Colognes are mixtures of scents, water and alcohol. In the Ottoman Empire cologne makers used alcohol made from the fermentation of sugary fruits or grains. Today much of the alcohol used in the making of cologne is commercially distilled.

Cologne Components

Cologne is made up of essential oils, natural or synthetic ingredients used for scent, water and alcohol. Cologne has a smaller concentration of essential oils than perfume.

Types of Alcohol

Denatured alcohol, also called perfumer’s alcohol, is used in the production of colognes. It is similar to ethanol, but has additives in it, making it unsafe to consume. Denatured alcohol is used rather than isopropyl alcohol because it has no odor and will not mask the scent of the cologne. It may be referred to as SD alcohol on the cologne’s label.

Purpose of Alcohol in Cologne

Alcohol helps to break down solid ingredients used in a cologne blend. It also helps the ingredients mix together and not separate.

Alcohol and Scent

Alcohol helps to bring out the scent notes in cologne. As the alcohol evaporates, it carries the scent into the air.

Cooling Effect of Alcohol

Cologne has been used to cool and refresh users for centuries. It is still given to guests in Turkey to help refresh them after a long journey. Alcohol evaporates quickly and causes a cooling sensation on the skin.