What is Eau de Toilette & How Does it Compare to Other Fragrances?

By Leanna Serras August 9, 2019
image of What is Eau de Toilette & How Does it Compare to Other Fragrances?

Eau de toilette is a lightly scented fragrance with a lower concentration of fragrant oils than pure perfume. Derived from a French phrase that means “getting ready”, the fragrance is a great choice if you’re looking for a lighter scent to refresh the skin.

The term is a perfume category. Perfume categories are distinguished based on the amount of “perfume essence” in the formula relative to the amount of alcohol and water. Perfume essence includes natural ingredients, essential oils, perfume extracts, and any aromatic oil.

The main categories of fragrances are as follows in order of their perfume concentration:

  • Eau Fraiche: Considered the most diluted category of fragrance, eau fraiche contains only 1 to 3 percent of perfume oil. Due to the high alcohol content, the scent is much more subtle and generally lasts for less than an hour.
  • Eau de Cologne: Often created for men, cologne is designed as a light “splash” fragrance. It contains 2 to 5 percent of perfume essence and usually lasts for about two hours.
  • Eau de Toilette: One of the most popular fragrance types, eau de toilette is a light spray composition. Its scent contains 4 to 15% pure perfume and usually lasts for 3 to 4 hours. Considered by many to be a daytime fragrance.
  • Eau de Perfume / Eau de Parfum: Derived from pure perfume, eau de perfume’s formula is more concentrated with 15 to 20 pure essence. It lasts for 4 to 5 hours.
  • Perfume (Parfum): Not to be confused with eau de perfume, pure perfume is the most concentrated of all fragrance categories. Slightly oiler in texture, a single application of perfume holds 20 to 40 percent pure essence. It can last up to 24 hours.

Chart showing the different fragrance types and their perfume concentrations and duration of scent.

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 perfume oils, pricing, longevity of the scents and usage. A spritz contains around 5 to 15 percent of perfume essences in its top layers. The scent usually lasts for three hours.

Eau de parfum, on the other hand, will retain its scent for five to eight hours since it contains 20 percent fragrant oils. An application of pure perfume is even more potent. Because it is layered throughout with 40% aromatic oil, it releases its scent over time for up to 24 hours.

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.

Is Eau de Toilette for Men or Women?

Eau de toilette can be used by both men and women. The perfume industry often markets cologne as men’s fragrance and perfume as women’s fragrance. However, there are options for both genders across the pe rfume categories and vary mainly by the amount of perfume oil as well as the notes and ingredients.’

Popular toilette fragrances include Nautica Voyage and Acqua Di Gio for men and Cool Water and Chanel Chance for Women, but there are unisex fragrances as well, such as CK All and Black Orchid.

A man and woman both testing the scent of an eau de toilette fragrance.

How Do You Wear Eau de Toilette?

The best practice for wearing eau de toilette is to apply it to dry skin. You’ll want to focus it on heated areas on your body, including your chest, neck, lower jaw, wrist, forearm, inner elbow and shoulders. Your body heat helps diffuse the scent and make the scent last longer. You’ll want to start light and layer it as you go – you don’t want to be that person that reeks strongly of fragrance!

Since eau de toilette is more diluted, adding petroleum jelly or an unscented lotion before the application can help lock in the scent and increase its longevity. A spray on your hair or clothes can also help add to the overall lingering effect of the fragrance.

Diagram showing the heat areas and pulse points on for where to apply your fragrance.

How to Choose the Right Fragrance for You

To choose the right fragrance, you’ll need to consider how long you want your scent to last, your budget and the environment you’ll be in. For example, if you prefer a daytime fragrance or work in a strict office setting, an eau de toilette would be the better option for you than a perfume.

You’ll also want to consider your personal preferences and skin chemistry. Since eau de toilettes and perfume react differently on everyone’s skin, it’s important to test the fragrance if possible.

An eau de toilette is a refreshing everyday option. Compared to perfume, its top-heavy composition makes it great for layering and wearing during summer seasons and more conservative environments.

Whether you decide to get an eau de toilette fragrance or a pure perfume blend, we offer a variety of perfumes for any occasion.

Share This Article

Featured Posts

best oud perfumes for women and men

Best Oud Perfumes for Women and Men

September 18, 2019
woman walking down the street looking confident and happy

What is Sillage + 10 Other Fragrance Terms You Should Know

September 10, 2019
attractive perfume bottles with roses

Fragrance Notes: Everything You Need to Know

September 10, 2019
attractive young woman drinking water

13 Beauty Benefits of Drinking Water

September 10, 2019

VIDEO: Best Men’s Fragrances with Jeremy Fragrance!

