It’s funny the things you suddenly realise you don’t know. As I made clear on Bespokeme this week, I’m on the hunt for new scents, having tired slightly of my current signature. The one thing I have learned is that it’s a whole other world out there, with its blogging enthusiasts as passionate and as dedicated to detail as those of us enthralled by tailoring and style.

However, the first bit of basic knowledge I’ve now got under my belt is why one scent might last a day while others merely a few hours. As a smoker – no I haven’t managed to quit yet – this happens to be an obsession of mine. Additionally, I really don’t see the point of unburdening my wallet on expensive scents that last but a few hours.

There are certain anatomical factors that determine how long a scent lasts. They take to people’s skin type differently, so there is a certain amount of luck involved. You can weight the odds in your favour by layering products, such as using the same scented body wash, deodorant and moisturiser. Alternatively put some on a comb or brush and run it through your hair – it absorbs the moisture better than skin. The other factor is the strength of scent you pick, and this was the bit on which I was a little hazy – or rather, I had hitherto met with success purely by dumb luck.

I may be entirely alone in my ignorance but just in case, you have five types of scent; Aftershave, Cologne, Eau de Toilette (EDT), Eau de Parfum and Parfum. The name is a guide to the percentage of essential oils in a mixture, and the higher the concentration of essential oils, amongst other things, the longer the scent is likely to last.

Aftershave: This is the weakest of the bunch. Typically containing 1-3% concentration of oils you can expect it to last roughly 2-3 hours. It will often contain other ingredients, like Aloe, designed to help sooth the skin after shaving.

Cologne: Typically a 2-5% concentration these will last a little longer, but not much more and it is advised that you use them like an invigorating spray. They are also better for the skin after shaving than EDT’s and EDP’s. Now this is were it gets tricky; apparently many scents labelled Colognes are in fact Eau de Toilette’s; many but not all.

Eau de Toilette (EDT): Scents in this group apparently work best if you place them on pulse points. In fact owing to the higher concentration of oils some advise avoiding the face all together –especially after shaving. A concentration of 4-8% they should last 6-8 hours.

Eau de Parfum (EDP): Also works well if placed on the pulse points. Some advise spraying it into the air and stepping into the scent cloud. A concentration of 8-15%, sometimes higher, and will last all day –certainly that’s what I’ve found with Ormonde Man. These are quite hard to find and you pay a premium for them.

Parfum: In men’s scents this is like hens teeth and even harder to find than EDP’s.

What I have realised is the more I read the less I know – which I think is a song lyric. More work.


  1. Enzo said:

    Hi, I’m intrigued, can you please list what the scents are in the picture, especially the black bottle.


    March 8, 2010
  2. Michael said:

    Enzo, the “black bottle” you are referring to is Geo F. Trumper “Eucris” Eau de Toilette.

    March 8, 2010
  3. Andrew said:

    Michael is right about the black bottle. The red is Cuba by Czech & Speake -which is an Eau de Toilette -and a rather expensive one in my view. The multiple bottles on the right hand side are from Ormonde Jayne -Ormonde Man being my current front runner and an Eau de Parfum. And right hand bottom is the up coming scent from Monocle which I read some very encouraging reviews about and was going to check it out.
    I hope that helps Enzo.

    March 8, 2010
  4. Andrew said:

    I apologise. Right hand bottom is Monocle’s first scent currently availbale from their websight. Very woody but some mixed reviews.

    March 8, 2010
  5. Jake said:

    Well well… you learn something new every day. I’ve never been quite sure what the difference between all these were. It does now make me wonder what all the scents I have in my bathroom actually are. I’m fairly sure they’re all EDTs, which seem to be the most readily available generally, but I could be wrong…

    March 8, 2010
  6. Michael said:


    Useful article.Ormonde Jayne is an absolute gem.Ormonde Man is very nice, but I would recommend you try Isfarkand -wine for the nose.Linda Pilkington appears very creative and focused. Ormonde’s service is also fist class.
    I’m a fan of Monocle but not of their fragrance. I think Tyler should do a collaboration with Ormonde instead.

    March 8, 2010
  7. Enzo said:


    cheers for the information guys, I just bought myself a Geo F. Trumper sample bag from their website, looking forward to trying something new.

    March 9, 2010
  8. Jim said:

    I’d recommend New York by Parfums de Nicolai for daytime, Gucci Pour Homme for night and Rive Gauche Pour Homme by YSL for a modern take on the classic barbershop smell.

    March 10, 2010
  9. Andrew said:

    Thank you for the recommendations, I’ll be sure to try them out.

    March 11, 2010
  10. Hello from Ukraine !

    These the interesting scents, I read your article. You know, we really need to get such here in Ukraine and onto our mens bodies, much our scents for both sexes are either VERY much cost or, they from China, and sometimes both.

    I love looking for interesting articles on net like this and reading, thanks for it.


    Marina – Rivne – Ukraine.

    March 15, 2010
  11. Christian said:

    Sorry for commenting on a quite old article, but I’m still catching up with my reading – the last weeks were quite busy.

    If you are interested in learning more about perfumes I recommend the book “Perfumes: The Guide” by Luca Turin and Tania Sanchez. It covers a brief history of perfumes, the main ingredients, the differences between the different types and – most important – an extensive list of fragrances with ratings and short comments.


    March 26, 2010
  12. Andrew said:

    Thank you for the recommendation. I’d seen the book and was tempted.

    March 26, 2010

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