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Seems there are many questions around this topics so I have updated two old posts and merged them to this one guideline to concentration types an things related. First; don’t feel stupid if you feel unsure about the abbreviations and what their purpose is. Just grab a coffee, sit down and let’s go through the basics, and soon you will see that those little letters on the bottle are not there to confuse you but rather to help you find what is right for you. If you are at home you might find it helpful to do a little exercise – go get your fragrance bottles.

Many people have a mix of perfumes, Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette standing in their home. (That’s another important topic: keep your fragrances in a place where they are not exposed to heat and sunlight!). It is not unlikely that this mix has been created quite subconsciously. Perhaps you preferred the EdT of one fragrance but the EdP version of another. Perhaps you just didn’t notice. Perhaps…you are confused why your fragrance does not smell like it does on your friend or like when you “tried it another time in that store…”. This post can provide you with some answers.

What do the abbreviations mean?
Perfume oil is always diluted with a solvent (ethanol or water/ethanol), so that it does not cause an allergic reaction. The abbreviations tell you the strength of a fragrance, based on the concentration of the perfume oil/aromatics used in it.

Guideline (taken from Wikipedia):
▪ Perfume: 15-40% aromatic compounds
▪ Eau de Parfum & Parfum de Toilette: 10-20% aromatic compounds
▪ Eau de Toilette: 5-15% aromatic compounds
▪ Eau de Cologne: 3-8% aromatic compounds
▪ Aftershave: 1-3% aromatic compounds

Why does it matter?
The concentration affects application, longevity and your experience of a fragrance. You don’t have to be either a perfume, EdP- or an EdT-person. Stay open to experimenting and finding your personal comfort level from fragrance to fragrance. Think about situations. Ask yourself how impactful you want your scent to be, to others and to yourself. However, it is also not unusual that someone does in fact prefer one of the categories. For example, I am a perfume person, probably to a large extent because I am drawn to base notes. 

Quick summary
Perfume: gives you the fullest, purest, most long-lasting experience of the fragrance. Perfume is gently caressed onto skin, not sprayed.
Eau de Parfum:
 has lower concentration than perfume and is often focused on heart notes. Still provides you with a rich sensation.
Eau de Toilette: 
the concentration of perfume oils is not so high and if you want the scent to last the entire day you will probably need to reapply it. It is the lightest version of a fragrance.

Application: pulse points or mist
Traditionally, experts recommend putting your fragrance on your pulse points, that is on the wrists, behind your ears, on neck, behind the elbow and backs of your knees. If you do all of them or just one is highly individual. I have a couple of perfumes that I avoid having near the face but love on the wrists for example. Also the sillage affects what application amount/method works best. A perfume that diffuses a lot should be applied with caution. Perfume is gently applied to pulse points and don’t rub it when it is on the skin.

A more modern method is that of spraying your fragrance in the air and then stepping through the mist. This works great for an EdP or EdT. Nota bene, spraying here means once or twice, not more. You might also have read about perfume in your hair – applied by spraying your fragrance on your brush before brushing your hair. 
Key message: be moderate. Too much perfume is never a good way to go. Never.
Photo Frank Carter 
It should be added here that fragrances do last longer or shorter, not only depending on perfume oil percentage, depending on the person. For example if you have dry skin you are likely to feel like your fragrance evaporates faster.

You know already that fragrances smell differently on different people. But a fragrance can also seem different on you from one occasion to another. Stress, medication or hormonal changes can make a fragrance smell in a new way, (probably worse, if you noticed it). That also explains why sometimes people use their old favorite fragrance and suddenly do not like it at all. Try another one, or just give it some time and then re-unite.

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To some of you this is just too basic. Well, then good for you, have a nice cup of tea and join me tomorrow for new in-depth adventures. For most people though, I think these abbreviations seem obvious but are not. Or perhaps you just don’t think about why one of your fragrances is so much stronger than another, you just notice that it is. It was like that for me for a long time, so I think – let’s just go through it.

You might feel that one of your fragrances is stronger than another. That is probably true. Perhaps you have not noticed that one of them is an Eau de Parfum and the other Eau de Toilette. But that does not have to be the reason.
Different perfume makers simply put different amounts of oils into fragrances. The difference is small, but noticeable. So, actually an EdT from one perfumery can be stronger than an EdP from another.

But these are the basics.

Perfume oil is always diluted with a solvent (ethanol or water/ethanol), so that it does not cause an allergic reaction. The abbreviations tell you the strength of a fragrance, based on the concentration of the perfume oil/aromatics used in it.

Guideline taken from Wikipedia:
Perfume: 15-40% aromatic compounds
Eau de Parfum & Parfum de Toilette: 10-20% aromatic compounds
Eau de Toilette: 5-15% aromatic compounds
Eau de Cologne: 3-8% aromatic compounds
Aftershave: 1-3% aromatic compounds

With this in mind, go examine your fragrance collection and see if it makes sense. And also make sure that when you buy fragrances, you do know what it is you’re selecting as this will affect your experience.

Några av er har full koll på det här redan. Ni kan ta en kopp te och komma tillbaka imorgon för nya märkligheter. Jag tror att det är rätt många ändå som tycker att de borde veta vad parfymförkortningarna står för och därför liksom aldrig kollar upp det. Eller så tänker man inte på varför en doft på hyllan är starkare än en annan. Så, vi tar det rakt av en gång för alla.

Du kanske känner att en av dina dofter är starkare än en annan. Det kan vara så att en av dem är en Eau de Parfum och den andra en Eau de Toilette. Men det behöver inte vara orsaken. Olika parfymhus har också olika mängd parfymolja i sina dofter. Skillnaden är liten, men märkbar. Så, en EdT från ett parfymmärke kan vara vara starkare än en EdP från ett annan.

Men så här fungerar det i grunden. Parfymolja späds alltid med antingen etanol eller vatten/ etanol), för att inte orsaka en allergisk reaktion. Förkortningarna står för styrkan i en doft, baserat på den koncentration av parfymolja som används i den.

Med detta i åtanke, se till att du vet vad du köper när du hittar en ny doft eftersom styrkan kan påverka både din upplevelse och hur du använder din doft. Och kolla i parfymhyllan om inte förkortningarna förklarar en hel del.