Fragrance FAQs: Answered

Fragrance questions

Is there a fragrance question you’ve always wanted the answer to? Well, wonder no more! We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions from Escentual customers and answered them here.


Fragrance Concentrations


What’s the difference between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette?
The key difference between each of these fragrances is their concentration; Eau de Parfum is made with 15%-20% perfume oils, while an Eau de Toilette comes in weaker at 10%. Due to an Eau de Parfums higher concentration of perfume, it usually lasts eight hours whereas an Eau de Toilette endures for six.

To learn more about fragrance concentrations see, here.

Are aftershave lotions different to the Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilettes and Eau de Colognes?
Although the name aftershave is commonly associated with the male fragrance they are the same. While aftershaves smell like the original scent they do not have the same perfume concentration as a fragrance, despite many people referring to a male fragrance as an aftershave. They are designed for application after shaving on the face and not for using like a pour or spray fragrance.




Do flankers smell similar to the original fragrance?
While a flanker can smell similar to the original fragrance in the series, that isn’t always the case. For instance, the Mon Guerlain and Mon Guerlain Intense smell similar because it’s as an intense version of the original.

Tip: check to see if the fragrance has similar notes to the original before buying to make sure you are getting something similar to the original fragrance you loved.




Do pillars smell similar to a flanker with the same name?
An example of a popular pillar fragrance would be YSL Opium and a flanker, which is an extension of the pillar would be Black Opium. Many of our customers buy Black Opium, expecting a similar fragrance, but this is not the case. While Opium carries the pillar name and has the same branding, it does not smell the same as the original Opium and this tends to apply for most pillar and flanker fragrances.


Sense of smell


Is it true that the sense of smell is keener in the morning than it is later in the day?
No, our sense of smell is not as sharp in the morning as it is later in the day. More upbeat, “bright” scents can be appreciated at the beginning of the day to sharpen the senses. Once you’ve awoken your sense of smell, choose fragrances that correspond with your mood or the occasion.

Is it true the sense of smell is not as keen in the winter as it is in the summer?
Yes, heat increases the impact of odour. In the summer, there are so many fascinating “smell” signals around us, and we are more conscious of our sense of smell and certainly enjoy it to the fullest. In hot weather, each fragrance application goes a long way – so lighter fragrances should be worn.

As we get older, can our sense of smell begin to diminish as it does for our eyesight and hearing?
Constant, creative use of all of our senses can help to keep them at peak performance well into old age. It may be the time in a person’s life to change fragrance type, i.e. one that gives a fast and stronger odour impression.

Many men and women over 50 begin to lose their ability to appreciate smell sensations fully. Older people often prefer stronger scents, though they must be careful not to overdo their fragrance applications, particularly in warm weather.




Is it important to apply fragrance all over the body?
Yes, fragrance rises. If a woman only applies her fragrance behind her ears, or a man his aftershave just on his face, the scent will slowly rise and disappear.

Can fragrance be sprayed on the hair?
We wouldn’t advise spraying fragrance in your hair as perfume contains alcohol which will dry out your locks. Instead, opt for a perfumed hair mist which is designed with moisturising ingredients that will take the best care of your hair while making every strand smell incredible.

See our edit on the best hair perfume everyone’s using, here.

If fragrance is applied in the morning, will it last throughout the day?
No – fragrance is not formulated to last all day. Different fragrance concentrations will change a scents longevity e.g an Eau de Toilette won’t last as long as a Parfum because it has a weaker percentage of perfume oils. If you want your perfume to last longer you should reapply regularly – approximately every three to four hours.

Does dry skin require a more generous fragrance application?
Yes, dry skin does not hold fragrances as long as oily skin, and it should be reapplied more often throughout the day. It is, therefore, a good idea to apply the matching body lotion, as it provides an ideal foundation for your fragrance to last.

Tip: moisturise your skin regularly to make your scent last longer.


Storing Fragrance


How long can you keep and use a fragrance after it has been taken out of the box?
Once opened, your fragrance will start to expire over time, but if looked after correctly you can make it last longer. Long exposure to strong sunlight or extreme changes in temperature can spoil the ingredients and change its scent. Make your perfume last by storing in a cool, dry place away from direct light. In short, it’s usually three to five years and this increases when stored correctly.

Don’t know when it’s time to throw out your old perfume? Read this edit.

Is it true that fragrance can be kept in the refrigerator for a refreshing pick-me-up?
Yes, but only lighter Colognes and Eau Fraiche concentrations. Eau de Parfums, Eau de Toilettes and Parfums should not be exposed to extreme cold or heat as that may disrupt their delicate balance.


Things That Can Change The Smell Of Your Fragrance


Can “high altitude” affect your fragrance?
Yes – if you are hiking, walking or living in high altitude areas, this can weaken the smell of your scent, so you should opt for stronger fragrances to make it last longer. High altitude decreases the long-lasting effects of fragrance so it should be applied more often to avoid this.

Is it true that fragrance reacts differently on blondes, brunettes and redheads?
Yes! Blondes with a fair skin suit long-lasting multi-floral creations. Their skin is often dry causing fragrances that are too subtle to evaporate rapidly.

Brunettes usually have medium-to-dark skin that contains more natural oils, allowing scents to last longer. Dramatic oriental scents are often favourites.

Redheads have extremely fair and delicate skin, which may be incompatible with fragrances that have predominant green notes.

If you sweat, does this affect your fragrance?
Yes! Sweating is unavoidable, we all do it, but if you tend to excessively perspire, this can affect how long your fragrance lasts as well as change the smell of the scent due to skin chemistry. If this sounds like you, try to top up your fragrance every few hours to give you a boost.

Is it true that a person has his or her own individual “scent fingerprint”?
Yes. Each of us has our own unique odour identity which is the sum total of our genes, skin type (dry/oily/light/dark), hair colour, diet, the environment in which we live, and whether or not we take medication, or are under stress, etc.

How can I avoid my fragrance clashing with my deodorant?
Many fragrance ranges produce matching deodorants to combat deo-clash. If there isn’t one available in your favourite fragrance, opt for an unperfumed or fragrance-free deodorant.




My skin has reacted badly to fragrance in the past. Is there any way I can prevent this happening or does anyone manufacture allergy-screened fragrance?
Unfortunately, some people are simply sensitive to fragrance. Look for alcohol-free scents, as they tend to cause fewer problems. If that doesn’t work, or your favourite scent is not available in an alcohol-free formula, lightly apply fragrance to your clothes instead of your skin.


Is there a fragrance term or phrase you don’t understand? Take a look at our full glossary.


Over To You!

Do you have a fragrance question we haven’t answered? Tweet us @Escentual, and we’ll help you.


Fragrance questions

Updated by Keavy Slattery: 15/09/2020.