How Long Does Cologne Last on Skin?

how long does cologne last on skin

Finding your favorite fragrance is like hitting a lottery. Applying it everywhere and smelling like a dream is all we do but do you know that cologne also has an expiry date? In fact, certain behavior may change the chemical composition of the cologne, making it expire ahead of its date. Therefore, preserving the longevity of a perfume is equally important.

In this article, we will discuss everything you should know about perfume expiration and how you can make it last longer.

Perfume Expiry

Every perfume consists of multiple fragrant compounds that make three notes- base note, middle note, and top note. Along with it, there are natural and synthetic oils. Over time, the chemical composition of fragrance starts changing, which may alter its aroma to some extent.

Even though perfumes come with an expiry date, they don’t go bad in the same sense that food does. There is no hard and fast rule regarding their shelf life. As per the experts, you can continue using a bottle of cologne for four to five years.

Chemical Composition of A Perfume

Different compounds in a perfume contribute to its aroma and intensity. In fact, each scent has its own specific formula. After a few years, scents tend to become oxidized, acidic, or metallic. The oxygen molecules that enter the perfume bottle alter the fragrance molecules, leading to an overall change in the fragrance.

However, the aroma of certain formulas can be maintained. For instance, citrus-based scents, when stored refrigerated, can stay longer.

While some scent formulas are more prone to oxidizing, some may last longer than others. The more oxygen is above the juice, the faster it will oxidize, so experts suggest that once your favorite perfume bottle is almost airy, decant it into a travel spray.

How To Tell That Your Perfume Is Expired?

You may experience certain noticeable changes like-

  • change in the odor of the top note
  • change in color of the liquid
  • fragrances with a yellow tint (oil’s color) turning dark brown

Perfumes that last longer have high chemical stability. If your perfume has high alcohol content, it will last longer as alcohol inhibits the fragrant molecules from oxidizing. It is a key preservative for many beauty products, including cologne. Most perfumes come with 70 to 90 percent alcohol content.

If you buy an oil-based and alcohol-free fragrance, like citrus notes or patchouli, it may tend to expire and lose its intensity faster. It is because natural molecules are less stable than synthetic ones. Additionally, scents with no alcohol have a shorter lifespan. Many scents came added with stabilizer and UV filters that maximize its longevity and stability.

How Can a Perfume Last Longer?

Even though perfumes come with an expiry date and tend to fade in intensity over time, you can still preserve their aroma and use them longer.

1. Keep the bottle away from light

The worst place to keep your perfume bottle is on your window sill or the areas where direct light hits it. Light breaks down the molecules of fragrance and destabilizes its chemical composition, making it prone to oxidation.

2. Keep the bottle away from heat and humidity

Heat does the same to your perfume as the light. It breaks down the fragrance molecules and changes their chemical composition. Experts suggest keeping the perfume bottle below 15 degrees Celsius will help maintain its integrity. Likewise, it is recommended not to store your cologne in the bathroom.

3. Continue using until the bottle is empty

As the bottle becomes half empty, the risk of oxygen inside it altering the chemical composition of scent becomes more. Therefore, it is important that you keep rotating your collection and focus more on emptying the half-empty bottles first.

4. Store your bottle in a cool place

The best place to store your perfume is in the fridge, suggest the experts. However, it is not an ideal place if the fridge is kept open by the family members more than often. Another good way to store the bottle is by wrapping the bottle in an aluminum foil and freezing it. Since perfume contains alcohol, it won’t freeze, and in cooler temperatures, it will feel refreshing too.

An unopened bottle of scent can last for years when stored in a cool and dark place. On the other hand, an open bottle can last anywhere between three months to three years, depending upon its chemical composition and how well you use it.

Using an expired perfume may cause skin irritation or stained clothes; therefore, doing a patch test before using it is recommended. Therefore, taking care of your scent to preserve its longevity is important. At the same time, applying it correctly also helps to make the most out of it. Do not rub it on pulse points as the body heat will evaporate some notes; instead, apply it on moist and damp skin to lock the scent to enjoy it longer.

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