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Eau de what? A guide to fragrance concentrations

Ever find yourself wondering what your favorite fragrance actually is? The difference between how scents are labeled is rarely explained and can be super confusing. Many of us probably grew up thinking cologne meant it was for men, and perfume (or eau de parfum) was for women. But the only real difference among personal fragrances is the amount – as a percentage – of fragrance oil inside the bottle.

How long your fragrance lasts and how far it projects depends on a lot of different factors (such as the lasting power of each ingredient, how hot it is, and your own body chemistry), but here’s a simple guide to help illustrate the potency of your favorite bottle.

Fragrance concentration guide

You’ll notice there’s a wide range in each category – that’s because there are no strict rules that require perfumers to all use the same standards. So perfumers use their discretion when making a blend, but usually stick to a concentration somewhere within these ranges. These are pretty big ballparks, and there’s not much transparency, so it’s no wonder why it's all so confusing. 

Jules & Vetiver’s fragrances are all Eau de Toilette (EDT), with a 10% concentration of fragrance oils. The rest is denatured alcohol and water, which are added in order to spread the scent of the fragrance evenly and subtly on your skin. Our EDT isn’t meant to be aggressive. It’s designed to linger for a few hours – not all day (or night) long – so you can wear it liberally without fear of being That Guy/Gal in the Elevator.

Was this guide helpful to better understanding your favorite scent? Let us know, and don’t be shy about what you’d like us to mix up next!

-KS