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Eau de Toilette vs. Eau de Parfum - What’s the Difference?

When selecting the perfect suit—whether for confidence in the boardroom or power in the courtroom—your choices can be nearly limitless. Sculpting your image with the right suit is partly how you represent yourself as a man to those around you.

Men’s cologne is no different. 

As with a well-tailored suit, the right scent can define your presence—without a single word. For this reason, some men resort to collecting multiple scents that serve a distinct purpose.

What scent do you feel identifies you? What statement are you trying to make? The right scent can help you set—or destroy—the mood. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by decision paralysis as you ponder this, we can help.

Although there are many different types of men’s cologne, two are fairly ubiquitous: eau de parfum and eau de toilette.

Let’s dive into the nuances that make these fragrances an excellent choice for the modern man. 

What’s the Difference?

Can you describe the differences between various types of men’s cologne? If your answer is “No,” then you’re not alone.

The biggest distinction between these two common types of fragrance is very straightforward. It has to do with the concentration of fragrance oil. This may seem minor, but it can make a tremendous difference in scent carriage and longevity.

With oil concentration in mind, scents can generally be divided into five categories:

Fragrance Type

Fragrance Concentration


More than 20%

Eau de Parfum


Eau de Toilette


Eau de Cologne


Eau Fraiche


Typically, eau de parfum will likely last a few hours longer than an eau de toilette—but this will also depend on the scent in question.

Fragrance experts also tend to classify eau de toilette as a “day fragrance,” whereas eau de parfum may be better suited for your nightly pursuits thanks to its density and richness.

Do Eau de Parfums and Eau de Toilettes Smell the Same?

The scent is what truly matters to most men when it comes to fragrance. Every type has different notes: top note, middle note, and bottom note.

Usually, top notes are what you’ll smell in the first 15 minutes of wear; middle notes come after that and comprise the majority of time spent wearing. Finally, bottom notes form the base of the scent that lingers at the end.

If specific brands of eau de parfum and eau de toilette use similar notes, there will be some interplay in scent. However, the results will not be exactly the same. The difference in fragrance concentration can actually cause both types of scent to offer a unique wearing experience—despite having the same notes.

The distinction between the two is almost always subtle, but that can be part of the fun for collectors and enthusiasts. It adds a layer of personality and uniqueness, allowing men to find the perfect scent by choosing different notes and different fragrance concentrations. 

Which Type of Fragrance Is Right for You?

No matter what scents you find yourself deciding between, the best way to choose your everyday favorite is to try them first hand. You’ll never know which one is right for you until you spend a day wearing each fragrance. This will allow you to test how it is influenced by your skin during wear.

Eau de parfums tend to demand higher prices than eau de toilettes. However, this is not indicative of the quality. The main reason for the difference in pricing has to do with the fragrance concentration. A respectable eau de toilette can still compete. 

The choice is entirely up to you: If you like both types, why not collect one of each? There’s nothing wrong with having a subtle scent for the office and bolder fragrances for a night out.

Find Your Distinct Scent at Joseph Abboud

Joseph Abboud has an excellent selection of scents meant for the discerning man. Find your new favorite: Peruse our collection of fine fragrances to elevate your style.

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