Fragrance concentrations: sorting it all out ~ perfumista tip

After last week’s battering of celebrity perfume reviews, I decided I needed a bottle of something nice. Cartier Baiser Volé, to be precise. But buying it wasn’t as simple as choosing a size and proffering a credit card. Baiser Volé comes in Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum and Extrait de Parfum. How do you choose between different formulations of the same fragrance? 

As the FAQs page at Now Smell This lays out in more detail, different formulations of the same fragrance have different concentrations of the perfume base, with an Eau Fraïche containing the least amount and Extrait the most. Knowing this, you might think choosing a formulation would depend on how strong you want the fragrance or how long you want it to last. In fact, it’s not that simple.

First, lasting power (also called “persistence”) has more to do with the materials used in a fragrance than with its concentration. Plus, with a lesser concentration, you’re apt to apply more. For instance, a dab of Guerlain Vol de Nuit Extrait lasts about four hours on me. Vol de Nuit Eau de Toilette, which I spray three or four times when I use it, lasts at least that long. Also, a Cologne in one fragrance will often outlast the Extrait version of another fragrance. Witness Hannah Montana Cologne spray. My money would be on Hannah Montana to outlast plutonium, let alone Patou Joy Extrait.1

Next, for each fragrance that comes in different formulations, the formulations often smell like different — although related — scents. For instance, perfume lovers know that if they adore a particular classic Guerlain in Extrait, they may well detest the Eau de Toilette version of the same fragrance. Really complicating matters, perfume lines drop and add different formulations over the years. You might become attached to the Eau de Toilette version of a fragrance one year and find it discontinued or replaced by an Eau de Parfum the next.

Here are a few of my observations about fragrance formulations. I hope you’ll add your own discoveries to the comments:

Extrait (also called Parfum or Extrait de Parfum): A fragrance newbie might think Extrait would be the strongest version of a fragrance with the heftiest sillage, but Extrait often wears subtly and close to the body. If you think about it, it makes sense. Other forms of fragrance contain more alcohol, which diffuses fragrance as it evaporates on skin. I like to wear Extrait when I want a close, personal aura of fragrance, or if I know I’ll be around a lot of competing fragrances, and I don’t want to be part of a perfumed soup. Extrait tends to present the most sophisticated version of a fragrance, and some perfume companies reserve their best quality materials for Extraits. Extrait, although expensive, is wonderful to wear. These days, it’s increasingly rare for a perfume house to make Extrait versions of their fragrances, and if they are made, they aren’t always easy to find (and they're often limited edition). That’s too bad.

As an example, Baiser Volé in Extrait cloaks its silky-powdery heart in an earthy, almost truffled, note. It’s a little dirtier than the Eau de Parfum, more like velvety-ripe skin rubbed with lily than the bathed and powdered skin of the Eau de Parfum. My local Nordstrom had a tester of the Extrait but none in stock. If I wanted to buy it, I’d have to order it.

Eau de Parfum: Eau de Parfum is now often the highest — and sometimes the only — concentration of a fragrance sold, especially in department stores. It’s worth noting that Eau de Parfum became popular in the 1980s, so the Eau de Parfum versions of vintage fragrances may be tweaked to appeal more to modern tastes. For instance, the Eau de Parfum version of Chanel No. 5 is smoother and “easier” to wear than the Eau de Toilette or Extrait versions of the same fragrance. This isn’t always true, though. To me, Guerlain Mitsouko Eau de Parfum is closer to the Extrait than is the Eau de Toilette (although, confusingly, the vintage Eau de Cologne smells closest of all). 

Baiser Volé launched in Eau de Parfum, and when people think of what Baiser Volé smells like, the Eau de Parfum is their benchmark. It’s a “straight” version of the fragrance — serious and not particularly witty, but lovely all the same.

Eau de Toilette: Sometimes a fragrance is only released in Eau de Toilette. If the fragrance comes in more concentrations, the Eau de Toilette will often be a fresher version with a greater focus on top notes.  

This is certainly true for Baiser Volé’s new Eau de Toilette. The Eau de Toilette adds juicy mandarin and a helping of jasmine to Baiser Volé’s signature lily heart. It also tones down the powder. It’s bright and citrusy and doesn’t last as long as the Eau de Parfum.  

