Difference Between Aftershave and Cologne

There are many skin products available for different purposes. However, several marketing strategies focus on providing products that serve multiple purposes. As a result, confusion is created between different types of products. Aftershave and cologne are two of such products. They carry significant differences between them and are used for very different purposes.

Aftershave vs Cologne

The main difference between aftershave and cologne is that aftershave is applied to the skin after shaving the area to prevent any infections whereas Cologne is a Germany-based perfume that carries historical significance and is widely produced as one of the oldest perfumes in the world.

Aftershave vs Cologne

Aftershave is generally a liquid-based product applied on the skin after shaving the area. It got its name from its practical use, that is, applying after shaving. Even though the product is usually in the form of water-like liquid, it is also available in the form of gel, paste, or lotion. Aftershave contains antiseptic agents including denatured alcohol, stearate citrate, or witch hazel.

Cologne is a perfume that originated in Cologne, Germany. In today’s sense, Cologne is termed as a kind of perfume specifically marketed towards men. Cologne is composed of essential oils, a blend of extracts, water, and alcohol. Cologne also has various citrus oils including lemon, tangerine, and blood orange, etc., depending on the type and scent of Cologne. It also carries a historical significance to it.

Comparison Table Between Aftershave and Cologne

Parameters of ComparisonAftershaveCologne
DefinitionIt is a disinfectant.It is a perfume.
IngredientsMostly alcohol.Citrus oils, fruit extracts, and alcohol.
PurposeTo avoid skin infection.To provide fragrance.
AvailabilityLiquid, gel, paste, or lotion.Liquid only.
SignificanceIt has no historical significance.It has historical significance.

What is Aftershave?

Aftershave is generally a liquid-based product applied on the skin after shaving the area. It got its name from its practical use, that is, applying after shaving. Even though the product is usually in the form of water-like liquid, it is also available in the form of gel, paste, or lotion.

Aftershave contains antiseptic agents including denatured alcohol, stearate citrate, or witch hazel. The core purpose of using aftershave is to prevent infection from cuts, which is why antiseptic agents are a part of the composition. Furthermore, it reduces skin irritation as well. Aftershave products are generally alcohol-based. However, some of the aftershave products are not chemical-based and do not contain alcohol.

An alcoholic aftershave causes minor stinging on the skin immediately after use, and can even last for a few minutes. Such products do not suit people with sensitive skin, and only non-alcoholic aftershave products are recommended for them.

Over the years, there has always been confusion between aftershave and cologne due to various marketing strategies by the companies. The brands providing fragranced aftershave marketed it as more than just a regular aftershave, which led to confusion.

What is Cologne?

Cologne is a perfume that originated in Cologne, Germany. In today’s sense, Cologne is termed as a kind of perfume specifically marketed towards men. Cologne is composed of essential oils, a blend of extracts, water, and alcohol. Cologne also has various citrus oils including lemon, tangerine, and blood orange, etc., depending on the type and scent of Cologne.

Cologne largely carries a historical significance to it. It was developed in the early 18th Century by Johann Maria Farina. Initially, it was only available where it originated, that is, Cologne, Germany. Cologne was originally named Eau de Cologne, a French term meaning ‘water from cologne’. At the time of its origin, it was only used by the royal families of all over Europe.

The original Eau de Cologne is one of the oldest still produced perfumes in the world. It has now been expanded to a whole business. The fragrance depends on the type of cologne and the presence of specific citrus oil in it. Nevertheless, all the scents are very light, fresh, and fruity. Cologne is highly popular especially in Cologne, Germany and the place is renowned for it.

Main Differences Between Aftershave and Cologne

  1. Aftershave is a disinfectant whereas Cologne is a perfume.
  2. Aftershave is available in many forms such as liquid, gel, lotion, moisturizer, etc. On the other hand, cologne is available in liquid form only.
  3. Aftershave doesn’t have any specified origin or historical significance whereas cologne has a history based in Germany.
  4. Aftershave helps prevent skin infection whereas cologne provides fragrance.
  5. Aftershave includes mostly alcohol whereas Cologne is comprised of many ingredients for its odor.

Conclusion

There are various products available in the market that have been indulged in a hassle because of the various marketing strategies to promote the products. One of such products is Aftershave. Even though there are significant differences between aftershave products and cologne, the two are often confused with each other as a result of marketing.

When we talk about aftershave, the initial purpose of it was just a disinfectant. After shaving the area, there are minor cuts on the skin which can be an entrance for various bacterial microorganisms, thus causing minor infection. And undoubtedly, aftershave products are widely used for the same. But as the competition grew, brands modified them into more than just aftershave liquids. The ingredients now included various fragrancing agents to also promote a sweet odor after applying, which led to confusion.

On the other hand, cologne is a Germany-based perfume that is one of the oldest still produced perfumes in the world. It stands out from other perfumes in the market because of its light and sweet odor. Earlier, it was used only by the royal families of Europe, but now it is a whole brand itself.

Even though aftershave products also provide a temporary fragrance, the quality of the scent is nowhere close to that of cologne. Regardless, aftershave products are widely used for their purpose.

References

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/15563659208994451
  2. http://www.cashareinc.com/index.php/pt/article/view/423
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