All scented products are technically called "frangrances" Most people not immersed in the world of fine fragrances use the words perfume and cologne as generic words even though they have specific meanings. The terms perfume, cologne, eau de parfum and more are all used to designated the ratio of fragrance oils to alcohol or water. It can be confusing, but almost all perfumers stick to a set of standards regarding fragrance strength:
Typically Eau de parfum -or perfume in English -is the strongest form of a fragrance. It is mostly pure fragrant oils with the least amount of alcohol diluting the oils. The top, middle and base notes are all in perfect harmony and present as the perfume creator intended. It can be very strong and overwhelming to wear. It is the most expensive form and a a bottle of Eau de parfum can last for decades because it only takes a drop to add scent to the skin.
Eau de cologne is next. It's usually 25% fragrance oils and 75% alcohol. It is the form that best presents the scent and it's the best way to wear a scent. All the scent notes -top middle and base are balanced and perform well when worn on the skin. Many perfumers design a scent so it smell best in the Eau De Cologne form.
Eau de toilette is slightly weaker than Eau De Cologne. It's got a bit more water and less alcohol and less fragrance oils than cologne. This form is lighter and less strong. It presents the middle notes stronger than the top and base. Some people prefer the lightness of an eau de Toilette because it doesn't enter a room before they do. It's the number one selling form of fine fragrances.
Next is Eau Fraiche -a modern form of fragrance. It's more water than alcohol with less than 15% fragrant oils. It's light, presents the top and middle notes of a scent without the darker base notes. It's a way to enjoy an expensive fragrance in a less expensive form.
After that are body mists, body splashes and others. These are mostly water, a bit of alcohol, and a bit of scent. These are the lightest form and good for layering with scented body washes, soaps and powders.
And body washes, powders and soaps have the least amount of fragrance and are an inexpensive way to enjoy an expensive scent. These present top and middle note only but can be layered with eau fraiche or body mist without make a person smell like they dumped and entire bottle on themselves.
Almost all fragrances follw these guidelines. For the nicest and most balance form of a fragrance choose eau De Toilette or Eau de Cologne. For when you have gobs of money and want it to last forever get eau de Parfum. If you don't have money and still want a fine fragrance try body wash, body lotins and body mist forms. Even expensive brands will put together budget friendly bath-time gift sets at Christmas.