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A few words on Fragrance concentrations from fragrance archivist James Craven

Aftershave and Eau Fraiche:
Between 1-3% fragrance (to 99% - 97% alcohol, oil, distilled water).

Eau de Cologne:
Between 3 - 5 % fragrance to corresponding ratio of dilution.

Eau de Toilette:
Between 4-12% fragrance.

Eau de Parfum:
Also sometimes known as millesime + parfum de toilette.
Between 12 - 20% fragrance.

Parfum/ Extrait:
Between 15% - 40%

It must be said that today these figures are very approximate, used somewhat randomly and they will fluctuate according to brand and perfumer. It is of course not only the concentration that ensures the tenacity of a perfume. The cologne version of some scents may even turn out stronger and longer lasting on the skin than the parfum concentration of other houses, due to richer stronger formulae and raw ingredients.

To avoid confusion, the term "cologne" should strictly be used to describe the concentration only, and not (as in the USA) as a synonym for scent.

One may make a cologne version of ANY perfume: the traditional French method of application was always to "anchor" one's fragrance with a dab of parfum; to fix it with a spray of eau de parfum; and then refresh throughout the day with additional sprays of cologne or eau de toilette. An adroit perfumer will subtly vary his formula from concentration to concentration, so that the wearer is not endlessly exuding the identical smell. Instead, in each concentration a different note or ingredient will be emphasised or diminished. Thus the fragrance is presented in its full glory with every facet finally revealed.

The word cologne describes the concentration, not the ingredients: but there is also the family of fragrances known as eaux de cologne, such as those by Farina, Roger + Gallet, Guerlain, Creed and Mullhens which feature a blend of ingredients popular since the Italian perfumers Paul Feminis (and later Jean Farina) defined the type in the first decade of the 18th century,working in the German city of Cologne (Koln) but rapidly exporting all over Europe to be widely copied and reproduced in local terms. These fragrances have come to be defined less by their concentration than by the ingredients they all have in common.

You may nowadays come across an eau de cologne style of fragrance available in cologne, eau de toilette or eau de parfum concentration.

Eaux de cologne characteristically feature any of the following ingredients in a variety of combinations:

Neroli, bitter range, lavender, hyssop, rosemary, bergamot, lemon, rose, mandarin, mint,cassia, penny royal, orange blossom, petitgrain, cedar wood, grapefruit, basil and thyme. Some might claim that the famous Hungary Water which appeared in Bohemia c.1370 was in fact the prototype for this classification of scents. Coming from a colder climate, this international best-seller for centuries was based on readily obtainable northern herbs such as mint, penny royal, marjoram and flowers of rosemary. Mediterranean countries, predominantly Italy, have tended to utilise citrus oils for the same pragmatic reason: readily and accessibly harvested at modest price.