Which Is a Better Perfume: Spray or Oil?

Perfume oils often last longer than body sprays.

Photo: Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

With the change of seasons, you may find yourself looking for a fresh fragrance to top off your new look. As fall moves into winter, many ladies bundle up with a heady, warm musk, while breezy, floral scents are often the fashion of spring or summer. Whatever the time of year, you’ve probably noticed that your newfound fragrance comes in a variety of forms, begging the question of which is better.


Sprays are often the least concentrated of your fragrance options. They tend to contain anywhere from 0.5 percent to 3 percent of the compounds that give the spray its sumptuous aroma. The rest is just a mix of water and alcohol. If you’re a gal on a budget, sprays are a good way to stretch your dollar. The only real drawback is that the scent from a spray doesn’t usually last very long on your body, so you may end up applying it over and over.


Oils, on the other hand, are by far the most concentrated of your fragrance choices, containing upward of 40 percent of the scented compounds and extracts. With such a high concentration, the scent of a perfume oil almost always lasts longer than any body spray on the market. But this staying power comes at a cost; perfume oils are the priciest of the offerings.


Rather than going with a body spray that loses its punch after only a short time, or a perfume oil that can empty any gal’s pocketbook, consider going with an eau de toilette or eau de parfum. Eau de toilette, for example, can contain as much as 20 percent of the fragrant compounds, whereas eau de parfum may have a potent 30 percent. Either of these combines fragrant fortitude with cost savings, and who can argue with that?


To get the most for your money, pick up a body wash or body lotion of the same fragrance. By doing this, you “layer” your fragrance, which makes it last a lot longer. In fact, most fragrance lines offer a layering set that comes with a shower gel, body lotion and eau de toilette or eau de parfum. Many times, these sets cost much less than buying each item separately.

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