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  1. #1

    Default How long does cologne last before it expires?

    I just bought a bottle of polosport somebody didn't want very cheaply, However he mentioned it was a few years old.....which reminded me I heard the maximum date for cologne lasting is 3 years.....well, what happens after that point? I have a really bad sense of smell so I'd never know when It would go bad.....

    Is 3 years a accurate date? Does it vary depending on cologne? Does it slowly lose effect after that or just turn putrid?

  2. #2

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    It will depend on how you protect your fragrances from light and heat. But here I've heard of people claiming that they keep fragrances from the 60's and still in good condition.
    « L'odeur de rose, faible, grâce au vent léger d'été qui passe, se mêle aux parfums qu'elle a mis.»
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  3. #3

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    It depends on how it's stored.

    If in a cool, dark environment - it can last years.

    I think if kept in a chilled environment like a fridge, it'll last virtually indefinitely.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Great info! (this is why I love basentes.net!) Most colognes I have, I used them daily and they go away pretty quickly, so it does not matter how long they last. But I have a few items they are sort of hard-to-find or discontinued products and was wondering how long they actully last in my fragrance cabinet and what would be the best way to keep them in a good condition. So, do you recommend I should keep them in a refrigerator? How long do they stay in a good condition if they're refrigerated? Thanks!

    VV

  5. #5

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Yup, a fridge would work wonders in keeping fragrances. Not only does it keep it cool, it's in a really dark environment too.

    Well it depends on the fragrance. Different chemicals break down at different rates so there's no general value of time as to how long fragrances last.

    Like I said earlier, if kept in a fridge (which is very close to optimal conditions, I'm assuming), a fragrance should last virtually indefinitely.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    For keeping it in the fride, any particular temperature? I wouldn't want it too cold and I'm using a small refridgerator in my dorm....which chooses coldness on a 1-10 scale. Is there too cold?(aside from freezing the stuff ice cold)

  7. #7

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    If all you have is a small fridge in your dorm and you don't have a large collection that you are going to be keeping for decades then I would suggest that you don't even bother. Just don't put the bottle in the window sill to bake in the sun and it should be good for another several years.
    All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    omg. dcampen, I misread what you said and I thought you said

    "Just put the bottle in the window sill to bake in the sun" and alarms went off in my head and I was like WTF.

    Then I reread it and felt stupid :-[

    Even in freezing temperatures, fragrances that are alchohol based SHOULD be okay but.. I wouldn't warrent on that because even though the alcohol doesn't freeze, the perfume that's in the alcohol might be damaged through extreme temperatures. I'm sure that normal operating temperatures should be adequate.

    Remember, most people just store their fragrances in a closet or a drawer without cooling and their fragrances are fine for many years. This means ANY type of cooling provided is already really good and should add many years to a fragrance - that is if the fragrance is stored in the cooled environment for all those years.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    I know I'm bumping up a really old thread, but... here's a pair of questions. The first is probably easier:

    #1: How old is a cologne at the time it's purchased? Let's say I buy a bottle of something on June 1st. When was it probably made? Is there an easy way to know?

    #2: Following up on the fridge/storage comments above... Does it harm a cologne to remove it from the fridge for a few months and then return it? Does going from fridge temp to room temp and back change a cologne? Let's say I have a collection of 4. One for each season. Will it harm a cologne if I remove it from the fridge for three months and then return it? I was thinking of getting an airtight container to keep three in the fridge, and cycle one out for three months before returning it to the fridge at the end of the summer (when I'd swap out whatever cologne I'd be wearing for the fall).

