Do Perfumes go off?

Everyone has that one bottle at the back of the shelf that has been sitting there since Secret Santa from two years ago or the bottle bought to make an occasion special. Its probably now covered in a layer of dust and hasn’t been used in months if not years, but you still keep it on your shelf as it’s a great looking bottle. Looking at it now, would you risk it and try on a dab for work or an evening out? Risking the need for another shower, or two depending on the potency…

Empty Oud Oil Perfume bottles

Do Perfumes Expire?

So you’re asking yourself now, are perfumes like wine and get better with time, or should you think twice before putting an old scent on? Short answer, yes perfumes do expire eventually, they don’t age. You’re probably asking yourself why do perfumes expire, what actually happens and can you still get away with putting some on for that special date?

Why do perfumes expire?

Typically perfumes expires due to a chemical change which is caused by direct sunlight or hot storage conditions. This is exponentially increased when the base of a perfume is alcohol as this chemical tends to have low heat threshold which causes it to evaporate and react to the fragrance oil which is the actual scent.

How to tell if my perfume has gone off?

Commonly, perfumes lose their intensity and then the scent over the course of 3-5 years. So, if you ever wondered why you are not getting as many compliments as you have before, you might of found your culprit and are in need of a new bottle. 

Unfortunately, over time some perfumes can develop a noticeable foul smell due to chemicals reacting to one and other. Worst of all, these chemical reactions can cause skin irritation and even rashes. So If the color or density noticeably changes, this could be a sign that you should discard the bottle before causing potential harm to your skin.

Before you throw your favroute fragrances away, keep in mind that well made fragrances have a tendency of changing throughout the day. This means that the scent could start quite strong or funcky but then mellow out into a wonderful fragrance where the notes change over time.

Do Fragrance/Perfume Oils go off?

The main difference between fragrance/perfume oils compared to typical perfumes that you get from your local retail stores, is that they don’t contain any alcohol nor water. They are pure concentrated scents (have a look at our post on perfume oils). This means that the likelihood of a Fragrance/Perfume oil going off are far slimmer compared to typical alcohol based perfumes.