Eau de Cologne and Cologne Spray: Eau de Cologne versions of fragrance used to crowd perfume store shelves, but not anymore. (Vintage perfume fans know to look for Eau de Cologne versions of their favorite fragrances.) Even classic Eaux de Cologne — the splash-it-on, citrusy, 4711-type fragrances — are often actually Eau de Toilette or even Eau de Parfum strength these days. For example, Chanel Eau de Cologne is an Eau de Toilette.

At the drugstore, Cologne sprays are much easier to find, and some drugstore fragrances only come in Cologne spray. Again, remember that just because something is labeled “Cologne spray” or “Natural spray,” it still might last all day on skin.

Parfum de Toilette: I’ve never seen a Parfum de Toilette offered for sale new, but before Eau de Parfum became popular, some fragrances came in the richer-than-EdT Parfum de Toilette version. Keep your eyes open for the wonderful Guerlain Parfum de Toilette concentrations at thrift stores and estate sales.

In the end, I chose Baiser Volé Eau de Toilette. I wanted something light and easy to wear in the heat, but complex enough not to bore me. I wanted to be able to spray the fragrance freely and even mist a few lampshades without the fragrance getting overbearing. The Eau de Toilette fit the bill. When fall comes, though — watch out wallet. The Extrait is calling my name.

What perfume formulations do you prefer, and why?

Note: the top image shows Baiser Volé in Eau de Toilette (green, left, 50 ml for $85) and Eau de Parfum (pink, right, 50 ml for $100). The lower image shows Baiser Volé in Extrait (30 ml for $200).

1. In case that doesn't already make it clear, expensive raw materials don't necessarily last longer than cheap raw materials, and a fragrance's lasting power is not necessarily a sign of "quality" or increased investment in the juice.

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80 Comments

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  1. Emily says:

    Oh gosh, that Baiser Volé extrait bottle is so cool, and the juice sounds more my style than the EdP was. Nordies, here I come.

    It’s hard for me to generalize about preferred concentrations, because — as you’d suggested — it really depends on the individual fragrance and on how I want that particular perfume to wear. Also, I just don’t have that many fragrances in extrait because it’s so expensive and often isn’t available. If I’m trying a completely new-to-me fragrance and I do have a choice of concentrations, I guess I’d tend to gravitate toward the EdP rather than the EdT because I generally prefer scents that are rich and deep, rather than light and fresh. (But there are always exceptions — like many people, I vastly prefer Cristalle in EdT.) I feel like a philistine for preferring No. 5 in EdP, but then, No. 5 isn’t really my thing in any of its forms.

    I was very gratified to learn that my vintage Mitsouko EdC is close to the extrait’s character, though! Why do you suppose that is?

    • Angela says:

      You know, I originally put in–then took out, because who cares what I think–that I prefer the EdP of No. 5, too! I know it’s not the most popular position, but there you have it.

      I’m not sure about the Mitsouko EdC-extrait connection, except that it comes through loud and clear to me. It was through the EdC that I really started to feel like I “got” Mitsouko.

      • Emily says:

        The Mitsouko EdC feels legible to me in a way that the EdT and EdP don’t, yet it doesn’t seem dumbed down — so it makes sense that someone could start to “get” Mitsy via the EdC. I haven’t dared try it in extrait yet, but now I’m curious. (Weirdly enough, I fell for L’Heure Bleue at first sniff, but appreciating Mitsouko has been far more challenging.) And I’m glad I have some company in preferring No. 5 EdP.

        • Angela says:

          The EdC is really wonderful, and I agree with your assessment. Also, L’Heure Bleue was easier for me to appreciate, too. It isn’t as much “me,” as other Guerlains, but I do love it.

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      I agree, Emily, that the CBV extrait sounds preferable to the edp/edt. Angela, was that at the Nordies downtown?

  2. mutzi says:

    Thanks for the breakdown on Baiser Vole. You have convinced me that I will buy the Extrait this fall.

    I was thinking (and I really don’t want to offend anyone), but do you think the Hannah Montana cologne might be the cockroach of the fragrance world outlasting pestilence and nuclear annihilation?

    • Emily says:

      If Hannah Montana is indeed that bad, I think I have to try it.

      • Angela says:

        That’s the attitude!

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      So, if I could only have one scent on the Mars colony, and I want to be sure it’ll LAST, is this your suggestion? :D

      • Angela says:

        I have a hunch you could brew yourself up something more appealing on Mars.

