In most cases, cologne is marketed toward men, while perfume is marketed toward women. The truth is women can use cologne, just as men can use perfume.
The difference between these products is more about the formula and the concentration of essential oils in the fragrance than it is about the name. Perfume has a higher concentration of essential oils than cologne at around 20% to 30%. Cologne, on the other hand, usually has a far lower concentration of oils of around 2% to 5%.
Cologne is usually packaged in a dark-colored or black glass bottle with a simple, industrial design. This gives it a more masculine appearance, which men often favor. Unlike perfume, cologne has a much smaller percentage of essential oils and is more diluted with alcohol or water.
Cologne is known by many names, including eau de toilette, aftershave and eau de cologne. However, these are all slightly different products:
Like perfume, cologne comes in many fragrances. The most popular scents are woody, musky or citrus. Some colognes have a warm vanilla or light floral scent.
The price of cologne varies from around $15 for a simple bottle at a drugstore to $60 or more from a recognized brand. Some celebrity colognes cost upwards of $100.
A small bottle of eau de toilette by a recognized brand, this cologne comes in a spray bottle and has a woody scent that appeals to those who want a more masculine, clean and fresh scent. The scent isn’t overbearing.
This cologne has a smooth, woody fragrance with underlying notes of pepper, amberwood and bergamot. It uses high-quality ingredients, so the scent is long-lasting but not overwhelming. The only downside is the price, but for something you love, it’s worth it.
With a light citrus and woody scent, this cologne is strong, sweet and spicy and it lingers. It comes in a simple, sophisticated bottle. Although it’s geared toward men, it’s suitable for anyone.
Perfume is an overarching term that technically includes cologne but is almost always marketed toward women. In this modern age, however, many of the feminine versus masculine connotations of the term are starting to disappear.
In general, perfumes marketed toward women are more concentrated than colognes, with up to 40% oils. They come in various fragrances, including citrus, oriental, floral and clean, fresh scents. Some perfumes use animal extracts to ensure a longer-lasting scent.
Parfum is among the most expensive and longest-lasting options because it’s highly concentrated. A single ounce of a name-brand parfum can cost anywhere from $100 to nearly $500. On average, a bottle of perfume costs $30-$50 per ounce.
This popular Chanel perfume uses a warm blend of floral, citrus and vanilla for a long-lasting, sweet fragrance. It’s sophisticated, feminine and subtly changes throughout the day.
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Made for the modern woman with luxury and sophistication in mind, this perfume uses natural ingredients for a sweet, floral scent with hints of citrus. It’s long-lasting, so a little bit goes a long way.
For a sensual, floral fragrance that isn’t overpowering, this Versace perfume is a great option. It’s fresh, light and long-lasting. Plus, it comes in a unique, relatively large bottle that lasts a long time with regular application.
Cologne is commonly used to refer to any fragrance marketed toward men, while perfume is often used to indicate fragrances marketed toward women, but aside from modern marketing purposes, neither term is truly gender-specific.
Both are a great way to express oneself, but if you want something that’s typically considered more masculine, choose cologne. If you prefer something with a stronger, longer-lasting scent that’s more feminine, choose perfume.
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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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