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How to choose a perfume or aftershave

Discover the perfect fragrance gift this Christmas.

How to choose a perfume or aftershave. Fragrances to make you smell great and feel good.

What is the difference between perfume and parfum?

The truth is there is no difference. They are one and the same. Parfum is simply the French word for perfume, so they are used interchangeably. However, there are several types of perfume, and that tends to be where the confusion starts. If you want to know what the difference is between perfume and eau de parfum, or between eau de parfum and eau de toilette, take a look at the explanations below.

    What is Parfum?

    What is Parfum?

    Perfume, parfum or pure perfume is the highest quality fragrance with between 20-40 percent fragrance concentration. In simple terms, the higher the concentration of fragrance, the longer you will be able to smell it on your skin. Pure perfume has such a high concentration of fragrance oils that you don't need to apply a lot, with the scent lasting around 6-8 hours. However, this quality and longevity also means they are the most costly when it comes to price.

    What is Eau de Parfum?

    Eau de parfum is the next step down in the fragrance category, and tends to have between 10-20 percent fragrance concentration. Most typically these sit around the 15 percent mark. These can still 'pack a punch' in the fragrance department and the scent will usually last around 4-5 hours, this in turn making them generally a cheaper option than pure perfume.

    What is Eau de Toilette?

    What is Eau de Toilette?

    Eau de toilette sits below eau de parfum in the scent strength scale with between 5-15 percent fragrance concentration, meaning it tends to last around 2-3 hours. They are a common daily wear perfume and tend to be more affordable for this reason, making them the bestselling perfume type in the UK.

    What is Eau de Cologne?

    Eau de colognes are typically used to freshen up. With a gentle fragrance concentration of between 2-5 percent, they tend to last around 2 hours.

    What is Eau Fraiche?

    Eau fraiche perfumes are very delicate in their composition and have the lowest fragrance concentration; normally between 1-3 percent. Like eau de colognes, they only last for up to 2 hours.

    What are the different notes in perfume?

    Simply put, the notes in perfumes are the way we describe the different scents that a perfume has. There are 3 classes, top notes, heart notes and base notes.

      Top notes

      Top notes

      Top notes are what you smell first on your skin once you have applied a fragrance. They don't last for long and will typically fade once dry.

        Heart notes

        Heart notes

        You will notice heart notes once the initial spray has evaporated. They combine with the base notes to form the full scent of the fragrance.

          Base notes

          Base notes

          Base notes provide the long-lasting scent once the initial spray has worn off and tend to be the most memorable scents of a specific fragrance.

            Fragrance families

            Fragrance families are how we group various perfumes and aftershaves into categories that contain distinctive characteristics. Some fragrances will fit into one particular category, whilst most will draw on elements from 2 or even 3 of them.

              Floral

              Floral

              The most popular and most feminine of the fragrance families. Perfumes of this family will tend to give off a scent of freshly cut flowers and have a powdery note to them.

              Common floral notes:

              • Rose
              • Lily
              • Jasmine
              Fruity.

              Fruity

              Typically combined with floral, fresh or woody fragrance families, fragrances in the fruity family have an uplifting and zesty aroma about them.

              Common fruity notes:

              • Grapefruit
              • Peach
              • Apple
              Oriental.

              Oriental

              Fragrances in the oriental family tend to have a rich and seductive aura. Their spicy and musky scents make them an ideal eveningwear essential.

              Common oriental notes:

              • Cinnamon
              • Vanilla
              • Clove
              Woody

              Woody

              The woody family is generally the most masculine of all the families. Fragrances in this group tend to have an aromatic warmth, combined with a deeper earthy scent.

              Common woody notes:

              • Sandalwood
              • Patchouli
              • Cedar
              Fresh.

              Fresh

              The fresh fragrance family produces the most refreshing scents. Crisp and cool, they draw on herbal, citrussy notes, to create a soft summery splash.

              Common fresh notes:

              • Lemon
              • Bergamot
              • Rosemary
              Still unsure?

              Still unsure?

              If you're still looking for that perfect scent, or are looking to try something new, our smaller sized perfumes are a great way to discover new fragrances.

              If you've already found your signature scent, our larger sized bottles are an ideal way to make sure you never run out!

               

                Top Christmas perfume for women

                Shop all ladies perfume

                Paco Rabanne Lady Million Empire Eau de Parfum - 30ml

                Paco Rabanne Lady Million Empire Eau de Parfum - 30ml

                Fragrance family: Fruity/Floral

                Who's it for? Leading ladies

                This addictive feminine fragrance radiates power and success with its fruity floral aroma.

                Guess by Marciano Eau de Parfum - 100ml

                Guess by Marciano Eau de Parfum - 100ml

                Fragrance family: Fruity/Floral

                Who's it for? Luxury lovers

                This delectable, rich perfume, combines an intense zestiness with decadent, warm, floral notes.

