It’s really easy to get confused by all the different types of men’s fragrances out there. In fact, today we tend to use the term “cologne” to mean men’s fragrance but cologne was actually named after a perfume originating from Cologne, Germany in 1709 by an Italian perfume maker named Giovanni Maria Farina. He was the first to coin the term eau de cologne.
So let’s begin with some basics. Cologne is made of extracts, oils, alcohol, preservatives and water. As the percentage of aromatic compounds increases so does the intensity and longevity of the cologne. First, we have perfume or parfum which is usually over 20% of aromatic compounds and it’s also the most expensive. Next, we have eau de perfume or parfum and it’s usually 10-20%. Eau de toilette is typically 7-12% of aromatic compounds followed by eau de cologne which is commonly 3-7%. The key here is the less percentage of aromatic compounds cologne has, the less potent and expensive it will be.