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Eau de Parfum vs Toilette: What’s the Difference?

If you’re a fan of fragrances, you’ve likely noticed that all the iconic brands have an Eau de Parfum and an Eau de Toilette. But what’s the difference between the two? 

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Both EDP and EDT have enchanting scents, can be worn by men and women, and are suitable for everyday wear.

However, they also differ distinctly in terms of longevity, sillage, and potency.

Woman applying perfume

Keep reading to learn more about Eau de Parfum vs Toilette.

We’ll cover the differences in staying power, what to expect from each fragrance type, and how to decide which to wear in a given setting.

Fernweh Editions Fern & Petals Candle

Eau de Parfum vs Toilette Comparison At a Glance

Eau de Parfum meaning “perfume water” has a lower concentration of essential oils than parfum.

Eau de Toilette perfume (“grooming water”) has an even lower concentration of essential oils as well as a high alcohol content.

Best for Making a Statement: Eau de Parfum

  • Launched: 1921 (Chanel no. 5), 2018 (Versace Eros Flame)
  • Sillage: Varies; typically good to very good
  • Longevity: Varies; typically moderate to good
  • Scent potency/ Appropriate for: Evening events, date nights, day-to-night, and the office

PROS: Wide variety of scents, good sillage and longevity, versatile

CONS: Might be too strong for some settings, more expensive than EDT


Best for a Subtle Touch: Eau de Toilette

  • Launched: 2010 (Bleu de Chanel), 2006 (Versace Bright Crystal)
  • Sillage: Varies; typically moderate to good
  • Longevity: Moderate
  • Price: $ to $$ – typically much cheaper than Eau de Parfum
  • Scent potency/ Appropriate for: Everyday wear, the office, and the gym

PROS: Perfect as a signature scent or for summer wear, dries quickly on the skin, less expensive

CONS: Doesn’t last as long, might be too subtle for dates or special occasions


What’s the Difference between Eau de Parfum vs Toilette?

First things first – for those who aren’t familiar with the French language, let’s work on our Eau de Toilette pronunciation: it’s “twa-LET,” not “toilet.”

With that out of the way, let’s get into the details!

Longevity

Thanks to its higher concentration of essential oils, Eau de Parfum tends to last longer on the skin than Eau de Toilette. EDP’s oil concentration ranges from 15-20%, while EDT’s is between 5% and 15% (usually closer to 10%).

Chanel No 5 Eau de Parfum

You can expect to get about four or five hours of wear from an average EDP, while an EDT might only last two to four hours.

Its longevity relative to EDT is often viewed as a point in EDP’s favor; you don’t have to worry as much about reapplying your fragrance throughout the day.

On the other hand, if you’re the kind of person who likes to wear different scents during the day and at night, you might appreciate EDT’s subtlety and shorter fade time.

Sillage

Lots of factors determine a perfume’s sillage, including skin and body chemistry; two different people wearing the same scent might experience very different results.

As a result, it’s difficult to generalize or predict whether an EDP or EDT will leave a stronger trail.

Cool Water EDT by Davidoff

That said, most fragrance wearers agree that EDPs tend to provide a stronger sillage, in part due to the more potent fragrances they typically incorporate.

EDTs often use subtler scents like jasmine and other florals and botanicals.

Pricing

EDP is generally more expensive than EDT, again because of its higher concentration of essential oils.

The difference in price point leads many fragrance wearers to select an EDT as their signature everyday scent, saving their favorite EDP for special occasions.

How to Choose Between EDT & EDP

It comes down to personal preference, occasion, location, and price point. If you’re willing to spend more and prefer a more concentrated, longer-lasting scent, go with an EDP.

Portrait of a woman holding a perfume bottle

If you’ll be in a populated or enclosed space like an office, medical facility, or gym, you’ll be better off choosing an EDT.

Regarding Eau de Toilette vs Eau de Parfum vs parfum – out of the three, parfum has the highest concentration of essential oils, coming in at 20-30%. Parfum is more expensive than either EDT or EDP, and it also lingers considerably longer on the skin.

Reasons Why EDT Is Cheaper Than EDP

It’s not a matter of quality; EDTs and EDPs from top brands use the same luxurious ingredients.

The price differential between Eau de Parfum vs Toilette simply boils down to the level of essential oils in each product. Since EDPs use a higher concentration of oils, they end up being more expensive.

Which Is Better?

As a general rule, we prefer EDP for special occasions, parties, nights out, and dates. The stronger scent is an attractive complement to a chic outfit, and the heady sillage and stronger potency attracts potential love interests like moths to a flame.

Fernweh Editions Candles

eau de parfum vs toilette

On the other hand, EDT is a wiser choice if you’re going to be in a crowded space, like a bus, gym, doctor’s office, or work. You don’t want to overwhelm your coworkers and yoga classmates with a strong fragrance!

Final Thoughts

Concerning Eau de Parfum vs Toilette, there’s no right or wrong choice. They’re different products – in fact, you’ll often notice that the EDP and EDT versions of the “same” scent have completely different notes!

Ultimately, the best fragrance for you is the one that smells great to you and makes you feel confident, attractive, and put-together. Investing in perfume is an investment in yourself and your image – whether for personal, professional, or romantic reasons.

Is Eau de Toilette for man or woman?

Both men and women can use Eau de Toilette – in fact, several leading brands make unisex EDT that can be worn by people of any gender.

How to use Eau de Toilette?

Apply the fragrance to the areas of your body that heat up the most, such as your neck, chest, forearm, wrist, inner elbow, and lower jaw. Your body heat will help diffuse the scent, enhancing its longevity.

Writer

Selena Marc is a fragrance enthusiast, freelance writer, and dog mom living in Houston, Texas. When she's not writing about her favorite new perfumes, you can find her enjoying yoga or a morning hike.