Does perfume go bad?

By November 12, 2021

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Owning your own special scent is as important as a signature that only represents yourself. You may have invested a bottle of perfume one after another, only to find that you have piled lots of them in the corner for a while. Considering the fragrance’s relatively high price, you may wonder if it has an expiration date. If so, how to tell it has gone bad?

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Perfume goes bad, actually

Though many perfumes don’t have a label about the exact expiration date, they will go bad over time, generally from 3-5 years. Different perfumes can have different longevity due to their components. For instance, heavy base notes like wood, amber and leather are more stable and thus last longer. While light base notes like citrus and floral ones are more volatile and have a shorter shelf life. On the other hand, how you store them also makes a big difference.

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How to tell your perfume goes bad

The easiest way to check if your perfume has expired is to test its smells. You can spray a little on a piece of paper and see if it smells out-of-date, or obviously different from that when you bought it.

You can also take a look at the color of the liquid. If it is darker or looks milky at the bottom, you’d better throw it away to avoid any skin irritation. At other times you may not notice any difference by color, but how it smells will tell you all.

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How to store your perfume properly

Now, you must know which of your perfumes are still good to use and which are not. However, precaution matters the most. You need to take action from now on to prevent your perfumes from going bad too soon.

  • Avoid the heat: Don’t put your perfumes in a place over 15 degrees celsius. Heat will break down the chemical structure of fragrance.
  • Avoid sunlight: Sunlight will do the same thing to your perfumes, so simply store them in a dark place like your cabinet or drawer. Storing them in the fridge can be a great way to make it refreshing, however, do wrap a layer of aluminum foil to avoid the built-in light.
  • Avoid moisture: Though tempting, but also don’t put your perfumes in moist places like the bathroom. Moisture is one of the reasons why they lose their original fragrance.


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