Do Cologne and Perfumes Expire?

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Do Cologne and Perfumes Expire?

Cologne and perfumes are synonymous to men and women. Cologne and perfume which falls under the fragrance group has played a significant part in our society that some are willing to spend hundreds to thousands to own the finest fragrance on the earth. While we apply cologne and perfumes at a rate that might not see till its expiry date, like everything that is composed, cologne and perfume do deteriorate and expire. Although the expiry date is not regularly shown or revealed at shops, perfumes and colognes may last more than five years if handled properly and depending on the composition of these fragrances. An expired fragrance can be identified by an unpleasant smell.

An average shelf life of a fragrance is usually about three to five year. If a fragrance is stored improperly during its lifetime, following a certain period of time, the oil molecule content of the fragrance may break up, leading to a darker perfume shade- this is known as oxidation.

Perfume is made up of three sets of notes: base notes, middle notes and top notes. These notes make the harmonious scent accord. Once oxidation occurs the notes will begin to deteriorate at their own pace. The base notes will deteriorate first, followed by the middle notes and top notes. When perfume starts to deteriorate the scent of the perfume fades. A decomposing perfume will have a weak scent with a bitter and sharp alcoholic tang.

Factors that can Lead to Faster Expiry:

This is dependent on how the fragrances are kept. Factors that lead to a premature expiry is:

Air – Air causes evaporation of the perfume. It is pertinent that perfume is not exposed to air in perfume bottles.
Sunlight – Direct exposure to sunlight will cause the perfume to oxidize and deteriorate.

Simple Practices to Extend and Maintain the Longevity of Perfume:

• Refrain from exposing perfumes to direct sunlight.
• Ensure that the perfumes are stored in a cool, dark and dry place, e.g. wardrobe (good classic place to keep perfumes).

Alternatively, consider Eau de Parfum which has a longer shelf life.

Identifying the Smells of New, Old and Fake Perfumes!

Once contented to using a particular perfume scent regularly it is difficult to identify whether the perfume has expired. A good practice to follow would be to bring the perfume to a perfumery and compare the scent of what the perfumery has against the perfume being used. When in the perfume shop, take a sample of the scent from the tester bottle by spraying onto a piece of paper and compare the original scent form the scent of previously purchased perfume. It is also good practice to compare the reviews of others on that particular perfume. If most comments contradict with the scent that is smelled, please consider avoiding the perfume and not return to the seller. It is likely that the seller is a GIANT! And no, not a creature of exceptional size but a perfume giant. A perfume giant counterfeiter usually claims the authenticity of their fragrance, when in reality these are fake perfumes, ready to claim a victim in health and wealth. Fake perfumes not only can be overly priced but are hazardous to health.

Don’t Waste Old Perfumes. Utilise Them!

Fair enough, perfumes do deteriorate, and with so many perfumes available in this multi-million market, having old perfumes are inevitable. However, there are many ways to utilize old perfumes. These are but are not limited to:

• Using old perfume as a room freshener. Its lovely scent will definitely give character to a room.
• Using old perfume to spray on letters. Will add a touch of class to the letter and loved ones might appreciate the smell and sleep with it.
• Using old perfume to a nice hot bath. A bath might just be more interesting by using a few drops of perfume.

Elbert Hubbard an American editor once quoted “Perfume: any smell that is used to drown a worse one”. True, if the perfume hasn’t expired and it has been kept properly.

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