Aftershave vs Cologne vs Eau De Toilette - What Is The Difference?

Aftershave vs Cologne vs Eau De Toilette - What Is The Difference?

We're all used to seeing the terms Aftershave, Cologne and Eau De Toilette, but how many of us actually use these fragrance names in the right context?

We've all had this conversation...

Our family - "What do you want for Christmas?"

Us - "Can you get me that new aftershave?"

Well what if we told you that you that you're likely using that terminology incorrectly.

And if they actually got you an aftershave, you'd probably think it was weak and not use again.

So on that note, here's the key differences of Aftershave vs Cologne vs Eau De Toilette.

In this post:

1. Strength - Aftershave vs Cologne vs EDT

2. How long will they last? - Aftershave vs Cologne vs EDT

3. Application - Aftershave vs Cologne vs EDT

4. What are Eau De Parfum & Parfum's?

Strength - Aftershave vs Cologne vs EDT 

Aftershave vs Cologne vs Eau De Toilette - What Is The Difference?


How Strong Is An Aftershave?

Aftershave is for exactly what it says on the tin, it's for after shaving.

We often use the term "aftershave" to describe all fragrances, but actually aftershave should be used to freshen up after you've had a shave.

As it's for "after shaving", aftershave is the weakest of all of the types of scent.

It usually only contains around 1-2% perfume oil at most, and is made up with soothing ingredients, like aloe vera, to help heal the skin after taking a razor to it.

How Strong Is A Cologne?

Cologne or Eau De Cologne is the next strength up on the fragrance scale from aftershave.

Much like aftershave, as men, we often use cologne as another term to define the whole spectrum of male fragrances.

However, that is not the case.

If we ask for an aftershave or cologne, we're actually plumping for the 2 fragrances that are weakest in strength.

Eau De Cologne usually contains a maximum of around 2-5% perfume oil, with the rest made up of ingredients like alcohol.

How Strong Is An Eau De Toilette?

There is often a misconception and people assume that both cologne and aftershave are actually stronger than an Eau De Toilette, likely because of the "Eau" meaning water, which maybe implies that it is watered down.

But, that's simply not true.

Eau De Toilette is actually the strongest of these 3 fragrance types.

An Eau De Toilette usually contains a maximum of around 4-8% perfume oil (the bit that makes it smell great).

How long will they last? - Aftershave vs Cologne vs EDT 

Aftershave vs Cologne vs Eau De Toilette - What Is The Difference?

How Long Does Aftershave Last?

Aftershave only normally lasts a maximum of 2-3 hours.

This is because the main job of aftershave is to help soothe the skin after shaving, and not to make you smell amazing all day.

Meaning, as we discussed above, that perfume oils in an aftershave are reduced to not cause you rashes on your face!

How Long Does Cologne Last?

Now we're in to the list of fragrances that are actually designed just to make you smell good!

And as it designed for that, a Cologne will last slightly longer than an aftershave.

With a cologne, you're looking at a maximum of around 3-4 hours of getting compliments on your scent before it wears off!

How Long Does Eau De Toilette Last?

Being the stronger of the 3 fragrance types, an Eau De Toilette will give you a longer lasting fragrance.

An Eau De Toilette will usually last a maximum of around 6-8 hours.

So that means you don't have to worry about going to the guy in the toilets on your night out, as your fragrance should last you all through the evening! ("no spray, no lay")

Application - Aftershave vs Cologne vs EDT

Aftershave vs Cologne vs Eau De Toilette - What Is The Difference?

Where To Apply Aftershave

Aftershave is the only one of the scents that should be applied to your face.

Of course, as it's for shaving, this means that it should be splashed anywhere that you have shaved.

And, as they often contain soothing ingredients and less perfume oil, it means that you shouldn't come up in a rash from splashing aftershave on your face.

Where To Apply Cologne & Eau De Toilette

Cologne & Eau De Toilette should be applied to your pulse points to get the most out of them!

That means applying to:

  • Your wrists
  • Lower neck / upper chest
  • Behind the back of your ears.

Applying to these areas will give you the maximum amount of longevity for your scent.

Do not apply Cologne or Eau De Toilette to:

  • Your clothes
  • Your face

Applying to your clothes doesn't allow the fragrance to come through and develop in the same way that it would on your skin, and can also stain your clothes.

So not only will you not smell the best you could, but you'll be throwing out your new outfit too!

Also, do not apply to your face like you would an aftershave.

The level of perfume oils in these fragrances will likely cause you to come up in a rash. And we don't want that, do we?

What are Eau De Parfum & Parfum's?

Then if that wasn't enough for you, there's also Eau De Parfum & Parfum.

These 2 are less common in the mens fragrance world, especially Parfum, so that's why we'll only briefly touch on them.

And we know what you're thinking - "That's perfume, that's for women?"

But no, actually Eau De Parfum & Parfum are your two strongest fragrance types in the arsenal.

An Eau De Parfum normally contains around 8-15% perfume oil and a Parfum normally contains anywhere between 15-30%.

Meaning that they'll last you all day and sometimes even into the next morning.

Of course, as you'll probably guess, extra strength will mean more buck.

But, if you can afford to get yourself an Eau De Parfum or Parfum for those special occasions then the longevity and compliments you'll get (if it's nice) may well be worth it! 

So that's it gents, you're all set now and know the difference between an Aftershave, Cologne and Eau De Toilette, and also have some handy tips for applying them!