Difference between alcohol-based perfumes and Essential Oil Perfumes: Alcohol-based perfumes are very harsh initially. The reason for that strong initial ‘hit and lift’ is that alcohol has a very high evaporation rate. That’s what gives the false impression that an alcohol-based fragrance is much stronger than it is, and as we all know alcohol evaporates.
Essential oil perfumes, on the other hand, have a much slower evaporation rate, and the initial impression of a scent is more accurate. An essential oil perfume stays with you longer unfolding the top notes first, then the middle notes, then finally the base notes. However, due to a more even and level evaporation rate, there is no initial harshness associated with them. Essential oil-based perfumes cost a lot less than fancy alcohol-based perfumes, partially because of the bottle and the celebrity promoting the perfume. Essential oil perfumes can get very close to the scent you are looking for without the hit on your wallet.