Aftershave and fragrance are often muddled up together, so here we take a look at the difference between the grooming products and help you find your freshest scent.
It is said that within the first three seconds of meeting someone new, we have developed an impression of them, and scent is the easiest way to create an immediate impact. However, [aftershave](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/mens-grooming/mens-shaving) and [fragrances](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/fragrance/mens-fragrances), often the instigators of a memorable smell, are commonly confused and most struggle to identify what fits their lifestyle best.
The difference between [aftershave](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/mens-grooming/mens-shaving) and [perfume](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/fragrance/mens-fragrances) lies in a few key factors, the purpose, the formula, and the way we use it. Aftershave, like its name suggest, freshens and soothes the face after shaving. Shaving with a sharp razor can wear the outermost skin lining, therefore aftershave is designed to heal the skin through antiseptics to protect the surface, and anesthetics to numb the area.
Fragrances on the other hand are great all over the body and are solely designed to make you smell nicer. [Aftershave's](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/mens-grooming/mens-shaving)scent is more akin to a subtle smell and contains 1% to 2% of perfume oil, whereas the oil concentration in [fragrances](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/fragrance/mens-fragrances) is much stronger and can range from 5% to 20%. In addition, aftershave only lasts for a few hours, while fragrances can last for several hours, depending on the percentage of oil it contains. Here, we outline the qualities of each grooming product and help you find your freshest scent.
Unlike other scents, aftershave is specifically designed to be applied onto the face and leaves your skin toned, refreshed and lightly scented. Typically, it comes in three different forms: balms, creams and oils, so experiment and see what works best for your skin type. If you're leaning towards a balm, [Tom Ford's Noir Aftershave Balm](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/mens-grooming/mens-shaving/noir-aftershave-balm/2500001138392.html) is a smooth formula and consists of a fragrant blend of deep florals and smooth leather. For a cream, look to [Kiehl's Ultimate Brushless Shave Cream White Eagle](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/mens-grooming/mens-shaving/ultimate-brushless-shave-cream-white-eagle/2500001782618.html). This refreshing cream comforts and moisturises just-shaven skin and gives you a sharp 'wake up' with a mix of menthol and camphor scents. If you want to try a more soothing mixture, [Tom Ford's Oud Wood Oil](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/skincare/mens-grooming/serum-and-treatments/oud-wood-conditioning-beard-oil/2500001510037.html) is designed to condition and prime your beard, and is packed with a lightweight blend of almond, jojoba and grapeseed oils for a mesmerising finish.
The strongest fragrance is [eau de parfum](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/search/?q=eau%20de%20parfum), which usually lasts for four to five hours and is ideal for everyday wear. [Tom Ford's Neroli Portofino eau de parfum](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/fragrance/mens-fragrances/neroli-portofino-eau-de-parfum-100-ml/2500001436672.html) captures the scent of a summery Italian riveria in a bottle and features punchy citrus oils mixed with amber underones. For a fragrance that's slightly softer in strength, look to [eau de toilette's](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/search/?q=eau%20de%20toilette), which contain less alcohol concentration in comparison to eau de parfums and are generally more suited to daywear. Try [Molton Brown's Re-charge Black Pepper eau de toilette](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/fragrance/mens-fragrances/re-charge-black-pepper-eau-de-toilette-100-ml/2530006714024.html), a spicy aroma that's enhanced with natural pepper, lemon and basil notes, or if you're looking for something more subtle, [Escentric Molecules' Escentric 01](https://www.fenwick.co.uk/beauty/fragrance/mens-fragrances/escentric-01-100-ml/2500005890395.html) is a fragrance specifically designed to create a unique aura with fresh notes of lime peel, musk and green jasmine. Apply onto your pulse points and spritz over your wrists, lower neck and behind the back of your ears. Due to the alcohol content, don't apply it to anywhere that's been freshly shaved.