September 4, 2019
woman looking in the mirror and touching her face

8 Face Yoga Exercises for Anti-Aging

August 28, 2019
woman mixing essential oils

24 Essential Oil Roller Recipes (+ Free Wedding Gift Printables)

August 26, 2019
lady with tattoo smelling her wrist

How to Smell Good: 18 Ways to Smell Fresh All Day

August 20, 2019

Best Niche Perfumes For Fall

August 18, 2019
Jean jacket with open perfume bottle on it's side sitting next to it

How to Get Perfume Out of Clothes: 6 Methods to Try

August 15, 2019
peach colored perfume in decorative box with ribbon around the box

How to Store Perfume: 13 Ways to Help Your Fragrance Last Longer

August 5, 2019
woman standing near her sliding glass door

13 Ways to Prevent Indoor Air Pollution (Backed by Science)

August 5, 2019

Best Citrus Fragrances for Summer

July 28, 2019

15 Evidence-Based Aphrodisiac Scents to Improve Date Night

July 18, 2019
woman laying in bed smiling

9 Benefits of Beauty Sleep – According to Science

July 16, 2019
man and woman enjoying a date

[Survey] Women’s Biggest Date Killers Revealed

July 12, 2019
cologne bottles lying on a black table

How to Apply Cologne: A Man’s Guide to Fragrance Usage

July 12, 2019
perfume bottles, flowers and fun little illustrations

Kids Craft: “Perfume” with Printable Labels

July 12, 2019
flowers and petals in science equipment

The Science of Scent Marketing

July 12, 2019
Bride putting perfume on her wrist - close up

Find Your Perfect Wedding Fragrance

July 12, 2019
closeup on a diffuser

15 Scents to Help You Sleep

July 12, 2019
a cup of tea with a flower in it

12 Scents That Will Make You More Productive

July 12, 2019
Person holding clear containers of homemade beauty products

35 Coconut Oil Beauty Products You Can Make at Home

July 1, 2019
woman sneezing into tissue

Fragrance Sensitivity: What You Need to Know

July 1, 2019
colorful perfume bottles arranged in a row

Your Guide to the Fragrance Wheel and Scent Families

June 26, 2019

 A Week of Vacation Fragrances For Summer

June 19, 2019
happy woman meditating on beach

Celebrity Morning Routines Backed By Science

June 11, 2019

Best Designer Perfumes for June Brides and Grooms

May 21, 2019
A perfume makers extracts ingredients to create a fragrance.

14 Strangest Perfume Ingredients of All Time

May 20, 2019
Women sitting at window ledge with tea

15 Healing Aromatherapy Scents And How to Use Them

May 13, 2019
photo of perfume making materials

How Is Perfume Made? The Perfume Manufacturing Guide

April 26, 2019
Best niche perfumes for fall

15 Fragrance Hacks to Make Your Perfume Last Longer

April 25, 2019

Best Perfumes For Mother’s Day

April 22, 2019
essential oils, flowers and herbs

8 Scents Scientifically Proven to Increase Student Productivity

April 19, 2019

Versace Dylan Blue: 3 Moments This Cologne Makes Infinitely Better

April 3, 2019

Parfums de Coeur: 5 Wild & Wonderful Fragrances to Try

March 26, 2019

Award Winning Fragrances for Men and Women

March 24, 2019

Ferrari Colognes: The 4 Best Fragrances to Test-Drive

March 21, 2019
herbs, flowers and spices

The Fascinating History of Perfume

March 21, 2019

Joop! Cologne: 4 Signs You Need to Start Wearing It Immediately

March 13, 2019
woman testing perfume to see if its expired

Does Perfume Expire? Find out If Your Fragrance Has Gone Bad

March 8, 2019

Polo Cologne: How a Legendary Scent Lasted 40 Years

March 5, 2019

How To Find Your Signature Scent: Starting a Perfume Collection

March 3, 2019

Black Cologne by Kenneth Cole: A Rare Scent for All Four Seasons

February 25, 2019

Chrome Cologne by Azzaro: 3 Occasions This Scent is Perfect For

February 18, 2019

Rihanna Nude Perfume: Who Should (and Shouldn’t) Wear It?

January 23, 2019
Follow us @Fragancex