Most perfumes have a maximum shelf life of 3 to 5 years from their production date. Fragrances made with quality ingredients, and those that come in dark or opaque - as opposed to clear - bottles, will last longer. You can help your perfumes go the distance by following a few simple rules for their storage.
Storage Tips to Extend the Life of Fragrance
Much like fine wine, a perfume must be stored properly in order to preserve its scent. Some general rules:
Always store perfume in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat. A dresser drawer is a good choice.
You may keep perfume in the refrigerator, which may help to extend its life span. Be careful, though, not to store it too closely with food products that may absorb its scent, such as butter.
Do not keep fragrances in the bathroom, where fluctuating temperatures and high humidity can lead to their deterioration
Keep perfume bottles tightly closed, to prevent evaporation, which can change the balance of a scent's composition.
How to Know When a Perfume Has Spoiled
Some perfumes fade away gradually, becoming less intense with age, while others noticeably go "off". If a bottled fragrance has thickened, changed its color (for instance, yellowing or becoming darker), or develops an unappealing smell, it should be discarded.