When Does Perfume Expire? How To Tell When Your Signature Scent Has Gone Bad

It's no secret that there's a strong connection between scent and memory. Perhaps that's why we sometimes try to hold on to a particular perfume for way too long. The only problem with this is that perfume does expire. And after a certain amount of time, the scent will change and become corrupted. Of course there's no issue with wanting to keep a few drops around to reinvigorate your memories every once in a while, but if you plan on wearing your signature scent for decades to come by making your original bottle last, just know that it probably won't retain its original smell.

And don't worry; you'll be able to tell when the smell has changed — just trust your nose. You may be surprised how easily your sniffer can discern when your signature scent is off. But not only will the smell change, the color of your perfume can also change. The most common color-change that signifies a perfume has gone bad is if it becomes darker. If your translucent, golden liquid takes on a more opaque, amber hue, that could be a sign to test its expiration. However, even though the average bottle of perfume will only keep for about three to five years before the color and smell change, there are ways to make your signature scent last longer than average.

Some actually prefer the way an aged perfume smells. But there's a right way to age your perfume without it going bad. To be able to keep your perfumes for as long as possible, there are three things to make sure to do.

1. Store It In A Cool Place

Heat will break down the components of a perfume more quickly, so it's important to keep your scents in a cool place. Some even recommend storing perfumes and colognes in the refrigerator to make it last longer and stay true-to-scent.

2. Store It In A Dark Place

In addition to heat, light can also make perfumes go bad more quickly. So keeping them out of sunlit or other brightly-lit areas is ideal. Try storing your perfumes in a drawer or wardrobe. If you like to keep your bottles out on display though, try a shelf in a closet or other room with no windows.

3. Store It In A Stable Place

Once you find the ideal cool and dark place to store your perfumes, make sure it actually stays that way 24/7. While under the bathroom sink or in a bathroom linen closet seems like it might work, the bathroom is actually a pretty volatile environment. Whenever you shower or bathe, the room can become instantly hot and humid, and even within a cabinet, your scents will still be exposed to some of the side effects.

So by simply making sure your perfumes have consistently cool and dark surroundings, you'll be able to keep them around for much longer than average.

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