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  1. #1

    Default Use by dates on fragrances

    I notice that fragrances have the use by symbol and a date in months on them. But many fragrances which are deemed 'vintage' sell for high prices and must be well beyond this date. What's the real story? How much do fragrances deteriorate after the date stated on the packaging?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    Gimmick to get you to buy more juice in my opinion. I have a couple of bottles that are more than 8years old that still smell ok. If it is stored correctly, it will last for a while.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    I wondered if it was a gimmick.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    I have bottles that are 5-6 years old and they smell perfectly fine. Fragrances start to go off when there is a flux in temperature or if they are exposed to light for prolonged periods of time. If you store them in a place that will maintain room temperature you will preserve their integrity. Some people like to store them in fridges. That is obviously not feasible for everyone, but to each their own.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by noseferatu View Post
    I have bottles that are 5-6 years old and they smell perfectly fine. Fragrances start to go off when there is a flux in temperature or if they are exposed to light for prolonged periods of time. If you store them in a place that will maintain room temperature you will preserve their integrity. Some people like to store them in fridges. That is obviously not feasible for everyone, but to each their own.
    Mine are kept upright in a dark cupboard, hopefully at a constant room temperature. I hope this is good enough.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    I wonder if those Le Labo bottles with expiry dates on are a marketing gimmick or do they contain synthetic chemicals that deteriorate quicker. The cynic in me wonders if their fragrances are created to only last a short period on purpose so you have to buy more.

    Another question is do natural ingredients go off quicker than synthetic notes?

    On the whole I agree that if they are kept out of the light and away from heat scents can last decades though the top notes may be absent.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    It was an EU thing, were all cosmetics has to have a use by date. So you get the weird 6-24 months and a symbol. If they really wanted to do it properly they would have the date of manufacture on the bottles etc.
    DONNA

  8. #8

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    From what I've read, it's a gimmick.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    Meaningless, but I wish all fragrances had a "produced on" date.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    I wonder if those Le Labo bottles with expiry dates on are a marketing gimmick or do they contain synthetic chemicals that deteriorate quicker. The cynic in me wonders if their fragrances are created to only last a short period on purpose so you have to buy more.

    Another question is do natural ingredients go off quicker than synthetic notes?

    On the whole I agree that if they are kept out of the light and away from heat scents can last decades though the top notes may be absent.

    Why isolate Le Labo?

    Beloved and revered Editions du Parfums Frederic Malle all have expiration-date stickers on each bottle.

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  11. #11

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    It was just a example and your right others have them too. I just do not like them on the bottles though I agree with barclayetolly a "produced on date" would be good.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    Apparently Le Labo has stopped using expiration dates on their bottles, they are using the production date now...

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    Personally don't pay attention to them.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    One thing I might add: I bought a vintage bottle of Pour Monsieur (1980s) and despite smelling better than my current, recently-bought bottle, it's longevity was awful. I don't remember the original lasting such a short time, back in the 80s.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    It was just a example and your right others have them too. I just do not like them on the bottles though I agree with barclayetolly a "produced on date" would be good.
    That'd be great!
    You'd instantly know which year your bottle is. Would actually make certain perfumes' prices increase. Like fermented grapes from certain 'good years'.

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  16. #16
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    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    not an issue. i have had a few bottles for over 5 years and they are in the back of my rotation

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    I think that the real story, as you request, is that it's a way for the manufacturer to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the product after a reasonably brief period of time. And I don't blame them for that. I have bottled water - in glass bottles - that has an expiration date on it. The only reason I can think of for printing it onto the bottle is the idea that god knows what's going to get into that bottle over a number of years.

    As far as vintage stuff is concerned, that's really at the other end of the spectrum. In my experience, if you buy sealed product that's more than about fifteen years old, you're really at a high risk of buying fragrance that's gone bad. Even if it's sealed. I've tried it. A few times I got lucky, and more than a few times I bought unusable garbage.

    So maybe the takeaway (in my opinion) is that, properly stored, your fragrance will keep for years beyond any sort of contrived use-by date, but it's simply not going to last forever.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    As long as the frag is kept away from light and heat, it will last for years.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    About a decade ago, a chap posted here that he found his dad's old designer scents under the sink in their old house in Colorado (I think it was), where they had been sitting for 30 years. He reported that all the scents smelled just fine to him. That's always been the definitive real life test I think of when this issue comes up.

