If you’ve ever owned a fragrance for many years, you may have noticed that the potency had lessened or it started to smell off over time. These are signs your perfume could be nearing its expiration date. Does perfume expire? Does cologne go bad? They definitely can, but there are many things you can do to increase its lifespan. The quality, scent family it’s in, and how a fragrance is stored can have a major impact on how long a perfume lasts.
Here we’ll cover everything you need to know about how long perfume and cologne lasts, how to tell if your perfume has expired and how to store it properly.
Can perfume expire ?
Yes, perfume and cologne do go bad. However, how long they last depends on the scent’s chemical composition. Many perfumes, especially from well-respected brand names, don’t have a hard-and-fast expiration date. Some will begin to expire in less than a year and others will last upwards of 10 years. However, three to five years is the average shelf life of a fragrance.
According to experts, perfumes with heavier base notes will last the longest. Some people compare these perfumes to a fine wine—they get better with age. Examples of scents with heavier base notes include oriental scents, such as those with patchouli and amber.
When the lighter base notes are prominent in a fragrance, the solution is often more volatile. Citrus, green and floral perfumes, for instance, often don’t last as long.
According to experts, perfumes with heavier base notes will last the longest. Some people compare these perfumes to a fine wine—they get better with age. Examples of scents with heavier base notes include oriental scents, such as those with patchouli and amber
Shelf life also depends on how you store the fragrances. Perfumes that are stored correctly will last much longer than those that are not (more on that later).
If your perfume does expire, applying it could result in an unpleasant smell, skin irritations or—in extreme cases—an allergic reaction. If your perfume is more than a couple years old, it’s probably best to test it before you use it.
How to tell If your perfume is expired
If you’re wondering “how long does perfume last,” you can tell if your particular perfume is expired by checking its scent, appearance and any expiration dates that might be included. Like we mentioned before, many people believe that if the perfume still smells good, it’s not expired (even if it smells different).
Other people will say they are unable to tell if a fragrance has gone bad. Here are some ways you can test if your perfume
Test how the fragrance smells:
The most obvious way to tell if your perfume has gone bad is to test its scent. Some perfumes may contain vegetable oils which are known to expire over time. On the other hand, scents containing no fat (like in the case of essential oils) are considered to be some of thelongest lasting perfumes. If your perfume or cologne smells of vinegar or you notice a significant change in the concentration of the original scent, it might be expired. It’s also likely expired if the scent is significantly different than the one you started off with.
See how it looks. Does your perfume have the same color?
Another way to test your perfume is to look at the color. A perfume that’s darker in color than you started out with could mean it has gone bad. If you started out with a clear or translucent gold liquid and you now have a more opaque or amber liquid, that could be a sign it’s expired.Over time, scents with large alcohol concentrations may evaporate. An expired perfume will often have less perfume in the bottle than it did the last time you checked it.
Check the expiration date on the fragrance packaging
Many times your perfume will have some sort of expiration date on its packaging. This can come in the form of either a batch code or a PAO (Period After Opening) number. These are typically found on the bottom of the perfume or printed on the box it comes in.There are often many other numbers like the catalog number and bar code that are also printed on the packaging. It’s important to know which number you are looking at to determine if your perfume is expired.