Perfume and Cologne – What’s The Difference

Fragrances are available in different forms; colognes, perfumes and deodorants being the most widely bought and used among the lot. They appear the same for many. After all, both are fragrant potions that help you smell good. Dab a drop or two on your skin and you are good to go. If you think so, you’re mistaken. Perfume and cologne differ in their ingredients, their scent strength and their overall quality.

When buying branded fragrances, you want the best value for the price you pay; not an inferior quality potion passed off as a high-end product. So, here are tips to tell the difference between perfume and cologne.

1.    Ingredients:

Both the fragrances use essential oils as the primary ingredient. The essential oils are mixed into bases of alcohol. The difference arises because of the percentage of essential oils used. Good quality perfumes are stronger and contain a higher concentration of essential oils. It is 30%-40% of the total mixture. On the contrary, cologne has a very low concentration of essential oils. It is only 2%-5% and the rest is alcohol and water.

2.    Scent Strength:

The scent strength varies based on the composition – the percentage of essential oils, alcohol and water. Perfumes last longer, in terms of wear, because it includes essential oils in their concentrated form. Perfume dabbed on the pulse points can last between 4-12 hours on an average and sometimes more than that. Cologne lingers for a few hours only. For this reason, people looking for mild fragrances often choose cologne. If you want to make it last longer, you will have to apply it in large amounts. You might also have to reapply it every few hours.

 3.    Cost:

The cost is a major distinguishing feature between perfumes and colognes. Perfumes are generally more expensive than cologne. The price difference is on account of its composition. Essential oils are costly substances. Thus, a higher concentration translates into a higher price tag. But, the cost of a perfume bottle does not seem like a trouble because it will last you twice as long as a bottle of cologne of the same or larger size. The reason is one uses more of cologne to make its subtle scent intense and long lasting. Thus, in the bargain, perfumes offer better value than cologne.

Perfumes are sprayed on the body from a distance while cologne is splashed, dabbed or rubbed on the skin. Perfumes are packed in fancy, colored and innovatively shaped bottles while the packaging of a cologne bottle is rather simple.

So far, the most widely accepted difference between perfume and cologne all these years is that the former is for men and women while the latter is only for men. Scents are gender specific, but cologne is not only for men. Its subtle scent is the main reason for it being a popular pick with men. However, it can be used by women as well.

These were the primary points of distinction between perfume and cologne. Even though one outperforms the others, it all boils down to a matter of personal preferences.

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