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  1. #1

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    Default Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    There are much talk aboute vintage fragrances here on the forum. The vintage bottles seems always to be the best. I have also read here that someone say they have bought a new fragrance, and it must have been a old bottle, because it`s something wrong with the smell. I have fragrances in my collection that are 8-10 years old, and they smell exactly the same IMO.
    -Then I wonder: If the fragrances are stored correctly in a dark cold place, are they like fine wine? Still good after many years? Or will the scents go bad after a while, and smell different,"old", loose power etc?
    Last edited by Oslo-Fjord; 3rd April 2010 at 06:00 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    The short answer is yes. They can certainly spoil if you are unlucky. Some hold up better than others. Guerlain, for instance, seems to be a good vintage bottle to hang on to, especially if it is sealed. It keeps very well. Also, if you are lucky enough to get an extrait, or parfum, with a little plastic plug in the top, it is usually well preserved. The lighter formulas (EDC, EDT) seem to fall apart pretty fast.
    Last edited by kumquat; 3rd April 2010 at 06:14 PM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    I would like opinions on this as well. In another thread I posted that I think frags last about 3 to 5 years, and people started posting how they had some they owned over 30 years that were still good. That is so hard to believe. I had to throw out half a bottle of D&G after about 2 or 3 years as it had lost any staying power about that time. Same with an old bottle of Ambre I have now. I've had it about 4 years and the remains are pretty weak. No projection whatsoever, although it stays close to the skin for a few hours. It was very potent when I bought it. One of my co-workers said that she thought cologne will last just about 2 or 3 years.

    How about some of the old pros giving us the verdict?
    Last edited by Naitch; 3rd April 2010 at 06:15 PM.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    i upgraded recently from 8-year old bottles of Creed Green Irish Tweed and Millesime Imperial to new ones straight from creedboutique.com

    they both smell almost like different fragrances. Better, with the top notes 90% stronger.

    (and no, the first bottles were not fake. :-)

  5. #5
    StylinLA's Avatar
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    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    I don't have a scientific answer, but I think some do and some don't. I have an inkling from my collection that Creeds seem more inclined to fade a bit. I just tossed some BdP that I had about 8 years. It smelled good in the top notes, but there was nothing left after an hour.

    I don't store my frags under the most ideal of conditions and I had that bottle a long time it should be noted.
    Last edited by StylinLA; 3rd April 2010 at 06:52 PM.

  6. #6

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    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    I thought that the syntetic frags last longer than the ones with natural ingredients. Mr. Olivier Creed mention in a interview that he use almost only natural ingredients, but they had to add som syntetic stuff too, if not, the fragrances would not last long. I always store my fragrances in a dark closed cabinet in my bedroom, because the worst you can expose your fragrances are light.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    I bought an old bottle of l'Heure Bleue extrait that had faded to a very generic smell. I don't know how to describe it -it didn't smell like it had turned, but it smelled of a single note, and was no longer the the same perfume.

    Other than that I had a bottle of Green Irish Tweed go off after about three years, and my ten year old bottle of Millesime Imperial is now smelling a bit off as well. Other than that I have about 200 bottles, very few of which are younger than ten years, and they are all very good.

  8. #8

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    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    When i buy a fragrance from a perfumer`s shop/ on-line shop etc, I can never know how old the fragrance is. Theoretical, it can be several years old. Recently I bought a bottle Creed Erolfa from Parfumsraffy.com. The bottle had the old Erolfa design, and the cap with the four-sided gold emblem on the top. I know that this bottle isn`t brand new, because it hasn`t the new bottle design. But how old can it be?
    Last edited by Oslo-Fjord; 3rd April 2010 at 09:43 PM.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    My experience is that most of my older fragrances actually smell better than I remember they were when I first bought them. The oldest bottle I have that I bought is a bottle of Cacharel Homme and that smells rich and full.
    In a world where people smell bad, it is the personal responsibility of every Basenoter to improve the world one SotD at a time...

