Categorising the various fragrances

The other week, I purchased an EDT (eau de toilette) from Myer. The Calvin Klein fragrance was forty percent off. The item was called CK Everyone and was very eco-friendly: no nasties, recycled container, and reusable bottle. The fresh scent was also made in France. However, upon reading, I learned that EDTs are less potent than Eau de parfum (EDP). The same brand had a woody EDP at a slightly higher price point. Like Everyone, Eternity came in at 100ml. Having done some research about their differences, I gathered that the latter (a woody fragrance) was better. Black Friday was perfect timing, with the sale running through to Cyber Monday. I was able to exchange the spray. What is the difference though between EDTs, EDPs, and perfume? Let me count the ways.


Eau de toilette – the lighter scent. Firstly, let’s deconstruct the meaning of this French word. Eau (pronounced ‘ou’ and not ‘you’) is the French word for water. De means ‘from’ and is enunciated as ‘the.’ Toilette (‘twalet’) is often misconstrued as washroom but actually implies ‘preparing for a special event.’ Putting them together, this could be simplified as just ‘perfume’. EDTs contain five to fifteen percent of essential oils and is in the middle of the pack. Eau Fraiche is at the bottom while parfum takes the cake. Being in the middle gives the EDT the best cost per perfume concentration. They are more affordable than EDP and last three to six hours. Regardless, you would need more sprays than an EDP. Since they’re milder, they are perfect for daily use.

As a teen, I recall using a Polo Sport EDT as my go-to. It had a nice scent and came in a blue bottle. As stated, the fragrance required a few spritzes. I then utilised Ralph Lauren, a gift from an auntie overseas. The latter lasted me a while. At the moment, I am tackling a French Connection-labelled EDT which we purchased many years ago in Sydney. Meanwhile, I initially thought about getting the scent from the chemist as they have some basement prices. Upon checking, the cost of Everyone is close enough to Myer’s. They also didn’t stock the Eternity in question.


Eau de parfum (EDPs) represents the runner-up among scents, in terms of perfume oil content. EDPs may be pricier, but they also last longer (five to eight hours). These sprays have between ten and twenty percent of essential oils. Unlike EDT, these scents have two notes, which work together to retain the aroma. The top note is released once applied. Subsequently, another note goes off, known also as ‘the heart of the scent.’ This note outlasts the top note. EDPs are apparently made for evenings and cooler weather, where the dry air lessens their effect. The higher essential oil concentration and longer-lasting scent made me go after Eternity.


Parfum contains about fifteen to forty percent perfume concentration, making it the topnotcher among all spray types. They could reputably last up to twenty-four hours. This likewise justifies its price tag, which is the heftiest of all. Chic perfumes have become known around the world just by their brand names. Dolce and Gabbana, Chanel, Giorgio Armani, Polo Ralph Lauren, and Gucci are just some of those household names. So renowned are they that they have inspired countless imitations, including that of the black market.

A scent by any other name

Aside from the various concentrations, there are also an array of scents. Being in the same scent family will make them feel the same. My past usage has leaned more toward the fresh category. Of course, there are others: floral, oriental, and woody. Yet more are offshoots from those four. Floral fragrances are an umbrella term for perfumes inspired by sweet smelling flowers. Floral mists smell sweet and romantic. They are usually of a single note or a fusion of different flowers. They generally add a feminine touch.

Meanwhile, oriental scents combine musky and earthy fragrances. Amber and musk are common base ingredients. They are said to be attention-seeking or seductive. They are ideal for a special night or a romantic evening out. Meanwhile, a fusion of moss and wood are main themes of woody fragrances, often termed chypre fragrances. The extensive use of citrus, oak moss, and bergamot together with ‘sweet earthy aromas’ help to create very soothing perfumes. Chypre mists commonly describe a female label and – occasionally – unisex, but not solely the male category. They are said to have strong and classical appeal and are common for the workday.

Bargain buffoonery

The Black Friday sales have been a ray of hope for Aussie consumers. The shadow of the pandemic still looms large. Recent developments though have given the public some reassurance. The Victorian border has reopened to New South Wales residents. The same is true of the Queensland demarcation. The weekend frenzy has seen denizens go berserk for fare bargains. The airlines have done their bit, offering heavy discounts on newly opened routes. I heard that all the flight tickets were snapped up within twenty minutes. Even the sprays were not spared, with eager beavers raiding the scent racks. This excitement has stood in stark contrast to the weather, which hit forty degrees over the weekend. Regardless, just like a decent haircut, buyers would imagine that their new mists would help with their image. Whether you go for parfum or EDT, big brand or banal scent, remember this: the measure of one’s fragrance is on the nose of the beholder.

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