        • Marjorie Rose says:

          I’m thinking you’d have to bring it with you, at least at first. After all, the greenhouses will be dominated by foodstuffs for quite a while! Not that I suspect I’d *want* to only sniff HM, but with all the temperature extremes, etc., sounds like it wouldn’t degrade! (Does that count as a positive or negative quality in this case?)

          • Angela says:

            Maybe it could be used as fuel to power the rocket back to Earth!

    • Angela says:

      It and Twinkies will outlive us all.

  3. Dilana says:

    I went to a Sniffapooloza “Master Class for Houbigant” where the company folks explained that EDP’s were created when the atomized perfume bottle came into being,because perfumers had not yet developed the ability to put the large complex molecules of their full concentration extracts in a form which could be sprayed without clogging the atomizer.
    I was given the chance to compare the Quesquefleurs EDPs and extraits, and I must say the extract had a depth and beauty beyond the EDP.
    Maybe one reason I always find Channel No5. disappointing is that my mind remembers some sniff of the extract (or perfume as I understood it to be) from my childhood, and I remember a richness that I just don’t get from the EDP.

    • Angela says:

      That’s fascinating about the spray bottles! But perfume has been used in atomizers for ages–either those knob-type atomizers, or even commercial atomizers. Most of my vintage bottles are splash, but I have a few that I’d swear date back to the 1960s at least.

      • farouche says:

        Could swear I had an atomizer of Youth Dew in the late 60s.

        • Angela says:

          I have an atomizer of Crepe de Chine parfum, discontinued in 1962 or something like that.

    • annemarie says:

      That is really interesting – the connection between the higher concentration EDP and atomisers. Did the folk from Houbigant say when that happened? 1980s? In my memory that was when splashes started to fade from the scene. I still remember how disappointed my mother was that her beloved April Violets came out in a spray bottle. She so loved the ritual of dabbing!

      • Dilana says:

        Yes, they did mention the date, but I don’t remember. Too bad because I am a history buff, and one who is always interested in technology as creating a host of social changes. (In fashion, in art, in world events etc.) So I should remember this but I don’t .

        However, it was much earlier than the eighties. I don’t know when perfume bottles began commonly to have their own atomizers, but certainly earlier than the 80′s. I would think earlier than the 50′s.

        • Subhuman says:

          I would think even earlier than that. Aren’t bulb atomizers with tassels one of those visual shorthands for 1920s chic?

          • Angela says:

            Could it have something to do with mass production, maybe? Or maybe the Houbigant folk are full of hot air.

  4. Marjorie Rose says:

    I don’t think I’ve tried any extrait scents, yet. I do have 4 different versions of Shalimar, different vintages and strengths, but because they are all different ages, I don’t know which difference I’m smelling! I have a mini of the “parfum de toillette” which seems more like my oldest sample, which is an edt officially. The newest edt is much lighter and less dirty (and less interesting to me).

    In my last sample-crazed order, I *almost* bought samples of both formulations of Vero Profumo Rubj, but based on the review, the edp sounded more up my alley, and I didn’t. Kind of regret it, just for the sake of comparison!

    • Angela says:

      It’s definitely worth trying the extrait of Shalimar! It’s richer and dirtier than other formulations I’ve tried. The Rubj EdP is wonderful.

  5. lucasai says:

    That’s a great article. I read it with a lots of pleasure. And it’s so true! It’s so easy to get lost and confused between the shelves filled with the same fragrance in different concentrations.

    • Angela says:

      I’m so glad you liked the article! I hope people find it useful.

      • lucasai says:

        Definitely. I was really surprised when one day I discovered that I liked edt better than edp and that edt lasted longer.

        • Angela says:

          I’ve had lots of surprises like that over the years, too.

  6. maggiecat says:

    Yes, an interesting and helpful article indeed. Finding several versions of the same scent does make sampling more interesting – and complicated – than it seems as if it should be. I’m also glad someone else feels about Baiser Vole’ as i do – it’s truly a lovely scent in any concentration!

    • Angela says:

      The extrait is so, so lovely. I really do need to save up for a bottle.

  7. mals86 says:

    I think concentration may be the single most confusing issue we deal with (with the possible exception of reformulation BOOHISS). Parfum de Toilette tends to be a lovely rich formulation in general – possibly because the term has gone out of use, so the only PdTs I run across were 70s or 80s, back before things started getting so thin. Or so candied, for that matter.

