Perfumes | Go Big or Go Budget?

Smelling nice is an essential part of hygiene that should never ruin your budget. So why do so many cost so much? I’m going to break down the different types of perfumes, explain why they are priced so how and what you should buy instead.

Every shopper, thrifty or not, deserves to know what you’re buying and if it’s worth the cost. Yet with perfumes, there’s a lot of ambiguity out there. In essence perfumes come in five basic types which indicate the different concentraction levels. These are:

  • Perfume
  • Eau de Perfume
  • Eau de Toilette
  • Eau de Cologne
  • Eau Fraiche

Perfume is the highest perfect of perfume extract avaliable. It’s oilier and heavier with 15 – 40% perfume esential oilts in it. Perfume is the most expensive and used sparingly lasting 8 hours dabbed on pulse points.

Eau de Perfume (or sometimes just ‘Parfum‘) is the next highest concentration. It can have between 10% to 15% perfume essence. This means it has slightly more alcohol and water in its formulation than perfume does leading to a lighter scent and can last from 4 – 6 hours. It can be expensive, but not as expesive as perfume.

Eau de Toilette then has the next lower level of concentration of perfume (4% to 15%) making it an extremely light formula that is most often sold only in spray bottles. This is the type of product used every day and it usually lasts 2 – 3 hours.

Eau de Cologne – reserved mostly for males but can be seen as a female product – has just 2% to 5% fragrance oil making it light, inexpensive and short-lasting (usually up to 2 hours only).

Eau Fraiche is inexpesive with just 1% to 3% of essential oils and usually dissipate within an hour or two of being sprayed on. It’s essentially ‘fresh water’ as it’s name suggests.

This guide can help you from being overcharged or simply paying for a ‘brand’. You also have to look at price per ml. If we look at Chanel No.5 on we can see the Parfum is more expensive – you would expect it to be compared to the Eau de Toilette version. But the Toilette is half the size and in a handy lighter spray bottle so if we compare the price per ml at the bottom, the Parfum is actually the better deal. That’s the difference between being ‘cheap’ and being ‘frugal’ as the more expensive product on this occasion is not the best deal.

Objectively Perfumes and Parfums are better quality but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep some simple sprays around if you like the frangrance. My favourite perfume at the moment is a cheap vanilla Stradivarius own brand eau de toilette.

This guide is here for you to make sure you don’t overpay expecting a higher quality of product. Frangrances are just like anything else branded so make sure you’re clueded up with the actual quality of what you’re buying, not just the name attached.

Although I’ve never used it, I am aware also of a site called which ”compares over 100,000 perfume and aftershave prices from more than 70 perfume shops” so check them out too!

Full disclosure moment: I am not a luxury perfume expert. But I have undertaken research to make sure I’m getting the best deal and I wanted to share what I’ve learned with you.

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