How Long Does Perfume Last
We get this question all the time. How long does a bottle of perfume last? Does perfume expire? What will happen if it takes me forever to use my perfume?
There is not really a fast and easy answer here, as there is a lot of different information out there. But fear not! We will help you understand how to best take care of your fragrances, store them properly, and make sure you get the most out of them.
To start, most perfumes will last around 3-5 years after they have been opened. Unopened, it can vary anywhere from a few years to a few decades. Each fragrance will have a different life span.
The alcohol used in fragrances is typically a good preservative of the scent molecules, so alcohol-free or low alcohol fragrances will have a shorter shelf life. This is why pure parfums tend to come in much smaller sizes.
Oxidation is usually the main culprit in how a fragrance will change over time. Each time you spray your fragrance, a little bit of air will get in and slowly begin to oxidize the scent molecules. Some people don’t mind this, and often compare it to their fragrance aging like a fine wine.
In this same vein, pure Parfum fragrances in dabber bottles will change as the natural oils from your fingers get into the fragrance. With these scents, we recommend applying with a Q-Tip.
Proper storage of your fragrances is key as well.
Your fragrances should be stored in a cool, dark place. Somewhere away from temperature variations, and out of direct sunlight. A cupboard, drawer, or closet works very well.
Some say storing your fragrances in the fridge is a good idea, but it also depends on how often your fridge is opened, as well as the constant change in temperature when you take it out every day to spray.
Fragrances with top notes like citruses, flowers, and sometimes Patchouli, tend to fade or turn faster, while darker notes like Amber, Leather, and Woods will last the longest.
Perfumers are beginning to use stabilizers and UV filters to make scent molecules less sensitive to oxidation, helping the fragrances to last longer.
You can tell your fragrance has gone bad a few different ways.
-The color has become darker, sometimes more amber in color.
-It smells ‘off’ - this can be a slightly sour smell, a little syrupy, or metallic.
-It begins to stain your clothing
Using a fragrance that has begun to change in these ways, likely means it is beginning to expire, or is expired, and you should begin to think about tossing it.
Using an expired fragrance is completely up to your discretion. Decomposed compounds carry a small risk of skin irritation, or allergic reactions in extreme cases. As we mentioned above, some people embrace these changes and enjoy them. Others want their fragrance to be what it was from day one.
There are places where you can check the batch number, or lot number, found on the packaging your fragrance comes in. Others have a PAO number(period after opening), which will tell you, roughly, how long your bottle should be good after opening. This will be a small image of an open container with a number of months.
So you can see, there is no fast and easy answer here, but a plethora of options to keep your fragrance lasting as long as possible, and in good condition.
At Parfumerie Nasreen, we are always doing our best to stay updated and informed, so that we can pass this information on to you. Reach out if one of your questions was not answered here.
We are always happy to help!