What Are The Differences In Designer Fragrances?

When you go shopping for a perfume, you often feel as if you need to learn French. There are a lot of French terms used in selling and labeling of designer fragrances. However, they are not difficult to comprehend.


Knowing these French terms can help you with saving some money while getting the designer perfume fragrance that you fancy.

Designer Fragrances – Why France?

Designer fragrances are bought in sold in countries all over the world, not just in France. And yet terms like “eau de cologne” are French. The English word “perfume” is even derived from the French “parfum”. Perfume was not invented in France. The quest to make ourselves smell a lot better has been around our species for thousands of years.

However, France did become the center of European perfume and fragrance making in the 1800’s. They set standards, had incredible flower fields devoted to fragrance making and could blend scents that could not be matched anywhere else in the world at that time. Also, French chemists began to match scents without needing to use hard to get botanicals at this time.

The industry has been lead by the French ever since. After a hundred years or so, it became traditional to keep using French terms (and often French fragrance sources) for selling designer fragrances. The world’s best selling designer fragrance is Chanel No. 5, which originated in a French boutique designed by Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, who was also French.

Designer Fragrances Concentration Information

The difference between the French terms to describe a designer fragrance is in the concentration of the perfume to the alcohol, water or solvents. The higher the concentration, the stronger the smell and the more the designer fragrance tends to cost.


The strongest is called simply Parfum at a concentration of about 22%.

The next strongest is Eau de Parfume at 21 – 15%. After that is Eau de Toilette at 15 – 8%. The most commonly sold concentration is 4% and is called Eau de Cologne. There is a lighter concentration sold of a mere one to three percent, called Eau Fraiche, but that can be hard to find in many designer fragrances.

Not all designer fragrances will even come out in anything other than Eau de Cologne or Eau de Toilette, depending on what they think their customers will prefer. If their research suggests that a vast majority of their customers want longer-lasting perfume, then they initially won’t bother making perfume in lower concentrations unless customers demand it.

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