I have often received orders for men's "cologne" and heard people correct themselves when asking for a men's perfume. "I mean a cologne, not perfume!" *giggle giggle* I hear, laced with embarrassment.
According to the online dictionary, a cologne is: "eau de cologne or similarly scented toilet water". That doesn't sound like anything I would want my husband to smell like!
The Cambridge Dictionary describes cologne as "a type of perfume (= liquid with a pleasant smell, used on the skin) Toiletry & perfumes. aftershave." This is more of a description I can accept.
You will notice that neither of these definitions refer to the fragrance being for men... Well, maybe the aftershave part... You may also notice that neither of the descriptions are very specific. So today's blog is to get a little more specific:
Eau de cologne got its name from the city of Cologne in Germany, in which a certain fragrance with the accords of bergamot, neroli and orange blossom was made. The name cologne then went on to describe any scent that had that style of fragrance. Around the late nineteenth century, fragrance houses started offering less expensive versions of their fragrances and referred to them as colognes. Today a cologne refers to the most diluted version of a perfume, with 2 - 5% fragrance oil in an alcohol based. It weaker than an eau de perfume (EDP) or eau de toilette (EDT) and will not last as long.
So why do people think that men only wear cologne? We all like to be different, and at some stage in the early twentieth century, men wanted to ensure they were never to be mistaken for women. In order to differentiate, men's perfumes were referred to as colognes. In actual fact men wear all types of fragrance; colognes, EDTs and EDPs.
At KITA Fragrances, all of our men's perfumes (do you see how we made the differentiation there without having to use the word "cologne"?) have a 30% concentrate of fragrance oils. This ensures that the fragrance is stronger and will last longer than a cologne.
So, the next time someone tries to correct you when you tell them that you ordered a perfume, you will not be the one giggling of embarrassment.