The options are aplenty these days when it comes to perfumes. From its humble origins in ancient rituals, the modern perfume industry is a billion-dollar one – and for good reason. Perfumes have come to be known as mood enhancers and a means of self-expression. Indeed, everyone seems to have a favorite or be attracted to a particular scent. If you have not found something uniquely your own, fret not because it can be a daunting prospect indeed. There seem to be as many different types of perfumes as there are stars in the skies.
While the math hasn’t quite been done on the dizzying array of possibilities, narrowing down your own scent boils down to the basics: what are the main categories of perfumes and their advantages. Once you know the ins and outs, you will be more self-assured about your choice and are well on your way to finding a fragrance to call your own.
These perfumes are referred to as aftershaves in common parlance. They are extremely dilute with an average of about 2% of fragrance oil. For this reason, they are meant to be reapplied frequently such as after intense gym sessions or long summer days at the beach. The idea is to go liberal with this perfume!
Eau de Cologne
A common misnomer is that cologne is merely for men, and this cannot be further from the truth. Fresh and light scents are not gendered and the citrusy notes in the traditional Eau de Cologne are appealing for anyone. They usually have higher concentrations than the Eau Fraiche but wear out in about 2 hours.
Eau de Toilette
This perfume type acts as a middle ground between high and low concentrations of perfume. It is great for indoor use, such as an airconditioned office environment where you don’t want your scent to be overpowering. It can last for up to 4 hours meaning and is easily reapplied with a spray bottle. Its concentration is in the range of 5 to 15 %. Patchouli scented perfumes work best for this type!
Eau de Parfum
These are unofficially the gold standard for women’s perfumes, clocking in at about 10 to 20% in concentration. They are definitely noticeable which is a plus point on a romantic rendezvous but perhaps less so when you’re on a crowded train with other people for a long commute.
The parfum has the highest concentration of all perfumes with some as close to 40% in concentration. The parfum should ideally only be purchased when you are sure that that scent is something you love. It can last for more than 12 hours and has rich and complex undertones.
Attar is an often-overlooked perfume type and has its origins in Persia. It is unique in that it has zero alcoholic content and is primarily derived from botanical sources or spices. It is oil-based and used by dabbing it onto one’s pulse points. They are thought to be eco-friendly and vegan due to the absence of chemicals or animal parts.