Believe it or not, your perfume can go "bad." Discoloration and unpleasant aromas are two tell-tale signs that something has gone awry, but you can extend the shelf life of your fragrance by simply storing it properly.
For the dos and don'ts of storing scents, we interviewed Drom Fragrances perfumers Jan Fockenbrock and Caroline Ivanica. Read on to find out the best spot in your home to tuck away fragrances (hint: it's in the kitchen), the most resilient notes and more.
Always store your perfume in a cool and dark place. According to Fockenbrock, exposure to heat and humidity can alter the aroma and affect the physical properties of perfume ingredients such as essential oils. Ivanica believes the bathroom may not be the best place for storing perfumes. The fridge, or a cabinet that's not too dark and not too hot (around 41 degrees Fahrenheit), is ideal.
Don't leave the fragrance cap off or open the bottle too frequently. Forgetting this very important step can also have negative consequences. It exposes the fragrance to air, which Fockenbrock says can oxidize and create disturbing off-odors.
Keep the perfume in the bottle in which it was originally packaged. It may be tempting to pour your perfume or cologne into a flashy new decanter, but you really shouldn't. Ivanica says transferring the liquid into another bottle exposes it to air that can yet again harm the fragrance.
Take note of weird changes to the look or smell of the fragrance. Generally, fragrance turns darker over time and/or develops off-odors, according to Ivanica. But if you store your perfume according to these pros' tips, Fockenbrock believes it will last for two to three years. Just in case you need a mini refresher on the longevity of the three main fragrance categories, Fockenbrock breaks it down like this:
Citrus fragrances are more likely to turn bad as they normally contain a high percentage of citrus oils, which are more sensitive. Oriental fragrances do generally last longer but might give discoloration because of sweet notes like vanilla. Meanwhile, chypre, floral and woody fragrances are more robust.
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