  10. #10
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    #1 - If there is a code on the box when you buy it, I believe there is a website where you can enter that code and it will say what year it was manufactured. (can't remember the address)

    #2 - I have had some bottles in my collection for over 30 years moved many times from a temperature controlled environment to one that wasn't and still today, they have maintained their integrity and smell great, so I would have to say in my case, no harm.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    I recently wore some sprays from a bottle of Tommy that is at least 10 years old (I bought it in 2002 from TJ Maxx, who knows how long it was sitting on the shelf) and was very much impressed by the potency. If anything, the longevity was far better than I remembered it not having worn it in some time and I've never been one to store fragrances in any special way other than in their boxes in my closet. Just goes to show you, age is only a number

    I do however have a bottle of AdG that is also roughly that old that has suffered a bit with age. I think it's for the best, just discourages me from wearing that one :P

  12. #12

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    I have fragrances from the mid 90's that are fine and I kno someone with some fragrances from the 70's that are still fine. They will last forever if stored right.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Quote Originally Posted by hednic View Post
    #1 - If there is a code on the box when you buy it, I believe there is a website where you can enter that code and it will say what year it was manufactured. (can't remember the address)

    #2 - I have had some bottles in my collection for over 30 years moved many times from a temperature controlled environment to one that wasn't and still today, they have maintained their integrity and smell great, so I would have to say in my case, no harm.
    you're thinking of http://checkcosmetic.net/

    doesn't have all, but has a lot of the designers

  14. #14

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    I think natural oils vs synthetics play big part. A niche my not last beyond two years once opened without changing but some department store scents can last the test of time. I have a stock of vintage Obsession that are the original version with the spryer built into the cap (if any one remembers that) and it smells just like how I remember it back in 1990.

  15. #15

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Quote Originally Posted by scentimus View Post
    I think natural oils vs synthetics play big part. A niche my not last beyond two years once opened without changing but some department store scents can last the test of time. I have a stock of vintage Obsession that are the original version with the spryer built into the cap (if any one remembers that) and it smells just like how I remember it back in 1990.
    If you ever feel like parting with one bottle please let me know.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Thanks for the info! I asked because I never wear more than 4 sprays worth of a cologne in a day, and at that pace, it takes me two years to go through a bottle. If I bought a different cologne for each season, it would easily take me at least 5 years to go through them all! Probably a lot longer.

  17. #17

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    If you look after them, I think they are probably good for as long as you are! My father has a bottle (long since discontinued) that he only uses on special occasions. He's been doing so from the same bottle for almost 30 years!

  18. #18

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    after 3 years the manufacturer enters a number, hits the red button and your fragrance literally explodes.

    you don't have any more than 3 years old do you?

    hello? hello?!
    NEW SPLIT - Tom Ford Lavender Palm 50ml in Atomizer - DISCONTINUED!. .

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  19. #19
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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Hmm, I always wondered this... I still have fragrances from my high school/early college days. My A*Men juice now looks pulpy and it's green (it's normally blue correct?); my L'Occitane Miel Y Citron hasn't changed colors but has gotten pulpy as well. I don't think the way they smell have changed, but I'm wondering if this has happened to anyone else and what that means?

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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    eMCizzle: How old are you now? Or, in other words, how many years has it been since your high school / college days? 5? 10? 20? Just curious. I have a cologne that's 7 years old, but I never wear it. I assumed that after a while, some of the ingredients in cologne start to break down or change their composition. Wine ages. I assume colognes and perfumes age as well.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Quote Originally Posted by swix View Post
    Thanks for the info! I asked because I never wear more than 4 sprays worth of a cologne in a day, and at that pace, it takes me two years to go through a bottle. If I bought a different cologne for each season, it would easily take me at least 5 years to go through them all! Probably a lot longer.
    You need to do two things in your life:

    1. SPRAY MORE !!!! - a lot more
    2. Start buying some Creed fragrances - for instance Millesime Imperial, Silver Mountain Water & Royal Water and you will know the value of spraying more to even have a chance of smelling the frag 6 hours later that same day
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  22. #22
    Dependent CHSeifert's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    I have an old Dolce & Gabbana Pour Homme from 1996-1997 - 1/4 left of a 125 ml EDT version, and it still smells and projects and lasts a lot longer and better than the D&G Pour Homme 125 ml EDT I just purchased last month
    Regards
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  23. #23

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    ^^^ do some reading around the forum, this one is known to have been reformulated and watered down heavily over the years...

