Parfum, otherwise known as perfume, extrait perfume or extract, contains scent concentrations between 15 and 40 percent, while eau de toilette has scent concentrations of 5 to 8 percent. Eau de toilette is designed for shorter wear and is a lighter scent. Parfum averages 20 to 30 percent essence, lasts longer on the skin and costs the most of any scent.
Eau de toilette's notes release faster. This scent is designed for hotter months when fragrances evaporate more quickly. This scent averages 10 percent concentrations. Cologne, the men's version of eau de toilette, has the same essence content as eau de toilette.
Essences and concentrations are measures of actual scents in products because perfume has more ingredients beyond fragrances. Perfumes have multiple layers and complex notes. The most concentrated essence comes through first, and then lower concentrations release later.
Fragrances have various designations including, in descending order of highest concentration to lowest, parfum, parfum de toilette, eau de toilette and splash or aftershave. Higher concentrations cost more money. Scent designations were created by the perfume industry to allow customers to determine how long scents last and how much items cost. Perfume is the highest-end designation. Products designated as "splash" have 1 to 3 percent concentrations and have the lowest price.