A note on scent concentration

Most of my scents have always been parfum concentration even though they come in spray form. Some other brands offer this option and label them as “spray parfum” or “extrait spray” or something along those lines. You’ll sometimes see Chanel spray parfums on ebay in containers that look a bit like lipstick tubes, so you may be familiar with the idea. You need less squirts with concentrated parfum formulations — one spray is enough for me with most of my scents, but I tend to dose lightly so many of you will want a couple of sprays. You don’t want to spray these with wild abandon like a cologne though, lol.

The traditional alcohol-based scent categories are usually given about like this:
Eau de Cologne – 2% to 5% fragrance
Eau de Toilette – 4% to 10% fragrance
Eau de Parfum – 8% to 15% fragrance
Parfum or Extrait – 15% to 25% fragrance

Most of my scents are about 20% fragrance, which puts them solidly in the parfum category. You’ll find some perfume oils (oil based rather than alcohol based) going even higher than 25% sometimes, but if you go much higher than 25% in an alcohol-based scent it will seem too oily.

Many times the formula for edp and parfums are different. The parfums often contain more expensive ingredients since they are offered in smaller bottles of more concentrated juice and are meant to be applied more sparingly. The higher costs of parfums are due both to the higher concentration and the more costly materials. I’ve found the Chanel, Caron, and Guerlain parfums to be very worthwhile, especially the vintage versions when you can get them.

Feedback from the majority of customers has been in favor of sprays but also in favor of a fairly high concentration too, so I’ve gone ahead and made my scents spray extrait. It’s hard to find nice spray bottles in 30 ml size or less, so when I chose my new bottles I had to really hunt to find anything less than 50 ml. My new bottles are actually 34 ml like the old ones were. They’ll be a nice choice for those who want a more special bottle of a scent they love. The smaller half oz bottles are plainer but have the option of the splash cap for those who prefer to apply it parfum style.

I realized after releasing Incense Pure that it is parfum too. I had been thinking it was just at the cutoff between edp and parfum but when I rechecked my Excel spreadsheet I realized it was parfum, which makes sense because it sure feels and wears like one.

Because my scents are high concentration for a spray, they may take a couple minutes to dry on your skin rather than drying immediately like an edt. They have more essence oils in them so they’re a bit heavier, but you can control that by the number of squirts you use.

I’ll be adding concentration info to all the scents on my site, but I just thought a note here on the blog would help too.

I’m really busy right now with a number of things and will post an update when I can.

About Laurie E

artisan perfumer and owner of Sonoma Scent Studio
This entry was posted in Perfume General, Perfume Making & Ingredients, Sonoma Scent Studio Updates. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A note on scent concentration

  1. Tamara says:

    Hello Laurie, I just wanted to let you know that for me, your fragrances are perfect.

    I adore the concentrations of them because I do not have all the $$ in the world and if I do purchase a perfume I want it to last, your perfumes are strong ( I spray about two times to get this effect) and I catch whiffs of it all day which is exactly what I want.

    I want to revel in it and I want to enjoy it as long as possible on my skin. All your perfumes do that for me.
    Don’t change a thing!

    I do miss miss our dear departed Opal but I will wait for the goodness that is in your creations,
    I know she’ll come back to me soon!
    Keep up the steller job you are doing,
    we all love it and look forward to more.

    Truly, Tamara Jackson

  2. Laurie E says:

    Hi Tamara,

    Thanks! I like two squirts of some and one of others. Glad you’ve been happy with the format!

    I started on Opal last weekend but haven’t gotten back to it. I want to make the soft sandalwood note just a touch more noticeable — not woody, but just a bit more present.

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