    I did once own a small bottle of Shalimar PdT, and it was lovely. I have a decant of Chamade PdT and it’s gorgeous. Emeraude PdT is my favorite concentration, and my big bottles of Silences are PdT as well.

    Mitsouko HATES me, but since I’ve seen more than once that the EdC concentration is good and legible and sort of “friendly,” I might have to hunt up a sample of it.

    • Angela says:

      I have Mitsouko EdC and PdT, and I think I even like the EdC better. It’s a tough one for me to wear, too, but when it’s Mitsouko time, nothing else will do. I bet Emeraude in PdT is terrific!

  8. Absolute Scentualist says:

    Great article, Angela. I’ve discovered that I might actually prefer the edt of Narcisse Noir over the extrait, like the edt of Femme a little better than the edp, which reminds me strongly of Mitsouko in edp (which I already have) and like every concentration of No. 5 that I’ve tried. Probably my favorite extrait of all is Fracas. It was how I bought my first bottle back in ’04 or ’05, and I’ve somehow ended up on my second. It is a tremendous value and just smells so wonderful that I can’t imagine being without it.

    That Baiser Vole extrait sounds stunning. I loved the edp. I wish Prada Candy would come in a more intense version, and that I’d been able to try that apparently beautiful Angel extrait that came out some years back. I very much want to try my beloved Amaranthine in extrait as well, but don’t want to fall in love with it when the edp is already such a thrilling experience. The next edp vs. extrait experience I’m hoping to try is Rubj since I thought I sampled and loved it, but really want to be sure which version I like better when my budget allows. ;)

    • Angela says:

      Prada Candy is already pretty intense–I wonder what the extrait would be like, if one ever came to be? The Angel extraits I’ve smelled are wonderful, and Angel seems to work so well when meted out in small, precious dabs.

    • annemarie says:

      I prefer Femme in the EDT as well. I wore it yesterday and I could still smell it on skin at dinner time. I also agree on the Mtisouko comparison.

      • Angela says:

        Alas, my (new) Femme is in EdP, but I’m going to keep an eye out for EdT. I don’t think I knew they ever had released an EdT, but I’m not surprised.

  9. austenfan says:

    Thanks for this, very informative. The only fragrance I own in three concentrations is Paris YSL. I may actually prefer the EDT of this one. It’s so sparkling and vivacious. ( the old version that is, the new one isn’t as good). Divine par Divine I have in extrait and EDP. Both lovely but not quite the same.

    I have tested Baiser Volé in EDP several times now. I absolutely love the opening notes, unfortunately I just don’t like the drydown, so I will pass on this one. Fortunately I have Donna Karan Gold for my lily fix.

    • Angela says:

      There’s something really nice in having all the concentrations of a fragrance you really love (like Paris for you, it sounds like) since you can match different moods with them. Sometimes I wear my Vol de Nuit extrait and edt together, and I love how they complement each other.

      • austenfan says:

        Paris is the only fragrance in my current collection that I have worn since it first came out until today. I still love it as much today as I did in the eighties. It is not the greatest fragrant masterpiece I own but I absolutely adore it.

        • Angela says:

          I completely understand! Sometimes it’s not the masterpieces that are the most comforting, comfortable fragrances in the long run.

  10. Lys says:

    Angela my take on the three Baiser Voles is that the EDP and Extrait are closely related and that the EDT is more reorchestrated, with new green facets. Of the three, I dislike BV EDP and extrait but do like the EDT – it actually for me wears as the most complex of the three.

    *

    IMO if you can’t wear it simply by dabbing on the pulse points, it’s not *really* extrait. Of the mainstreams, Guerlain, Estee Lauder, Piguet, and a few others still make parfum concentrations but most mainstream “extraits” just seem like amped-up EDPs. My suspicion is also that Mon Precieux Nectar is an extrait that’s more EDP than parfum. Perhaps the meaning of the designation “extrait” is being altered to refer to a bridge between EDP and pure parfum.

    • Angela says:

      I haven’t smelled many mainstream extraits, to tell the truth, except for the usual suspects of Guerlain, Caron, Cartier, etc. I do have a Laura Mercier fragrance that as far as I can tell was only released in extrait. And of course I’ve longed for some of the limited edition L’Artisan and Goutal extraits.

  11. annemarie says:

    Lovely post. I must say I have been disappointed with the longevity of Chanel No 19 and No 5 in extrait. They are beautiful – and in No 5 the extrait is my favourite – but they hardly last more than an hour on me. Coco in extrait – that’s a different story!

