the difference between words: cologne and perfume


I have a nice, short entry for you today about the difference between the words “cologne” and “perfume”. In English, “cologne” can be used by both men and women, but “perfume” is only used by women. For example:

I just bought a new cologne for my husband. I hope he likes it.

My grandmother prefers wearing cologne to perfume.

My wife loves the new perfume I gave her. She wears it all the time.

The ladies’ department at ABC Department Store were giving away free samples of this perfume. Do you like it?

A cologne for women has a softer scent than perfume, so many older women like to wear that.

It’s very important that you don’t use the word “perfume” when talking about a man because it will sound very funny and strange.



  1. Chie Said:

    How about fragrance? Is it also used for both women and men?

    • Hi Chie.

      The word “fragrance” could technically be used for both men and women. However, in my opinion, it sounds more feminine.


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