Does Perfume Expire? How To Tell + 3 Tips To Keep It Fresh

perfume has expired

That doesn’t mean that you go storing your perfume in a refrigerator, though—the temperature fluctuation in a fridge can also damage your fragrance. From a health standpoint, there’s no risk to using an expired fragrance. However, according to some of the most prominent perfumers on the market, an unopened perfume can last you several years, depending on your storage tactics. There are often other expiration date indicators like the catalog number, the brand index, and the barcode printed on the perfume box.

The history of alcohol being used as a preservative in perfumes may be estimated to the beginning of Venetian merchants selling Italian-made perfumes in Europe. 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 ‘Daily Mail’ service sends the highest quality and the most fascinating content directly to your inbox. A common ingredient it may be, but many people still aren’t sure how to properly store garlic to keep it flavorful and fresh for up to 6 months.

If you want to know the exact perfume shelf life expiration date, you must be able to distinguish between the two. Take a look at your perfume or cologne and try to notice if there are any changes in its color. For example, if the color seems darker than when you purchased it or started using it, it could mean that your perfume has gone bad. No matter the situation, after owning a perfume for a few years, you might wonder if it has an expiration date and whether or not it can go bad in the first place. In this article, we will debunk the “how long does perfume last” question and discuss how to store your perfume properly and aid its longevity. Always putting the cap back on your fragrance will help limit its exposure to air, which can impact the scent and colour of your perfume over time.

How long can you keep your perfumes and what are the signs of expiry?

However, if you have a growing collection of perfumes, chances are you’ve wondered if perfume expires. If you’re not sure, you can spray your perfume on a white piece of paper to test its color and scent. Spray a few times because it may be just the fragrance in the pump tube that has gone bad. Keeping your perfume inside its original boxes makes it look aesthetic. Aside from that, it helps to protect the perfume bottles from damage.

Such areas may be prone to drafts, and changes in temperature can affect the quality of perfume. If you frequently notice drinks, fruits, and vegetables freezing slightly in your fridge, do not store your perfume here. However, the bottom line is that, yes, perfume does expire if stored improperly, but you can actually extend its life if you keep it in perfect conditions. What causes this reaction to happen in the first place is the introduction of oxygen slowly to the bottle after you start using your cologne, and air replaces the space. So it doesn’t happen until you actually start using your cologne regularly.

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If you aren’t sure on the color front, test the aroma by spraying the perfume on a paper card or on fabric ― ideally not your favorite clothes or anything light colored. With older perfume, the scent can get stronger, but the aroma loses its freshness and takes on a stale quality. Perfume that has gone bad will typically change color, getting darker due to factors like light exposure. Fragrances that are formulated with more natural ingredients have a shorter shelf life.

Air also increases the evaporation of the alcohol inside, expediting the expiry process. The date is typically found at the bottom of the perfume bottle or packaging as either a batch code or Period After Opening . The bar code or catalog number can also help you determine when the fragrance expires. But remember, perfumes differ in terms of ingredients and chemical composition. That explains why fragrances come with different expiration dates.

  • Giorgio Armani Beauty Acqua di Gioia Eau de Parfum, where zesty lemon top notes open up to notes of sultry jasmine and a grounded cedarwood base.
  • The shelf life depends on a few factors, including the quality, strength and type of perfume, but mostly how well it’s been stored.
  • Argos bottles come in luxurious packaging that not only looks amazing but provides information about the fragrance inside and protects it as well.
  • Unless otherwise stated, most companies put an average shelf life of five years on their product.
  • In order to best preserve perfume’s longevity, it is better to store it in your wardrobe, a linen drawer or right in its original box, minimizing direct contact with light.
  • It tells you that an unopened perfume bottle can last more than a century.

Well in my experience, my perfume lasts well over 10 years. The shelf life depends on a few factors, including the quality, strength and type of perfume, but mostly how well it’s been stored. The fridge is the greatest technique to avoid oxidation or chemical degradation since it maintains a constant temperature and keeps the perfume away from light and heat. The natural oils and essences in your fragrance can start to coagulate when they break down in very humid or hot environments. The good news is that once opened, a fragrance’s shelf life can last up to five years if properly stored. The majority of scents only have a three to five year shelf life.

