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  1. #1

    Default Longevity of scents

    Hi everybody!

    As a "long-time lurker, first-time writer" I thought it might be a good idea to start a topic on a question that's been on my mind for quite a while now, and an answer is nowhere in sight. In fact, similar questions have been posted here over the months, but I didn't find any conclusive or satisfactory answers. So I think it would be quite worthwile to stir an old disucssion topic up again and see where we end up ...

    I'm concerned about the longevity of scents and I'm really spending a lot of thought right now on how to store my bottles of olfactory delight. I'm in my late 20ies right now and have been a sucker for good scents since I was 12, and I've always had a small collection of different scents at all times, but haven't started to actually "hoard" the bottles until one or two years ago. You know the feeling when you just KNOW it's right to buy bottle after bottle after bottle and neither reason nor logical stop can bring a stop to this .

    I've got a collection of about 60 scents right now and I really have no ambitions to "stop" there - so there will be one or the other bottle added to the collection over the months. I've just started reading a very interesting book on scents by a german parfumeur called Stephan Jellinek, which is pure gold (although I think it's only available in German language and may already be off the market). Jellinek states that scents actually only last about half a year in their "original" condition and formulae, as soon as they are unpacked and in use. HALF A YEAR! That really can't be true ... or can it?

    I'm looking forward to some input from the people on the board who've been collection scents for a couple of years now and who would be willing to share some of their experience. What's your average "lifetime" of a scent, how long do they stay in mint condition? I'm really looking for PERSONAL experiences, like: Have you ever had a scent go bad? How long did it take to change?

    Another question that may even be more interesting: HOW do you recognize that a scent has changed? Is it it's character, or do you notice a change in power?

    I've stored my own scents in my livingroom so far in some sort of glass case - and I think I will definitely change that. Too much living room "cozy" heat, and too much light. What would be a good place to store a scent? Should I actually take them down to the cellar? Who actually uses a fridge for storing the bottles?

    Lots of questions, but I guess really worthwile ones to think and write about. It would be sad to build up a collection of good scents and after two years have a lot of ... umh, smelly water .

    Really looking forward to your input!


  2. #2

    Default Re: Longevity of scents

    Traveller, there is no path. You make the path as you walk. -- A. Machado

  3. #3

    Default Re: Longevity of scents

    Hi Liquid,

    thanks for the link! I've actually NOT read the FAQ, although I've read most of the longevity-topic message threads in there. There's already some nice info, if someone else would like to throw in their two cents now or has new insights (or: insmells : ?), that would be fantastic.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Longevity of scents

    Olfaction, first of all, I welcome you to the board.

    For only some of your questions to answer, I`ll tell you this: You don`t have to store your frag in fridge - they will be fine in room temps as well, as long as they will be away from the heat and humitidy.

    I`ve noticed that frags indeed go bad in time, but they need very many years to go off, if they are nearly stored as they should.

    I have EdT splash version of Chanel`s Egoiste, and I`ve noticed that it has gone deeper in time...The scent has actually gone better, stonger, and it seems to last longer and longer all the time. So the air has treated it well, and has given more charachter to a scent.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Longevity of scents

    Hi Pigeon Murderer,

    thanks for your welcome message and for your advise! After going over the other threads reg bottle longevity, there seem to be quite a few people opting FOR a cooler of freezer. Of course, it would be a bit more practical if you wouldn't have to use an extra cooler in the house just for the bottles ... Well, I've been thinking about maybe storing the bottles in the cellar where it's really a bit more cool ...

  6. #6

    Default Re: Longevity of scents

    Yes, the coolness doesn`t hurt the scent - it`s very obvious. So if you have the chance to store your frags in cool place (like in the cellar) then do it.
    Since I DON`T have that chance, I`ll just have to try to keep them in dark, out from light and warmth.

