Know Your Scent

In as much as we love smelling good, it’s also a good gesture to know more than just the brand of the fragrance we use.


After the previous article titled ‘A Scent of a Gentlemen’, it was befitting to continue the conversation in a more detailed context about fragrances. You may have noticed that I often use the word “fragrance” instead of what most would use the word “cologne” or “perfume”. Well, the above mentioned phrases have their own separate meaning and as usual, I will be discussing them below.

Previously I mentioned that people have different reasons for choosing a fragrance. I am quite certain that some were not impressed with certain fragrances they have once bought and used before. One of the reasons may have been that it felt like you bought water in a fancy bottle. You would be smelling like a millionaire as you leave the house, but by the time you get to your destination the scent is not as potent as it was when you applied it. At times, it has completely faded and it’s as if you never applied any fragrance at all. I am also sure that we’re also aware of the black market selling replicas of your favourite fragrances. Sometimes you’d even get a gift and after a couple of days using it, you may be convinced that it’s not the original fragrance.


Fragrances are made out of oil chemicals which are diluted into alcohol and water and that gives the fragrance a different name or classification. Let’s look into some of the things that we always see when we buy fragrances but never pay careful attention to why they are called or classified in these different names.

Eau Fraiche


This is probably one of the fragrances that has taken the most criticism for being less effective aromatically. Well, this particular fragrance is more for people who have sensitive skin and easily get skin irritations due to cosmetic chemicals used in perfumes. Although the EF had consumer critics, it still sells relatively well as some people still want to smell good but due to skin allergies, they have to opt for something with very light aromatic oils. It is the most diluted and usually contains 1-3% of perfume oils, and the aroma usually lasts for less than an hour.

Eau De Cologne


The term cologne is quite familiar in classifying male fragrances and it is also the oldest term used for perfumes. The word cologne has so much power and influence in modern gentlemen’s lifestyle particularly grooming. However, this particular fragrance has about 2-4% of perfume oils which would last for about 2 hours.

Eau De Toilette


The EDT was traditionally a women’s fragrance and the name in direct translation is “toilet water” but actually meant “grooming water”. It is a light fragrant water used after bathing or shaving. This is probably the most popular and affordable fragrant type and it’s found in most retail outlets. The EDT has about 5-15% of perfume oils which would last for about 3-4 hours after applying.

Eau De Parfum


The EDP is historically genderless, it was used to make perfumes for both men and women. These perfumes are typically highly marked up, moreover, they are associated with high-end luxury fashion brands, which would make the retail price even higher. They contain about 15-20% of perfume oils and last for about 5-8 hours.

Extrait De Parfum


Also known as “pure perfume”, it is the mother of all perfumes and where the word was first used. The parfum was linked with multiple health risk allegations and some fashion brands have suffered lawsuits which almost liquidated the business. This particular fragrance has the highest perfume oil rating at 20-40%, lasting up to 24 hours. With that being said, it makes these types of perfumes the most expensive and ironically, it’s not familiar luxury brands that house such fragrances.


In concluding, it would be ideal to also add that the word “perfume” is derived from the Latin phrase “perfumare”, which means “to smoke through”. The terms mentioned above are in French, however perfumes originate in ancient Egyptian Mesopotamian times. They used different scents for religious purposes and ceremonies by burning essential oils. So, it does not always mean that when the scent of the fragrance fades away that the fragrance is not legit or fake.

I hope after reading this article, you will also look into fragrances in a different perspective and also read the fine prints when shopping.

Until next time

Suitably Yours

Brian Lehang






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