How to Open & Refill Perfume Bottle? (Step-By-Step)

Therefore, it is best to use a fragrance within the recommended time frame mentioned on the bottle. This is because they don’t deal with direct skin heat, which evaporates fragrance oils faster. When you apply perfume on clothes, you can expect scent longevity between 4 and 36 hours. I’ve even applied perfume on paper, where you can smell it after 7 days if you keep the piece of paper away from direct sunlight. Perfumes generally are not labeled with expiration dates, but they are not designed to provide longterm use. You can prolong the shelf life of your perfume by storing it properly.


Here are some tips to help you make your perfume last longer. 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. Also, don’t let any fragrance go to waste, even if you got it through a coupon list.

Keep in mind that even without deterioration, they are designed to change over time with most fragrances. This is referred to as oxidation, and many times can give scents a richer, deeper feel. The problem is, when you’re hoarding your favorite scents, you’re just asking for trouble. For example, an unopened bottle of Perfume might spoil before you have a chance to enjoy it—if you ignore it.


Perfume lovers should also consider what to do with the bottles and fragrances they no longer use. Besides recycling, another way to avoid contributing to the production of massive waste is to find a new purpose for the bottle. Some of the other factors that can have an effect on how long cologne lasts is exposure to oxygen.

While it’s generally best not to transfer perfume to another bottle, it’s acceptable if you have to travel. Travel containers are a good idea because there’s always a risk of losing your perfume while traveling. You do not want to use an entire bottle of good perfume. A bathroom closet or kitchen cabinet is not a good place for perfume. You have to select the perfume brand you want to investigate.

But, it’s hard to predict how long a perfume can stay good if left unopened. If left exposed to environmental factors like high temperature and direct sunlight, an unopened perfume can develop a disgusting smell. The perfumes will also leave spots on your white shirts or dresses. Observe bottles of perfumes that were regularly exposed to sunlight.

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However, if you notice any off-putting odors or colors, it’s best to pitch your bottle. A thick layer of droplets may appear on the bottle after a certain period. This is caused by oil and alcohol separating from the water-based formula. Here are some ways to tell when your Perfume expires and if it’s time to get a new bottle. Factors such as the type of alcohol in the scent can also affect its longevity. In this blog post, we’ll talk about what causes Perfume to expire and how to know if your perfumes are out of date.

As you know by now, sadly, perfume expiration is inevitable, which raises the question of what to do once you are certain your perfume is no good. Unfortunately, throwing it away in the trash can have a very devastating effect on the environment, as the bottle will end up in a landfill. Here are some signs you should be on the lookout for when you suspect your fragrance might be expired.

In my latest bout of spring cleaning, I discovered a couple of bottles of perfume that I’m pretty sure I received as gifts in college ― which means I’d had them for at least eight years. When I sprayed them into the air, I was pleasantly surprised to find they still smelled quite nice. Grab an expired perfume with high alcohol content, spray a little of it on the mirror, and then clean it with a damp, soft towel. In some cases, expired perfume may cause skin irritation, especially on those with sensitive skin. The most obvious effect from using an expired perfume would be an unpleasant smell.

Always keep the in its original container otherwise exposure to air can also spoil the chemical balance. It can likewise quicken the evaporation of the liquor inside, causing the aroma to expire quicker. An expired perfume may lose the potency and strength of its scent, the depth of the different layers of fragrance notes, and some of its complexity. Fragrances with synthetic ingredients will have a longer shelf life than fragrances that are formulated with more natural ingredients. But today, most fragrances are synthetic, meaning the ingredients are either man-made or synthesized in a lab from chemicals that duplicate natural ingredients. As Shoemack pointed out above, the more you spray a bottle of perfume, the more oxygen enters the bottle — the more oxygen enters the bottle, the faster it expires.

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