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The Ultimate Guide to Fragrance

Not sure what the difference between Eau de Parfum and Eau de Toilette is? What about top, middle and base notes? If you’re feeling a bit lost, we’ve got just the thing. This fragrance guide is the answer to all your fragrance-based questions.

Perfume is not just for women. Our Avon men’s fragrance comparison chart is bound to keep him just as happy as her. Perfumes are used by people of all ages across the world, but only the right one is used for years at a time.

From classic, long-lasting fragrance to woodsy floral perfume, start your journey towards scent discovery with the basics.

Variety of Avon Fragrances

What is the difference between eau de parfum, parfum, eau fraiche and eau de toilette?

With so many types of scents, concoctions of flavours and varieties of concentrations, it’s important to know the differences when picking a signature scent. 29% of adults in the UK now shop for fragrances online. If you’re looking to avoid going to the store, this list will help you quickly tell the difference from your computer.

Parfum, or pure perfume, is also known as extrait de parfum and is the most expensive and strongest scent on the market; just a few drops can last you all day long. Because of its heavier, oily consistency, parfum should be applied sparingly.

At the other side of the spectrum, eau fraiche will last for just an hour or two. Because of its weaker concentration it may need to be reapplied several times a day.

Eau de toilette fragrances have modest levels of perfume oil, making them ideal for when you’re at work or don’t fancy anything too potent. You can enjoy an eau de toilette fragrance for hours at a time, and most of the fragrances are optimum for daily use. Choose from a variety of long-lasting fragrances with floral notes for the perfect refreshing spritz.

If you’re going somewhere fancy or out with friends, then an Eau de Parfum’s intensity (8-15% perfume oils) will be better suited. These last for a very long time and are also suitable for daily wear.

Apart from these, there exist plenty of other types of fragrances. Body mists and sprays offer the perfect quick pick-me-ups for when you’re in a hurry and make a great gift for someone you don’t know very well. Remember, scents change and evolve in different environments and as the hours pass. Carry your favourite signature fragrance with you at all times for a refresh on the go.

What are fragrance notes?

All fragrances tend to have top, middle and base notes. These are essentially the layers of the fragrance, denoting the different scents you might recognise.

Top notes: this is the first scent you’ll detect but also the lightest fragrance, and the ones that’ll fade over time. Some of the most popular top notes include citrus essences like lemon, grapefruit, orange blossom and bergamot.

Middle notes: usually floral or fruity, the middle notes are the centre of your fragrance, bringing the individual scents together. That is why they’re also called ‘heart notes’ and include popular floral scents such as lavender, rose and jasmine.

Base notes: these add depth to your perfume, and they’re usually the scents that last the longest. You’ll be able to smell the base notes once the top notes have evaporated and some popular base notes of comfort include vanilla, musk, sandalwood and oak.

If you’re looking to purchase aftershave, choose one that is soothing for your skin and that helps heal any wounds. An aftershave’s subtle scent is an added bonus and will last for a short time after application.

The fragrance families

Paul Jellinek conceptualised the first fragrance wheel in his 1949 book, ‘The Practice of Modern Perfumery’. Since then, there have been several attempts to categorise scents based on their similarities and differences in odour and personality.

When looking for a fragrance, you’ll often find the top, middle and base notes described as floral, woody or fruity. To help you better understand, we’ve put together a list of the most common fragrance families.

Floral – Think light and airy, sweet and feminine. Floral is perfect for daytime fragrances.

Oriental – Just like the climate of distant lands, this scent is warm, intense and spicy. Perfect for evenings out.

Woody – Go back to nature with this earthy, herby and masculine scent.

Citrus - From hints of mandarin to the zingy zest of lemon, a citrusy note adds a touch of freshness to your fragrance.

Fruity – Sweet berries, succulent peaches and juicy apples all fall under the fruity scent, making it the perfect fragrance for the summer.

Fougère – From the French word for ‘fern’, this is a woody, herby and slightly sweet fragrance family that’s traditionally masculine.

Feeling more confident when it comes to choosing your next perfume? Put your new-found skills to the test and explore our full fragrance collection, which includes a little of everything – from feminine to masculine!

Choosing the perfect Avon fragrances

Sampling a fragrance the right way is the first step in choosing one that’s right for you. Apply it on a pulse point so that the warmth of your body activates the scent right away. Spritz a little on your wrist and wait to see how you feel about the scent. The same fragrance can smell completely different on another person, which is what makes it unique to you!

If you need help in finding the right fragrance for yourself, or if you’re struggling to find a gift for a loved one, reach out to an Avon beauty specialist who will help you out in no time.