Hi folks, I'm wondering about word definitions here. Is a scent a perfume for a woman and a fragrance for a man?
I'm a bloke and I won't say that I wear perfume. I wear 'smellie', aftershave, fragrance or scent. To me, perfume has always been a fragrance for women. My opinion.
It's just semantics.
Many shades of perfume.
We want a niche forum.
Being a non-native speaker, I use both terms quite liberally and without any predefined rules, afterthoughts or extra meanings.
It gets confusing at first because perfume is then broken down into categories based on how strong it is (or, to be more precise, how diluted the juice is)
- eau de cologne - the most diluted perfume, meaning the mildest, often sold as a splash.
- eau de toilette - the middle ground. It's what most bottles of perfume usually are.
- eau de parfum - the least diluted perfume, meaning the strongest, and usually most expensive.
Here's more info in case you're curious.
Tom Ford Extreme
Hanae Mori HM EDT
Terre d'Hermes Parfum
Also, if you look back in time, Men basically wore what is truly a cologne, when it wasn't called eau de . . . anything.
PS, missing from your list is Parfum and Extrait.
I think fragrance is an umbrella term for perfume, cologne, splash, etc.
Scientifically, a perfume means higher concentration of the fragrance (as opposed to the amount of water and alcohol diluting the fragrance). Cologne means a much weaker concentration. Typically, perfumes are stronger than colognes anyway.
But keep in mind, it's a just a colloquial term. Just like the words sweater or polo-shirt.
This is how I have come to think about it. I have noticed that since I've been reading and posting here, I tend to use the more conventionally unisex terms of "fragrance" and "scent", rather than perfume/cologne. I guess a reflection of my thinking of all scents as being unisex, since by mental habit I still think of perfume as being feminine and cologne as being masculine.
"Use only that which works, and take it from any place you can find it."
- Bruce Lee