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Shelf Life of Perfume

Category Perfume
It can be tempting to buy an older bottle of a perfume you loved that has been discontinued, or an unopened, or nearly full bottle at a yard sale. However, age does effect the fragrance of perfume. This is a page about the shelf life of perfume.


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August 29, 2013

There was a brief period of time before Faberge discontinued Tigress perfume, when the house marketed a perfumed bath oil of the same fragrance. It was then that I learned the staying power and longevity of perfumed bath oils over perfumes and colognes.

I purchased a 1/2 ounce bottle of Germaine Monteil's Royal Secret perfumed bath oil for my mother. Today, the oil has the same strength and the same unchanged scent as it did when I gave it to her. I gave her the oil over 45 years ago.

The length of time a perfume will remain 'fresh' varies from product to product. Also, the conditions under which it is kept play an important role in its longevity. However, if you are hoping to keep your favorite scent for a long time, consider buying it in the perfumed bath oil form. An added bonus is that it costs considerably less than perfume.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 5, 2009

What happens to perfume that is a few years old? I am looking for Avon's "Perceive" that has been discontinued, but am worried that it may have lost something with age. Does perfume age or go "bad"?


Thanks for your input.

By Nelwyn Mills from Bunkie, LA


May 9, 20090 found this helpful

In my experience it gets a bit stronger, but this just might be the one I had "lost" in a drawer for a couple of years. Others may be different.

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May 9, 20090 found this helpful

When my mom passed away in the 80's I found a bottle of Blue Waltz perfume in her dresser drawer that had been there since the 50's. It stunk to the extreme. After going on the web and doing a little research I learned some perfume will improve with age and it is just the opposite for others. It can change color, but even if it does, you can still use it. So no matter what the age of the perfume, if it doesn't pass the smell test, throw it out. If it does, go ahead and use it.
Perfume will fare better if it is kept in a cool, dark place.

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April 1, 20110 found this helpful

Some perfume smells hideous when it is old. You can get fresh "old" perfumes from the Vermont Country Store on line catalogue.


Just type in Vermont Country Store and it should come up. You can even get blue waltz.

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