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  1. #1

    Default How to tell if vintage juice has gone bad?

    I've acquired a handful of vintage fragrances and some of them have smelled off to me. But since I've never experienced some of them in vintage form is it that I'm not used to the pre-IFRA ingredients. I wouldn't think so as my bottles of Pancaldi and Trussardi Uomo, while not my cup of tea, they don't smell like they've gone bad.

    I used to think that it was only the top notes that go bad, but the base is usually left intact. Cool Water and Curve went bad on me, but I had them for a while and left them either in the sun or exposed to shower steam. When you first spray them you don't get a fresh citrus+alcohol blast. You get this dry, gross smell. Same goes for Cosmair Polo Sport. Top notes smell burnt.

    But I've now acquired Avon Leather, Cosmair Polo, and Jeff Gordon Z-14 and while the openings smell fine, the middle smells bad in all of them. Can a fragrance go bad while still smelling normal at the beginning?

    I'd like to buy more vintage stuff but ordering online seems to be a crap shoot. I thought it was only vintage citrus fragrances like Cool Water, Eternity, Curve and Polo Sport that I had to be wary of. The hardcore stuff like Polo, Kouros, etc would last forever. I guess splashes are also questionable as they could be exposed to air more?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to tell if vintage juice has gone bad?

    Of course ingredients can and do turn over time: cosmetics have an expiration date. But, you may simply dislike one or more ingredients that are no longer used in fragrances.
    Currently wearing: Jasmin Kma by Rania J

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    Default Re: How to tell if vintage juice has gone bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    I'd like to buy more vintage stuff but ordering online seems to be a crap shoot.
    Yup there's always that risk. It just comes down to how much you want it.
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  4. #4

    Default Re: How to tell if vintage juice has gone bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by PStoller View Post
    Of course ingredients can and do turn over time: cosmetics have an expiration date. But, you may simply dislike one or more ingredients that are no longer used in fragrances.
    So individual notes can go bad, not just the ones in the opening? If that's the case then I think I might be hanging it up on my vintage collecting. At least for awhile.

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    Default Re: How to tell if vintage juice has gone bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh V. View Post
    So individual notes can go bad, not just the ones in the opening? If that's the case then I think I might be hanging it up on my vintage collecting. At least for awhile.
    Like everything else in the universe, fragrances are made of chemicals. Chemical compounds have finite stability: at a certain point, under certain conditions, they will degrade. Now, I’ve had very good luck so far buying fragrances 25+ years old, either because the degradation isn’t significant or because, lacking any way to compare to a new batch of the same formulation, I’m happy with its current condition. But all cosmetics have a stated shelf life for a reason.

    Beyond that, my point is that what bothers you about an old frag might have nothing to do with degradation and everything to do with you not liking older ingredients (say, civet or castoreum) smelling exactly how they were always supposed to smell. It’s fine if you don’t like a scent, but I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about why you don’t like it. “Going off” is just one possibility.
    Currently wearing: Jasmin Kma by Rania J

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    Default Re: How to tell if vintage juice has gone bad?

    There is only one way. Smell it. From photos you can not tell. Even if the colour is darker or you can see particles in the fluid it does't t necessarily mean that it is gone bad.

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    Default Re: How to tell if vintage juice has gone bad?

    It's a fairly subjective statement. It could be something limited to the degradation of the top notes which is fairly common in decades old scents or something more than that. Things that could play a factor into degradation are the presentation of the bottle - is it a sprayer or decanter/splash and contaminants like dirt, skin, oils that interact and degrade the scent or excessive exposure time to air. In some cases coloring could also be an indicator of degrade but not always.

    You're odds of encountering a turned scent will increase farther back the bottle was originally manufactured which may come down to a hit or miss. Manufacturing fragrances did improve significantly in the 1970s and 1980s so they're more likely to be in good shape as oppose to stuff decades prior. Hope that helps.
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    Default Re: How to tell if vintage juice has gone bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by PStoller View Post
    Like everything else in the universe, fragrances are made of chemicals. Chemical compounds have finite stability: at a certain point, under certain conditions, they will degrade. Now, I’ve had very good luck so far buying fragrances 25+ years old, either because the degradation isn’t significant or because, lacking any way to compare to a new batch of the same formulation, I’m happy with its current condition. But all cosmetics have a stated shelf life for a reason.

    Beyond that, my point is that what bothers you about an old frag might have nothing to do with degradation and everything to do with you not liking older ingredients (say, civet or castoreum) smelling exactly how they were always supposed to smell. It’s fine if you don’t like a scent, but I wouldn’t jump to conclusions about why you don’t like it. “Going off” is just one possibility.
    PStoller, your comments make a lot of sense to me !

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    Default Re: How to tell if vintage juice has gone bad?

    If the vintages you have purchased so far smell bad to you, they just do. It's okay not to like them.

    The question is...are these bad (turned) bottles or do you just dislike perfumes/notes in the vintage style? (as P. Stoller has suggested.) There's a user on the Other Forum who seemed to have the worst possible luck buying vintage, describing every bottle as turned or sour until I realized that he was expecting perfumes to smell candy sweet in the modern manner.

    Why don't you send a small sample of your vintage Avon Leather or Cosmair Polo or Z-14 to a Basenoter who can tell you if it smells as it should? Zealot Crusader has gallons of Avon Leather so he might be a good candidate for that one, if he's willing.
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