  24. #24

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    keep them away from light, and if possible from heat/big temperature changes, and they can outlast you.

  25. #25

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Try to keep them in their orig boxes and (again) out of light/big temp changes - especially heat. Be mindful with the clear bottles as they will let in more light, keep the caps on if you can (will hopefully allow less air inside if the seal is compromised). I'd stay away from the bathroom and put them in a drawer, in the boxes or covered somehow. But the main thing is don't save them for special occasions that never come. I have had a few niche frags that I LOVE and saved for special occasions and recently discovered some of them turned. Mind you, I had these before I really knew what I was doing with frags and for some reason let them sit on the top of the dresser instead of inside, but main thing.. Use them
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  26. #26
    Dependent CHSeifert's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Master-Classter View Post
    ^^^ do some reading around the forum, this one is known to have been reformulated and watered down heavily over the years...
    I know thank you

    Just wanted to show that 15+ years original juice can still turn out better than some thin reformulated ghost juice
    Regards
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  27. #27

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Quote Originally Posted by moore View Post
    I only believe that some changes on composition due to time can cause some skin damages on predispised people. These changes usually don't make any change on the smell.
    i would like to see your source for that.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    This has been a very informative thread. I'm just getting back in to using EDTs and colognes (I'm 47) and have purchased about a dozen 100ml or so sized fragrances. I'm not going to refrigerate them - I use them daily. I will keep them mostly in the original boxes or inside a dresser drawer to get the most out of them.

  29. #29

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Very variable and, in my strictly personal, subjective opinion, close to incalculable and/or inestimable. For instance, personally owning a bottle of Horizon by Guy Laroche (manufactured in 1993 the latest, if not even earlier) that hasn't shown much significant decrease of projection, nor longevity, sillage etc., though having no sprayer, being a splash bottle thus much more exposed to any damaging factor. However, not saying that fragrance lifespan is limitless, but still generally far longer than probably expected.

  30. #30

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    depend on how you store it... I keep mine in a cooler, no light

  31. #31
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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Don't believe the 2-3 years max bullshit

    Bottles last a lot longer than that, if you take care of them.

    5-10+ years in a "normal setting"

    50 to 100+ in an ideal setting

  32. #32

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    I'm going to have to invest in some sort of cologne cabinet. As of now, they are stored in the closet with the doors shut.

  33. #33

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    i have few bottles from the 70's that are just fine.

  34. #34

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Quote Originally Posted by eMCizzle View Post
    Hmm, I always wondered this... I still have fragrances from my high school/early college days. My A*Men juice now looks pulpy and it's green (it's normally blue correct?); my L'Occitane Miel Y Citron hasn't changed colors but has gotten pulpy as well. I don't think the way they smell have changed, but I'm wondering if this has happened to anyone else and what that means?
    Wow! That's crazy! Did you store it in ideal settings? I had a bottle of Chrome by Azzaro that I placed in the fridge but I would also leave out at times and carry with me in my luggage when I traveled to college. I also wouldn't leave it in it's box so it was exposed to different temperatures as well as different forms of light. Eventually, the oils separated from the alcohol and it appeared pulpy just like you stated. It still smelled the same but the top notes were compromised a bit. Were your bottles exposed to the same experience as mine?

  35. #35

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    I have a bottle of Platinum Egoiste with cca 10/100ml left, made in 2006, and it's much stronger and it last more than the one i bought recently, that was made in 2012.
    I made a test - i sprayed 2006 on my right hand and 2012 on my left hand...the difference is so big, as i said the 2006 is a projection monster compared to the 2012, also the 2006 seems more richer and denser. I got cca 10 hours from 2006, and only 4-5 hours from 2012.
    Is this possible??? I kept mine bottle from 2006 in it's box in a drawer.
    But still it's 7 years older than the new one-watered down.

