Strong, stronger, strongest - What are perfume concentrations?
Perfume concentrations describe how strongly a perfume is experienced. Generally, the more perfume oil in a bottle, the higher the concentration and the stronger the scent.
A perfumer can create a perfume by blending over various scented ingredients. This mixture is known as pure perfume or perfume oil. It is a viscous, oil-like mixture that is often diluted with alcohol (ethanol) for ease of use and safety on the skin. The alcohol helps atomize the product, spread the fragrance, and provides a refreshing effect.
What does it mean?
Here are the commonly used terms and their average perfume oil percentages:
Eau de Cologne: Following the recipe of the first eau de cologne (Kölnisch Wasser, the water from Cologne) from 1709, eau de Colognes are fragrances composed of citrus notes, typically containing 2-5% perfume oil.
In recent years, eau de colognes have also appeared with a high concentration of perfume oil but reminiscent of a cologne in terms of feel and freshness.
Eau de Toilette: The most common strength with 6-12% perfume oil, suitable for everyday use and you can still enjoy it for hours. Eau de toilette has been the most common concentration for years.
Eau de Parfum: Slightly more intense and luxurious than eau de toilette, containing 10-20% perfume oil for all-day fragrance pleasure.
Extrait de Parfum: If a perfume can't be strong enough for you and you want to raise the bar to ultra concentrated, you arrive at the extrait de parfums, perfumes and perfume oils. These contain on average between 20-40% perfume oil and can be either alcohol-based or oil-based. They remain perceptible on the skin the longest due to their high concentration. Therefore, apply perfumes sparingly, either by careful spraying or by applying with clean fingertips "just a dab". As Gabrielle (Coco) Chanel put it: "in those places where you want to be kissed."
Solids: A special class are perfumes in solid form, called solids or perfume solids. The big advantage is that they don't contain alcohol and can therefore be taken along very practically when traveling. You can also (re)apply perfume very discreetly. Pluse, the packages are true gadgets.
Hair mists: Did you know that perfume ingredients adhere very well to hair? With less or no alcohol and added caring ingredients, hair mists are a perfect way to enjoy your favorite perfume carefree.
What suits me?
Which concentration suits you best is a matter of trying it out and wearing it on your skin. The season or occasion can also play into this. In the summer, many people feel more comfortable with lighter perfumes or concentrations while in the winter you might opt for comfortable but heavier scents.
So, go play with it - there is no right or wrong. Simply enjoy exploring and experimenting with perfumes!