What's the Difference Between Perfume, Cologne & Fragrances?

It can get a little confusing for the average consumer when it comes to all the labels given to different fragrance products. It goes well beyond perfumes and colognes, but we will focus on these two and break them down and understand their differences. In this article, we will explain what perfume, cologne, fragrances are, and so much more.

What Is Perfume, Cologne & Fragrances?

So to understand the differences between perfumes, colognes, and fragrances, we need to know what they are as individual products.


Perfume, also known as Eau de Parfum, is the most potent oil concentration. A 20% oil concentration usually appears in a single perfume bottle. Any perfume user will notice that their chosen perfume usually lasts from morning to evening. However, the smell does weaken throughout the day.

For a period of six to eight hours, the scent should be present in full force. This is the longest-lasting of all the fragrance types. Due to the higher oil concentration, perfumes are usually the most expensive option. In addition, people who have sensitive skin often choose perfumes due to the lower alcohol content being better for their skin. The lower alcohol content doesn’t dry out the skin as much and causes far less irritation for sensitive skin individuals. More often than not, perfumes are marketed toward women.


Colognes, also known as Eau de Cologne, is a fragrance type that features far less fragrance concentration than perfume. A single bottle of cologne can contain between 2 and 4% fragrance concentration. It’s far cheaper than perfumes for this very reason and lasts for roughly two hours.

A defining characteristic of colognes is that they often use traditional recipes or ingredients such as herbs, citrus notes, and minor anchoring with base notes. In addition, it’s a fragrance type often reapplied throughout the day. Common scents used today include citrus, ocean, wood, leather, etc. More often than not, colognes are marketed to men.


Fragrances is essentially an umbrella term for all kinds of fragrances, be it perfumes, colognes, etc. The name ‘fragrances’ derives from the word ‘fragrant’, which means a pleasant and/or sweet scent. Therefore, anything that enhances pleasant smells can be considered a fragrance.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Perfume and Colognes?

Each scent type has its own pros and cons. Here are some of the pros and cons of perfumes and colognes:

Pros of Perfume

- Perfumes have a stronger scent than colognes due to their higher concentration of essential oils.

- Not much perfume is needed to make a bold statement.

- Perfume is versatile as it can be added to a bath, hair, or skin, depending on your intentions.

- People with oily skin or a tendency to sweat profusely can take refuge in perfume's pungent scent as it lasts longer.

- Some perfume bottles are highly portable.

- There are many forms in which perfume comes in, including sprays, roller balls, and splashes.

- Sensitive skin users benefit from the lesser alcohol content.

Conss of Perfume

- Perfumes can be pretty expensive, which sometimes puts off the average user.

- There are synthetic perfumes with a mixture of toxic chemicals that can be problematic for sensitive skin users. So always check the status of perfume if you’re someone with sensitive skin.

- You might find the smell overwhelming if you’ve got a sensitive nose as it’s incredibly pungent.

Pros of Cologne

- While marketed toward men, Colognes are unisex, and many women enjoy using colognes over perfumes.

- Higher-end colognes use premium-quality ingredients which give a much longer-lasting scent.

- Colognes are either produced as a splash or spray application for convenience.

- Colognes are more often than not reasonably priced than perfumes that feature a higher essential oils concentration.

- Colognes feature subtle scents that don’t overpower or draw unwanted attention your way.

Cons of Cologne

- Cologne bottles often feature strange or bulky design choices, making them less convenient for travelling.

- Cheaper colognes are usually extremely diluted, giving them less potency in their scent delivery.

- Colognes don’t have long-lasting scents unless they’re higher-end colognes.

- Oily skin users will notice the scent dissipating much faster than other users.

- The shelf life of colognes isn’t as long as perfumes. The ingredients used to make colognes give them a lifespan of a year or so after opening.

Which One Should I Be Purchasing?

If we ignore each product's marketing aspect, we can ascertain which one is right for you. It really just depends on what you’re looking for in a fragrance. Are you wanting something that can last the entire day? Then you need perfume. If you’re looking for a less intense scent that makes you smell great without unwanted attention, then you need a cologne.

It’s not as simple as that, however. First, you need to look at the products you’re considering to ensure they’re suitable for your specific needs. For example, what scents are you considering? There are so many options of what the potential scent can be, so figure out what scents you enjoy. A great way is to test the products first or research them enough that you’re willing to try something new.

Perfumes are often more feminine based, with floral notes used as the basis of the scent. Colognes, on the other hand, more frequently rely on fresh scents like wood, forests, ocean breeze, etc.


Finding the right fragrance for you can be a long process of trial and error. You’re not going to love every product you try, but along the way, you’ll figure out what scents work for you. If you’re looking for a new cologne or perfume, you should check out the immense amount of options available on Catch! We’ve got the widest range of fragrances available to satisfy anyone looking for their next best fragrance.

Popular Questions Asked

Which is better, Perfume or Cologne?

Before we decide, we need to understand the difference between perfume and cologne. Perfume is the most potent oil concentration and lasts about 6-8 hours a day. Perfumes have a stronger scent than cologne, due to their higher concentration of essential oils and are generally less expensive. Cologne on the other hand is mostly marketed towards men, however they are unisex, and a lot of women enjoy using cologne rather than perfume. So, to answer the question, well, you need to understand which scents you personally love. If you love more floral scents, then perfume is your answer. If you love fruity/musky, then cologne is your answer.

Which Scent lasts longer perfume or cologne?

Perfume has the highest concentration of oil. It is the most potent oil concentration, usually 20% oil concentration appears in a single bottle and usually lasts 6-8 hours with ease! Cologne however contains 2-4% concentration, therefore, only lasting roughly 2 hours. So that answer in short terms is, perfume.

Is cologne a type of perfume?

A very commonly asked question! Perfume is a general term for a substance that gives a pleasant smell to one’s body, therefore, yes, cologne is a type of perfume that typically gives off a fruity or fresh scent.