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  1. #1

    Default How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    I have a friend who is wanting to sell me a 2011 bottle of Penhaligon's used once or twice. Its about or close to 2 years old. Will it start to go bad or weaken soon or should I go with a fresher bottle or will the fragrance last a long time if it has been kept in its box?

  2. #2
    Basenotes Junkie
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    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Depends on how it's been stored, but it should be ok otherwise...if it's been well taken care of. And hey fellow Utahn.

  3. #3
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kybid View Post
    Depends on how it's been stored, but it should be ok otherwise...if it's been well taken care of.
    Agree.

  4. #4

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    If kept out of light or extreme temps, most fragrances will "last" many, many years.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    The people who say that fragrances only last 36 months, frankly, don't know what the heck they are talking about.

    I have a bottle of Polo Blue (about 25% left in it) that lasted 8 years in a kitchen cabinet. And it's doing just fine.

  6. #6

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Fragrances can easily last 10yrs+ if stored correctly. At only 2yrs old, your friend would have to be storing the fragrance extremely incorrectly for it to turn.

    Btw which Penhaligons is it?

  7. #7

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by noirdrakkar View Post
    The people who say that fragrances only last 36 months, frankly, don't know what the heck they are talking about.

    I have a bottle of Polo Blue (about 25% left in it) that lasted 8 years in a kitchen cabinet. And it's doing just fine.
    I got some passed down grey flannel thats easily 20 years old and its fine.

  8. #8

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    I have 30% left of a bottle of Issey Miyake that i bought in like 1996 at the tail end of my teenage years.

    I pulled it out not too long ago to take a whiff, and its just as obnoxious as it was in the 90's. It smell wouldn't leave my wrist, i had to wash it off haha.

  9. #9
    Basenotes Junkie
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    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Sitting on a 2007 bottle of Bois Du Portugal by Creed stored correctly (I assume, Oslo_fjord ) and it smells DIVINE still after all these years.

    As said, not too warm, not too much moisture in the air and no direct sunlight and you'll be good for huge amounts of time.

    Now, regarding light from say a standard lamp. Is that regarded as unfortunate? I have my cabinet only .5 meters away from a lamp, and it's on now and then, probably giving some "indirect" light through the glass wall on my collection. Should I be superduper-worried? I'm not, to be honest ... but these are my babies seeing as I don't have any real babies ... so warn me if I should freak out every time the light is on

  10. #10

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Donīt panic! I own lots of vintage flacons from the eighties and theyīre all fine.

  11. #11

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    I have a few bottles that would be old enough to drink if they were people and they are all still fine. And, just as a note, I never until the last few years, took any really special precautions in the storage of my fragrances.
    Current Favorites:
    1. Le 3me Homme - Caron
    2. Yatagan - Caron
    3. Van Cleef & Arples Pour Homme
    4. Dolce & Gabbana pour Homme
    5. Kouros - YSL
    6. L'Anarchiste - Caron
    7. Xeryus - Givenchy
    8. V.I.P. Special Reserve - Giorgio Beverly Hills
    9. The Dreamer - Versace
    10. Nobile - Gucci

  12. #12

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Keep them away from sunlight and heat, and they'll last.
    My bottle of Lacoste PH went bad after 6-8 years, but it was kept in a warmer room, where sunlight was present.

  13. #13

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    i've wondered about the truth behind that light and heat destroys your fragrance talk...i've kept a cologne which I received as a bday present in 2003 (Sr8) in the bathroom (humid, light, etc.) and in 2012 it still hasn't changed. Granted, it was never that good to begin with, but smell is intact.

  14. #14

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    i remember i had a bottle of givenchy Pi that was sitting in a black car in summertime for years and it smelled horrible( well it smelled horrible to begin with.lol)

  15. #15

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by JiveHippo View Post
    Fragrances can easily last 10yrs+ if stored correctly. At only 2yrs old, your friend would have to be storing the fragrance extremely incorrectly for it to turn.

    Btw which Penhaligons is it?
    English Fern

    - - - Updated - - -

    I have one of those travel/refill (plastic) bottles of Geo F Trumper's Spanish Leather. Should I keep it in a drawer away from any light since it is in a plastic bottle or would it be fine to keep on top of my dresser?

  16. #16

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    One of the most debated topics in fragrances imo. And yet to really be confirmed by a chemist. But, based on my personal experience.. I think, if kept right (buying a refrigerator just for fragrances is a bit ridiculous), and stored properly.. They can go for many many years. I have some fragrances that are nearly 10 years old, that smell the same as when I bought them. I think the biggest thing really, is a sort of olfactory fatigue. When you stop wearing something for so long, then go back to it, it may smell different or even "expired"; when it's not really the fragrance itself, just your olfactory senses.
    My 3 Signature Scents:

    Rive Gauche Light (2004)
    Fahrenheit (1988)
    Paul Smith Man (2009)

  17. #17
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    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    personally ive just started this hobby about a year odd and im taking precautions like keeping it away from sunlight and heat. from personal experience my bottle of Armani Attitude lost its sillage and longevity (yes it wasnt that good to begin with but it became alcohol like late) after i carried the whole bottle around with me when i hit the gym. so probably the heat and constant shaking killed the frag
    Current Top 5:
    1. Frederic Malle L'eau d'Hiver
    2. Tom Ford Noir de Noir
    3. Dior Homme / Dior Homme Intense
    4. Thierry Mugler A*Men Pure Havane / Pure Malt
    5. Creed Aventus / Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille

  18. #18
    Basenotes Junkie Nosebud's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by comfortablynumbbg View Post
    i've wondered about the truth behind that light and heat destroys your fragrance talk...i've kept a cologne which I received as a bday present in 2003 (Sr8) in the bathroom (humid, light, etc.) and in 2012 it still hasn't changed. Granted, it was never that good to begin with, but smell is intact.
    I gaurantee if that bathroom has a shower then it has changed. Could it be that it is that old because you don't like it and think it hasn't changed because you still don't like it?

