Does Perfume Go Bad?

If you’ve found a bottle of perfume that’s a few years old now you must be asking yourself the question: “does perfume go bad?”. Perfumes don’t go bad, but unfortunately that doesn’t mean that their fragrance doesn’t deteriorate. In fact, deterioration is a really serious issue when it comes to perfume. After some time the perfume’s fragrance changes and probably the only reasonable thing to do when that happens is to throw the perfume out. If you’ll store perfume properly, you’ll be able to use it for a longer period of time.

How To Store Perfume

Perfumes that you currently use should be stored in a room with a constant temperature. It’s also good when the temperature is a little below room temperature. You should keep the bottle in a dark place, away from direct sunlight. Most people keep perfumes in the bathroom, but that’s not a good idea: there’s possibly a lot of sunlight and usually that’s the room where the temperature fluctuates a lot.

If you have some perfumes that you don’t use at a time, or you just use them in special occasions, you should store it in a dark, cool place, possibly in a box, so light won’t be able to affect the liquid.

Please note that you should take special care about women’s perfumes in clear bottles – clear bottle doesn’t protect its content from light. Dark and opaque bottles protect perfume from some of the light. Remember that the perfume should be closed as tightly as possible – if you’ll leave the bottle opened, some of the liquid will evaporate.

Can perfume go bad?
(credit: ignescent_infidel)

Shelf Life Of Perfume

Perfume’s shelf life varies a lot. Producers usually place a “best-by” date on the bottle and that date should give you some knowledge about possible shelf life of a certain perfume. Of course producers must be carefull with those dates, so probably your men’s or women’s perfume will be fine for a much longer period of time. Shelf life also depends strongly on how the perfume is stored. Color of the bottle also comes into play, dark and opaque bottles tend to have a longer shelf life. You can safely assume that any kind of perfume (men’s, women’s, it doesn’t really matter) should be fine for at least a year, but most perfumes will be good for three years or even more. Of course you should bear in mind that perfume made with quality components will be fine for longer.

Can Perfume Go Bad?

Perfumes don’t go bad in a way that you shouldn’t use it anymore. As I’ve mentioned earlier, their scent changes through time so if you don’t like the fragrance anymore, you should toss the perfume. The color of the liquid also changes, so if it’s noticeably darker (that happens due to oxidation) than it was when you bought it, it’ll probably smell different.

As you can see, perfume doesn’t go bad in a way that it’s spoiled. Its fragrance, however, changes over time. Because of that, after some time (possibly a few years) the fragrance won’t appeal to you anymore and you will have to discard it. Storage of perfumes is also important – the better you store them, they longer they will last.