  7. #7
    teflondog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    San Jose, CA

    Default Re: Longevity of scents

    Think of your scents as fine wine. Store them in a dark cool place and they should be fine. I've had maybe only one fragrance turn bad on me and that was after 6 years of abuse. I put it in direct sunlight, I've had it in my trunk on a hot summer day, and it's been through hell. It really depends on which fragrance it is too. Something with a lot of synthetics like Le Male will easily last you a decade. I've had my bottle for 5 years and it smells just like it did when I first got it. Creeds may be a bit trickier to preserve due to less synthetics in them. A few of mine lost their original sparkle but they didn't turn sour or anything like that. The topnotes faded a little and the drydown emerges sooner, but overall they still smell the same for the most part.

    Welcome to Basenotes *

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    New Jersey

    Default Re: Longevity of scents


    It would be wise to keep the frags out of sunlight. Personally, I try to keep mine in their original boxes (if I have them), and even then in a dark closet. I haven't gone to the extreme of buying a fridge for them. Sunlight and (I believe) exposure to air are the two big environmental hazards facing frags, followed by heat. If you have a glass cabinet with one of those lights up above (which generates heat and light), I would heartily recommend turning it off.

    Personally, I haven't really had any frags go bad, but I have noticed that I have become less sensitive to citrus fragrances over time, so I can't really tell whether citrus notes have disappated or not. For example, I have a roll-on decant of Lorenzo Villoresi Uomo. When I first got it, the frag was very much like Acqua di Parma - Colonia, at least in the top notes. Now, the decant is a bit older, a little cloudy (perhaps from the contact with my skin?), and when I smell the frag it is more like Agua Brava (which I also like) than Acqua di Parma - Colonia. On the other hand, this is how the fragrance smelled from an actual spray bottle at a Caswell Massey store, but that was exposed to light.

    My guess might be that if notes break down due to heat/light, it would be the top notes, but if they break down for other reasons (bacteria, air contact, evaporation), I don't know what might be the result.
    In rotation: Greenbriar (new), Silver Mountain Water, Dunhill for Men (1934), Acqua di Parma Colonia, Habit Rouge EDC, Ho Hang, B*Men, Agua Brava

  9. #9

    Default Re: Longevity of scents

    Hi folks,

    thanks a lot for the input! I've just moved away from the idea of storing my frags in the cellar a bit, since my cellar is not connected to my appartment and I don't really feel like it's a good place to store my treasures. Maybe if I had my own house, yes - but not here.

    I've moved my bottles this morning from the glass-cabinet to my bedroom closet. It's a bit cooler and dark there. And: I've tested a few scents that have been in my collection for a couple of years now.

    • Herrera for Men (bought 6 years ago) - developed a very unpleasant "medicine-like" note. To be a bit more precise, it smells like Maggi! (Maggi is a liquid you use in Germany to spice up soups ...) Also very weak as opposed to the actual Herrera for Men, which sticks on your skin for quite a while
    • Clinique Happy for Men (6 years) - OKish, although smells a bit weaker
    • Laura Biagotti Tempore Uomo (3 years) - OKish ... different than it used to be, but not too unpleasant
    • Laura Biagotti Roma Uomo (3 years) - OK
    • Paco Rabanne Energy (10 years) - YUCK ! (the liquid is actually stored in a light-safe metal bottle and got glass)

    Thinking about 2008 now gives me the creeps ;D. I really wouldn't mind giving the fridge at least a try since I have bought one a couple of months ago for my office and really don't need it except for a few bottles of juice and water. I would have to put the bottles in a seperate box though before putting them in the cooler so clients won't open the fridge and get a heart-attack from amazement :. Seriously - I COULD give that method a try. Although my fear is that storing them in a cooler might do more damage than probably storing them in the bedroom closet if you don't use the right temperature ...

    Hey, do I sound like a freak or what? I sure am when it comes down to frags ... sometimes I wonder whether it's a passion or an obsession, and: I really couldn't care less ;D .

  10. #10

    Default Re: Longevity of scents

    If kept in a fridge/cooler, I think most fragrances should be fine for at least 10 - 15 years.

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