What is Difference Between Parfum, Eau de Parfum, Cologne and Aftershave?

November 2019

At Czech & Speake, we have been increasingly adding Eaux de Parfum perfumes to our iconic fragrance collection, alongside the original colognes and aftershaves. If you find yourself scratching your head at what exactly the term ‘EdP’ means… do not threat, as we’ve created a guide to help you distinguish between the varying fragrance types.

As a repercussion from marketing leaders campaigns, predominantly stemming from the 80s, ‘cologne’ and ‘Aftershave’ tend to be dubbed as general terms for men’s fragrance while ‘perfume’ is thought to be feminine. This is misinformation; perfume is historically used to describe both men and womens fragrances – scent should be genderless. The difference in label in fact denotes the fragrance strength and purpose.


What is the difference between Parfum, EdP, EdT, EdC and Aftershave?

The core difference between Parfum, EdP, EdT, EdC and Aftershave is the concentration of essential oils or ‘aromatic’ compounds diluted in water and alcohol, which make up a fragrance. These varying concentrations lend the perfumes to differing purposes and prices.



Parfum, also known as ‘Pure Perfume’ is the strongest and longest lasting concentration of fragrance available. The formula generally contains 20 – 30% of scented perfume ingredient in combination with alcohol and/or water. The perfume element is the most precious of the ingredients, therefore products branded with the ‘Parfum’ label are naturally the most expensive and high quality, so only a dab is needed to last.



Eau de Parfum (EdP)

Eau de Parfum contains a mildly lower percentage of essential fragrance compounds, averaging at 15 – 20%. Despite this, it is still a high grade perfume with significant strength in scent and staying power, while being much more accessible to purchase.

Perfecto Fino Eau de Parfum 100ml lying on leather with palm leaf in corner

How much Eau de Parfum to use

Apply sparingly. As Eau de Parfum is rich in concentration with a deep base, a single application of a few spritzes has the ability to last an entire working day. At a lower price to Parfum, it is often considered to be the best value for money.


Eau de Toilette (EdT)

Eau de Toilette sits in the middle on the concentration scale with a perfume ingredient content of 5-15% percent. EdT is typically French in its roots, developed from the French culture of morning pampering and grooming, as its middling strength is refreshing and good for everyday use, popular with both men and women.


Eau de Cologne (EdC)

Eau de Cologne, or more simply ‘Cologne’ contains a high grade of fragrance with strong, often refreshing, head notes, but at a lower percentage of up to 8% – a good option for everyday use. Its allure comes from its simplicity, with focus on using fine ingredients derived from nature.

Rose Cologne bottle and box on pink fabric background with roses and blossom



Aftershave contains the lowest concentration of aromatic essence at around 1 – 3%, with a proportionally higher percentage of alcohol. This is because it serves a different function; aftershave is designed for use after shaving, to disinfect cuts and nicks with the alcohol content, leaving skin disinfected, refreshed and lightly fragranced.

No.88 Aftershave 50ml on black background


Comparing Aftershave, EdC, EdP and Parfum


EdC vs EdP

For a little more detail on the difference between Eau de Cologne and Eau de Parfum, Cologne is the oldest variation of perfume in the West, developed in Cologne, Germany, as a light, refreshing scent with prominent citrus head notes and herbaceous base notes. Eau de Parfum on the other hand is the newest, developed in the 1970s with generally richer base notes. This form of perfume is becoming increasingly popular as the desire for stronger, longer lasting fragrance grows, at a price point that is more attainable than pure parfum.

Vetiver Vert Eau de Parfum 50ml and Cologne 100ml on green background


Which is better, Eau de Parfum or Parfum?

To decide the better fragrance between Eau de Parfum and Parfum is a matter of weighing up what you want out of a fragrance and how much you are willing to spend. As discussed, pure parfum has the highest concentration of aromatic compounds, making it the strongest and longest lasting. However, even though Eau de Parfum contains less fragranced essential oils, it still has a lot of strength and staying power, at a price that is much more affordable.


Which lasts longer, cologne or aftershave?

To clear up the confusion between cologne and aftershave, the two are both misused as general terms for men’s fragrance. Cologne is unisex, and simply a light version of perfume, while aftershave is designed for men but for the specific function of relief after shaving. So to answer the question, cologne lasts longer than aftershave as it has a higher percentage of essential oils, and is designed purely as a perfume.

Cuba Aftershave and box with cologne in 100ml and 15ml on bathroom shelf


Is Eau de Parfum for a man or woman?

As with most fragrance, Eau de Parfum is unisex, and depending on the blend of notes, they can smell more masculine or feminine, which is personal preference to the wearer. As Eau de Parfum is generally stronger with heavy base notes, often sitting in the woody and oriental fragrance families, the aroma tends to lean on the more masculine side.

Cuba and Vetiver Vert Edp 50ml split screen red and green


Best Aftershave, Eau de Cologne and Eau de Parfum in the Czech & Speake Collection

Discover our top picks for each perfume category from the Czech & Speake fragrance collection.


Best Aftershave: Oxford & Cambridge Aftershave Shaker 50ml

Our Oxford & Cambridge Aftershave blends lavender with mint and rosemary. Lavender is famously soothing, ideal for protecting the skin after shaving, while the herbaceous notes of peppermint and rosemary are zingy and refreshing for a morning wake up.

Oxford & Cambridge Aftershave on marble with blue glass


Best Eau de Cologne: Neroli Cologne Spray 50ml

Our pick for Eau de Cologne is our timeless Neroli scent, as the light, citrus-floral blend of orange, blossom and ylang-ylang is reminiscent of original cologne recipes. A perfect fragrance for everyday use.

Neroli Cologne 50ml on floral background with white block


Best Eau de Parfum: No.88 Eau de Parfum 200ml

If seeking a stronger perfume, our No.88 fragrance is a rich, woody scent and is our original and most popular fragrance. The recently developed Eau de Parfum version of No.88 has even more longevity, and the large 200ml bottle means it will last you a long while.

No.88 eau de parfum 200ml on red background

C&S popular productC&S

Oxford & Cambridge Aftershave Shaker 50ml



C&S popular productC&S

Neroli Cologne



C&S popular productC&S

No.88 Eau de Parfum 200ml



C&S popular productC&S

Private: Neroli Cologne Spray 100ml



C&S popular productC&S

Private: No.88 Eau de Parfum Spray 100ml



Further Reading

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How to Shop for Fragrance Online

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Cherry pistils on an arm; different skin types have unique reactions to scents.Cherry pistils on an arm; different skin types have unique reactions to scents.

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