Saturday, February 24Not Your Ordinary English-Tagalog Dictionary

What is Perfume in Tagalog? History, Types and Difference from Cologne

The perfume in Tagalog is called “pabango,” where “bango” means fragrance. But while cologne has different properties from perfume, Filipinos also call cologne “pabango.” As a personal care product, perfume serves various purposes, especially in enhancing personal fragrance, intimacy, and positive social interactions. Perfumes are popular gifts, too.

perfume in Tagalog
Famous Perfume Brands in the Philippines

The term “perfume” originates from the Latin words “per,” which means “thorough,” and “fumus,” which means “smoke.” Later, the French invented the term ‘parfum,’ referring to the scents produced by burning incense. In ancient times, various societies utilized a mix of resins and wood during their religious ceremonies. 

This tradition reached Egypt approximately in 3000 B.C., although perfumes remained confined to religious rituals until the dawn of Egypt’s Golden Age. Eventually, perfumes became accessible to all Egyptians as the priests gradually relinquished their exclusive rights. Citizens then adopted the pleasurable practice of anointing their skin with scented oils.

However, the first perfume was crafted by the Mesopotamians around 4000 years ago. A perfume maker named Tapputi from Mesopotamia used flowers, oils, and calamus along with other aromatic ingredients. Being one of the first recorded chemists in the world, her name was mentioned in a cuneiform tablet originating from around 1200 BC.

The ancient Greeks invented liquid perfume, but the Arabs were the ones who advanced the art of perfume-making. By introducing distillation techniques, large-scale production of perfume became possible. In the 17th century, France witnessed a significant surge in the popularity of perfume. At that time, fragrances were used to cover unpleasant body odors.

Types of Perfumes

No perfume are created equal. They are categorized based on their concentration of aromatic compounds and their longevity. The main types of perfume, from the most concentrated to the least, are: 


Also known as perfume extract, this type of perfume has the highest concentration of aromatic compounds, usually 20%-30%. It offers a potent fragrance, often lasting for 12 to 24 hours on the skin, and is also the most expensive perfume.

Eau de Parfum (EDP)

This type of perfume has a slightly lower concentration of aromatic compounds, usually around 15% to 20%. It provides a strong and lasting fragrance, with a longevity of about 8 to 12 hours, and is also quite expensive.

Eau de Toilette (EDT)

This type of perfume contains a moderate concentration of aromatic compounds, typically between 5% and 15%. Compared to parfum and EDP, it offers a lighter and less intense fragrance. The scent usually lasts around 2 to 4 hours. 

Eau de Cologne (EDC)

This type of perfume has a lower concentration of aromatic compounds, usually ranging from 2% to 4%. It provides a fresh and invigorating fragrance that lasts for only around 2 hours or less and is sold in larger bottles.

Eau Fraiche

This type of perfume contains more water and has around 1% to 3% concentration of aromatic compounds. It offers a very light and fleeting scent, suitable for a quick burst of fragrance. The longevity is relatively short, lasting up to an hour or so.

Perfume Oil

Perfume oil is purely oil-based and its fragrance is naturally extracted from spices, flowers, and woods. The concentration of essential oils (also used in homemade bath soap) is diluted with carrier oils. Instead of using it as a spray, perfume oil is rubbed into the skin.

Meanwhile, the main difference between perfume and cologne is that the former has a much higher concentration of aromatic compounds. Therefore, their fragrance is more powerful and lasts longer. Perfume is also usually used on special occasions, while cologne is generally used as an everyday fragrance. Moreover, perfume only requires a smaller amount of application.

Use pabango in a sentence.


Maglagay ka ng pabango kapag pupunta ka sa kasal ng kaibigan mo. Malay mo, doon mo makilala ang soulmate mo.


Wear perfume when attending a friend’s wedding. Who knows, you might meet your soulmate there.

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