Does perfume expire? Or goes bad? Yes…can you prevent it? Or atleast delay it? Yes, by correct methods of Perfume Storage!!!
Perfumes are expensive, and no one would want their precious bottle to go to waste. And especially if you buy the big bottles of perfumes, or multiple bottles, it becomes much more important to store them properly to ensure they keep smelling beautiful, like the day you bought them.
Signs of Perfume Going bad
An expired perfume is referred to as perfume going bad. The signs could be many, from a change in colour, to a distinct bad smell, to decrease in lasting power. Your precious liquid might start getting darker, more brownish, and that is a sign of its starting to turn. It might still smell just the same, but the process has started. You will notice that it just doesn’t last as long as it used to, and suddenly you are spraying on much more than you used to, and way more often than earlier. Try and use it up, before it progresses any further. And if you are downright unlucky, it will start to smell ammoniacal and chemically. That is the point of no return for your fragrance, and you should discard it (am sure you wouldn’t want to use it anyways). Though sometimes, the bad smell might be just for a few initial minutes, and then it settles down to something like what it used to smell, so give it a few minutes before you throw it out (but please do finish it up ASAP as it’s a pretty steep downhill journey from here onwards).
Do’s and Don’ts for perfume storage
1. Keep away from Light:
Exposure to light is very, very harmful for your perfumes and will break down the molecules, so preferably keep them in their original packing, or in a dark corner of your room, or a cupboard or drawer. Exposure to direct sunlight can spoil a bottle in as little as a week, so window sill is definitely a bad place to store your scents.
2. Keep away from heat:
Exposure to heat can also spoil your scents, so keep them away from any heat source like light bulbs, AC vents, room heaters etc. Also frequent temperature fluctuations are bad for your precious liquid, so keep them away from bathroom cabinets.
3. Keep away from humidity:
Another reason why bathroom cabinets are bad perfume storage options.
4. Cool, Dark Place:
Store your bottles upright, in a cool and dark place, such as drawers & cabinets. However tempted you might be to display those pretty bottles on your dresser, try and avoid it to increase the shelf life, unless of-course you buy just one small bottle at a time and wrap it up before you move on to the next.
Avoid too much movement or shaking for your perfume bottle. Other than increasing the risk of the bottle breaking down, it will also fasten the process of the perfume going bad. And hence, your handbags are a bad option as well. If you like to reapply often, try using something like a Travalo (Read about it here).
6. Keep the top on:
don’t store your fragrance bottles without the cap, as it increases the process of evaporation and might unbalance the remaining liquid.
this is a highly debated method of perfume storage. It keeps the bottle away from heat and light, two of the biggest enemies. But also, a refrigerator has high humidity and it is extremely cold. There might be temperature fluctuations involved as well, if you leave a bottle out or in case of power cuts or break downs. I personally feel, the refrigerator is too cold for my perfumes, and don’t prefer to store them in refrigerators. But if you do, and think it is a better method, please let me know.
How long does Perfume usually last?
That depends. A bottle usually has a icon at the bottom, giving the shelf life from the time it is first opened (an open lid container, with a number written on it. The number like 36M, means 36 months from the date of opening. There might also be a date of expiry on the outer carton). I have plenty of fragrances that have technically expired, based on the date of expiry or the number of months it was first used from. But are they actually expired?? Nope, as if stored well, they last you a lifetime. There are some vintage bottles of perfumes, which are around for decades, and still smell perfect as they have been stored well. If anything, they keep getting stronger over time, which has something to do with the alcohol evaporating slightly over time, and leaving behind with a much concentrated perfume, and also like a good wine, a perfume ‘ages’.