    Interesting that niche houses hardly ever release more than one concentration.

    • Angela says:

      I’m beginning to think that perfume houses have largely given up on extrait as selling enough to make production worth their while–except for a few of the classics. I’m glad Chanel is still at it, at least. Too bad about the lack of longevity for No. 19 and No. 5, though! At that price you’d hope they stick around at least a tiny bit longer.

    • mals86 says:

      I don’t actually like No. 19 in extrait. It seems too dry to me, and I love the rich drydown of the vintage EdT. If I’m going modern, the EdP is my pick.

      (I rehomed my No. 19 parfum with a true lover of it.)

      • Angela says:

        You’re a true perfume friend! I’m sure you made someone elated.

  12. missie sue says:

    Thanks for the informative article, Angela. I often get a smidgeon confused about the vagaries of differences between concentrations. I have noticed that I often like extrait best, because I love the added depth and complexity, but I also love the luxury of lavishly spraying EDT all over the place.

    • Angela says:

      That’s exactly how I feel. I guess the ideal would be to have one of each for each fragrance!

  13. FragrantWitch says:

    Great article, Angela. I’m glad you have a choice of Baiser Vole for the seasons- it sounds as if you truly adore it.
    Several years ago I was gifted a bottle of Shalimar and was gutted when, after happily spritzing away, I discovered that my precious was not herself at all. I was relieved to discover that the scent was such a disappointment is because it was the EDT. I normally wear the EDP and the extrait. The extrait being my favourite because it just smells so naughty…out after hours, wrapped in mink, smoke clouding the air, jazz playing through the haze, and sex shimmering all around. The EDP is a vastly tamed creature- like a ghost of the former- but still very nice and better for every day, take the kids to school etc..
    Cristalle is another EDT is great, EDP okay.
    Mitsy just hates me in all forms. One day though, one day…I am a GuerlieGirl and I will have her.

    • Angela says:

      Maybe you need to try the Mitsouko EdC! That could be the answer.

      I know just what you mean about Shalimar extrait. Nothing matches it for pure, velvety drama.

      • Marjorie Rose says:

        *fingers in ears* Lalalalalala! Shalimar extrait? What Shalimar extrait?

        • FragrantWitch says:

          *removes fingers* Shalimar EXTRAIT I say…get thee to a Guerlain counter! ;-)

      • FragrantWitch says:

        A fragrance for a woman who wears a velvet fishtail gown from the Bodacious Babes clothing line! ;-)

        • Angela says:

          Yes! Ever since I saw Joan on Mad Men with a bottle of Shalimar, Shalimar has been firmly connected to bodacious babes–and now Bodacious Babes!

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            We have to ask her to model for us, don’t we?

          • Angela says:

            Yes yes yes! She’s one gorgeous babe.

  14. thenoseknows says:

    Personally… back in the dark ages before perfumes littered the market like so much Cottonwood during allergy season… I always thought that Parfum was the “TRUEST” Form of the scent and the longest lasting, Eau De Parfum Was the next Rung on the ladder and wasn’t as Strong or long lasting because it was More Alcohol-to-oil in ratio, so the fragrance was more… “DIFFUSE” but not CHANGED and the then Eau de Toilette was the Most diffuse due to again the higher Alcohol-Water/Oil Ratio…

    Now it seems i was being lied to or given improper information about the categories of scent and that most perfumers when branching a scent off into different formulations I.E. Parfum, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette, etc… Acutally REARRANGE the notes of the fragrance to HIGHLIGHT different facets for different formulas… I think that s**t is CHEATING! Really and Honestly and TOTALLY I DO! I have believed and believed STRONGLY that once the scent has been Created… that should be the end! The Bitter END! No tweaking, No Changing! if you want a Eau de Parfum From the Parfum… Dilute the concentration of the perfumed oils to Alcohol/Water to a lower percentage and the same in going from one of those to an Eau de Toilette or even further down to a Cologne… Dilute more but RETAIN the Master Brew… when i hear that Chanel No.5 in all it’s Variations are actually DIFFERENT from the Parfum, I QUAKE with anger… It’s Insulting and a bit of an offensive LIE to say… well the Eau de Parfum highlights another FACET of the fragrance… well then call it a damn FLANKER or something else entirely… it damn skippy isn’t No. 5 if you HIGHLIGHT other ideas in the fragrance than what the original concept was… I know it sounds ludicrously Rigid, but it’s like taking the Starry Night by Van Gogh and saying ok… we’re going to HIGHLIGHT a different Facet of it and BLUR OUT ALL THE STARS but the Upper Left Hand Quadrant… and call it Starry Night 1.5…. It’s Insulting and A Violation to the Masters who create scents to Rape their formulas for the sake of “CONCENTRATION!” Believe me… I understand How DIFFERENT those Formulations can be… and it is deeply appalling. When and IF i ever do create my own scent there shall be no such TINKERING or REARRANGING of the scent for different concentrations… it will simply be a Dilution of the original Scent but always the ORIGINAL SCENT!

