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How Long Does Perfumes Last?

Rishi Verma

Posted on April 29 2021

How Long Does Perfumes Last?

Finding a signature scent that accentuates your personality might feel like hitting a lottery. But the process of trial and error to find the perfect one can take a toll on your pocket. You cannot buy everything, so keep sniffing through every sample in luxury stores and then the right fragrance will hit you.

Once you have made an investment in a perfume, you might want to do everything possible to preserve its essence. Because good does not last forever. There are some common behaviors that can alter the chemical composition of scents, leading to a quicker expiry.

How long does perfumes last?

Every product has an expiration date, so do perfumes. On asking how long is perfume good for, the manufacturers recommended tossing a bottle into the dustbin once the expiry date is reached. It can be anywhere between 1 to 3 years. You can check the shelf life by the dates mentioned at the bottom or neck of a bottle.

However, the expiration of a fragrance does not process in the same way as that of food. So, it is okay if you feel that you can use the perfume for two or three years more. When you feel that the perfume has lost its intensity, be prepared to part ways with it.

Experts have mentioned over and again that perfumes do not actually “fade”, a more appropriate term that should be used is “oxidize.” The scent becomes oxidized, smelling acidic, sour, and even metallic or plastic-y. The reason this happens is the intrusion of oxygen into your perfume bottle, which alters molecules of the fragrance. Different formulas oxidize at different rates.

Perfumes with heavier base notes might not feel very alluring on the first sniff but they are the ones that last longest. We are talking about woody fragrances or the oriental scents that come with notes of patchouli or amber. They act like wine, only getting better with age.

Contrarily, the ones that we reach out for more often tend to burn a hole in our pocket because they oxidize like apples, within a few months or a year you will find yourself standing in the store again. You already know which ones we are talking about. They are the citrusy, floral perfumes that smell heavenly.

Perfume Vs Cologne: Why are they often confused?

People have developed this general misconception that 'perfume' is the name of the scent which women use, and men can use only 'colognes'. The truth is both are just categories of perfumes.

Perfumes are comprised of 20% oil concentration to infuse the most amount of fragrance that can keep lingering from morning to evening. It is the highest concentration you can get, saving you the trouble of reapplying it everyone hour. You can expect a good 6 to 8 hours of staying power. But due to these qualities, it is also priced the highest.

Colognes come with a fragrance concentration as low as 2 to 4%. Due to the high alcohol content, it comes cheaper than any other form of perfume. Coming to the question, how long does cologne last on the skin, do not expect anything more than 2 hours. As you will need to spray your body with it more often, they come in bigger bottles.

On the mission to make it last longer, some people go overboard with cologne making everyone around uncomfortable. So, how much cologne is too much? The right way to apply cologne is by spritzing it in the air and walking through the mist. It makes the fragrance evenly distributed. The other areas where you should target the spray is on your neck, your collarbone, and on the pulse points on your wrist. Do not go crazy if you cannot smell anything right after 5 minutes of putting it on. It usually takes a good 15 minutes to really sink in your body.

Do Perfumes Expire?

They certainly do and you can easily test if they are expired.

  • Change in smell

The smell automatically feels significantly different than the one which tempted you to purchase it in the first place. The vegetable oils present in some perfumes expire quicker. But if you have picked up a scent with no fat, it will last longer. Once your perfume start smelling somewhat like vinegar, you can be sure that it has expired.

  • See how it looks

It is very easy to spot the translucent liquid turning opaque or amber. The original color takes a darker form with time. There is even a considerable change noticed in the amount of perfume in the bottle as the alcohol concentration tends to evaporate.

  • Check the expiration date

This is of course the easiest way, but if the print somehow gets distorted or you decide to keep using it as long as you can, check the other two options mentioned above.

Making your perfume last longer completely depends on how you store it. Keep it at an ideal temperature with no exposure to sunlight and get the maximum longevity of your luxurious perfume.