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How Long Does Perfume Last? Does It Go Off?

How Long Does Perfume Last? Does It Go Off?

October 21, 2021 6 min read

It is not always easy to find a perfume that you are obsessed with the scent. When you find one and invest in it, you would want to do all you can to preserve it for a very long time. However, no matter how we take care of certain things, some things cannot last forever, and that includes perfumes. 

How long do perfumes last? Do perfumes go off? Can a perfumes and aftershaves go bad? These and more are some of the questions we will answer in this article. Perfumes last for a long time but not for a lifetime. If you are building a mountain of fragrance on your dresser, you might be wondering how long those perfumes can last and how you can make them last longer. Read on to find out how you can achieve that. 

Can a Perfume Expire?

Unfortunately, perfumes do expire. Once you open the bottle of perfume, it will eventually expire. This might be sad to hear, especially when you have a great collection of fragrances. However, the good news is that they can last for a reasonable amount of time. 

Perfumes have different lifespans, which start counting immediately after you open the bottle. They have a considerably longer lifespan that gives you enough time to use them up. Chances are you had exhausted series of perfumes in the past before they even got close to the expiry date. 

However, some perfumes are designed for occasional use only, which is why many wonder if they can go bad. In all, perfumes can go bad, and how long it takes a perfume to get bad depends on several factors, including the composition of the perfume. 

How Long Does a Perfume Last?

How long a perfume can last depends on several factors, such as the chemical composition of the fragrance and how you store it. Many fragrances do not come with a specific expiry date, and they can last from 1 to 10 years. Nevertheless, the average shelf life of a perfume is from 3 to 5 years. 

Experts said that fragrances with heavier base notes have a longer shelf life than those that do not. Fragrances with lighter bases tend to have a shorter shelf life because they have a more volatile composition. For example, floral, green, and citrus fragrances tend to have a shorter lifespan. 

The way you store your fragrance also has a key role to play in how it lasts. If you store your perfume correctly, it is going to last you for a long time. Fragrances stored properly last more than those that are not. 

Applying expired fragrances is not pleasant. It might result in skin irritation or an unpleasant smell. It can also result in allergic reactions in some severe cases. If you have been using your perfume for a very long time, you should consider testing it to know if it has expired; that is, if it does not have an expiry date. So, if my perfume does not have an expiry date, how do I know if it has expired? 

How To Tell If A Perfume Has Expired

Being able to tell if your perfume is bad is important, as it would save you from unpleasant smells and possibly skin irritation. The key factors to telling if your perfume has expired are the smell and appearance. Has the colour of the perfume changed? Does it smell different? The expiry date is another obvious way to know if the perfume has expired, but not all perfumes come with an expiry date. 

The Appearance 

One of the obvious things you would notice when a perfume has expired is its appearance. If your perfume has been on your dresser for long or you suspect that it has expired, one of the first things to look out for is the colour. When a perfume is ageing, it will develop opacity over time, or the colour will become darker. 

Most times, fragrances with high alcohol concentrations can evaporate, and the concentration in the essential oils would become very high. As such, if you notice a considerable decrease in the volume of your perfume and you are sure it was not used, it is a clear indicator that the perfume is getting bad or expiring. 

The Smell

One of the most notable changes you will observe in a perfume that is getting worse is the smell. Chances are you have used the perfume a couple of times and know how it smells. If you notice a sour or different smell from what it used to be, it means your perfume is expiring. 

Some fragrances expire quickly, as they contain fats like vegetable oils, which expiry. If your perfume is fat-free, it can last for a long time. Once it starts smelling like a chemical or it develops some vinegar hints, then you should consider disposing of it, as either it is close to the expiry date, or it is expired already. 

The Expiry Date

With the expiry date on the body of the container, you do not have to stress yourself to know if it has expired or not. Because expiration is not a common thing with perfumes, many people do not even bother checking the expiration date of their perfume. 

However, if you are wondering whether your perfume has expired and is safe to use, the first thing you should check is the expiry date. You can find the expiration date on the packaging of the perfume. You can also find it at the bottom of the bottle or plastic. 

How to Make Your Fragrance Last Longer

As we said earlier, how long your perfume lasts depends on several factors. You also have a major role to play in how long your fragrance lasts. The way you store and use it would determine if it would last for a very long time. Here are some tips to help you make your perfume last longer. 

1. Keep It Away from Direct Sunlight

If you want your perfume to last for a long time, you should keep it away from sunlight. Some people keep their collection of fragrances at the window, as it makes their space look attractive. However, the window is one of the worst places you should keep your perfumes. If you want to maintain the integrity of the perfume, you should keep it away from the window and sunlight. Light breaks down the molecules of the perfume, resulting in the instability of the composition and making it susceptible to oxidation. 

2. Store in a Closed Cupboard

One of the best ways to make your perfume last for a long time is to store it in a closed cupboard. Some people store their fragrances in the bathroom, but that is not an ideal place to store them. The bathroom is not a great place to store perfumes because of humidity, heat, and water pipes. 

You should store them in a lined lingerie box, ensuring they are far away from direct sunlight. If you want to keep them on your dresser, you should consider leaving them in their original boxes, as they provide a layer of protection. 

3. Keep It Away from Heat

Heat is one of the biggest enemies of perfumes. If you want your perfume to remain active and intact for a very long time, you should keep it away from heat. Heat alters the chemical composition of a fragrance and breaks down its molecules. You should store your perfume below 59 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 degrees Celsius. If your perfumes are in a heated space, you should move them right away to preserve their integrity. 

4. Store in a Chill Place

Since hot places are not good for perfumes, you should always store them in a cool place. This would help to preserve the perfume. The refrigerator is a great place to store it, but it would not be ideal for storing it there as you might be using it for other things. If a refrigerator is available, you can wrap it in aluminium foil. 

Perfumes are designed to last for a long time. Some perfumes tend to last longer than others because of their chemical composition. However, because most people use up their perfumes in a short period, they do not worry about the expiration of the perfume. Perfumes actually expire or get worse. You can tell if your perfume is bad or expired from the expiry date, smell, or colour. Most perfumes do last between three and five years, but how you store yours can increase its lifespan.