How to Store Perfume
Fragrances will last a long time--if they are properly stored, says Harry Slatkin, fragrance expert.
"Fragrances will last a long time if they are protected," says Slatkin, founder of Slatkin & Co., the premier home fragrance brand that is now a division of Bath & Body Works (see video below).
Keep your fragrances, including perfume, eau de parfum, cologne and eau de toilette away from heat. Most importantly, protect them from direct light, especially sunlight. "Light affects the chemical makeup of a fragrance and will change its color which affects the dynamics of how it combines," he adds.
Likewise, Slatkin says fragrances should not be stored in a refrigerator, as the humidity can also change the chemical makeup for the worse. It is best to keep the fragrances in their original containers, if possible, and with the tops tightly closed to avoid exposure to air. If given a choice, opt for bottles with spray dispensers as opposed to ones with open tops or roller balls. Spray dispensers better protect the fragrance from exposure to dirt, dust and air, and have a longer shelf life, too.
Don't be too quick to throw away bottles of perfume that you think may be too old to use, as long as they have been stored properly over the years. "I have smelled scents that are 15 years old, some in bottles that hadn't ever been open," says Slatkin, who is a member of the Luxist Awards' Panel of Experts. "They hold pretty well, and don't change character too much."
Perfume is more concentrated, more complex and less fragile than fragrances (such as eau de toilette, cologne and eau de parfum) that contain less oils and are more diluted. As a result, perfumes tend to last much longer.