                Ariana Grande Thank U, Next Eau de Parfum - 50ml

                Ariana Grande Thank U, Next Eau de Parfum - 50ml

                Fragrance family: Floral

                Who's it for? Trend setters

                Playful and sassy, this delicate, juicy fragrance is bursting with sweet florals and a touch of attitude.

                Ted Baker Sweet Treats Polly Gift Set.

                Ted Baker Sweet Treats Polly Gift Set

                Fragrance family: Fruity/Floral

                Who's it for? Hopeless romantics

                Floral, fruity and flirtatious, this eau de toilette emits an aura of glamour and sophistication.

                Dior J'adore Eau de Parfum - 30ml

                Dior J'adore Eau de Parfum - 30ml

                Fragrance family: Floral

                Who's it for? Luxurious ladies

                Supremely seductive and divinely delicate, this floral fragrance embodies the confidence of the women that wear it.

                Jimmy Choo Illicit Eau de Parfum - 100ml

                Jimmy Choo Illicit Eau de Parfum - 100ml

                Fragrance family: Floral/ Oriental

                Who's it for? Bold cosmopolitans

                Effeminate and hypnotic, this fragrance arouses the senses with its spirited oriental and elegant floral notes.

                Beyonce Heat Eau de Parfum - 100ml

                Beyonce Heat Eau de Parfum - 100ml

                Fragrance family: Woody/Floral

                Who's it for? Fiery spirits

                Warm and radiant, this stylish fragrance embodies the confidence and sensuality of modern women.

                Calvin Klein Euphoria Blossom Eau de Toilette - 30ml

                Calvin Klein Euphoria Blossom Eau de Toilette - 30ml

                Fragrance family: Floral

                Who's it for? Charming chicas

                The sweet, feminine scent of this romantic perfume, embraces playful sophistication with its fun, floral aroma.

                Lancome Idole Eau de Parfum - 25ml

                Lancome Idole Eau de Parfum - 25ml

                Fragrance family: Fruity/Floral

                Who's it for? Defiant dreamers

                Kaleidoscopic in design, powerful yet sensual fruity and floral notes, intertwine to harness the essence of the wearer.

                Paco Rabanne Olympea Eau de Parfum - 50ml

                Paco Rabanne Olympea Eau de Parfum - 50ml

                Fragrance family: Fresh/ Oriental

                Who's it for? Chic goddesses

                A harmonious bond between earthy blooms and divine oriental tones, create this iconic and irresistible perfume.

                Vera Wang Rock Princess Eau de Toilette - 100ml

                Vera Wang Rock Princess Eau de Toilette - 100ml

                Fragrance family: Floral/ Fruity

                Who's it for? Radiant rock stars

                Full of sultry attitude, this edgy eau de toilette combines dark fruity fragrances with seductively sweet florals.

                DKNY Be Del Flower Pop Violet Eau de Toilette - 50ml

                DKNY Be Del Flower Pop Violet Eau de Toilette - 50ml

                Fragrance family: Floral/Woody/Oriental

                Who's it for? Joy seekers

                A fresh, vibrant scent that encapsulates floral, woody and oriental aromas to create this fun and flirtatious fragrance.

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                Top Christmas perfume for men

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                Paco Rabanne 1 Million Lucky Eau de Toilette - 50ml

                Paco Rabanne 1 Million Lucky Eau de Toilette - 50ml

                Fragrance family: Woody

                Who's it for? Luxury lovers

                This invigorating and luxurious fragrance combines both sweet and punchy woody notes.

                Dior Homme Sport Eau de Toilette - 50ml

                Dior Homme Sport Eau de Toilette - 50ml

                Fragrance family: Woody

                Who's it for? Sport savants

                Fruity, spicy notes give way to seductive woody tones in this energetic and refined scent, encapsulating life in motion.

                Christian Dior Sauvage Parfum - 60ml

                Christian Dior Sauvage Parfum - 60ml

                Fragrance family: Woody

                Who's it for? Rich indulgers

                Spicy, luscious and spirited. This parfum captivates the magic of twilight with woody and smoky accents.

                Diesel Bad Intense Eau de Parfum - 75ml

                Diesel Bad Intense Eau de Parfum - 75ml

                Fragrance family: Oriental

                Who's it for? Risk-taking rebels

                This perfume exudes edgy masculinity with its intense and aromatic scent that epitomises a firey and seductive spirit.

                Hugo Boss Bottled Tonic Set & Wash Bag

                Hugo Boss Bottled Tonic Set & Wash Bag

                Fragrance family: Fresh

                Who's it for? Modern visionaries

                Vibrant and sophisticated, this eau de toilette empowers and invigorates the wearer with its fresh masculine scent.