    In general, in a few of my older bottles, after a long period I've noticed that some of the top notes changed slightly, or significantly in the case of Tiffany for Men, but after half an hour of wear the scent smells like it always did.

    The only scent I've ever had go totally off on me was a 20 year old bottle of Macho by Faberge that I was given as a present. But it was a splash rather than a spray bottle.

    As for heat affecting designer scents, it may affect some. But I've kept bottles of Galileo 21st Century and Fred Hayman Touch for Men in my car for many years, and the inside of the car regularly got to over 50 degrees Celcius over summer. None have ever gone off.
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  20. #20
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    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    there are lies, there are damned lies and there are 'use by' dates on fragrances
    Our job is to live joyfully in this world of sorrows--Joseph Campbell

  21. #21

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheatstraw2 View Post
    I think that the real story, as you request, is that it's a way for the manufacturer to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the product after a reasonably brief period of time. And I don't blame them for that. I have bottled water - in glass bottles - that has an expiration date on it. The only reason I can think of for printing it onto the bottle is the idea that god knows what's going to get into that bottle over a number of years.

    As far as vintage stuff is concerned, that's really at the other end of the spectrum. In my experience, if you buy sealed product that's more than about fifteen years old, you're really at a high risk of buying fragrance that's gone bad. Even if it's sealed. I've tried it. A few times I got lucky, and more than a few times I bought unusable garbage.

    So maybe the takeaway (in my opinion) is that, properly stored, your fragrance will keep for years beyond any sort of contrived use-by date, but it's simply not going to last forever.
    I guess fragrances don't age as well as good wines!

  22. #22

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    This symbol is actually a "after opening" date, not a use by date. So after the bottle is opened or sprayed the manufacturer claims that the contents will be good (under normal usage) for the amount of months listed.

    As stated above it's more of a European thing and is a win-win for the manufacturers since they can claim to the unknowing public that the fragrance is expired.

    I too have bottles that are over 10 years old. Some were kept out of the sun and heat purely by luck since back then I didn't really know what I was doing, I just knew I liked smelly stuffs

    I found a small splash bottle of the original Polo that came out of a coffret I bought around 2000 or so, I kept it and a few others in a metal box in my closet and recently uncovered them. It smelled SOOO much nicer that the Polo green that is on the shelves today.
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  23. #23

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    I think it might be useful with fragrances containing real grapefruit EO, as it has a tendency to deteriorate into foul smelling sulfur compounds.
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  24. #24
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    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    Actually "Use by (date)" is just a clever suggestion, not a warning. And, as implied before, will cause some consumers to use up the product faster than they normally would, creating the possibility of another, quicker re-stocking by the consumer--which certainly benefits the manufacturer.

    I am reminded of the 'suggestion' printed on many containers at the end of their instructions for use, one that increased shampoo manufacturer's bottom lines: "Rinse, repeat"
    Our job is to live joyfully in this world of sorrows--Joseph Campbell

  25. #25

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    I wonder if those Le Labo bottles with expiry dates on are a marketing gimmick or do they contain synthetic chemicals that deteriorate quicker. The cynic in me wonders if their fragrances are created to only last a short period on purpose so you have to buy more.

    Another question is do natural ingredients go off quicker than synthetic notes?

    On the whole I agree that if they are kept out of the light and away from heat scents can last decades though the top notes may be absent.
    This ^

    Natural ingredients will deteriorate quicker yes.

    This is another bugbear regarding 'batches'. They will vary in quality only if natural ingredients are used. So, if a fragrance is wholly synthetic, there will be no change from batch to batch. You have to make your own mind up about this though, but I fear there is a lot of bullshit surrounding these batch variations.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by barclaydetolly View Post
    meaningless, but i wish all fragrances had a "produced on" date.
    exactly

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Use by dates on fragrances

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheatstraw2 View Post
    I think that the real story, as you request, is that it's a way for the manufacturer to absolve themselves of any responsibility for the product after a reasonably brief period of time.
    That would be my assumption as well.

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