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  1. #1

    Default How long do fragrances last?

    Ive been collecting fragrances for a while now (Have around 25) and was just wondering how long they tend to last in terms of years? I heard that it was from 1-3 years, can anyone confirm? I noticed that everyone here has alot of experience when it comes to fragrances.

    Does anyone here have an actual from the 70's that still smells the same today? That would be amazing .

    Can you guys also give pointers on how to better preserve your fragrances? I keep mine in my room in a glass cabinet and I keep all the boxes to reduce the light. I read that heat causes your fragrances to wear out, so Im kinda worried because this summer might be killer and I dont have a/c. The temp in my room might shoot up.

    The longest fragrances I have is Dolce Gabanna which was purchased around December 2005.
    Last edited by MJMoonwalker; 14th April 2007 at 06:40 PM.

  2. #2
    DustB's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long do fragrances last?

    Welcome to Basenotes, MJMoonwalker. Glad to have you around talking about fragrances with us.

    Your question comes up frequently with new members, and you're sure to find a great amount of posts on the subject if you'll type your subject line into the subject line.

    Judging from the information in your post I don't think you're running any risk of having your scents go bad before you use them up or become tired of them. Keeping them in boxes protects them from light.

    Years ago I wrote up the following post because this topic comes up with the frequency that it does. Maybe this will further explain:

    Yes, fragrances can go bad. Emphasis on the word “can,” though.

    But how long before they do? Five years? Ten years? More? Less? What’s average? It all depends.

    Fragrances go bad because time, heat, oxygen exposure, and sunlight change the oils that make them up. Standard advice for a long life of a bottle is to keep it in a dark, cool place--a closet, say. Sunlight changes wood, paint, rugs, and most things it blasts. It will change the fragrancy of oils too. Heat likewise. Further advice is to buy spray bottles in the first place because they have smaller exposure to air--capped bottles get opened every time you use them. I read on Basenotes that pros have special refrigerators to keep scent archives in.

    For me the hard thing has been knowing when one of mine has gone bad. I wonder if my nose has changed, gotten used to the scent, or gotten the taste for something else instead--as if the problem is not in the older bottle. The ones I have decided were bad turned kind of blah, and had no really distinct notes like they used to, or, I think, start to have one strange and powerful odd scent that jumps out at you too quickly. For example, I have to go smell a new bottle of Drakkar Noir to see if my old bottle has gone bad. My old bottle seems to have a sticky, strong peppery scent when I spray it and it doesn't seem like anything I want to wear even if just for a day to see if it's bad. I remember getting to like Drakkar after it was on me for an hour or so too. Whether my Drakkar is good or bad doesn't really matter now, when I smell the bottle I don't want to wear it. That's the standard to follow for your fragrances. Very highly citrus scents might have a shorter life, since citrus is short-lived and breaks down easily while on the skin at least. My Eau Sauvage and Chanel For Men were the first bottles that I ever wondered if they’d gone bad, but touches of each seem fine on the skin after a half-hour. Those bottles are over twenty years old.

    Proper care of fragrances is a real bummer. What's the use of the beautiful bottles and nicely colored liquids if you have to keep them in a closet?
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  3. #3
    MadScientist's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long do fragrances last?

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    Your question comes up frequently with new members, and you're sure to find a great amount of posts on the subject if you'll type your subject line into the subject line.
    --Chris
    LOL.....he meant type your subject line into the search box. Click on "Search" at the top of any forum page.

    Welcome aboard.

    Here's a thread you might find helpful. It doesn't address your concerns directly but it might give you some ideas and it's quite entertaining.

    http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=191137
    Last edited by MadScientist; 14th April 2007 at 08:02 PM.

  4. #4
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    Question Re: How long do fragrances last?

    Quote Originally Posted by DustB View Post
    Welcome to Basenotes, MJMoonwalker. Glad to have you around talking about fragrances with us.

    Your question comes up frequently with new members, and you're sure to find a great amount of posts on the subject if you'll type your subject line into the subject line.

    Judging from the information in your post I don't think you're running any risk of having your scents go bad before you use them up or become tired of them. Keeping them in boxes protects them from light.

    Years ago I wrote up the following post because this topic comes up with the frequency that it does. Maybe this will further explain:

    Yes, fragrances can go bad. Emphasis on the word “can,” though.

    But how long before they do? Five years? Ten years? More? Less? What’s average? It all depends.

    Fragrances go bad because time, heat, oxygen exposure, and sunlight change the oils that make them up. Standard advice for a long life of a bottle is to keep it in a dark, cool place--a closet, say. Sunlight changes wood, paint, rugs, and most things it blasts. It will change the fragrancy of oils too. Heat likewise. Further advice is to buy spray bottles in the first place because they have smaller exposure to air--capped bottles get opened every time you use them. I read on Basenotes that pros have special refrigerators to keep scent archives in.

    For me the hard thing has been knowing when one of mine has gone bad. I wonder if my nose has changed, gotten used to the scent, or gotten the taste for something else instead--as if the problem is not in the older bottle. The ones I have decided were bad turned kind of blah, and had no really distinct notes like they used to, or, I think, start to have one strange and powerful odd scent that jumps out at you too quickly. For example, I have to go smell a new bottle of Drakkar Noir to see if my old bottle has gone bad. My old bottle seems to have a sticky, strong peppery scent when I spray it and it doesn't seem like anything I want to wear even if just for a day to see if it's bad. I remember getting to like Drakkar after it was on me for an hour or so too. Whether my Drakkar is good or bad doesn't really matter now, when I smell the bottle I don't want to wear it. That's the standard to follow for your fragrances. Very highly citrus scents might have a shorter life, since citrus is short-lived and breaks down easily while on the skin at least. My Eau Sauvage and Chanel For Men were the first bottles that I ever wondered if they’d gone bad, but touches of each seem fine on the skin after a half-hour. Those bottles are over twenty years old.

    Proper care of fragrances is a real bummer. What's the use of the beautiful bottles and nicely colored liquids if you have to keep them in a closet?
    --Chris

    The alcohol being the most volatile of all the ingredients, I suspect that the alcohol would be the first thing to evaporate from the mix and perhaps that would make the other contents seem stickier and, since the alcohol also is a vehicle to keep the oils etc in solution, cause a somewhat different pyramid to appear? Just a guess but would adding the same type of fresh and pure alcohol in the proper amount (whatever that would be), then shaking the closed bottle gently to mix it in, restore the scent to somewhat the proper opening, middle and drydown notes? I understand that light and heat will damage the structure of the ingredients, but I am referring to just the effects of room air entering the bottle and allowing more head space for the alcohol to come out of solution in well stored and reasonably old, not ancient, bottles. Spray bottles seem only to allow a small and measured amount of outside air in but splash bottles/roll-ons seem to me to allow more of a free exchange of inside the bottle air with room air over the lifetime of the contents.
    Deep in the dark your kiss will thrill me
    Like days of old. Lighting the spark of love that fills me
    with dreams untold..--Twilight Time

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How long do fragrances last?

    MJ, there's some good advice here. You may note that really serious collectors indeed do keep their fragrances in those small dorm fridges, away from any kind of heat and light for their lives. There's a guy on basenotes whose username is "the good life" (Tom), who in my opinion in an expert on fragrance and fragrance care. You might PM him.

    jd

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