Don't know your eau de toilettes from your eau de parfums? Need help making your fragrance last longer? We make shopping online for fragrance a doddle & answer your burning questions
What's the difference between eau de toilette & parfum?
It's all about intensity...
Eau de toilette has a low percentage of perfume oil at around 4-10% mixed with a higher alcohol content which makes this a great choice for everyday use. Whereas, eau de parfum is more intense, and usually more expensive, which means it’s perfect for evening wear. It also contains a higher concentration of perfume oil at 8-15% mixed with alcohol than toilette does.
There’s also eau de cologne, which is the smallest amount of perfume oil around 2-5% mixed with alcohol and water and means it’s the lightest, most refreshing scent. The most powerful is parfum absolute, which is the most concentrated blend of perfume oil at 15-25% and alcohol.
What's a fragrance 'note'?
Fragrances are made up of different notes – or layers, a bit like a piece of music. Each fragrance will have a blend of top, middle and base notes which all add something different to the fragrance.
You'll usually be hit by these when first smelling a fragrance and they’re the lightest and first to fade. Take the well-known fragrance Yves St Laurent Opium as an example; its top notes include mandarin orange, coriander and pepper but they’re not the final smells you’re left with.
These are the heart of the fragrance and can often be a combination of floral or fruit notes such as rose, jasmine or neroli.
You'll smell these after about an hour of putting the perfume on and usually include sandalwood, patchouli or musk. They’re the richer notes and ones that leave a lasting impression.
What are the different fragrance types?
There are eight different 'families' of fragrance, and chances are you're drawn to one in particular.
Fresh: Zesty, cooling, easy to wear and perfect for sporty types
Floral: Ultra-feminine with a light, airy, sweet and fruity smell, and the most popular category for women
Oriental: Intense, warm, sultry and spicy, perfect for those who like to make a statement
Chypre: Warm, dry fragrances with musky, mossy notes; for those who like to stand out
Woody: Earthy and dry, often with a spicy, fruity or herby undertone. These tend to be quite masculine and work for both men and women
Citrus: Lively, tangy and citrus-based fragrances, usually with the essence of lime, lemon and tangerine
Fruity: Usually include smells like apple, berry, mango and peach and are very pleasant to the smell
Gourmand: These have 'edible' notes like caramel, chocolate or vanilla, perfect for people who love getting cosy in the colder months
Fougere: Ferny, green fragrances for those who like traditional, masculine scents
Where's the best place to spray fragrance?
You should target pulse points and warm areas on your body to help your fragrance last longer. The best places to put it are:
• Inside your elbows
• Behind your ears
• Below your midriff
• Behind your knees
• Ankles and calves
The dos & don'ts of fragrance
• Rub Vaseline on the places you’re going to spray fragrance as this will help make the scent last longer by holding the scent to your skin for longer
• Spray your fragrance on yourself right after a shower, the moisture on your skin will help lock in the scent. This is also a great way to stop your fragrance from leaving marks on any clothing or jewellery
• Custom your scent by layering your fragrances. This way you’ll have a unique scent – spray the more powerful fragrance first and top it with a lighter one so the more powerful one doesn’t overpower the lighter one
• Rub your wrists together after spraying your fragrance. You’ll force the top notes to disappear quicker than intended, and your fragrance won’t last as long
• Store your fragrance in the bathroom or other warm places as this will break down the perfume and reduce the quality. Instead, keep them on your dressing table away from windows
• Spray perfume on your hair as this will dry it out. Try spraying it on your hairbrush before brushing your hair, or buy a fragrance specifically designed for hair between washes