Making your own DIY perfume is fun and easy with our Perfume & Cologne Base! Before you get started, it helps to learn about the different types of personal fragrance products first. The term “perfume” is used pretty broadly to describe a wide range of scented products. However, true perfume has a specific definition.
Knowing the difference between various perfume products doesn’t necessarily matter if you’re only making perfume for yourself. However, it is helpful to learn the differences if you plan on selling your products.
Personal fragrance products can be made with a wide variety of ingredients. Most traditional perfume products are alcohol based, while other types of perfume are water-based or oil-based. Learn more about the different types below.
Types of Alcohol-Based Perfume Products
The main difference between the various types of alcohol-based perfumes is the concentration of fragrance oil. In other words, the ratio of fragrance to alcohol is what differentiates the types of perfume. The amount of fragrance affects how much perfumes cost, as well as the length of time the scent lasts.
- Extrait de Parfum contains 20 to 30% fragrance, making it the most highly-scented perfume product. Extrait de Parfum is the French phrase for “perfume extract,” but this product may also be referred to simply as “Parfum.” Oftentimes, you will see the words Parfum and Perfume used interchangeably. Most Parfum products have a scent that lasts for 12 hours or more.
- Eau de Parfum contains 15 to 20% fragrance, making it the second most scented product. Most Eau de Parfum products have a scent that lasts for up to 8 hours. Because Eau de Parfum contains less fragrance, it is less expensive compared to Parfum or Perfume. Eau de Parfum translates literally to “water of perfume” but linguistically, it simply means “perfume.” Eau de Parfum is widely available, and many people prefer it over pure Parfum because of its price point and the fact that it still lasts for most of the day.
- Eau de Toilette contains 5 to 15% fragrance, which means it is the third most scented perfume product. Eau de Toilette costs less than Eau de Parfum because it contains less fragrance. It also lasts for a shorter period of time once applied – usually up to 4 hours.
- Eau de Cologne contains 2 to 4% fragrance, making it one of the least-scented personal fragrance products. Oftentimes shortened to just “cologne,” this product lasts for about two hours once applied. Cologne is most often associated with men’s scents. However, the term can technically apply to any perfume spray that has a fragrance load of 2 to 4 percent.
Other Kinds of Perfume
While most traditional perfumes are made with an alcohol formula, other ingredients can be used to make perfume products too. Here are a few personal fragrance products that are not primarily alcohol based:
- Eau Fraiche is usually made from a water-based formula, but may also contain a small amount of alcohol to help with fragrance dispersal. Eau Fraiche contains 1 to 3% fragrance, making it the lowest scented perfume spray available. Often overlooked in favor of stronger-scented products, Eau Fraiche is still a popular option because it is much more affordable due to its low fragrance concentration. Although the scent lasts for only an hour or two, Eau Fraiche is useful for freshening up. It’s also great for people who don’t like strong scents but still want to use a fragrance product.
- Body Mist is a type of scented spray that usually contains moisturizers or other ingredients that are good for your skin. The term “body mist” can be applied to a wide variety of products, and the amount of fragrance can vary depending on who made it. Body mist is often considered the same as body spray or body splash. However, most people who make body mist would consider it a different product, especially if moisturizing ingredients are used.
- Body Spray is a generic term that is widely used to describe essentially any scented spray other than perfume. The technical definition of body spray can vary depending on who you ask. Although the term is somewhat general, body spray usually refers to lightly scented sprays that contain 5-15% fragrance, similar to Eau de Toilette. Whereas Eau de Toilette is made with an alcohol-based formula, body spray may be made from a water or alcohol-based formula.
- Perfume Oil is a product made by combining fragrance oils with a carrier oil. Unlike sprays, perfume oils contain no alcohol. Perfume oil is often applied with a roll-on bottle. Similar to true perfume, most perfume oils have a high scent concentration of 20 to 30%. Some people prefer perfume oils because the scent doesn’t fade as quickly as spray perfumes. That’s because the alcohol in perfume product evaporates quickly, while oil does not.
- Solid Perfume is similar to perfume oil, but it has a consistency closer to lip balm or lotion. Solid perfumes are applied directly to the skin like a lotion or balm. The fragrance concentration can vary widely in solid perfumes from 1 to 20% depending on the formula. Learn how to make your own solid perfume in this easy recipe!