  10. #10
    A Site For Sore Eyes

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    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    I have been putting away new, vintage and partial bottles, decants and samples since late 2006. I have yet to have one go bad but then again I haven't tried everything I own every year..not by a long shot.
    Last edited by kbe; 3rd April 2010 at 09:55 PM.
    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

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    Natch wrote:

    [QUOTE=Natch;1797763]I would like opinions on this as well. In another thread I posted that I think frags about 3 to 5 years, and people started posting how they had some they owned over 30 years that were still good. That is so hard to believe. I had to throw out half a bottle of D&G after about 2 or 3 years as it had lost any staying power about that time. Same with an old bottle of Ambre I have now. I've had it about 4 years and the remains are pretty weak. No projection whatsoever, although it stays close to the skin for a few hours. It was very potent when I bought it. One of my co-workers said that she thought cologne will last just about 2 or 3 years.



    -This can`t be correct.. If you take a look at some of the pictures in the "post a picture..." post on this forum, and see the huge collections some members have, then it must be a lots of bad fragrances out there! I think 2-3 years is a very short time for a fragrance..
    Last edited by Oslo-Fjord; 3rd April 2010 at 10:07 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    Yes, depending on how you store them. No cap and in direct sunlight will go "sour" quicker..or spoil quicker. Fragrances are the opposite of wine, they don't get better as they age. Perfumes really work due to containing highly volatile organic molecules, I'd imagine no matter how well you seal them up, they will eventually either decompose or make it through whatever seals you have on them. There aren't a lot of each molecule in there, so a small change would have a reasonable effect on the smell, especially to highly sensitive people (There's quite a range of sensitivity to smells amongst humans).

    When you put on your fragrance of choice and it feels less lifeless than it once was.. then you'll know. Also if your fragrance smells off you can try the old fridge test.. stick it in the fridge for 20-30 mins then give it a try. If it smells better.. then you know you just need to change the way you store your fragrances.
    Last edited by The_Cologneist; 4th April 2010 at 12:21 AM.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    Store in a cool dark place. There are some differing opinions on refrigeration due to conflicting research results. I have fragrances un-refrigerated that are several decades old. The only thing wrong with them is that they have lost the top notes. I store my fragrances in a cool, dark closet.
    Last edited by mrclmind; 4th April 2010 at 12:29 AM.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    Store in a cool dark place. There are some differing opinions on refrigeration due to conflicting research results. I have fragrances un-refrigerated that are several decades old. The only thing wrong with them is that they have lost the top notes.
    Well all research aside.. I notice a big difference when I get a fragrance in the mail (that's been traveling and in a sealed box that eventually gets pretty hot.. especially when it gets into the humid FL weather) and I spray it on my skin and it smells off. Then I simply refrigerate it for 20 minutes or so, until it cools down. It may come out a bit cold, so I'll let it sit for a few minutes and then retest it. As usual, the results are always great.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    Store in a cool dark place.
    That's it.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclmind View Post
    There are some differing opinions on refrigeration due to conflicting research results.
    This is one of the things that most interests me. I have kept my fragrances under refrigeration for the past year, at least those not seeing regular usage, and the rest are in a cool, dark closet. I am hopeful that those in the closet don't lose much during the months they are there (my warm-weather frags are out of the fridge from April-October, roughly, but I was under the impression, based on previous conversations here, that refrigeration was the way to go for long-term protection. I don't remember the precise dates of those posts, as I held onto the refrigeration wisdom but lost my recollection of the evidence/research, so to speak.

    Regards,
    T

  17. #17

    Default Re: Can a fragrance be old/sour/change/loose power after some years?

    I always keep my stuff in its box unless the bottle did not have one to start with of course. They are also stored on a shelf near the air conditioner in the summer months. It seeems most of the votes here are that cologne will last a very long time unless stored right, or unless it is a Creed. I hope that is true. I'd feel much better about having several in rotation (which to me is 5 to 10, which is a rookie's set by most standards around here!)

    As for Oslo-Fjord, I think you're right that 2 or 3 years is a bit short. In 5 years or so I'll have to come back to this topic, since I've never owned anything for more than 4 years.

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