    • Angela says:

      Well, I’ve got to say, I do love your passion!

      I don’t mind the tweaks to the different concentrations as long as I KNOW they’re different and don’t expect them to be the same. Like for Baiser Volé, I like knowing I can have a sparkly, light version for spraying on, then I can top it with a few drops of the sultrier parfum. But I’d be heartbroken if I bought the EdT and expected a more sheer version of the EdP, because they’re really not the same.

      I can totally see your point, though–if you’re expecting one fragrance you know and love, then get something else, you’ll feel cheated! And let’s not even get started on reformulations!

    • Joanne says:

      I’m with you. (And still laughing at “damn skippy.”).

      • Angela says:

        That was one of my favorite parts, too!

    • Dilana says:

      I certainly used to believe the extrait was the better quality, and the others were kind of like “diffusion” or “bridge” lines of “designer clothes: the same idea but in a reduced quality and lower price for the masses. (Don’t get me wrong, I am quite happy to wear diffusion, bridge and even Target products from high end clothes designers). And in my mom’s youth, a lady was likely to have one or two bottles of a fragrance, so making that bottle “the best” was more sensible. (Think about it, if you were to only buy one full bottle a year, and not a multiplicity of samples, travel sizes, decants etc., wouldn’t you be able to chose an extrait).

      I suspect that more gentlemen (with enough cash to give a really nice gift) were willing to buy a really fine perfume at the extrait level as a gift. The choices were relatively easier in an uncrowded market A guy really could not go wrong by chosing among Joy, or any of the few Guerlains or Channels (available for soldiers at the PX), Carons or the Avons of the day. (Assuming men had a way of buying from the Avon lady in the neigborhood). He would never be accused of supplying her with an “old lady perfume” because perfumes were not presumed to be a signifier of generation or identity; now the wrong perfume could be deemed a personal affront). The cost of good jewelry was much higher since synthetic stones and color treatments of gems hadn’t developed, and jewelry styles did have generational and class connotations so I guy could buy the wrong pin or whatever. The notion of a mulit$$$ handbad really did not take off until the 90′s.

      So I think both men and women, with the money to spend, were more likely to buy an extrait thirty years ago than today. Therefore it was more likely that the extrait was developed as the first version of the scent. These days, that is probably less true and some extraits may themselves be variations of a scent developed as an EDP or EDT.

      • Angela says:

        I can see that being true, too, that traditionally the extrait was the “original” version of the fragrance, the one going to market. I just had the mental image of all those beautiful old extrait bottles. They were so glamorous, and often so creative.

  15. hajusuuri says:

    Great article, Angela!

    I enjoyed the Voyage d’Hermes EDT much more than the Pure Perfume. The EDT was much brighter while the Pure Perfume had a heaviness to it and a tad closer to masculine.

    The only extrait I own is the Aromatics Elixir Perfumer’s Reserve. I totally lemminged it while I was lurking on this board last year. I am garnering courage to try it :-)

    You mentioned the Chanel Eau de Cologne being an EDT. I quite liked it when I had my personal sniffa at the Chanel Boutique AND Saks in early June. In the end, I decided to skip it as there are more interesting fragrances.

    In terms of concentrations, where would you place “Body Mists”? Are they simply watered down Eau de Colognes.

    • Angela says:

      You’ve got to try the Aromatics Elixir Perfumers Reserve and report back! I haven’t smelled it, but it sounds glorious.

      I don’t know what the concentration of body mists is, but my instinct says eau fraiche or cologne.

  16. nozknoz says:

    I felt so bad for you last week, Angela, and I just want to say that you DEFINITELY earned both the immediate gratification of the BV EdT and the Extrait! Enjoy!

