Your fragrances don’t like the sun as much as we do! 

  • According to a new survey by a staggering 78% of people don’t know that perfume goes off! So for anyone who has a large collection – this could prove an expensive oversight.  
  • Experts advise that perfume longevity before it goes off, or spoils, can vary significantly based on several factors, including the composition of the fragrance, storage conditions, and the presence of natural vs. synthetic ingredients.
  • When it comes to Eau de Parfum (EDP) and Eau de Toilette (EDT), which are the most common type of perfume we purchase, these types of fragrances last between 3 to 5 years. The higher concentration of aromatic compounds in EDPs can make them more resilient to degradation compared to EDTs.
has my perfume gone off
  • Taking care of your perfume collection is easy if you follow a few simple rules. Store it in a cool, dark place, and use it as soon as possible! By doing this, you can ensure that your fragrance lasts longer and smells better, no matter what season it is.

Here’s what Jonny Webber from advises for storing fragrances and what to do when UK temperatures rise.

A top tip from is when it’s hot to treat your perfume like a fine wine …. by keeping it in a consistent climate like a fridge. 

“Heat and sunlight can alter the composition and ‘fragrance’ of your favourite perfumes. So if your perfume collection is currently taking pride of place in your bathroom, on a sunny windowsill or in a warm bedroom then you could be significantly reducing its shelf life – which may well only be three to five years anyway. 

“In our recent survey, a massive 45 per cent of people store their perfumes or aftershave on show in the bedroom and 39 per cent in the bathroom, leaving only 16 per cent of people storing their scents correctly. 

“So where is the best place in the home to keep fragrances fresh and prolong the ‘just opened’ scent of your perfume? My advice is to treat it like a fine wine and store it in the fridge! Because heat, light and oxygen are not your fragrance’s friend – especially in the summer!” 

3 Factors Influencing Perfume Longevity 


Perfumes should be stored in a cool, dry place. Heat can accelerate the breakdown of fragrance molecules.

Exposure to Light 

Exposing perfume to direct sunlight will result in perfumes losing their original aroma. Exposure to both natural and artificial light breaks down a scented liquids’ makeup (it’s compounds to be more scientific), which over time can cause it to discolour and its chemical composition to change, altering its smell.  Keeping perfume in a cupboard, drawer or wardrobe will keep exposure to light to a minimum and help to keep it in its original state for longer. Alternatively, it can be kept on view but store it in its boxed packaging (or a decorative box). 

has my perfume gone off


Oxidation occurs when the fragrance is exposed to air. Keeping the bottle tightly closed and minimizing the amount of air inside the bottle can help prolong its life.

Jonny continues: 

“Similar to the effect of light on any scented liquids, perfume doesn’t like going from hot to cold and vice versa. Temperature fluctuations can alter the physical properties of a perfume’s composition. This means that humid environments like bathrooms, and bedrooms that might get hot in the summer and are kept warm with central heating in the winter, are potentially the worst places to store scents.  

“Keeping bottles of perfume at a consistent temperature of between 60 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 -22 degrees Celsius) is the best option. So pick a cool space that’s not prone to extreme temperature change to store your perfume.  

“Also Don’t open a new bottle until you start using it. A perfume won’t begin to ‘age’ until it has been sprayed at least once. It’s the introduction of oxygen that begins the oxidation process – much like when foods are opened from airtight containers. Keep bottles unopened until you’re ready to use the most days, or once opened and used make sure you keep the lid on the bottle to help to seal it. 

“In general, your perfume likes to be used fairly quickly and not sat in the bottle. This is because half-empty bottles leave room for oxygen to break down the scent.

“If stored correctly, perfume can last around three years (to five) once opened. Some scents have a symbol on the bottom of the bottle that indicates how long the product should be open for.” 

Signs a perfume has gone off

“You will be able to tell if your fragrance is past its best by the way it smells and looks. 

“A perfume that has gone off will smell slightly sour (or metallic) – it may look a darker colour or more yellowish too. You may first start to notice this when you’re wearing – the smell might be off putting and not quite right. A good tip is to spray a piece of paper or item of clothing before you wear it to check if the smell is as it should be. You may also notice sediment or particles at the bottom of the bottle. 

Jonny’s final tip …. Consider a travel sized fragrance 

If you like to wear lots of different fragrances – or to fragrance layer – then a great option is to buy smaller size bottles.”

Don’t store perfume on a windowsill in direct sunlight

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