  36. #36

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    yes it's possible. it's called reformulation and unfortunately it happens all the time.

  37. #37

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Quote Originally Posted by noirdrakkar View Post
    Don't believe the 2-3 years max bullshit

    Bottles last a lot longer than that, if you take care of them.

    5-10+ years in a "normal setting"

    50 to 100+ in an ideal setting
    does it matter if the fragrance bottle are full (unused) or if they are used frequently, in terms of their lifespan? i keep them in a dark place, away from temp. and light, but some are not full, i use them on special occasions.

    for example i have 100ml of 125ml bottle from escada pour homme, the bottle is made in 2009...if i keep it in the original box and away from light and temp. how long can it last?

  38. #38
    treeman5823
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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Fragrance should last for a good century given proper storage.

  39. #39
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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    I only had one 'go bad' that is b/c I knew nothing about storing it, and kept it in a sunny, hot, humid bathroom on the counter. after several years, the top notes completely disappeared. I still wear it (Hugo Boss Original) but it goes right to the base notes when sprayed on.
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  40. #40

    Default Cool

    Stick em in the freezer ;-)

  41. #41

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Reviving an old thread with my two cents:

    Like many of us, I've accumulated quite a collection in the past years. I think I began in high school, around 1999. Most of my remaining purchases from that era smell (to the best of my knowledge) identical to the way they did when I first bought them. Mind you, this is *without* any special care methods, aside from merely storing them in a dark drawer.

    On the other hand, I have had a few scents from that same naive period that have either become less pleasant over time, or perhaps were never to my liking to begin with (Chrome still smells metallic to me [as it would, I suppose], and Lucky You for Men [which probably never smelled great]). I am inclined to think that I never really liked these scents anyway, rather than that they "turned."

    So, in conclusion...I think simply storing your fragrances in a cool, dark place is more than sufficient for most products. I will also add that I don't own niche fragrances--all of mine are designers, so I imagine they are stabilized in some way for long-term viability. But in any event, all of this chatter about 3 year shelf-life seems paranoid to me, and doesn't reflect my experience.

    If you have the money and space for a small wine cooler, I do believe that it might provide some marginal benefit if the thermostat is set at a relatively low (i.e. cool, but not cold) setting. But you should be able to gain long term shelf life of your fragrances without that investment.

  42. #42

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Stored in a cool dark place, your fragrances should last as long as this thread.

  43. #43
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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    ... Or even much longer!
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals don't warrant or deserve other individuals' acknowledgement or respect.

  44. #44

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    So - what's "cool"? Room temperature? Fridge? (I have a wine fridge that could do the trick, but I'd have to start drinking a lot of wine!)

  45. #45

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Ok i just got a 1 oz bottle of Michael jordan cologne and it doesent smell like my mini one i got at walmart? It smells weaker, do i have to give it time for it to mature? Or do you think its in old batch?
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  46. #46
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    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Following up on the thread. Cant seem to find the info pertaining to cold temperatures. I am well aware that direct sunlight and heat are both hamful to fragrances, but what about freezing cold?
    I occasionally leave stuff in the car for prolonged periods of time and it gets down to freezing temps at night. I also know that the alcohol element will be fine, what about the parfum element?

  47. #47

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyP View Post
    Following up on the thread. Cant seem to find the info pertaining to cold temperatures. I am well aware that direct sunlight and heat are both hamful to fragrances, but what about freezing cold?
    I occasionally leave stuff in the car for prolonged periods of time and it gets down to freezing temps at night. I also know that the alcohol element will be fine, what about the parfum element?
    I guess if they send fragrances by air mail around the world they are much colder up high then in your car.

    Your bottles should be fine.

  48. #48

    Default Re: How long does cologne last before it expires?

    The general rule seems to be 3-5 years.

    But do Eau de Parfums last longer than Eau de Toilettes?

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