Fragrance concentration

Fragrance Concentration: A Beginners Guide to Perfume Types

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Finding the perfect scent to buy can be a confusing experience – you want the best perfume for your budget – and for the right occasion!

If there was only one perfume type, the choice would be much easier! However, with a range of perfume types on the market, understanding the strength of each one, and what you can expect to pay, will help you in your quest to track down the perfect scent. 

Here’s our beginner’s guide to fragrance concentration and the various perfume types you’ll see in the beauty world!

Fragrance concentration meaning

Fragrance concentration is the amount of perfume oil used in a particular fragrance product. The concentration of a fragrance determines how strong the scent will be, how long it will last, and how much it will cost.

What are the concentrations of perfume?

There are several different levels of fragrance concentration, which can be divided into three main categories:

  1. Parfum (Perfume): The densest form of fragrance, with a concentration of 15-30% perfume oil. Parfum is the most expensive and long-lasting form of fragrance, with a scent that can last for up to 8 hours.
  2. Eau de Parfum (EDP): This form of fragrance has a concentration of 8-15% perfume oil. EDP is slightly less concentrated than parfum, but it is still relatively strong and long-lasting, with an aroma that can last for up to 6 hours.
  3. Eau de Toilette (EDT): With a concentration of 4-8% perfume oil, EDT is the least concentrated form of fragrance. However, it’s still relatively strong and long-lasting, and its scent can last for up to 4 hours.

There are also other, less common levels of fragrance concentration, such as eau de cologne (EDC) and eau fraiche, which have lower concentrations of perfume oil.

What is the fragrance concentration of cologne?

Eau de Cologne (EDC) has a relatively low concentration of perfume oil at around 2-5%.

The scent of an EDC fragrance may last for 2-3 hours before fading.

Eau de cologne is often used as a daytime or casual fragrance, and it is popular with both men and women. It is often used as a light, refreshing scent for summer or as a layering fragrance to be worn with other, more concentrated fragrances.

What is the fragrance concentration of eau fraiche?

Eau fraiche has a very low concentration of perfume oil at around 1-3%. This light and refreshing form of scent is often used as a casual, daily spray. 

On average, it should last a couple of hours, unless you decide to layer it with another perfume. You can also wear it on its own, especially in summer when you may prefer a less concentrated fragrance. 

What is the best concentration of perfume?

Here are a few things to consider when choosing a fragrance concentration:

  • Strength: If you prefer a strong, long-lasting scent, you’ll want to choose a higher concentration of perfume oil, such as parfum or eau de parfum. These concentrations can last for up to 8 hours. On the other hand, if you prefer a lighter, more subtle scent, you may want to choose a lower concentration, such as eau de toilette or eau fraîche.
  • Occasion: The occasion or setting in which you’ll wear the fragrance will also influence the concentration you choose. For formal or evening events, a stronger, longer-lasting fragrance may be more appropriate. For everyday wear or casual occasions, a lighter, more subtle fragrance may be best.
  • Lifestyle: Take into account your lifestyle and personal preferences when selecting a fragrance concentration. For example, if you’re very active and tend to perspire heavily, choose a stronger fragrance that will last longer. Alternatively, if you prefer a more subtle, understated scent, a lower concentration of perfume oil will be best suited to you.

Perfume with the highest fragrance concentration

Parfum is the purest form of fragrance due to the higher concentration of pure perfume oil and fewer diluting agents. It’s also considered the highest quality, with a rich, complex aroma. 

Perfume extrait, or parfum extrait, has a very high concentration of perfume oil of between 20-40%, making it the most expensive. For example, Chanel parfum extraits are worth thousands of dollars. 

Perfume extraits are often sold in smaller bottles or in limited edition collections, meaning they should be used sparingly as a little goes a long way. These luxurious, special occasion scents are loved by those who appreciate the finest aromas, or collectors of designer fragrances. 

What are the main categories of perfume?

Perfume can be classified into several different categories based on the type of scent and perfume oil used. 

Floral: Floral perfumes are made with essential oils extracted from flowers, such as rose, jasmine, and lavender. They’re sweet, romantic, and feminine in nature.

Citrus: Citrus perfumes include citrus fruit aromas, such as lemon, orange, and grapefruit. They’re fresh, bright, and invigorating scents.

Woody: Woody perfumes include sandalwood, cedar, and patchouli. Typically, they’re earthy, warm, and masculine.

Oriental: Oriental perfumes are made with a blend of exotic, often spicy ingredients, such as amber, musk, and vanilla. They’re sensual, mysterious, and exotic.

Fresh: Fresh perfumes are made with light, crisp, and aquatic ingredients, such as water, grass, and mint. They’re described as clean, refreshing, and invigorating.

These categories aren’t mutually exclusive, and many perfumes are made with a blend of different types of ingredients that can be classified in more than one category, such as floral oriental perfumes. 


What does fragrance load mean?

Fragrance load is the amount of perfume oil used in a product, determining the strength of the scent of how long it lasts. 

A product with a high fragrance load has a stronger, longer-lasting aroma, while one with a low fragrance load has a lighter, more subtle scent. 

The fragrance load is usually expressed as a percentage like in perfume concentration. 

How do you calculate fragrance percentage?

To calculate the fragrance percentage in a product, you need to know the weight of the perfume oil used and the total weight of the product. 

Here’s a basic formula:

Fragrance percentage = (weight of perfume oil / total weight of product) x 100

For example, if a product weighs 100 grams and contains 10 grams of perfume oil, the fragrance percentage would be:

Fragrance percentage = (10 grams / 100 grams) x 100 = 10%
Keep in mind that this formula is a general guideline and the actual fragrance percentage may vary depending on the specific formulation of a product and the type of perfume oil used. In some cases, the fragrance percentage may be expressed as a range, rather than a specific number.

It’s also important to note that fragrance percentage doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of a fragrance.

A product with a high fragrance percentage doesn’t always smell better than one with a lower percentage – it all varies on the type of perfume oil used, additional ingredients, and overall brand. 

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