We all know that beauty products expire, but we usually hold fragrance to a different standard. I, for one, still have fragrances from the early 2000’s—not because I have any intention of wearing them, but because the scent has sentimental value, or it reminds me of someone. While the bottle and the base notes are still the same, the fragrance itself has changed over time; taking on a darker color, and a heavier, oilier scent. Here’s everything you need to know about storing fragrance, how long it lasts, and the two things that kill the shelf life of your favorite scents.
You may have noticed that fragrances are categorized by Pure Parfum, Eau de Parfum, Eau de Toilette and Eau de Cologne. What distinguish these categories from one another is oil concentrations. Translation: The higher the concentration, the stronger the perfume, the longer the shelf life and the less you’ll need to apply.
Fragrance by Potency
1. Pure Perfume or “Parfum”
2. Eau de Parfum
3. Eau de Toilette
4. Eau de Cologne
5. Solid Perfume
- High-end fragrances last longer, so those body mists in plastic bottles, won’t last as long as an eau de parfum or an eau eau de toilette. Depending on storage, the average shelf life of a fragrance is 3-5 years. Though, some high-end fragrances can last well beyond that if stored properly. In terms of potency, there’s not difference between a splash or a spray, but spray perfumes tend to last longer because they don’t experience direct exposure to air.
- Perfumes in darker bottles typically last longer.
The Faux Pas’ And How To Make Them Last
- Do not sore your fragrance in the bathroom or on your vanity in direct sunlight. Humidity will decrease the shelf life and change the smell.
- Keep your fragrances in a cool (no cold), dry place; room temperature is ideal, around 60-65 degrees. Depending on how cold you keep your refrigerator, you refrigerating your scents may make them last longer.
- Light can also affect the shelf life of your fragrance, so storing them in dark areas is best. Keep them in your closet, in your drawer or in the box that they came in away from direct light and windows. This is especially true for fragrances in clear bottles.
- Be sure to re-cap your fragrance after using, as air will also affect the shelf life.
Signs It’s Time To Toss
- The color of the juice is darker than it was when you initially purchased it.
- The fragrance begins to smell heavier or takes on an oilier scent.
- The fragrance causes a cosmetic breakout after wear.
Tell us about your favorite fragrances and what you do to prolong their longevity.