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  1. #1
    Dependent The Smelly Scientist's Avatar
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    Default Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    Sorry if this is the wrong section to post this in, but I had a quick question:

    I currently live in an apartment without any air conditioning. My fragrances are tucked away in a little shelf in the corner, out of direct light, but the room is still hot.

    Is this going to be damaging for my fragrances? Should I be moving them somewhere else for now?

    Thanks in advance!
    I'm liquidating my collection to help fund my site. Please show your support for the FPindex and buy buy buy - Tuscan Leather, Egoiste, Costume National 21, etc!

    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/302...**-Come-on-in-)


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  2. #2

    Default Re: Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    If you're able to move them somewhere cooler it would be preferable but how hot are we really talking?

    Despite my constant worries about this I've only had the dregs of one bottle (Rive Gauche Intense) turn.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    Heat and light are certainly the enemies of fragrance longevity, but a bit of temporary warmth is unlikely to do any great harm.

    All fragrances consist of a complex mixture of organic chemicals and over time some of those will react with each other, with the ethanol they are dissolved in and with oxygen from the air. As a result of those reactions you can sometimes get a precipitate forming in the bottle, more often youíll get a change of colour (usually going first dark yellow and then brown as time goes on) and a change in the scent. The scent change isnít always for the worse - most fragrances improve for several days, weeks and even months after they are blended - but top-notes do tend to fade over time.

    Fragrances, like Chanel Number 5, that contain a lot of aldehydes, or those with a heavy dose of citrus tend to be the most vulnerable to deterioration as the aldehydes can oxidise and also react with methyl compounds in the fragrance (such as methyl anthranilate for example, a common perfume ingredient in itís own right and also a common constituent of many natural ingredients) forming what is called a Schiffís Base - the result is generally a softening of the aldehyde element of the fragrance which becomes less bright, sharp and more lasting. That can be good or bad depending on the fragrance and the degree, but it will certainly be different.

    The hotter the fragrance, the faster all that happens, the colder, darker and the less exposure to air (i.e. full, sealed bottles) then the slower it is. Unopened fragrances were recovered from the wreck of the Titanic after nearly 100 years and they were still in excellent condition: but then itís extremely cold and dark down there . . .
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  4. #4
    Ursula's Avatar
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    Default Re: Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    Touch the walls inside your apartment and find the coolest spot. There are those spots ... depending on the structure of your building. Mine was inside a walk-in closet. So, I got a plastic trunk from the Dollar Store, and stashed half of my beauties in there, cool and dark. The rest - the ones in use - are inside the bedroom dresser drawers, and not even on display. I decanted into purse size spray bottles most of them, and those are in use, and the full bottles carefully stored away.
    There are no answers, only choices. (Stanislav Lem)

  5. #5

    Default Re: Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    In view of the fact that questions like this come up fairly often and Basenotes is due some more downtime shortly Iíve put a slightly more complete version of my answer to this on my blog:

    http://pellwall-perfumes.blogspot.co...-perfumes.html
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  6. #6
    Dependent The Smelly Scientist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    Quote Originally Posted by laph View Post
    If you're able to move them somewhere cooler it would be preferable but how hot are we really talking?

    Despite my constant worries about this I've only had the dregs of one bottle (Rive Gauche Intense) turn.
    Probably not THAT hot, but hot enough that I have a hard time sitting around without the help of a fan, and we've been going through a heat wave which has not helped. I'll look for a cooler place

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    Heat and light are certainly the enemies of fragrance longevity, but a bit of temporary warmth is unlikely to do any great harm.

    All fragrances consist of a complex mixture of organic chemicals and over time some of those will react with each other, with the ethanol they are dissolved in and with oxygen from the air. As a result of those reactions you can sometimes get a precipitate forming in the bottle, more often you’ll get a change of colour (usually going first dark yellow and then brown as time goes on) and a change in the scent. The scent change isn’t always for the worse - most fragrances improve for several days, weeks and even months after they are blended - but top-notes do tend to fade over time.

    Fragrances, like Chanel Number 5, that contain a lot of aldehydes, or those with a heavy dose of citrus tend to be the most vulnerable to deterioration as the aldehydes can oxidise and also react with methyl compounds in the fragrance (such as methyl anthranilate for example, a common perfume ingredient in it’s own right and also a common constituent of many natural ingredients) forming what is called a Schiff’s Base - the result is generally a softening of the aldehyde element of the fragrance which becomes less bright, sharp and more lasting. That can be good or bad depending on the fragrance and the degree, but it will certainly be different.

