Does perfume expire?
Yes, perfume and aftershave both go off. However, keeping your fragrance away from high temperatures and direct sunlight can help to maintain shelf life.
Many perfumes don’t have a set expiry date and can last anywhere between 1-10 years. That being said, fragrances with heavier base notes are the ones that last the longest – click here to see a breakdown.
Like any beauty product, fragrance has a shelf-life, but how long does your favourite perfume last? It’s not as definitive as your sun cream or like food. Some fragrances last longer than others, one might last six months and another could still be smelling fresh after six years. Plus, when they do expire, you can still use them.
We know what you must be thinking, that if they’re still usable, what’s the point in the expiration date? Well they might don’t make you sick the way that gone off milk could, but they eventually start to smell different to how they did when you first bought them.
All good things must come to an end, unfortunately that means fragrance, too.
Fragrances with heavier base notes are the ones that last the longest. They can start to smell richer – in a good way – than before as time goes on. Scents which are part of the oriental family tend to be ones with a longer shelf-life due to their lingering woody and spicy notes.
How do I know if it’s gone off?
The colour of your perfume might change if it’s expiry date has passed. If your perfume was light in colour when you first bought it, and now it’s turned a darker, richer colour liquid, it’s out of date. It will also smell a bit weird. The perfume scent might have weakened and it might start to smell slightly vinegary.
How to make it last longer?
There are a number of ways that you can make your fragrances last longer, and the majority have something to do with where and how you store them. We’re advised to leave products in a cool, dry place for a reason. Lots of sunlight can break down a perfume or aftershave, as can excessive heat. Leaving lids off can also damage the perfume, as the air can oxidise the smell. Storing your beloved scents in somewhere like your underwear drawer or a cabinet will prevent any early wearing happening.
Take good care of your perfumes and they’ll take care of you too. Keep them in cool, dry places (for real!), and they’ll leave you smelling fantastic for a little longer.