Difference Between Eau de Parfum & Eau de Toilette (EDP vs. EDT)

Eau de Toilette and Eau de Parfum are two of the most popular perfumes in the beauty industry, and their only difference comes from the concentration or intensity of the fragrance.

When you see both an EDP and EDT of the same fragrance, they often have the same formulation: similar top notes, heart notes, and base notes differing only in concentration. 

In other cases, a perfumer can also change a little bit of the formula to give a significant difference in EDT versus EDP. 

What is Eau de Parfum (EDP)?

EDP fragrances are the second most concentrated type. It contains 15% to 20% perfume oil, second to extrait de parfum. 

The latter is slightly oilier with 20% to 30% pure perfume, and less alcohol. 

As eau de parfums typically contain 15% to 20% of pure perfume oil, this makes them more expensive than other fragrance types, except for extrait. EDPs tend to last around four to five hours when applied on the skin, or 16 hours on clothes, giving enough longevity that you can justify its price. 

What is Eau de Toilette (EDT)?

Eau de toilette, or faire sa toilette in French, has the best price per fragrance oil composition. It has a higher perfume oil content than an eau de cologne, but lower than eau de parfum. 

An EDT typically contains 5% to 15% of pure perfume oil, which can last two to three hours on the skin, and up to ten hours when applied on clothes. 

Many people misunderstand the French term “toilette” in EDT as a toilet or washroom. However, it actually means the process of attending to your appearance and beauty while getting ready for a special event. 

What is the Difference Between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette?

The distinction between the terms EDT and EDP isn’t as nuanced as most people think. Their main difference is scientific, particularly the amount of perfume oil in their formula. 

EDT formulas have less perfume oil, more alcohol, and more water. Meanwhile, EDPs have less alcohol, less water, and contain more perfume oil.

Concentration

In the perfume world, the order from highest to lowest concentration perfumes is extrait de parfum, eau de parfum, eau de toilette, eau de cologne, and eau Fraiche.

Precise perfume concentration, however, will vary depending on the beauty brand. Generally, a bottle of an eau de toilette is composed of perfume oil, typically between 5% to 15%. 

Meanwhile, eau de parfum will contain a higher percentage of around 15% to 20% of perfume oil and lesser alcohol. 

Longevity

Typically, eau de parfums of the same perfume should last longer than eau de toilettes because of the higher concentration levels. 

In most cases, you can expect an eau de toilette to last for about three hours as the alcohol content easily dissolves perfume essence in the air, while eau de parfum scents can last up to five hours (sometimes more).

Though if they are not from an identical fragrance family, the perfume longevity will largely depend on the different notes within the formulation. For instance, a spray of very woody eau de toilette can last much longer than a fresh and fruity eau de parfum. 

How long the aroma lasts will also depend on whether you have oily, dry, or sensitive skin. 

Cost

In terms of price points, it’s easy to assume that an EDP is more expensive than an EDT, primarily because it contains higher amounts of perfume oils, and not because they have different ingredients. 

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

When made using identical fragrance notes, their aroma would be similar. However, it doesn’t mean that their aromas are identical. 

After all, the formulation and concentration will primarily affect their aroma. 

Increasing the fragrance oil in a bottle of perfume also increases the richness and sharpness of specific notes. In other words, a higher concentration of orange blossom perfume oils would smell significantly more intense than an eau de toilette. 

In other cases, like Diptyque fragrances, EDPs and EDTs have gentle tweaks in their formulations to give a slightly different fragrance dimension. 

How to Choose Between an Eau de Parfum and an Eau de Toilette?

The key consideration when choosing fragrance types, regardless of whether they are independently selected, or purchased as a gift, is how strong, or intense, you want the scent to be. 

  • Choose an eau de toilette for a fragrance that smells more like a body splash that you can apply liberally.
  • Choose an eau de parfum for a longer-lasting aroma. 

How and When Should I Wear an EDP or an EDT?

Awareness of a fragrance’s wearability goes a long way if you don’t want the scent to become overpowering. After all, wearing a beauty scent is a fine art of finding the perfect balance.

  • Use EDP for evening activities, or when you’re in colder climates. This type tends to dissipate rapidly in dry air, so you’ll need their richness and full-bodied features to prolong the scent. 
  • Apply EDPs during daytime by spraying the scent into your pulse points: wrist or neck. For evening wear, amp up the scent with an extra spritz or two in your hair.
  • Wear EDT fragrances during the summer months, or when the weather is hot. It has a lighter concentration that smells good but feels light and fresh.
  • Apply EDT more liberally, like spraying it all over your body or clothes, to take more advantage of the scent.

The Bottom Line

When you see your favorite fragrance available as both an eau de toilette and eau de parfum, they essentially have the same formula. Yet the real difference between eau de parfum and eau de toilette is in fragrance concentration. 

An EDT fragrance has a lighter formula and gives off refreshing vibes. Meanwhile, a more concentrated EDP in French perfumery gives sensual, deeper elements to the aroma. 

Both are good, so you can choose either type for your new fragrance, depending on the level of intensity you want to get from every spray.