Your Handy Guide to Different Perfume Types

different perfume types in a box

Shopping for perfumes is one of life’s joys. Whether you like floral scents, woody aromas or notes of citrus, there’s always a new fragrance to discover. However, making a choice can get difficult when you need to figure out what type of perfume to purchase. 

The language around personal fragrance can be confusing. Do you know the difference between a perfume, eau de parfum, and eau de toilette? 

Here, we explain what the different types of perfume are, how to distinguish between their strengths, and how long they are likely to last on your skin. We also give you insights into what makes top Arabic perfumes so special. 

What’s in a perfume bottle?

You may have seen your favorite scent offered in one and often more of these concentrations: parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, eau de cologne, or eau de fraîche. These classifications actually refer to the ratio of fragrance to carrier liquid.

Personal fragrances are a mix of fragrant essential oils and other compounds combined with a carrier liquid that helps disperse the fragrance on your skin. Perfumers’ alcohol is the most frequently used carrier in Western perfumes because it is light and volatile, meaning it can lift and carry the scent into the air as it evaporates. 

Arabic perfumes are usually alcohol free and use a greater amount of oil, which accounts for their exquisite richness and luxuriousness. 

Some perfume types contain a higher concentration of fragrance for a powerful, long-lasting scent. Others are lighter and contain a higher volume of carrier. So, how do you make the right choice? 

To work out what’s best for you, let’s explore what each perfume type actually is. 


Strength: Usually 20-30%

Longevity: 12+ hours

Parfums are usually considered the best perfumes. This is the perfume type with the strongest concentration of scent. There could be as much as 40% fragrance within the bottle to 60% carrier. However, the essential oils and fragrance compounds usually comprise around 20-30% of the total volume of the parfum. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of parfum?

Parfums make the boldest statements, being heavier and oilier. Parfum can rest on the skin for as long as 24 hours, meaning it is the longest lasting of all perfume types. Parfums are ideal for special occasions. Parfums will always stand out and get you noticed, so they are also perfect for anyone who regularly enjoys wearing a more intense fragrance.  

While parfum is usually more expensive per milliliter than other fragrance types, it only needs little to no reapplication, making it an excellent investment. 

Some luxury Arabic perfumes are designed to produce a fragrance that changes depending on their reaction with a person’s skin. Sometimes the scent produced varies depending on where it is applied. This product is perfect for anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind scent. 

Eau de parfum

Strength: 15-20%

Longevity: 5-6 hours

Eau de parfum or eau de perfume has the next strongest concentration of scent after parfum. Many people use it as an everyday perfume type. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of eau de parfum?

Parfums are fairly long lasting and will only need to be reapplied once during the day before evening falls. Eau de parfum is less expensive than parfum but will need to be replaced more frequently. 

Eau de toilette

Strength: 5-15%

Longevity: 2-3 hours

Eau de toilette is often purchased in spray bottle form and is the most widely sold and popular of all perfume types. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of eau de toilette?

Eau de toilettes offer a burst of fragrance that lasts a few hours. They are light, breezy and easy to wear. Eau de toilettes will need to be reapplied regularly, so the portability of spray bottles makes this convenient.   

The popularity of eau de toiletteis  probably connected to their lower price compared to parfum and eau de parfum. However, when you consider the frequency of application needed, buying a perfume with a stronger concentration is often a better choice. 

Eau de cologne

Strength: 2-5%

Longevity: 2 hours

Eau de cologne has become an integral part of many men’s grooming regimes, which means it is often mistaken as a product for men. However, there are many unisex and feminine eau de colognes. 

What are the advantages and disadvantages of eau de cologne?

Eau de colognes are one of the lightest perfume types and are, therefore, ideal for freshening up, quickly and inexpensively. However, their fragrance only lasts for a short time and they may not be suitable for sensitive skin types. 

Eau fraiche

Strength: 1 or 2%

Longevity: 1 hour or less

Eau fraiche translates from French as “fresh water” and, therefore, you can correctly guess that water is the main ingredient. Think of eau fraiche as a pleasantly scented product for freshening up after a long journey or similar.  

What are the advantages and disadvantages of eau fraiche?

Since eau fraiche has a very low concentration of essential oils or fragrance compounds, it’s inexpensive. Purchasing it as a fragrance product rather than a grooming product is unwise since its scent will not linger for more than a few minutes. It’s also not widely available. 

Emirates Pride perfumes

If you’re looking for the best Arabic perfumes and luxurious unique scents, you will find them with Emirates Pride.

Shop our collection of men’s, women’s and unisex perfumes to discover your new favorite fragrance. 

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