                Carolina Herrera 212 Men Sexy Eau de Toilette - 100ml

                Carolina Herrera 212 Men Sexy Eau de Toilette - 100ml

                Fragrance family: Woody/Oriental

                Who's it for? Success seekers

                Warm, energetic, magnetic. This exciting fragrance delivers a deep, musky aroma that is bound to leave an impression.

                Viktor & Rolf Night Vision Eau de Toilette - 50ml

                Viktor & Rolf Night Vision Eau de Toilette - 50ml

                Fragrance family: Oriental

                Who's it for? Mysterious men

                Enigmatic and daring, this addictive scent combines hot spices and vibrant citruses to create an explosion of intensity.

                Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Eau de Toilette - 125ml

                Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male Eau de Toilette - 125ml

                Who's it for? Fans of a classic

                This warm masculine fragrance stands out from the crowd with its world famous unique scent.

                Ted Baker Travel Tonics Gift Set

                Ted Baker Travel Tonics Gift Set

                Fragrance family: Oriental/ Woody

                Who's it for? Jet-setters

                Cu, Ag and Au make up this set of deep and invigorating fragrances, designed for men of the world.

                Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet Man Eau de Toilette - 50ml

                Paco Rabanne Ultraviolet Man Eau de Toilette - 50ml

                Fragrance family: Oriental

                Who's it for? Stand-out spirits

                Exuding confidence and masculinity, this smooth oriental fragrance is bound to draw attention.

                Versace Eros Eau de Toilette - 50ml

                Versace Eros Eau de Toilette - 50ml

                Fragrance family: Fruity/Floral

                Who's it for? Fresh fellas

                Vibrant and captivating, this intense masculine fragrance intrigues and entices the senses.

                Joop Homme Kings of Seduction Black Eau de Toilette - 125ml

                Joop Homme Kings of Seduction Black Eau de Toilette - 125ml

                Fragrance family: Oriental/Woody

                Who's it for? Captivating characters

                This alluring, mystical scent has sweet oriental notes fused with soft woody tones, to enchant those around you.

                Reviews of Christmas past

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                Unisex fragrances are designed with both men and women in mind, so they smell great on everyone. Here are some of our fave gender-neutral fragrances.

                  Tom Ford Oud Wood Eau de Parfum - 30ml

                  Tom Ford Oud Wood Eau de Parfum - 30ml

                  Fragrance family: Oriental/Woody

                  Who's it for? Captivating characters

                  The rare scent of oud wood is paired with aromatic notes to create this exotic and distinctive perfume.

                  Tom Ford Velvet Orchid Eau de Parfum - 50ml

                  Tom Ford Velvet Orchid Eau de Parfum - 50ml

                  Fragrance family: Floral/ Oriental

                  Who's it for? Luxury lovers

                  Opulent and seductive, this fragrance radiates a rich and dramatic aroma with cool, lavish undertones.

                  Calvin Klein CK Be Eau De Toilette - 100ml

                  Calvin Klein CK Be Eau De Toilette - 100ml

                  Fragrance family: Fresh/Woody/Oriental

                  Who's it for? Stylish minimalists

                  This minimal and modern eau de toilette combines fresh, spicy scents in a classic, timeless way.

                  Tom Ford Metalique Eau de Parfum - 50ml

                  Tom Ford Metalique Eau de Parfum - 50ml

                  Fragrance family: Floral/Woody

                  Who's it for? Elegant individuals

                  This modern, soft fragrance combines crisp and cool florals with the warmth of gentle woody tones.

                  All about aftershave

                  What is aftershave?

                  Aftershave is simply the product you apply after you have shaved. When you shave, it can also remove pieces of the top layer of the skin, leaving it damaged. Applying aftershave helps your skin to recover afterwards.

                  What does aftershave do?

                  There are two main purposes that aftershave has. Firstly, it heals your face post-shave. It contains an astringent which helps to reduce your chances of developing a bacterial infection from any cuts you may get whilst shaving. Secondly, it has hydrating properties that prevent your skin from drying out. The nice fragrances they also have are just the bonus!

                  Our favourite aftershaves

                  Davidoff Cool Water for Men Aftershave - 75ml

                  Davidoff Cool Water for Men Aftershave - 75ml

                  Fragrance family: Fresh

                  Who's it for? Casual wearers

                  A fresh, vitalizing aftershave lotion designed to soothe and calm your skin and leave you smelling great.

                  Joop! Homme Aftershave - 75ml

                  Joop! Homme Aftershave - 75ml

                  Fragrance family: Floral/Woody

                  Who's it for? Stand-out individuals

                  Deep and sensual, this aftershave splash relaxes and relieves post-shave skin so you are evening ready.

                  David Beckham Instinct Aftershave - 50ml

                  David Beckham Instinct Aftershave - 50ml

                  Fragrance family: Oriental

                  Who's it for? Sophisticated gents

                  Classic and masculine, this stylish and sensuous aftershave lotion freshens and protects your skin after shaving

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