What’s the difference between eau de parfum and eau de toilette?

15 Nov 2021

Beauty

Journey into our world of enchanting perfumes and learn a thing or two along the way…

Most of us know that perfume comes in two forms — eau de parfum and eau de toilette. But have you ever wondered what the difference is? Whether we have a vast array of scents or one or two favourites, it’s easy to gloss over the distinction. They both smell great, tend to be made by the same brands, and can be worn every day… So, how different can they really be?

There’s certainly a whiff of confusion in the air! In this article, we’ll be discussing the ins and outs of perfume, mediating the battle between eau de parfum and eau de toilette, and sharing our thoughts on artificial vs natural fragrances.

Woman using an eau de parfum spray

What is eau de parfum?

Despite the misconceptions, the difference between eau de parfum and eau de toilette is remarkably straightforward. The distinction lies in the concentration of perfume oil. There tends to be 8% – 12% perfume oil in eau de toilette. In contrast, you’ll find eau de parfum has a higher concentration of 12% – 18%. So, as a general rule of thumb, eau de parfum will always contain more perfume oil than eau de toilette.

What is the strongest fragrance type?

This means the difference between fragrance types can be framed in another way. As the concentration of perfume oil determines the strength of a fragrance, a higher concentration results in a stronger and longer-lasting scent. Perfect for long evenings out or busy days, eau de parfum can last for four or five hours without needing a top-up.

Still, it should be acknowledged that eau de parfum isn’t the strongest fragrance type of all. Perfume (or parfum) has an even higher concentration of perfume oil than eau de parfum — at least 20%. Unsurprisingly, you can expect perfume to last on your skin for a very long time — around six to eight hours. As you’ll see, this longevity comes with a higher price tag.

The fact that eau de toilette lasts for two to three hours adds some context to the origin of the name. Eau de toilette is derived from the French term “faire sa toilette” which translates to “getting ready.” The phrase suits a fragrance type that’s perfect for casual daywear.

Should I buy perfume, eau de parfum, or eau de toilette?

Perfume oil is the most expensive ingredient that goes into fragrances. As a result, products containing a higher concentration will sell for a higher price. You can expect to pay the most for perfume, less for eau de parfum, and less again for eau de toilette. Of course, price will also depend on the brand you choose — and some will have a significant price tag regardless of the fragrance type!

While it might be tempting to make a decision based on price, try not to let this dictate your choice completely. Whether you’re going to be wearing your new scent every day or just for special occasions, you’ll want something that you adore. It only makes sense that smell should be the guiding factor when you’re choosing your fragrance.

You could gravitate towards the lightness of an eau de toilette, or you might be entranced by the rich notes of a particular perfume. Smell a few samples before purchasing. Or, if you’re shopping online, opt for something with notes you know you love.

Two perfume bottles

Artificial vs natural fragrances

The power of scent is a magical thing. And in our opinion, you can really tell the difference between artificial and natural fragrances. While natural notes seem to blend together into a symphony of complementary smells, a combination of synthetic notes can often be a little jarring. When we started crafting our stunning Rabot 1745 fragrances, we knew we’d be going down the natural route. At Hotel Chocolat, we pride ourselves on never using artificial flavours in our chocolates, so it’s only right to apply this principle to our scents!

In our humble option, all our fragrances turned out to be the alluring scents of our dreams. Our Syèl Eau De Parfum is a sultry amber perfume featuring notes of patchouli and nutmeg. In Creole, as spoken on Saint Lucia, ‘Syèl’ means ‘sky’ or ‘heaven’. So this is a rather fitting name for a perfume that reminds us of velvet Caribbean nights when stars look like glitter in the sky and the scents of local flora drift around in the gentle twilight breeze.

Our Koray Eau De Parfum deserves its time in the spotlight too. With floral, warming notes and a delicate and refreshing herbal backdrop, you’ll be entranced by the multiple revitalising layers of this perfume. Let the enlivening notes of bergamot, cacao, jasmine, and green tea, transport you to green gardens, summer days, and flower-strewn meadows.

And our Tokyo Body Mist? Lighter than even an eau de toilette, you’ll never spritz too much of this fresh, vibrant mist. With dreamy tones of cotton flower and sweet honey extract, this scent embodies the romance, hustle and bustle, and playful spirit of Tokyo. Float through your day wearing this glorious scent and take the spirit of Japanese flora with you wherever you go.

Selection of perfume bottles with natural flowers

Irresistible fragrance pairings

We think the best perfumes can be layered with other scents to give more depth to your fragrance. That’s why we made all our perfumes and mists compatible with our heavenly creams and body butters. Our products revolve around the fabulous cocoa bean. As such, both our fragrances and beauty products have the same tropical undertones. This common centre allows you to layer them together in the most sublime ways.

Pair our body mists with our Cacao and Almond Body Butter or Argan and Cacao Body Butter — which will prep your skin with a subtly scented base. Alternatively, if you wear one of our Eau De Parfums, keep our Cacao and Coconut Handcream or Cacao and Wild Honey Handcream nearby. Not only will it replenish your skin, but it will also keep your scent topped up.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this fragrance guide. Take a look at all our refreshing perfumes and mists and discover your new favourite scent.