The love for a fragrance can be purely subjective or be influenced by social trends, but it makes up for something that one finds a scent they love and associate with amidst the numerous scents, it’s like finding a piece of oneself. There are two aspects that vividly augment the narrative of ambiguity in explaining perfumes; the narratives include longevity of a perfume and the shelf life of a perfume. Since premium designer perfumes are largely unaffordable by many, it’s plausible and imperative that these aspects are well defined for consumers so as to have value for money when consumers spend on a perfume. As we expound on our previous article, we will discuss longevity and the shelf life.
Longevity of a perfume is sometimes termed as the lifetime of a perfume, or how long a perfume lasts on the skin.
The process of a perfume releasing its fragrance is that the top notes open into the middle notes and then into the base notes. There are factors that affect longevity of a perfume on the skin which usually include:
- Skin type: Different skin types have different reception of perfumes; perfumes are more lasting on oilier skins than on dry ones.
- Points of application: It’s not usually about the amount of perfume sprayed, but mostly about places where it has been sprayed. The pulse points where it’s usually advisable to apply perfumes include wrists, under your knees, behind your earlobes and at the base of your neck
And now to shelf life, manufacturers’ literature for many perfumes (not all) usually advices that a person stops using the perfume after a period of between one to three years. But unlike food whose use after the recommended period may have grave effects for the user, it is sometimes okay to use a fragrance for four or five more years if its viability isn’t greatly altered by poor or extreme storage conditions, keeping in mind that poor or extreme storage conditions shorten the shelf life of a fragrance to a period that may even be much less than that stated by manufacturer.
Shelf life of a fragrance bottle is mostly affected by;
- Oxidation: When ambient air abundant in oxygen enters the perfume bottle, it changes the molecules of the fragrance and this affects the scent over time. Chemical stability of ingredients or the susceptibility of the perfume to oxidation can influence shelf-life and its why some perfumes last longer than others. Alcohol, in its many functions as a preservative, solvent and disinfectant is of great value in preventing oxidation of aromatic compounds in fragrance. Clean perfumes for those looking for a non-toxic beauty routine lose intensity very fast for their lack of alcohol.
The ways to maintain shelf life of a perfume will mostly involve ensuring storage conditions that maintain the chemical stability of ingredients, these include:
- Keep the perfume away from light: Light rays projecting into the perfume bottle can create favorable conditions for chemical reactions that alter chemical compositions of perfumes, and it’s one of the reasons why some bottles are in translucent or opaque bottles.
- Keep the perfume away from heat: Heat as light above, may lead to faster breakdown of ingredients which reduces the shelf life of a perfume.
- Keep on using until the bottle is empty: Half used bottles can be reservoirs of oxygen which facilitates faster oxidation. Mostly for consumers that simultaneously use different scents.
- Store the fragrance in a closed cupboard: This may help keep away light and other fluctuating environmental conditions that may affect stability of ingredients.
According to the Byrdie website, fragrances that tend to expire (or lose intensity) the fastest are:
- Clean and alcohol-free fragrances
- Oil-based fragrances
- Perfumes with patchouli or citrus fruits