    • Angela says:

      You are so nice to say so! Thank you. I’ll use it for justification for impinging on my budget.

  17. thenoseknows says:

    Oh Just as an aside to be on track with the convo…Baiser Vole has become one of my all time FAVES!!!!!! :-) I have ONLY Smelled the EdP Version as of the moment and i do love it intensely… i don’t really think i need to smell the other versions, But just because my Muse, Ms. Angela Has Thusly Spake on the subject, I shall investigate! ;-)

    • Angela says:

      The EdP truly is the benchmark for Baiser Volé’s loveliness. Really. But the extrait is wonderful! It’s almost an oriental. And of course the EdT is so refreshing and light.

  18. sinnerman says:

    Really great reading today ! I can not really say what strength I prefer , I don’t really take much notice . I feel mens fragrance mostly comes in edt or cologne ! Unless it’s a uni sex it may be a parfum ? This is my observation only ;) I now have a greater understanding after reading this post and I would like to thank you .

    • Angela says:

      I hope you venture over to those fragrances traditionally considered “feminine” from time to time, because men smell so delicious in lots of them! Still, every once in a while I see a traditionally marketed “masculine” fragrance as a parfum, but not super often. I think, for instance, I’ve seen Habit Rouge in parfum.

  19. Cybele says:

    Often I prefer the original formulation of a fragrance, for example, Cristalle EDT, Narcisso Rodriguez EDT, Eau de Merveille not Elixir and I enjoy extraits for the qualities you described, softness and staying close to the skin. I guess I prefer lightness that I can amplify by spraying several times and on the other hand quality so high it doesn’t jump into my face/nose. Exceptions are Guerlains, and I prefer the EDP over EDT of Chanel 19 but have never tested the perfume concentration.

    • Angela says:

      In the end, I guess the only way to know which formulations are going to be your favorites is to test them! As your comment shows, it really can vary by fragrance.

  20. Tama says:

    Thanks for that! It can get a bit confusing when you think that buying an EDT will get you just a lighter version of an EDP – I know salespeople who tried to tell me the EDT of Angel was just a lighter Angel, and I had to set them straight – it has the bones of Angel but is not the same perfume.

    I bought Baiser Vole EDP after one sniff when it first came out – it is gorgeous, but now of course I have to try all of them.

    • Angela says:

      I’d love to know what you think of them when you try them! The parfum is absolutely gorgeous, but it doesn’t last particularly long or have much sillage. The EdT is a lot more playful.

  21. Celestia says:

    Kenzo Flower comes in Le Parfum which is actually an EDP. Try explaining that to a customer who is not a perfumista.
    I love G of the Sea but it disappears in seconds. I would always spring for the extra, say $20, to buy a fragrance in EDP, if it existed. The aquatics category that I love rarely comes in higher concentrations, let alone an extrait. Ocean Dream did though! The fragrances I like almost invariably come in a frosted bottle and are EDT flankers of the original concept.
    Since fragrances are now shunned in many environments, perhaps that’s why perfumes are too deep to be worn, and EDP and EDT sprays have replaced the ritual of the dab because it’s quicker. The days when men bought the pure perfume for their ladies seem to have evaporated. Is it the cost? Is it because many women now buy their own fragrance?

    • Angela says:

      You put forward a lot of ideas to ponder in your comment!

      I’d agree that people like lighter fragrances more now, except that seems to be more true in concept than in practice. Those whopper patchouli-fruit-white flower things seem to hold a lot of market share. It’s interesting what you say, too, about how easy sprays are, and of course I wonder, too, how much the perfume market changed when women started buying more of their own perfume.

  22. Celestia says:

    I could never figure out the appeal of a cologne or EDT pour because I hated having to pour the juice down my neck in rivulets. I now know that pours appeal to those who wear contacts and don’t want the light mist in their eyes. Makes sense. I suppose there are also those who prefer not to breathe in that mist directly and just apply right to the skin away from the nose.
    Just as a slight aside from the topic, why is it that when a fragrance goes off, it smells terrible and the smell lasts and lasts on your skin? This seems to be regardless of concentration but most mysteriously, all fragrances smell identical when they go off!

    • Angela says:

      I know what you mean about the splash bottles! When I have one (usually something vintage), I almost always transfer some of its contents to an atomizer. It’s just so much easy to wear.

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