    I have friends who used to keep frags in the bathroom and wondered why they just smelled of alcohol after a few months before I told them why.

  19. #19

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Heat and light are definitely two killers of frags. It also depends on the ingredients of the frag also. A lot of these newer frags don't seem to last as long because there are so many synthetic ingredients in them. A frag with more natural ingredients will probably last a little longer.

    Personally, I still think it's good to put them in a small fridge.

  20. #20

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    5-6 years..tops

  21. #21

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by silverbullet View Post
    5-6 years..tops
    I guess that means that all those people chasing vintage and unreformulated versions of scents are dills, right?
    Cheers,
    Renato

  22. #22
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    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Heat and light are a frags worst enemy, but some have endured thrm and come through fine after years. I believe it all lies in it's chemistry.
    I'm not OLD...I'm VINTAGE!

  23. #23
    Super Member hoschhti's Avatar
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    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    I have a mini-bottle of CK be from the 90's and it actually smells even better than a new sample!!! (Reformulation?)
    FAVOURITES:

    1. Dia Man
    2. Tawaf
    3. Skin Graft
    4. Vitrum
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  24. #24

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    forever and ever if u stored it in dark place with regular temp in theory ( in reality 5-6 y. no matter how hard u try to keep it safe , after that he becomes weaker and weaker .... and in the end u won't reckognize him...)

  25. #25

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    I can't agree with 5-6 years posted above, that would render all the vintage thousands of dollars scents on the net useless. I agree that keeping them away from light, heat and moisture is optimal, but how long indeed a frag can last is likely up to itself. A quality fragrance I think and have heard from experienced people could last decades if stored correctly.

  26. #26

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    I guess that means that all those people chasing vintage and unreformulated versions of scents are dills, right?
    Cheers,
    Renato
    If they are, then I am one very happy dill.

    I have a rose from 1918 as lovely as the day they were picked. Admittedly that one is an oil from Grasse.

    As for the rest. Occasionally I get one that has gone off, but actually it is not as common as you would expect. Much of that is marketing hype to make you all buy more and new.....

    You stay that way, so I can bag the bargain old ones.. I shall dill away without you... lol

  27. #27

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    From Basenotes to everywhere else on the internet that I've read, seems like the overwhelming consensus is that, in general, fragrances do not expire as long as they're stored properly (i.e. out of sunlight & the right temperature).

  28. #28

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Nosebud View Post
    I gaurantee if that bathroom has a shower then it has changed. Could it be that it is that old because you don't like it and think it hasn't changed because you still don't like it?

    I have friends who used to keep frags in the bathroom and wondered why they just smelled of alcohol after a few months before I told them why.
    you could be right, it's a really cheap ass cologne, even when it was brand new it was more alcohol resembling than perfumish, but still though since 2003 in the bathroom and still gives off same vibe as far as i remember, impressive.....for a bad frag lol

  29. #29

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    I would really like to see some objective facts on this. I'm very hesitant to believe that fragrances "turn" after only a year or two that you sometimes read, because the industry obviously has an interest in marketing fragrances as fresh goods that need frequent replacement.

  30. #30

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    The perfume oils are in alcohol of the highest percent. It is a preservative of the oldest kind. To spoil a frag needs some pretty bad external influences that are more powerful than the alcohols preserving powers. Sunlight and heat being the main contenders. Oh, and time of course.

  31. #31

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    I guess that means that all those people chasing vintage and unreformulated versions of scents are dills, right?
    Cheers,
    Renato
    DEfinitely silly of people to search out vintage or anything over 5-6 years old. Fortunately, I will kindly accept all fragrances over 5-6 years and, erm, "dispose" of them free of charge

  32. #32

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    I have fragrances of 10+ age after the purchase date (not even considering the manufacturing date, just calculating based on the very moment I bought them) and they have never gone bad so far, nor significantly lost longevity, projection etc.

  33. #33

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    I am wearing some vintage Chanel …goÔste today, and at 10+ years of age it still smells divine!
    - Mark

    …GOŌSTE! …GOŌSTE! …GOŌSTE!

    "OOOOOOH WHAT A GOAL! IT'S DANNY ROSE, ON HIS PREMIER LEAGUE DEBUT, WITH A MEMORABLE STRIKE!"

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  34. #34

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by mumsy View Post
    If they are, then I am one very happy dill.

    I have a rose from 1918 as lovely as the day they were picked. Admittedly that one is an oil from Grasse.

    As for the rest. Occasionally I get one that has gone off, but actually it is not as common as you would expect. Much of that is marketing hype to make you all buy more and new.....

    You stay that way, so I can bag the bargain old ones.. I shall dill away without you... lol
    The vast majority of my scents are over 6 years old. The only one I think has changed slightly in its topnotes is Tiffany For Men.
    Cheers,
    Renato

  35. #35

    Default Re: How long does a fragrance last before going bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Renato View Post
    I guess that means that all those people chasing vintage and unreformulated versions of scents are dills, right?
    Cheers,
    Renato
    It was tongue & cheek

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