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  1. #1

    Default The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    I used to fashion myself as something of a fragrance connoisseur...... Until I discovered 'basenotes' with its olfactorily erudite member base. I'm learning more about fragrance composition and 'scentology', if you will, than I ever imagined.... and I'm loving it!

    I'm an old-school chap so I lean heavily toward the classics, which sometimes presents a bit of a problem insofar as the availability of certain fragrances. One in particular that I adored back in the day is Patou Pour Homme, which as everyone knows has been discontinued. However, I see it still offered on the internet by commercial enterprises, as well as private sellers and - whereas I would normally jump at the opportunity to once again own a bottle of that sublime and mysterious elixir - I can't help but think to myself, "How fresh can the contents of that bottle be?"

    Assuming it was kept in a climate-controlled environment and spared any prolonged exposure to direct sunlight, what would be the average shelf life for a fragrance of that calibre, or any fine fragrance for that matter? Patou Pour Homme in particular, however, as it is (was) such a unique and superbly crafted blend of astounding complexity and nuance.... One can only wonder how long could a delicate balance of that ilk sustain its integrity through the years?

    If any of the more learned ladies and gentlemen of this community would honour me with a commentary on this theme, I would be most appreciative.

    Cheers,
    c2k

  2. #2

    Default Re: The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    You cannot know until you try.
    Great works are performed, not by strength, but by perseverance.

  3. #3

    Default Re: The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    Thank you, trapper........ Would love to hear from anyone else.

    Cheers,
    c2k

  4. #4

    Default Re: The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    People quite often hunt down fragrances that are five, ten, thirty, or more years old. There are a few fragrances with a reputation for going "off" quickly, but I'd say that in general a bottle that's been kept under good conditions for a decade or two is quite likely to still be good. When they do start to age, my impression is that it's often the top notes that go, while the middle and base notes are still good.

    So if you love that fragrance, and you wouldn't be absolutely devastated by the wasted money if it turns out not to have kept well, I'd say go ahead and buy it.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    The top notes went first, whenever I had a fragrance spoil. I would expect shelf life to vary with the ingredients; a fragrance heavy in base notes might last longer.

    Personally I would hesitate to spend much on a vintage fragrance that was a decade old. I blew over $80 doing that once; the bottle was sealed in original packaging but the top notes were still ruined.

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    I'm sory, but perfumes, unavoidably start to change their smell after 2-3 years,and ONLY in bad ways, from my point of view (even if stored properly) and if you still like how it smells, fine... de gustibus...
    Last edited by w3pearl; 16th February 2010 at 03:46 AM.
    "Diego: Why did you do that? you could've died trying to rescue me.
    Manfred: That's what you do in a herd: you look out for each other. " (Ice Age)

  7. #7

    Default Re: The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    Numerous members have scents decades old with little reported change. Sure they all deteriorate somewhat but not all are completely spoiled. I personally would take the risk for something I love but as always: caveat emptor.

  8. #8

    Default Re: The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    Dear ChickenFreak, 30 Roses, w3pearl and DocmanCC: Thank you all for your very thoughtful responses; all of them very good advice indeed, which will weigh in with my own thoughts when making my final decision..... One thing I neglected to mention in my original post is that this is a $350 purchase and although I would not be devastated by the loss, I would most certainly feel the sting. Hence, the deliberation will be long and sober....... Thank you again, it's very kind of you to take the time to contribute your thoughts and it's most appreciated!

    Cheers,
    c2k

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    Yow. That is a lot of money. I would probably make a point of buying it from the most respected source, rather than the cheapest source, at that price.

    I just checked, and The Perfumed Court has decants of Patou Pour Homme, at least right now. If it's been a while since you smelled this scent and you have any doubts about still loving it, you could get a milliliter or so, to see how you like it. Plus, if you like it, you'll know that it's _possible_ for it to still smell good, even though it won't tell you anything about the specific bottle that you'd eventually buy.

  10. #10

    Default Re: The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    ChickenFreak, that is the best advice by far and I shall do just that! Once again, thank you for your generosity!
    Cheers,
    c2k

    "You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star!"

  11. #11

    Default Re: The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    I bought last year a bottle of Caron Fleurs de Rocaille parfum on ebay unopened from 1960. The top notes are a little fainter but the middle and basenote perfect. It was as far as I know kept at the bottom of someone's wardrobe.
    DONNA

  12. #12

    Default Re: The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    Whilst I've never had anything quite that high end, I have had stuff n the past that I owned for about 10 years that was already 10-15 years old when I bought it and it still smelt absolutely fine to me in that it hadn't gone "bad". Others I've bought myself about 10 years ago brand new and have recently finished up (again, nothing that high end) smelt the same as the day I bought them.

    If there is a guarantee from the seller that the frag has been stored sensibly, the seller is reliable, you have the money and are prepared for the possibility of a degree of weakening, then I say go for it. Without any of those........yeah, caveat emptor.

  13. #13

    Default Re: The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    donna255 & great_badir - Again, excellent input..... Thank you both so much! I can't tell you how gratified I am at the overall generosity and camaraderie of this community; everyone has been most accommodating! I have a lot of very valuable information at my disposal, thanks to your kind participation.
    Cheers,
    c2k

    "You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star!"

  14. #14

    Default Re: The Fine Fragrance Shelf Life

    Hmm, I've had my Azzaro PH, Rive Gauche PH and Kouros for a while now..they're still very fresh and are not languid of activity in any sense...though..funnily enough, Azzaro Pour Homme has become muskier over the months...is proving to be akin of me now!! loving it more than I had before!!

    Cheers!
    - Balava
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