Words: Emily Venables
When it comes to expiry dates of beauty products, some are more obvious than others. Mascaras are good until their roughly 6 months old, foundation can keep for up to two years and eyeliner will stay cosy in your makeup bag for around 12 months. So, what about fragrances? This one is a little less obvious, so we’re here to explain how long to keep hold of your scents and how you can keep them for longer.
Does perfume go bad?
In short, yes perfume can go bad. However, there’s no need to run off and check all the labels on your perfume bottles just yet!
As a general rule of thumb, most fragrances will keep between 3 and 5 years, depending on how well you look after and store them.
What makes a perfume go off?
Perfume is a little like fresh food – it has to be stored in the right conditions in order to last as long as possible.
If you remember one thing when it comes to keeping your perfume for as long as possible its this: the sun is the natural enemy of fragrance! Yep, keeping your bottles in direct sunlight will only reduce its shelf life.
As well as sunlight, exposing your perfumes to heat or variations in temperature can also destroy a perfume over time.
The best thing you can do, to ensure your scent is as fresh for as long as possible, is to keep them in a cool, dry, dimly lit space. A cupboard or dressing table (away from a window) are perfect.
However, there is one place most perfumers will swear by to prolong your scents – the fridge!
How can I tell if my fragrance has gone bad?
There’s no super-scientific test to perform to check if your perfume has gone off, just a few simple checks:
- Smell it. The obvious one! You know what the perfume should smell like, after all, with any luck you’ve been proudly wearing it for the past few years! If it smells off, it is probably off. Time to bin it.
- Check the colour. If the colour has changed significantly over time, it’s time to say goodbye! This is a sure sign that it has passed its best before date, especially if it has become darker.
- Check the ingredients. Some perfumes will contain more natural ingredients, and sadly these will be the first to spoil. Notes like citrus will be the first to turn where as woody, chypre and oud-based perfumes tend to last much longer.
Is it time for you to add some fresh scents to your collection?
Check out our full range at The Perfume Shop