    The hotter the fragrance, the faster all that happens, the colder, darker and the less exposure to air (i.e. full, sealed bottles) then the slower it is. Unopened fragrances were recovered from the wreck of the Titanic after nearly 100 years and they were still in excellent condition: but then it’s extremely cold and dark down there . . .
    Chris: I would just like to say, before I address the content of your comment in particular, that I really respect and appreciate all the knowledge you bring to this forum. The amount of thought you put into each of your posts really reflects your knowledge and experience. I'm sure most feel this way, but I just wanted to say thanks. I always enjoy reading your posts!

    And now back to your particular comments...

    I take that your leisurely tone suggests my babies are not in imminent danger, and so far I have not noticed any change in the topnotes, but I will endeavor to move them to a more secluded area just to be safe.
    If you had to put an actual number on the level of heat exposure that is dangerous for fragrances, what would it be?

    Also, do you think it would be best to store my fragrances somewhere around the ocean floor for optimal longevity? :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Ursula View Post
    Touch the walls inside your apartment and find the coolest spot. There are those spots ... depending on the structure of your building. Mine was inside a walk-in closet. So, I got a plastic trunk from the Dollar Store, and stashed half of my beauties in there, cool and dark. The rest - the ones in use - are inside the bedroom dresser drawers, and not even on display. I decanted into purse size spray bottles most of them, and those are in use, and the full bottles carefully stored away.
    Good call! I will do that when I get home

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    In view of the fact that questions like this come up fairly often and Basenotes is due some more downtime shortly I’ve put a slightly more complete version of my answer to this on my blog:

    http://pellwall-perfumes.blogspot.co...-perfumes.html
    Thanks very much for that. I'll check it out now. I tried a search but came across mostly threads about people storing their fragrances in refrigerators, so I went ahead and made a thread anyway. Sorry for the repost!
    I'm liquidating my collection to help fund my site. Please show your support for the FPindex and buy buy buy - Tuscan Leather, Egoiste, Costume National 21, etc!

    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/302...**-Come-on-in-)


    Founder of the Fragrance Potency Index (FPindex)
    Providing real data on fragrance projection and sillage! Check it out
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/FPIndex
    Facebook: [utl]http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fragrance-Potency-Index/422023624539612[/url]

  7. #7

    Default Re: Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    Quote Originally Posted by eggy View Post
    Chris: I would just like to say, before I address the content of your comment in particular, that I really respect and appreciate all the knowledge you bring to this forum. The amount of thought you put into each of your posts really reflects your knowledge and experience. I'm sure most feel this way, but I just wanted to say thanks. I always enjoy reading your posts!
    Thanks for that it’s good to know I’m appreciated! And you’re welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by eggy View Post
    I take that your leisurely tone suggests my babies are not in imminent danger, and so far I have not noticed any change in the topnotes, but I will endeavor to move them to a more secluded area just to be safe.
    If you had to put an actual number on the level of heat exposure that is dangerous for fragrances, what would it be?
    Not imminent danger certainly. There isn’t really a particular temperature because its a factor of time and temperature combined. However if you consider that when the manufacturers stress-test a fragrance they will use the following as a guide:

    12 months at 20 degrees = 12 weeks at 40 degrees = 6 weeks at 50 degrees = 3 weeks at 60 degrees (Celsius in all cases).

    That’s based on something called the Arrhenius equation, which states that the rate of reaction doubles for every 10 degree rise in temperature. There is some doubt about whether this is still true for organic chemistry once you go above body heat. So in practice perfumery companies test at about 0-4, 20-25 and 37 for 12 weeks or so to establish a perfume is stable under all the conditions likely to be encountered in most homes or in transit. But from the above you can see that your fragrances will age much faster when warm than when chilled and that escalates with tropical temperatures.

    Quote Originally Posted by eggy View Post
    Also, do you think it would be best to store my fragrances somewhere around the ocean floor for optimal longevity? :P
    Only if you need them to last for 100 years (and in that case I want some of whatever you’re taking . . .)

