how long does perfume last

how long does perfume last
Photo by Valeria Boltneva:

How long does perfume last? last unopened in a bottle?

A. For example, I believed that you could lay down a perfume the same way you lay down a good wine, and it would mature to become a more delectable version of itself when you opened it for, say, your granddaughter’s bat mitzvah. This is just to give you an idea of how imaginative (or you might, less kindly, say ignorant) I was about fragrance before I took this job. I’m afraid not, says executive perfumer of Givaudan Fine Fragrances Ellen A. Molner. If you want a perfume to stay fresh, store it in the refrigerator because the chemicals deteriorate over time and when exposed to heat, light, or both.

Conclusion: A fragrance bottle that has not been opened

Finding a fragrance you love might feel like winning the lottery. Therefore, you want to do everything you can to prolong the longevity of a fragrance once you’ve invested in it. Because no matter how fantastic, everything nice can end, especially if you don’t give your fragrance the care it need. A scent’s chemical composition might change as a result of specific activities, shortening its shelf life. Here, a cosmetic scientist and scent experts assist us in determining how to recognize when your perfume has run its course.


Senior Creative Director of Bvlgari Parfums is Amandine Pallez.

Olfiction Limited’s cofounder and perfumer Pia Long.

Cosmetic chemist Ginger King is the proprietor of the business Grace Kingdom Beauty and the originator of

According to King, different aromatic compounds are used to create the base, middle, and top notes of perfumes, while the oils might come from either natural or synthetic sources.

The majority of fragrance producers will advise you to throw away your bottle after one to three years (check your label), but since fragrance doesn’t expire in the same way that food does, it’s occasionally OK to keep using a bottle for four or even five years.

Although Pallez affirms that fragrance does have a shelf life, there is no set guideline. She does provide advice on how to prolong the duration of your perfume, but first you need to have a basic understanding of cologne’s chemical make-up.

According to Pallez, “perfumes do not fade in my experience.”

According to Long, you can delay this down by storing citrus-based fragrances in the refrigerator. She advises against preserving the last few drops of your favorite fragrance and suggests decanting it into a travel spray after your container is mostly air. “The more oxygen above the juice, the faster the smell will oxidize,” she explains.

How to Recognize When Your Perfume Has Run Out

According to Long, “there is usually a perceptible shift in the top note’s aroma (this is frequently where the alterations occur initially), and there may also be a change in the liquid’s color.” According to King, most scents have a yellowish tint to them (oil’s hue), and as they go bad, they might turn rancid.

The longest-lasting perfumes are those with a high alcohol concentration because the alcohol stops the aromatic molecules from oxidizing. Although you would believe that alcohol should be avoided in cosmetic products, the opposite is actually true when it comes to aroma. The most important preservative for a perfume’s integrity is alcohol. According to Pallez, “These are often colognes or eau de toilettes with 90 percent alcohol.” “The best longevity you can expect is when it’s less concentrated. A scent often contains 70 to 90 percent alcohol, which supports preservatives.

Oil-based fragrances, clean and alcohol-free scents, and scents with citrus or patchouli overtones typically lose their potency (or expiration) the quickest.

Alcohol plays a crucial role and has been employed as a preservative in

How Long Do Perfumes Last After Being Unopened?
using giorgio armani perfume in bed


Depending on the perfume and storage conditions, unopened bottles can keep for years (from a few years to a couple of decades) when kept in a cold, dry place. The top notes are frequently off by the time you obtain a “vintage” gem, warns Long. “Use it or lose it once you’ve started using a bottle.”

Depending on how the scent is made, how it is packaged, and how it is used, a perfume bottle can last anywhere from three months to three years after it has been opened.

Is It Safe to Use an Old Perfume?
In conclusion, it depends. Long claims that some oxidization products can cause skin irritation, and that some perfumes may start to leave stains on clothing that weren’t there before. When applying to the skin, “the decomposed compounds may lead to allergic reactions upon direct contact,” King warns. “Always do a patch test somewhere like the inside of your wrist to check and if you’ve not reacted in 24 hours, apply cautiously at your own risk.” If the juice is not staining fabric but you’re still unsure about putting it on your skin, try scenting your clothing with it. “A scarf, handkerchief, or the inside of a pair of pants or a skirt can be a

The Bottom Line
Maintaining the lifespan of your fragrance requires attention. Additionally, by correctly applying your scent, you can maximize its effectiveness. Avoid applying perfume to your pulse points because your body heat will cause some of the notes to dissipate. Apply on damp, moist skin instead to lock in smell and enjoy every last drop.

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