Short answer: yes.
Fragrance is more dynamic than most people think. Modifying certain variables will affect the fragrance’s composition and effects.
For instance, the best place to store fragrance is not in a bathroom, despite that this is typically where fragrance is stored. A bathroom is not ideal because the humidity in the environment will be changing frequently (due to steamy showers) which will affect the fragrance over time.
Even small differences like the amount of moisture on your skin can have a big impact
Seemingly small and unimportant variables can have a long-lasting impact on preserving your fragrance.
Or even make it better…
How Long Will My Fragrance Last?
A general lifespan for most fragrances will probably be around 3-5 years from the time the bottle is opened. However, its’ not unheard for some frags to be lucky and make it to 10 years. Keep in mind, most fragrances don’t contain an expiration label like you would find on a jug of milk, so sometimes it can be hard to remember when exactly you purchased a particular fragrance if you’re a light user or tend to switch things up.
Ideally, with proper storage, the fragrance will be better preserved and make it past the 5-year mark.
While not opening a fragrance may cause it to preserve its scent, and even may mature the cologne or perfume like an unopened bottle of 102-year-old scotch, there is no guarantee the scent doesn’t expire and mutate into something strange and deviant. That being said, base notes have been known to grow stronger and mature over time, not totally unlike scotch.
Obviously, the chemical makeup of each scent will have a major influence on the long-lasting freshness that is your favorite cologne or perfume. But this tends to be difficult to generalize for obvious reasons.
Like most things, the lifespan is going to vary significantly – so have fun with a fragrance while you still can!
How Do I Tell If My Fragrance Has Expired?
In a sense, the fragrance will start to “mutate.” It may have a slightly sour flavour or just smell plain “off.”
Some scents may smell slightly metallic as the top notes tend to oxidize.
Another sign of expiration is if the colour of the scent has changed, often going slightly yellow or even darker.
Ideally, you should do a test spray of a fragrance on a piece of paper or your worst enemy (just kidding… or are we?) if you haven’t worn that frag in a very long time or you suspect the scent is off.
What Happens If I Wear Expired Fragrance?
Honestly, probably nothing – although bear in mind we’re not doctors.
The worst case is you probably don’t smell as fantastic as you normally do because the fragrance has expired.
How Do I Properly Store My Cologne or Perfume?
The environment you store your fragrance in plays a major part in its longevity. Exposure to high temperatures (which is why you shouldn’t store your cologne in your bathroom no matter how tempting it is) and sunlight are big no-no’s from the Perfume Gods.
What Kinds Of Fragrances Last The Longest?
However, many lighter floral scents will not last as long and will tend to be more “volatile” as they expire faster. In this case, the base notes of a floral scent may actually mature and get stronger while the lighter top notes fade over time.
If you’re one of those “fragheads” that like trying new colognes and perfumes, but don’t want to take out a second mortgage in order to enjoy a new fragrance, consider a luxury fragrance subscription.
Luxury should be affordable.