This is a bit of a tricky question to answer. You see, perfume can’t theoretically go ‘bad’. You aren’t just going to wake up one day, have a spritz of the perfume, and find that it smells just like your closest garbage can. Perfume tends to lose its quality over time and it may not be as effective as it was in the past, but it isn’t just going to go bad. In fact, with a quality perfume, it may be years before you notice any drastic change in the composition of the perfume.
On this page, we are going to talk a little bit about how you can determine whether your perfume needs to be tossed out or not.
Perfume is all about the fragrance. This means that one of the biggest indicators as to whether you should toss it out will come down to the ‘nose test’. If you wish to know whether it should be thrown out or not, then just give it a sniff. If smells a little bit different to you, then it is probably not going to be worth it. Do remember that, in most cases, the difference in the scent is going to take years to develop (unless it is a cheap perfume!), so you won’t need to do it every time you use it.
Check the expiry date on the box of the perfume. You aren’t going to need to start carrying out the ‘nose test’ until well after that date has passed (the expiry date tends to be a very conservative number). In addition to this, you are going to want to look at the color of the perfume. A perfume that has gone bad will start to develop a slightly darker color. This is due to the ingredients inside of the perfume starting to react with one another. It is worth noting that the color change may actually start well before the change of the scent. This means that you may not have to necessarily throw it away right away, but you are going to want to keep an eye on it!
Finally, you are going to want to take a little peek at the ingredients that can be found inside of the bottle. There are some ingredients which tend to go ‘bad’ before others. For example, citrus notes tend to have a very short expiry date. This is because they evaporate very quickly. On the other hand, if your perfume has a woody or oriental note, then you can expect it to last for many, many years to come.
Remember, the better the quality of perfume, the longer it is going to last. If you pick up some perfume from your local dollar store (yes, people do that!), then you will be lucky to get a couple of months use out of it before it starts to lose its quality. However, if you purchase something for a good chunk of change, it may be a few years before you are asking ‘does perfume go bad?’.