What Are The Differences Between Perfume And Cologne?

What Are The Differences Between Perfume And Cologne?

Difference between Perfumes and Colognes
Courtesy: LifeHacker.com

Every time we decide to buy a new fragrance, we are faced with varying possibilities regarding its price, brand, type, and suitability. Given such diverse variables, it might prove to be tasked to take the final call.

Finding the right concentration is one such factor which holds supreme importance while you take the purchase decision. While a highly concentrated one can fill up your nostrils and easily overpower you, an extremely light option will fade away even before you get started with the first course of the meal on a dinner date.

The synthetic and natural oils which go into the manufacture of these fragrances have an aroma of their own as well as a carrier like alcohol which dilutes the oils and stabilizes the scent for coming up with the final product. Here the alcohol holds equal importance as that of the oils as it has the final role to play in determining the concentration level as well as its longevity. Today we are going to carry out a comparison in between Cologne and Perfume so that you can choose your signature aroma amongst both these options in a hassle-free manner.


Main Differences Between Perfume And Cologne?

A common misconception of modern day society has made people believe that perfume and cologne are the same things. Some even associate perfume with a feminine scent whereas cologne has been generally stereotyped for being used by men. Although these definitions have been mandated by our society, the reality is significantly different from this picture.

Alcohol & Water Ratio

Perfumes comprise up to 30% of essential oils and the remaining 70% can be further sub-divided into 95% alcohol and 5% water. Cologne, on the other hand, comprises up to 1-3% of essential oils while the remaining 20% is made up of water and 80% is alcohol.

Essential Oil Percentage

The composition of essential oils serves as one of the primary points of difference between cologne and perfume. While the former contains less concentration of essential oils ranging between 2-5%, perfumes are made using essential oils up to 40%.

Non-Layered and Layered Fragrance

Perfumes comprise of three different layers namely top note, middle note, and base note. The head or top notes is the one which we can smell immediately following its application. The middle, heart or second note is the scent which elevates with time and the base note is the aroma which blends in with your skin after 30 minutes of its application. Cologne is single layered scents.


The higher concentration of scent causes perfumes to last longer in comparison to cologne. You can expect a little perfume sprayed on your heat points to last between 8-20 hours which can even exceed the same in certain cases depending on its core quality. The diluted cologne can last for a maximum stretch of 2-3 hours requiring frequent reapplication every now and then. Thus, a greater amount of cologne is required for nailing the right aroma in comparison to a perfume which can keep your back even after being sprayed minimally.  


Essential oil as we all know is one of the most expensive components of any fragrance. Perfumes have a high concentration of the same thus hiking up its price factor in comparison to cologne. However, the price of both perfume and cologne also varies in accordance with its brand value.


While perfumes come in fancy bottles having varying colors and shapes, colognes are sold in a simple glass bottle.

Smelling good is equally important as that of looking good. Sometimes even the best of makeup and clothes cannot mask pungent body odor thus adding to your cause of embarrassment. While women prefer fruity fragrances, men like musky scents. This is the basic reason behind affinity towards perfumes amongst women whereas men go for colognes.

However, you can opt for any of the same depending on your particular liking. Some popular brands like Creed have mastered the art of creating balanced fragrances, which appeal to both men and women. Here is our take on the Top 10 Best Creed Colognes.

At the end of the day it sums up to your specific preference and whether you have the adequate patience for reapplying the same every now and then. If you are allergic to perfumes or feel the scent to be too overpowering, then splash on some colognes before beginning your day and you are good to go.