Great post, further noting the fact about temperature and fragrance storageIn 1992 I bought a bottle of Laura Ashley No. 1 edp to wear at my wedding. This is a floral scent. Reported notes are as follows:
top notes: bergamot, galbanum, hyacinth, gardenia
middle notes: rose, tuberose, orchid, carnation, jasmine, ylang-ylang
base notes: styrax, benzoin, musk, sandalwood
Back then, I didn't know that even indirect light could be damaging to perfumes, and kept my perfumes on top of my dresser. After 2-3 years, they all had nasty top notes. I bought fresh bottles of my other perfumes, but by the time I tried to buy another bottle of Laura Ashley No. 1, it had been discontinued and was not to be found in stores.
I was a bit sad to lose my wedding scent, but kept the beautiful painted bottle on display and used it now and then as a room spray. The ruined top notes were not an issue. I still have that 20 year old bottle and it's still perfectly fine as a room spray.
After some years, we bought a computer. Now there was a potential new source for my beloved Laura Ashley No. 1: eBay.
In 2007 I bought a new, sealed box of the eau de parfum. It was a bit disappointing; the beautiful sweet floral top notes were weak, insipid, but wearable. Clearly the bottle had not been exposed to light wherever it was stored, and it had never been sprayed before. It may have been exposed to hot conditions, maybe even in someone's garage, awaiting an estate sale. Or, I thought, maybe it just turned because of age. I determined to try again.
I bought another new, sealed bottle on eBay. The second one was even worse. This time the top notes were truly unpleasant. Still, it is highly wearable after the top notes are gone, if I can endure those first 10 minutes.
I put both bottles in the fridge, together with my other perfumes which I had already begun storing there. The Laura Ashleys have not deteriorated any more since then, and my other perfumes are holding up great! So I'm back to thinking it was heat and not age that caused the top notes' deterioration, since the bottles are 7 years older now than they were when I bought them, but smell much the same as they did in 2007.
Other perfumes may be more affected by chemical changes caused by age. I have read that this is true of aldehydes. I do not tend to buy floral aldehyde type perfumes, however, so can't report on that. My citruses are holding up very well.
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