Fact Checked

What is Eau De Toilette?

B. Miller
B. Miller

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.

Eau de toilette is a type of perfume spray that is applied to the body to give the wearer a pleasant scent.
Eau de toilette is a type of perfume spray that is applied to the body to give the wearer a pleasant scent.

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.

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Discussion Comments


@googlefanz -- really depends a lot on your personality. If you're kind of more into the party scene or just very sociable, you might want to try Joop eau de toilette. Or if you want a more refined, womanly scent then one of the Armani eau de toilette line is probably a better bet.

Your best bet, honestly, is to find a good friend and hit the department stores. Get a ton of samples, and then choose one or two of your favorites to try on your skin. This really is a crucial part, since the warmth of the skin changes the smell of the perfume. However, if you try too many, you'll just end up with a mess.

But in the end, it all comes down to experimentation. Have fun, and good luck!


Can you give me any good tips on choosing an eau de toilette spray?

I am just now getting to where I want to wear a perfume every day, and I'm having a lot of trouble finding my "signature" scent.

I really like a lot of different types of perfume, so it's not like I know I want a citrus perfume or anything like that...just a good woman eau de toilette that doesn't smell too old.

Do you guys have any advice?


I know this has been said before, but I feel like I have a moral responsibility to repeat it every time I come across an article about perfume of any kind.

So here goes: please, please remember that a little bit of perfume can go a very long way. Even if it doesn't smell like it to you, you could be fumigating everyone in your general vicinity.

See, here's the thing. The human nose loses sensitivity to scents to which it is repeatedly exposed. This means that the more you wear a perfume, the less you smell it, which often leads people to start using more and more.

This is why so often you meet old ladies who smell like they just bathe in whatever scent they use.

Trust me, that is just not attractive on anyone. When it comes to perfume, whether it's eau de toilette, eau de parfum, or some cheap thing you pick up at Walgreens, less is always, always more. Your fellow subway riders/classmates/workmates will thank you.


Eau de toilette spray is often fairly inexpensive, even if looking at more exclusive brands. Many workplaces also prefer that their employees limit the wearing of scents or use of other scented cosmetics, as they can trigger allergies. Much of the time, a body spray or eu de toilette is all you really need to have a bit of good scent.

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    • Eau de toilette is a type of perfume spray that is applied to the body to give the wearer a pleasant scent.
      By: Liv Friis-larsen
      Eau de toilette is a type of perfume spray that is applied to the body to give the wearer a pleasant scent.