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Difference Between Cologne and Body Spray (Easily Explained)

Difference Between Cologne and Body Spray (Easily Explained)

The terms perfume, cologne, deodorant, and body spray are often used interchangeably, but they’re all quite distinct from each other.

Simply put, cologne is a type of fragrance containing a small amount of fragrance oil compared to perfumes, while both deodorant and body spray contains more alcohol with a very subtle scent. Their main purpose is to control sweat and make you feel refreshed.

They vary in ingredients and composition, which is the main deciding factor for which one will work the best on a given occasion.

In this article, I have focused on the two most commonly used fragrances, cologne and body spray. Despite there being quite many differences between them, they often become a subject of confusion.

There’s a good chance you might be using your fragrances the wrong way all along, so keep on reading.

What Is a Cologne?

Bottles of cologne
What Is Cologne?

The main components of a fragrance include essential oils for scent, alcohol, and water. On the other hand, cologne contains 2-4% essential oils mixed with alcohol and water.

The intensity of the scent depends on the number of essential oils added to alcohol. Alcohol is a scent carrier. As soon the alcohol evaporates, so does the scent.

Since the composition of essential oils relative to alcohol and water is quite low, cologne, when compared with other forms of fragrances like perfume and eau de toilette is not as long-lasting.

Is Cologne Only for Men?

The target customers for perfume have been women, while colognes have been targeted at men. But honestly speaking, when it comes to fragrances, there are no rules to follow.

Cologne is different from other forms of fragrances based on its composition. Since it contains a small number of essential oils, its scent isn’t as strong.

The scent of cologne is typically earthy and warm, packaged in a dark and tough-looking bottle. These are some stereotypes associated with men therefore, there is a notion that cologne is specific to men.

However, a scent has nothing to do with gender and has everything to do with preference. If you enjoy the scent and feel of a cologne, wear it irrespective of your gender.

When Should You Wear Cologne?

The scent of cologne typically lasts for two hours. It can be worn every day, whether your dressing up for a party or a meeting. The scent you wear reflects your personality, so be mindful while choosing it.

A good scent is key to making a good impression. Whether it’s a meeting or an interview, scents have their way of attracting people and giving a hint of your persona.

Since cologne is based on a large percentage of alcohol, the scent is like to evaporate in a few hours. While scents tend to enchant people, applying too much of them can be distracting and overwhelming for those around you. So make sure you do not overdo it.

Do You Spray Cologne on Skin or Clothes?

Spray cologne directly on your skin, specifically on your pulse points, rather than on your clothes.

Spraying cologne on your clothes can stain them, and the scent won’t last much longer. Since the pulse points generate heat, the scent enhances and is diffused more evenly.

Common pulse point where you can apply your cologne includes the back of your wrists, behind your ears, and the base of your neck.

Spraying your cologne in the air and walking through it is not an effective technique and is merely a myth.

If you are wondering how you can make your cologne last even longer, check out this video:

How to Make Your Cologne Last Longer?

What Is a Body Spray?

Body Spary
What Is a Body Spray?

Like other types of fragrances, a body spray is comprised of essential oils, alcohol, and water, but they differ in composition and purpose.

Body spray contains a very small percentage of essential oils mixed with alcohol and water. This makes a body spray last for a short time relative to cologne and perfumes.

The purpose of a body spray is to make you feel cool and refreshed.

Can Body Spray Be Used on Clothes?

You can spray body spray on your clothes, but ideally, you should spray it directly on your body.

Usually, body sprays contain ingredients like glycerin or aluminum that make the spray act as an antiperspirant. Therefore, spraying it on those parts of your body that produce sweat will keep you refreshed and dry.

How Long Does Body Spray Last?

Body Spray
How Long Does Body Spray Last?

The scent of body spray can last anywhere between an hour or two. Due to the low concentration of fragrance components in the mix, the scent of a body spray is mild and tends to evaporate easily.

Body spray is generally used to mask off bad smells like body sweat. Putting on body spray before or after you hit the gym can help you feel good and fresh.

However, people sometimes tend to spray too much, which can be a bit off-putting therefore make sure you are spraying an adequate amount.

What Is the Difference Between Cologne and Body Spray?

Apart from composition, cologne and body sprays differ in various aspects.


Colognes are based on a relatively high concentration of essential oil than body sprays, hence they last longer. Body spray evaporates easily due to its high alcohol content.


In my observation, the scent of cologne is usually based on a mix of various components like fruits, florals, and woods. This results in a deeper and intriguing scent. While body sprays have a more basic scent that lacks that charm and depth.

Purpose of Use

Body spray is used to mask off bad smells, while cologne is used to smell good. Body spray contains chemicals that can help prevent sweating. It prevents you from smelling bad unlike colognes, which give you a signature scent.


Colognes are sprayed on the pulse points of your body while body sprays are applied to areas that are likely to produce sweat. Applying cologne to sweaty areas can result in an unpleasant smell.


Body spray is much cheaper than colognes. Colognes generally lie on the high end, whereas body sprays are an affordable option.

Which Is Better: Cologne or Body Spray?

This depends on your needs and preference.

If you’re looking for something you can use before hitting the gym or going for a run, then body sprays are the right choice. But when looking for a classic scent that can leave an impression, go for colognes.

Colognes tend to last longer, whereas the longevity of body sprays is short-lived hence it has a lower price.

If you like bold scents, you might find body sprays appealing. However, with various brands, I’m sure you can find a scent that matches your vibe, in both categories.

In my opinion, you should have both based on the situation, both can be effective and handy.

Bottom Line

Fragrances aren’t to be taken lightly, as they appeal volumes about your personality. Therefore, choosing the right type of fragrance for the right occasion is extremely important.

When it comes to colognes and body sprays, since both have different purposes, you can’t choose one over the other.

If you put on cologne while going for a run, the sweating mixed with your scent is likely going to result in a bad smell. Therefore, putting on a body spray is far better.

If you’re on a budget, using a body spray that’s not too bold instead of cologne can save you some dollars.

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