hours and it is more popular because of its affordability. Wearing an Eau de Toilette for a long time within 24 hours means a respray is needed at intervals. The perfume essence concentration in an Eau de Toilette is between 4% and 15%.

Typically, designer fragrances fall into this category and Eau de Cologne. However, some niche fragrances will fall in this concentration range.  Even with a lower concentration of oils the increase in high quality ingredients, maceration process as well as the combination of notes may yield a good performing scent.

Eau de Cologne:

When you climb down the rungs of the fragrance ladder a bit further, you come in contact with Eau de Cologne (also known as EDC) which has been said to be mostly male-focused. Cologne is an abbreviation of Eau de Cologne for the city of Cologne, Germany, where this particular concentration of scent was first made; therefore, it was a water from Cologne. There are specific blends of fragrances that fall in this specific category of Eau de Cologne. Typically, these fragrances are very light, fresh, and fruity, and they contain the essential oils, lemon, bergamot, orange, and the absolute neroli. They may also contain the essential oils lavender and rosemary. It generally has 2%-5% of perfume essence and a duration of 2 hours before it wears off. Typically, designer fragrances fall into this category and Eau de Toilette.

Eau de Fraiche:

On the last rung of the fragrance ladder, you find Eau de Fraiche also known as EDF. It holds a meagre 1% to 3% of pure perfume and typically lasts for an hour. This can be particularly good for an interview of half an hour or an hour.

What is the Difference Between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette?

The differences between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette are the concentration of fragrance oils, pricing, longevity of the scents and usage. A spritz contains around 4% to 15% of perfume essences and usually lasts for around 4 hours. These scents are usually considered as designer fragrances and are generally mass produced.

Eau de Parfum, on the other hand, will retain its scent for 5 to 12 hours since it contains around 20% fragrant oils. Fragrances that are Eau de Parfum concentrate are typically in the niche fragrance category and may be produced in smaller more rare quantities.  The large variant in longevity is based on the type of Eau de Parfum.  A fresher, more aquatic scent may be filled with high quality citrus oils but those tend to burn off faster.  Some high-quality niche brands like Argos Fragrances boast super longevity.  Even Argos Pour Homme, the brands citrus based men’s freshie boasts an 8-10 hour long life on the skin and even up to 12 hours on clothing.

Because it is more diluted, Eau de Toilette is less expensive and can be sprayed liberally as a day-to-day or night scent. Eau de Parfum and Parfum are more expensive, but the lower amount of alcohol plays well with sensitive skin and provides a long-lasting, skin-clinging scent.

Eau de Toilette: Male, Female or Unisex?

Whereas Eau de Cologne is popularly attributed to males and Eau de Parfum to females, Eau de Toilette evens the score by being right in the middle for both male and female. Nonetheless, just like almost all things unisex, exceptions have been made for crafting each and every available Eau de Toilette as primarily male or primarily female so do not be surprised to see Eau de Toilette solely crafted for either male folks or female folks.

Wearing Eau de Toilette The Right Way

Is there a wrong way to wear any fragrance - in this case, the Eau de Toilette fragrance type? Maybe not in terms of wearing it the wrong way.  But there is a guide to show you how to wear it so that it leaves a fragrance trail in all the right places. Here’s how to:

  1. Choose an Eau de Toilette with the maximum concentration (15%) so that the sillage serves you just right - and long.
  2. Ensure that your skin is moisturized with a scentless lotion before applying spritzes of Eau de Toilette on your body to enable longevity on your skin.
  3. Towel your body dry before spraying it on so that the heat from your body will have its scent concentrated on a large area of your body instead of just settling on singular spots.
  4. Spray your bottle of Eau de Toilette on the following parts of your body: forearm, elbow, chest, wrist, shoulder, neck, behind ears and lower jaw. These are prime regions to accentuate the scent.
  5. Spraying in the atmosphere so that wafts of the Eau de Toilette can gently fall on your clothes or skin is a no-no! Direct skin spray is the best method.
  6. Less is more especially when visiting indoor environments; you can spritz more levels of Eau de Toilette on your skin if you are going for an outdoor event.

Remember this: choosing the perfect Eau de Toilette fragrance for your skin should factor in your skin’s sensitivity, your budget for fragrances and the environment you would like to wear the fragrance to before you click “checkout” on Argos Fragrances!

Note: The percentages I have given for perfume essence compared to total product are just guidelines. There is no universally agreed ratios, and they will vary from source to source.


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