Eau de toilette is a type of perfume spray that is applied to the body to give the wearer a pleasant scent. It is made from a mixture of essential fragrance oils, usually in a solvent base of ethanol and water. This product has a lower concentration of fragrance oils than eau de parfum, though both are considered to be types of perfume.
In general, eau de toilette contains about 5 to 10% aromatic essential oils in a water and ethanol base; some other products may be added to give the scent more lasting power. Eau de parfum contains 10 to 15% aromatic essential oils, whereas true perfume, or parfum, may contain 20 to 40%. These products generally increase in price based on the amount of essential oils included; this has a direct impact on the amount of scent noticeable on the body and the length of time it lasts.
For this reason, eau de toilette is often the least expensive option for someone who wants to purchase a perfume to wear. It generally offers a lighter scent than eau de parfum, though it tends to fade fairly quickly and may need to be reapplied at least once throughout the day. Some common places to apply perfume include the wrists, the base of the throat, and behind the ears. Wearers should not rub the wrists together, as this can affect the scent of the perfume; instead, they should spray a small amount individually on each wrist, and always apply perfume before getting dressed, because it can stain clothes.
Some people choose to combine the use of heavier and lighter perfumes. For instance, a woman might apply eau de parfum in the morning, but bring a small bottle of eau de toilette to work in order to reapply the scent in a lower concentration, so as to not irritate any other people in the office. Many companies sell gift packs of perfumes that come with a small bottle of the less intense fragrance, and some even come with a matching hand lotion.
For an even lighter scent, a person might choose to apply a body splash or body spray. This type of scent is often used by younger people, and it will typically need to be reapplied throughout the day. Individuals should keep in mind that perfume in any concentration has a shelf life, and it can get an overwhelming alcohol smell or simply a bad smell when it expires. Bottles should also not be left in the sun, such as on a dresser by a window.