Shelf Life Of Unopened Fragrances

Yasser05

Well-known member
Nov 17, 2016
I have a question that may be many of you have been asked. We maybe buying vintage fragrance that are 6 years old or 8 years old or even older and never opened ... or may also be afraid of reformulation, we buy several fragrances (unopened) to store them for the future.

The question is: What is the Shelf Life of a fragrance Never Opened and well stocked ?
 

Ken_Russell

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2006
Speaking from personal experience alone, having owned and used and still owning and using fragrances (even in splash bottles) going as back as the 1980s, that have been indeed stored and sheltered properly before, did not notice any detrimental effect on them so far, neither in terms of actual smell nor its performance
 

Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
Within the limits of a single human lifetime, I'm tempted to say "forever." I have decades-old, opened and unboxed perfumes (stored in a cool, closed closet) and they still smell wonderful. Boxed and sealed vintage fragrances will theoretically smell fine for untold years into the future, assuming they've been stored properly in the years before you acquired them. The biggest threat to them is evaporation, not spoilage. Some of the topnotes will have disappeared in almost every vintage fragrance, but that is a small tradeoff when you consider the richness of the heart and base in pre-IFRA scents.
 

Johnny_Ludlow

Well-known member
Nov 2, 2004
In the 50's, from which decade my oldest bottles are, the bottles were much less airtight. The fragrances still smell great, even when there have been some evaporation. This is an issue with many splash bottles, never noticed such thing with unused spray bottles.

I believe that a modern spray bottle in cellophane, stored in a cool place, lasts 100 years unchanged. Probably even more than that.
 

donna255

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2004
I have a 1960 bottle of Caron Fleurs de Rocaille bought a few years back. Never opened and gold wire still intact. The top notes a little faded but other wise still perfect even today.

Some are famous for going off quicker than others. Guerlain Vol de Nuit is one which many say is a total raffle if buying vintage.
 

Yasser05

Well-known member
Nov 17, 2016
I have no convincing answers so far. but thanks anyway.
I believe that on the principle that a perfume never opened must not logically turn bad Because it is written on the box that the count back of its expiration begins when it is used for the first time.
 

mumsy

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jan 31, 2010
I have no convincing answers so far. but thanks anyway.

The answers given seem pretty convincing to me. How can anyone say more than they are ok in their experience?

I have many vintage fragrances and the unopened ones will remain a mystery until they are not. The opened ones were fine when opened. The spoiled ones are really quite rare and because they haven't been treated well. Any spoiled ones I have experienced have been a funny colour to begin with.

There is half a clue by knowing what notes are within the perfume. Base notes mature well but top notes fade faster.
 
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Bonnette

Missing Oakmoss
Basenotes Plus
Jul 25, 2015
Yasser05, expiration dates on boxes are a recent development and they reflect corporate regulations on cosmetics. You will never find an expiration date on vintage perfumes, for good reason - they don't expire. Nor do well cared-for modern scents.
 

RedRaider430

You smell good! 😄
Basenotes Plus
Dec 18, 2011
I have no convincing answers so far. but thanks anyway.
I believe that on the principle that a perfume never opened must not logically turn bad Because it is written on the box that the count back of its expiration begins when it is used for the first time.

FWIW....Olivier Creed has said in the past that the clock does not start ticking on a bottle until it is sprayed for the first time.
 

chiraghbir

Member
Apr 10, 2018
Guys i forgot ... my DAD owns Hugo Boss No.1 may be around 30 years back .

He has used just 20ml from that bottle , i sprayed it recently & that thing is still very potent , lasted for the whole day & no skin reactions .

So i assume perfumes last forever if stored properly .
 

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