Does Cologne Go Bad – 3 Ways to Know if your Cologne Expired

In this article, you’ll find out if cologne can go bad, how to store them properly, and what the signs are of a cologne that has expired. This is very important to know, as it could save you a lot of money, as it affects your colognes lifetime.

People keep colognes for many years for different reasons. Some like to keep them as memories, others just like to have a wide collection of perfumes.

Some perfumes cost a lot and you would want to get your money’s worth. If you also love perfumes and you like storing them for many years, then you might have noticed a change in their appearance or smell after some time.

Have you realized that their fragrance is not as long lasting on your clothes as they used to be? If yes, then your perfume has expired or is expiring with time.

Yes, you read it right, colognes do go bad or expire and lose many of their properties with time. However, you can do something about that – to make your colognes last much longer.

In this article, we will tell you how and when perfumes expire, how you can find out if they have expired and how you can make them last longer. We will share everything you need to know about how you can take care of your expensive perfumes for decades.

Why colognes expire and go bad

Contrary to the popular belief that colognes remain the same no matter how long you keep them, even the best of the colognes expire and lose their properties as time passes.

They may still have a decent smell and you may still be able to use them, but they are certainly not the same as when you got them.

There are various factors that may determine how long a cologne can last before it starts losing its properties. These factors include chemical composition, manufacturing process, packaging as well as where it is kept.

Most good perfumes do not have a particular expiry date and you may never even find out when they begin to expire. While some high quality perfumes may even last for decades, others might start to lose properties within a few months.

On average, a good perfume is said to last for at least three to five years.

Research shows that the perfumes that have a heavy base note tend to last longer than those with lighter base notes. In other words, the heavier the base note, the longer the perfume can be expected to last.

There are some rare and very expensive perfumes that work the other way around and instead get better as time passes. The experts draw an analogy between such perfumes and wine; the older they are, the better they smell and the more expensive they are going to be. In this article, we are not talking about these rare perfumes. We are talking about the more common and mostly synthetically manufactured ones that certainly go bad with age.

It should also be understood that usually when the manufacturers use a lighter base note, the fragrance sometimes seems to be sharper and more prominent. This is because the solution is often more volatile in nature. This is why such perfumes slowly lose their properties and their scent fades away. This does not necessarily always mean that the perfume is of poor quality, it just means that it does not have a long shelf life and needs to be used as soon as possible.

As mentioned earlier, there are external and uncontrollable factors that are beyond your control. However, there are still some changes that you can make to increase the shelf life of your expensive perfumes. We will get to this in detail below.

First, it is important to understand how you can find out if your perfume has expired or is about to expire soon. The most significant indication is that it will either lose its smell or in worse cases, turn into an unpleasant smell.

It’s important to know that it has expired as using an expired perfume can be harmful to your skin and cause allergies and other irritating conditions. It is for these reasons that you should pay close attention to the section that follows.

Make sure to understand the things that may help you find out if your perfume is usable or not.

Signs That Your Cologne Has Expired

As we have mentioned, the most obvious sign that indicates that your perfume has expired is a change in smell, scent fading away or unpleasant odor.

Sometimes the appearance, color or density may change as well. In rare circumstances, an expiry date might be mentioned too. At times, your senses might not be sensitive enough to notice the changes and you may still think that the perfume is good enough to use.

For this reason, we have summarized all the ways you can test your perfume in the few steps below.

Test How It Smells

If you have a perfume lying in your wardrobe for many years, you should test its smell properly before applying it. The reason why the scent fades away is that many perfumes are made using vegetable oils that expire and cause a bad smell. Good perfumes do not contain such fats, and this enables them to last for longer periods.

If you notice that your scent smells like vinegar, has a bad smell or maybe a different smell that you still like, the perfume has expired or is expiring. If you are not sure yourself, you may ask others or compare it with the same new perfume in the market.

The Appearance

The second way is to assess the appearance of the perfume. Look for any changes in physical properties such as density and color. If the perfume appears to be darker or denser, then that might indicate that it is not good enough anymore to be used. It might stain your clothes and harm your skin as well. Other changes include a clear or translucent gold liquid changing into a more opaque or amber liquid.

Expensive and highly volatile perfumes with high alcohol concentration may also evaporate with time and leave behind a scent-less liquid. The change in quantity also indicates that the perfume has expired or is not as good as it was.

Check the Expiration Date

This one is obvious. If you’ve got a perfume that clearly mentions an expiry date, then it is even easier. You can find the expiry date and other relevant details either on the bottle or somewhere on the packaging.

Sometimes, you can also contact the manufacturer and ask them for these details. You should note that the expiry dates are just an estimate and your perfume may last longer or may even expire earlier. While having an expiry date makes it easier, you should always perform the other tests too to make sure.

In some cases, the expiry date is not clearly given and you have to find a batch code that will tell you when and where your perfume was manufactured.

All good perfumes from notable brands come with a batch code that usually contains 3 to 12 digits and sometimes a few letters as well. There are some apps that allow you to scan these codes to find details about the perfume.

Many companies also mention it on the bottle how long the perfume can be used. If that time has passed, you should perform the above mentioned tests.

How to Make Cologne Last Longer

So far, we have explained why colognes expire and how you can tell whether your cologne has expired or not. Earlier, we mentioned that there are some ways that you can save your perfumes from expiring too early.

In this section, we will explain that in more detail. By following the advice that we give here, you can increase the shelf life of your favorite perfumes which you want to keep forever.

One thing that you must take care of is the temperature of the surroundings. It should neither be too cold nor too hot, and ideally, it should not fluctuate too much.

Temperature as well as humidity affects the chemical composition and disturbs it.

This leads to many reactions within the perfume which affect its life. The ideal place for your perfume is the wardrobe or somewhere in your bedroom where neither heat nor too much light affects it.

Some people also like to keep perfumes in their stylish bottles instead of those in which the perfume comes. This is not a good idea and it is better to keep them in the bottle that they came in. You should also make sure that the bottle is airtight and does not have room for the perfume to evaporate.