    Quote Originally Posted by eggy View Post
    Thanks very much for that. I'll check it out now. I tried a search but came across mostly threads about people storing their fragrances in refrigerators, so I went ahead and made a thread anyway. Sorry for the repost!
    Welcome and no problem on the re-post - there were a lot of threads about refrigerators that ended up on this topic about 30 post in as I remember!
    Last edited by Chris Bartlett; 22nd June 2012 at 04:55 PM. Reason: minor corrections & added ref to equation and link
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  8. #8
    Dependent The Smelly Scientist's Avatar
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    Default Re: Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    Thanks again for the detailed explanation! Very interesting stuff
    I'm liquidating my collection to help fund my site. Please show your support for the FPindex and buy buy buy - Tuscan Leather, Egoiste, Costume National 21, etc!

    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/302...**-Come-on-in-)


    Founder of the Fragrance Potency Index (FPindex)
    Providing real data on fragrance projection and sillage! Check it out
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/FPIndex
    Facebook: [utl]http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Fragrance-Potency-Index/422023624539612[/url]

  9. #9

    Default Re: Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    Hey, I am sorry for bumping an old thread but I had a similar question to the ones asked/answered here.
    Would a say 2-3 hours of heat (~40C) alter or destroy perfume? My point, I have just ordered an EDP Guerlain but am worried could any heat exposure from the travel (of about 45 miles) cause harm? My initial thought would be no, but a more professional opinion would be really welcome, thank you

  10. #10

    Default Re: Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    Quote Originally Posted by kocy View Post
    Hey, I am sorry for bumping an old thread but I had a similar question to the ones asked/answered here.
    Would a say 2-3 hours of heat (~40C) alter or destroy perfume? My point, I have just ordered an EDP Guerlain but am worried could any heat exposure from the travel (of about 45 miles) cause harm? My initial thought would be no, but a more professional opinion would be really welcome, thank you
    I don't think you need to worry. Using the same formula that I gave earlier 3 hours at 40 C is going to be about the same as a week at 20 C - you wouldn't worry if your perfume was a week older, so . . . Added to that a new bottle will be full, sealed and enclosed in its dark box - the the heat is the only less than ideal factor.
    Last edited by Chris Bartlett; 24th August 2012 at 05:52 PM. Reason: minor corrections
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume

    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog if you wish to ask questions of me.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    Nice, cheers

  12. #12

    Default Re: Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris Bartlett View Post
    Thanks for that it’s good to know I’m appreciated! And you’re welcome.


    Not imminent danger certainly. There isn’t really a particular temperature because its a factor of time and temperature combined. However if you consider that when the manufacturers stress-test a fragrance they will use the following as a guide:

    12 months at 20 degrees = 12 weeks at 40 degrees = 6 weeks at 50 degrees = 3 weeks at 60 degrees (Celsius in all cases).

    That’s based on something called the Arrhenius equation, which states that the rate of reaction doubles for every 10 degree rise in temperature. There is some doubt about whether this is still true for organic chemistry once you go above body heat. So in practice perfumery companies test at about 0-4, 20-25 and 37 for 12 weeks or so to establish a perfume is stable under all the conditions likely to be encountered in most homes or in transit. But from the above you can see that your fragrances will age much faster when warm than when chilled and that escalates with tropical temperatures.



    Only if you need them to last for 100 years (and in that case I want some of whatever you’re taking . . .)



    Welcome and no problem on the re-post - there were a lot of threads about refrigerators that ended up on this topic about 30 post in as I remember!
    Thanks for the info Chris. Your knowlege on these subjects frequently astounds me.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    I find it very surprising how many people seem to store their perfumes on open shelving, subject at least to a degree of sunlight. They appear to be more concerned with display beauty than the life of their perfumes. This continues to amaze me because so many perfume lovers are so concerned about getting well-stored perfumes on places like Ebay. It's a little ironical.

  14. #14
    Basenotes Junkie Curly11's Avatar
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    Default Re: Storing bottles in a room without AC - are my fragrances in trouble?

    My precious, small bottle of vintage Vol de Nuit is remains packed in its original box and is stored in a drawer. I think it's safe in there. My other treasured bottle, is kept in a large, deep wooden cigar box which also houses a jumble of sample vials. In the summer, I have to run the A/C so the room ought to be relatively cool, and in the winter this room is never really warm.

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