EDC, ETP, EDP … What’s the Difference?

top mens cologne You may have come across the acronyms EDT and EDC while researching different men’s colognes. These are used to categorize a fragrance based on the concentration of oils found in it. All fragrances are diluted with a solvent due to the fact that undiluted natural or synthetic oils contain high concentrations of compounds that can possibly cause bad reactions when applied directly to the skin. With that in mind, the ones listed below can be broken down by the percentage of oil found in the composition of the fragrance.

Parfum or “Extrait” – This is the strongest fragrance available. A richer and more complex version of EDP, the concentration can be anywhere between 20-40%. Since it’s the strongest, it’s also the longest lasting and subsequently the priciest of the bunch. A little goes a long way with this level of concentration. Also, due to the high concentration, all notes noticeably release over a period of time.

EDP (Eau de Parfum) – This is what we all know as women’s perfume. EDP has an oil concentration typically between 10-25%. This and EDT are the most common fragrances available to consumers, with EDP for most women’s perfumes and EDT for most men’s colognes. The heart notes are the most noticeable in EDP’s.

EDT (Eau de Toilette) – This is the category that the majority of men’s cologne falls into. The concentration of oils is typically in the range of 5-15%. The lighter concentration allows this fragrance category to not be too overpowering as long as you don’t douse yourself in it. The top notes tend to stand out the most with this type of fragrance.

EDC (Eau de Cologne) – EDC is very light scented fragrance with a low concentration of oil (but higher than aftershave). Usually lower than 5% and falling between 2-5%, EDC’s are great for a light and refreshing scent usually applied as a spray. Eau de Cologne’s are mainly found only in men’s fragrances.

Keep in mind that some fragrances are offered in both EDT and EDP or EDP and pure parfum. Sometimes it’s just a stronger version and other times they change the aromatic compounds dramatically. When purchasing a fragrance, take note of what category yours falls into. For the most part, the majority of men’s colognes will be in the EDT classification.


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