The shelf life of perfumes
Focus on

The shelf life of perfumes

Like any other signature beauty product, even the best niche perfumes have their expiration date. Although the shelf life of each fragrance is already quite long, quality raw materials extend it even more. After 36 months from the first spritz, the natural composition of essential oils could change, especially in case of improper storage.

With this article, we would like to give a better understanding, explaining once and for all when perfumes expire and how to understand if the fragrance you are currently using has gone bad.


The perfume color change, from light to dark, is quite often to arouse some suspicions. Such transformation does not always mean the deterioration of the fragrance, on the contrary.

A fragrance that becomes darker during its shelf life only confirms the presence of natural essential oils and not the synthetic ones. This phenomenon is called aging and manifests itself not only with color-change of the scent but also with a gradual increase of fragrance intensity.

The aging process of raw materials in a perfume accompanies the essence for most of its life, right until everything stops completely. However, even in this case we cannot say that the perfume is expired; instead, it has reached full aging of its components.

It is wrong to assert that a used perfume is expired only because its color is different from a brand new Eau de Parfum

Finally, the reason why we do not recommend considering color as a sign of fragrance expiration, especially in case of improper storage, is because the color-change is normal for a fragrance made of natural essential oils.


If you start using your perfume after it has been sitting on the shelf for some years and smell some acidic notes, it means that the aging of raw materials has exceeded its natural time limit and the fragrance is about to expire or has already expired.

A classical sign of an expired perfume is a sour note, as well as failure of top, heart and base notes to be persistent, that is, to last on the skin as they used to, evaporating well ahead of time. Why does a perfume go bad? And how can we avoid it?


Some people are used to keep their favorite Eau de Parfum in their wine cellar to maintain the same temperature, others protect it from light and temperature changes by keeping it safe in their closet.

Even if you are not a fan of Perfume art, some measures can certainly extend the shelf life of a fragrance. We recommend you to adopt the following little tricks:

Keep your perfumes away from light

Regardless how pleasant it is to have a fragrance right in front of you, light is unquestionably a source that makes the original composition of essential oils change more than anything else does. In order to best preserve perfume’s longevity, it is better to store it in your wardrobe, a linen drawer or right in its original box, minimizing direct contact with light. That way you will assure a longer shelf life to your perfume as much as possible.

Keep your perfumes away from light

Avoid heat and temperature changes

Few people know that perfumes should be stored in cool place and maintaining the same temperature over time. Never keep your perfume bottles in hot places, in worse scenario under direct sunlight. As strange as it may sound, if you live in a hot country with temperature above 30 degrees Celsius, it might be the case to store your perfumes in your cellar, closet or even in the refrigerator.

Avoid heat and temperature changes

Do not buy too many fragrances at the same time

Having simultaneously 10 or 20 Eau de Parfum will increase chances of their expiration: one of them can go bad earlier than expected. Choose a 100 ml bottle only for perfumes that you certainly use every day, for other cases take a sample kit of 30 or 50 ml.

Do not buy too many fragrances at the same time

A good perfume, if it is stored properly, can last for years. It is up to you to do your best to store it properly and make it last.


About Officina delle Essenze

Officina delle Essenze means personal and home perfumes. It’s a family-owned company where there’s still the Italian know-how which led to success the Made in Italy all over the world, as a synonym of handcrafted luxury. It’s a journey which goes on through the blog, where the brand accompanies the niche perfumery lovers to the discovery of always new olfactory paths as well as reference articles and advice on its products.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *