If you’ve received a perfume as a gift and you aren’t ready to open it yet, you might be wondering how long it will last without breaking the seal. There are many reasons you might want to hang on to a perfume without opening it.
Sometimes you receive multiple perfumes as a gift, so there is little need to open them all at once. Or perhaps there was an offer on your favourite perfume so you decided to stock up and want to know when you need to use your collection.
If this sounds like you, then read on to learn more about perfume and how long it can last unopened.
Do perfumes have a use-by date?
Perfumes usually aren’t marked with a sell-by date, so you’ll have to use your best judgement to decide if you should still use it. Most perfumes can last for 3-5 years under the right conditions. And some could even last for decades. It all depends on the quality of the perfume, how you store it, and the ingredients.
Most scents will have a small symbol that lets you know how long it should last once opened. This could be around 12-24 months, depending on the scent you choose. Remember that every scent is different, and some will last longer than others. It’s also not uncommon for some scents to improve with age.
Does perfume go bad?
There is nothing wrong with using perfume that has gone off. It won’t be dangerous to use, it just won’t smell like it is supposed to. Some perfumes become weaker, while some perfumes develop a sour smell that is very unpleasant. Obviously, you’ll want to avoid this.
It’s down to the wearer to decide if they like the perfume and if they want to continue wearing it. Some perfumes develop a deeper, stronger scent when they are left for a long time. This typically includes perfumes with musk or spice base notes.
How do I know if my perfume has expired?
There are a few different indicators that your perfume might have expired. It’s helpful if you have a fresh bottle of the same scent to compare it to.
- Look at the colour of the liquid. Has it turned yellow or a deeper brown shade? This can be a sign that the perfume has gone bad in the bottle.
- Spray it on a piece of paper. Does it smell as you would expect? Or can you detect an off smell to the perfume? Does it smell more sour or metallic than usual? Spraying it on a piece of paper ensures that you don’t have a bad smell on you all day if it has gone bad.
- The final test is to spray it on your skin. Perfume often reacts to your skin in different ways, and while it might smell fine on paper, it might develop a sour or metallic smell on your skin.
Which fragrances are most likely to go off?
Some scents last longer than others. This is because some scents are more likely to suffer from oxidation due to exposure to oxygen and sunlight. By not opening the bottle and storing it in a cool, dark place, you can help it last longer, but nothing will keep this process at bay forever.
In general, citrus, floral and green scents will expire the soonest. This is because the scent compounds are the most susceptible to oxidation. Anything spicy, woody or musky is likely to last much longer. Some scents are even thought to get better with age, much like a fine wine.