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Cologne vs. Perfume

by Amy Jorgensen

Perfume and cologne are both great scent options with different properties. Cologne and perfume differ in intensity, fragrance choices and composition. In order to choose the right perfumes and fragrances for your lifestyle and personality, compare cologne and perfume on a variety of levels.

Cologne and Perfume:

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  1. Intensity.

    When you are shopping for fragrances, you might notice a variety of types. Fragrances use essential oils to craft their scents. Perfume comes in several intensities. Eau de Parfum, for example, has approximately 15 percent essential oils, while Eau de Toilette has approximately 10 percent essential oils. Cologne has about five percent essential oils and body splash and aftershave contain approximately two percent essential oils. Perfume is strong and generally designed to be applied sparingly, while cologne, aftershave and body spray can be applied more liberally. These differences give you many options when shopping for fragrances. Choose the type of fragrance classification that will complement your lifestyle and personality.

  2. Fragrance types.

    Cologne and perfume typically have different fragrance varieties. Perfume is generally made with a feminine side and may include fruity or floral essential oils. Cologne is typically crafted with the masculine in mind and may include spicy or musky fragrances. These guidelines should not deter you from wearing scents that you prefer; both men and women can choose either perfume or cologne.

  3. Notes.

    Fragrances are typically made up of several scents. The various scents used in fragrances are called notes. Perfumes generally have several notes, creating a layered fragrance that may change throughout the day. A top note, middle note and base note make up a traditional perfume. Cologne may also include several notes, but most cologne types are created around a single aroma.

  4. Bottling.

    Both cologne and perfume are commonly found in spray bottles. Perfume is also available in other bottle types, including spray, roll-on and even solid formulations that are smudged onto the skin. Both perfumes and cologne are commonly found in glass bottles, many of them made of dark or colored crystal to protect the scent. Body sprays and aftershaves come in a variety of bottles, including plastic spray bottles and glass containers.

  5. Cost.

    Both cologne and perfume come in a wide range of prices. Generally speaking, the more concentrated scents will be more expensive because the fragrances contain more essential oils, which are more expensive than the other ingredients, such as alcohol and water. This makes many types of cologne cheaper than perfumes, although there are exceptions to the rule, especially when it comes to designer fragrances.