What is the Difference Between Cologne and Perfume

What is the Difference Between Cologne and Perfume


Perfume - or parfum - and cologne are two of the oldest forms of scent. Perfume dates back to ancient Egyptian times, when it was used as a way to mask the smell of decaying bodies. It was also thought to have magical properties and was used in religious ceremonies.

Apart from the Egyptians, perfume was also used by the ancient Greeks and Romans as a form of body scent. Wealthy women would wear fragrances to show off their status, and it was thought to have aphrodisiac properties. It was also often burned as an offering to the gods.

Cologne, on the other hand, is a relatively recent invention. It was first developed in Germany in 1709 and quickly became popular throughout Europe. Following its popularity in Europe, cologne was introduced to the United States in the early 20th century.

Let's look at the different factors that determine the difference between cologne and perfume.


Perfume or parfum fragrances are made from a combination of essential oils, alcohol, and water as ingredients. It has the highest concentration of essential oils, at anywhere from 15 – 40 percent, with an alcohol content of between 70 – 90 percent.  Because of its higher level of essential oils, it has a stronger aroma and lasts longer on the skin than cologne.

Cologne and eau de toilette scents, however, typically contains a concentration of only 2-4% of fragrance oils in its formula, although its alcohol content is still relatively high at 80 – 90 percent.  Consequently, although they have lighter and more subtle scents, they only last around 4 hours, as opposed to their counterpart that lasts up to 8 hours.

Despite their differences, the two fragrances both contain a blend of aromas that evoke warmth, nostalgia, calmness or cheerfulness.

concentration parfume


Cologne is specifically designed to be applied to the skin. It has light and refreshing scents and is often used to promote feelings of energy and vitality. You can apply cologne in several ways. Some people prefer to splash it on their neck, while others usually apply it to their wrists or behind their ears. It's important to find what works best for you and because of its subtlety, you may have to reapply after a few hours.

In contrast, perfume or parfum is often used to add a hint of sensuality to the wearer's scent and does not have to be applied to the skin; it can also be sprayed in the air for a light, lingering effect. If you are applying perfume to your skin, it is best to spray it in the air and then walk through the mist. This will ensure that all areas are evenly covered. If you’re looking for something stronger and to ensure it lasts, you can apply it directly to your pulse points such as your wrists, neck, or behind your ears. As with cologne, make sure to follow the manufacturer's directions for application.



Cologne typically contains more citrus or herbal notes, such as bergamot, orange blossom, lavender, and rosemary. In contrast, perfume contains floral notes, such as jasmine, rose, lily of the valley, and tuberose. Musky aromas are often found in both cologne and perfume.

Cologne is usually used by men, while perfume is generally used by women. That said, many people choose to wear whichever type they prefer regardless of gender norms!


This is one of the most common factors when buying perfumes. The average price of cologne and perfume varies greatly; colognes are usually much more affordable than their counterparts. This is mainly due to the differences in their ingredients – with colognes typically having fewer top-quality ingredients, resulting in a more budget friendly product.

However, this doesn’t mean they provide the same level of quality or lasting power. As with anything, it pays to shop around carefully to get the best value for your money.


Both cologne and perfume are enjoyable and can be used to create different moods and experiences depending on how they are applied. When deciding between cologne and perfume, it’s important to keep in mind both the type of perfumes you like as well as how long you want it to last. If you want something light, refreshing, and easy to apply for everyday use, then choose cologne or eau de toilette. If you’re looking for an unforgettable aroma with lasting power, then perfumes provide the right choice.

What is the Difference Between Cologne and Perfume
Lilyana has been a beauty industry insider and professional online marketer from a young age. She specialized in the organic and creative side of marketing, focusing on content creation, search engine optimization, and social media marketing. She writes articles for the BeautySourcing blog and posts for our social media channels.
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