Perfume Lover


Perfume101

What is EDT, EDP, EDC?

Perfume types reflect the concentration of aromatic compounds in a solvent, which in fine fragrance is typically ethanol or a mix of water and ethanol. The concentration by percent/volume of perfume oil is as follows:

  • Perfume extract (Extrait): Contains a highly concentrated amount of fragrance oil. This is the richest, strongest and longest lasting full-bodied fragrance. Perfume is the most expensive form of fragrance. Contains 15-40% (typical 20%) aromatic compounds.
  • Eau de Parfum (EDP): A less concentrated form of perfume. Contains 10-20% (typical ~15%) aromatic compounds.
  • Eau de Toilette (EDT): A typically more diluted form of Eau de Parfum. Contains 5-15% (typical ~10%) aromatic compounds.
  • Eau de Cologne (EDC): A light form of fragrance. Contains 3-8% (typical ~5%) aromatic compounds.

The intensity and longevity of a perfume is based on the concentration, intensity and longevity of the aromatic compounds (natural essential oils / perfume oils) used: As the percentage of aromatic compounds increases, so does the intensity and longevity of the scent created. Different perfumeries or perfume houses assign different amounts of oils to each of their perfumes. Therefore, although the oil concentration of a perfume in Eau de Parfum (EdP) dilution will necessarily be higher than the same perfume in Eau de Toilette (EdT) from within the same range, the actual amounts can vary between perfume houses. An EdT from one house may be stronger than an EdP from another.

Men’s fragrances are rarely sold as EdP or perfume extracts. As well, women’s fragrances are rarely sold in EdC concentrations. This gender specific naming trend is common for assigning fragrance concentrations.

Fragrance notes

Perfume is described in a musical metaphor as having three sets of notes, making the harmonious scent accord. The notes unfold over time, with the immediate impression of the top note leading to the deeper middle notes, and the base notes gradually appearing as the final stage. These notes are created carefully with knowledge of the evaporation process of the perfume.

  • Top notes: The scents that are perceived immediately on application of a perfume. Top notes consist of small, light molecules that evaporate quickly. They form a person’s initial impression of a perfume and thus are very important in the selling of a perfume. Also called the head notes.
  • Middle notes: The scent of a perfume that emerges just prior to when the top notes dissipate. The middle note compounds form the “heart” or main body of a perfume and act to mask the often unpleasant initial impression of base notes, which become more pleasant with time. They are also called the heart notes.
  • Base notes: The scent of a perfume that appears close to the departure of the middle notes. The base and middle notes together are the main theme of a perfume. Base notes bring depth and solidity to a perfume. Compounds of this class of scents are typically rich and “deep” and are usually not perceived until 30 minutes after application.

The scents in the top and middle notes are influenced by the base notes, as well the scents of the base notes will be altered by the type of fragrance materials used as middle notes.

Testing Fragrances:
When you try a fragrance, spray the perfume on the inside of your wrist or inner elbow and wait for your body to naturally warm and interact with the fragrance.

Before smelling the applied fragrance, you should wait about a minute to allow the first note of the fragrance to be released above the alcohol and also allows your individual skin oil content and pH balance to reflect how the actual scent will develop in combination with your own body chemistry.

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