What’s the difference between Eau de Cologne and aftershave?

Eau de Cologne, aftershave, Henry Tibbs, men's style, men's fashion, male grooming

A bottle of Acqua di Genova Eau de Cologne. Do you know the difference betwene Eau de Cologne and aftershave?

Gazing in the shop at an array of peculiarly diverse bottles all containing different scents and male grooming products can be pretty confusing, and many men grab the first familiar bottle they see to try the scent and if they’re lucky, find the right one for them. However, there’s a lot more to choosing a male fragrance than simply trying the scent, and one important difference is whether to choose Eau de Cologne or Aftershave. Thought they were one and the same thing? You’re not alone, but knowing the difference can open up a whole new world of choice for you, and depending on your skin type, activity level and preference, may help you choose a signature scent that works well for you.

How Scents Evolve
Before choosing from Eau de Cologne and aftershave, it’s important to know what you’re looking for in a scent. The scent you get originally when you put an aftershave or Eau de Cologne on isn’t the scent that will last but, as soon as you apply, you’ll notice sharper, fresh scents, which are often called the “top notes” of the fragrance. Scents with fresh or citrus smells have top notes that are generally more noticeable, such as Musgo Real Cologne No.3, which is an extremely popular fragrance for those with a love for fresh scents. After a few minutes of applying the aftershave or men’s Cologne, you’ll generally start to pick up on the “Middle Notes” of a scent, which are at the heart of the scent and generally last up to an hour an a half after application, whereas “base notes” are the stronger richer tones. There are a variety of different types of scent, ranging from woody to floral, so it’s important to know what type of scent you prefer before purchasing.

Eau de Cologne
Eau de Cologne generally contains a higher percentage of pure fragrance than aftershave (usually around 3-5%) and as such, it doesn’t suit everyone. Those with more sensitive skin may be better off with an aftershave, but if your skin is pretty robust, there are a lot of benefits of choosing Eau de Cologne. Those with oily skin who don’t seem to be able to hold a fragrance for any length of time may find that they are better off with Eau de Cologne, as the oil sinks into the skin and is then heat activated to prolong the scent. Czech & Speake Citrus Paradisi and Acqua Di Genova are some of the most popular choices amongst those who prefer a fresh scent, whereas those who prefer a more woody fragrance would opt for something like Taylor Of Old Bond Street Sandalwood Cologne.

Aftershave,Eau de Cologne, Henry Tibbs, men's style, male grooming

Lucky Tiger aftershave.

Aftershave
If you have sensitive skin and suffer from dryness, but want a fragrance you can use daily, then men’s aftershave is generally the best choice as it has a lower fragrance percentage of around 1-3%. There are a huge variety of different choices when it comes to aftershave these days, and choosing one for sensitive skin is easy when you shop with a reputable retailers such as Henry Tibbs, who offer a large range of Eau de Colognes, aftershaves and balms containing moisturisers for particularly sensitive skin. Choices of note include Lucky Tiger Aftershave and Face Tonic – which soothes skin after shaving – and D R Harris Sandalwood aftershave, which is a good alternative to the Sandalwood cologne, as it has a long-lasting fragrance despite being an aftershave.

Whether you decide to go for aftershave or for Eau de Cologne, there is a wide array for choice out there for men with all skin types to enjoy and settling on a scent that suits your unique preferences is possible by choosing a quality retailer such as Henry Tibbs.

Face Tonic – which soothes skin after shaving – and D R Harris Sandalwood aftershave, which is a good alternative to the Sandalwood cologne, as it has a long-lasting fragrance despite being an aftershave.

Whether you decide to go for aftershave or for Eau de Cologne, there is a wide array for choice out there for men with all skin types to enjoy and settling on a scent that suits your unique preferences is possible by choosing a quality retailer such as Henry Tibbs.

Papa Style update 2015

Disclosure: This post was produced in collaboration with Henry Tibbs. To see my disclosure policy, please follow this link.

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3 Comments

  1. August 23, 2015 / 6:07 am

    I didn’t know the difference between eau de cologne and aftershave, although I did know the difference between eau de cologne and eau de toilette.

    • John Adams
      Author
      August 23, 2015 / 6:10 am

      Yes indeed, and of course many men’s scents are in fact eau de toilette. Can be confusing!