How Long Does Perfume Last?

Even if we love perfume bottles, it is important to determine how long does perfume last to enjoy our favorite perfumes! Perfumes from well-respected brands like Chanel and Marc Jacobs don’t have a hard-and-fast expiry date. In this article, I will tell you everything about how long does perfume last. Perfume is made of molecules and the size of a molecule & its smell are correlated. It helps you to determine how quickly it oxidizes. Here, I’ve even included tips to store your perfume properly to make them last for months. You can keep on reading further to find out how long does perfume last.

How Long Does Perfume Last?

A perfume can last three to five years from the time of manufacture. Some perfumes begin to expire within a year of their purchase while some may last up to 10 years! However, perfumes’ chemical composition determines how long they can last. Perfumes made with heavier base notes last the longest. Alcohol acts as a preservative for fragrance. Thus, alcohol-free fragrances have a shorter shelf life. 

Now, you must be wondering how long does perfume last if unopened. An unopened perfume bottle can last anywhere between three months to three years. This lifespan depends on the scent’s construction, bottle’s packaging, and storage. It can last for years if you store unopened perfume bottles in a cool, dark dry place.

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How Long Does Perfume Last On Different Surfaces

In this section, I will discuss how long does perfume last on different surfaces. Perfume is made up of dozens of different ingredients, natural, and synthetic molecules. First, let us check out how long does perfume last on skin.

  • Perfume On Skin

Perfume when applied on your skin can last for four to six hours (or even longer). High-end perfume can last on your skin for more than 24 hours. However, short-lived perfumes last on your skin for 1 to 3 hours. The lasting power depends on several factors such as your skin type and weather. Perfume stays longer on dry skins or when the air is dry.

Keep on reading to know how long does perfume last on the body.

  • Perfume On Body

Different factors determine the longevity of perfumes on the body. Good quality perfume can last for about 4 to 6 hours. Most fragrances last for about three to 12 hours approximately. However, fragrances like Eau de toilette and Eau de perfume can last anywhere between 2 to 24 hours.

  • Perfume On Clothes

Perfume when sprayed on clothes will last longer. Depending on the quality of your perfume, do you know how long does perfume last on clothes? Perfume will last on your clothing for a good 24 hours! Sometimes, it will last on your clothes longer than a week. Make sure you spray a little bit on a small portion of your clothing to see whether it stains.

  • Perfume On Paper

Whenever we purchase a perfume, the fragrance is determined by spraying it on paper. You must be wondering how long does perfume last on paper. A perfume should last up to 2 weeks on paper.

How Long Does Chanel Perfume Last Once Open?

An opened bottle of Chanel perfume can last anywhere from two to five years as long as you store it properly. This shelf life can also be longer (more than 20 years) in the right storage conditions. The recommended usage time is 30 months after the perfume bottle is opened. However, an unopened bottle of Chanel can last for 12 to 18 months.

Note: Many Chanel perfumes don’t have an expiry date printed on the bottle as they don’t expire.

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Simple Ways To Tell If Your Perfume Is Expired

Many people believe that perfume still smells good it’s not expired. Here are some ways you can test whether your perfume is expired or not.

  • Smell

The most obvious way to determine if your perfume is expired is to test its scent. When your perfume smells like vinegar or notices a change in the concentration, it might be expired.

  • Color

Another simple way to test your perfume is to look at the color. When the color is darker than you started out, it means it has gone bad. After a time, scents with large alcohol concentrations may evaporate.

  • Expiry Date

Most perfumes will have an expiry date on their packaging. It is mostly found on the bottom of the perfume or printed on the box. The perfume expiry date can come in the form of a batch code or a Period After Opening (PAO) number.

Tips To Make Your Perfume Last Longer

Now, I hope you’ve understood how long does unopened perfume last. Many people among us enjoy having a big collection of fragrances on the shelf. After purchasing a perfume, it is important to store it properly and aid its longevity. 

You can consider the following tips to make your perfume last longer.

  • Make sure you always store perfume bottles away from direct light. Light will break down the molecules of a fragrance by making its composition unstable and prone to oxidation.
  • Heat and humidity also break down fragrance molecules and disturb their chemical makeup. You must keep the fragrance below 15-degree celsius or 59 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You can keep your fragrance in a cool place like a fridge! Perfume contains alcohol, so it won’t freeze but feels refreshing at a cooler temperature.
  • Ensure that you keep perfumes and colognes in their original bottles/containers.

What Happens If You Use Expired Perfume?

Using expired perfume often results in an unpleasant smell and skin irritation. In extreme cases, you can also get an allergic reaction. So, make sure you test your perfume before you use it.

What To Do With Expired Perfume?

You can use your expired perfume in the following different ways.

  • Spritz it on stationary like letters, memos, notes, agendas, or note paper you use.
  • You can use it on the carpet or rugs when you want to vacuum.
  • Spray it on the bases of your clothing drawers, linen closets, or clothes hangers.
  • You can spray your expired perfume on curtains.
  • Spray it on pillows, sheets, covers, or mattresses while changing the bedding.
  • Most people use expired perfume as an air freshener in the home.
  • You can use it to create a personalized poopourri.
  • It can be used as a room spray in the bathroom.
  • You can pour it into boiling water to infuse the air with fragrance.
  • Scenting a humidifier also works.

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How Do I Know If My Perfume Is Expired?

How do you know when perfume has expired? You can tell if a perfume has expired when the smell is slightly sour, especially as the top notes oxidize. This can have a slight metallic scent. “Oxygen within the air can alter some of the molecules present in a fragrance over time,” says Huclier.

Is Perfume Still Good After 5 Years?

Some will begin to expire in less than a year and others will last upwards of 10 years. However, three to five years is the average shelf life of a fragrance. According to experts, perfumes with heavier base notes will last the longest.

How Long Does Perfume Last After Opened?

An opened bottle of perfume can last anywhere between three months to three years, depending on the scent’s construction and what the packaging is like, and, of course, how it’s stored when in use.

Do You Keep Empty Perfume Bottles?

If one is unable to find a recycling program to take back their used bottles, consider repurposing or reusing them. Empty perfume bottles, for example, should never be thrown away. With a little imagination or creativity, they can be put to new use.

Can Perfume Last 20 Years?

Most fragrance manufacturers recommend throwing away your bottle after anywhere from one to three years, but fragrance doesn’t behave in the same way as food, so it can be okay to keep it for longer, most fragrance experts recommend around three to five years.

What Age Group Uses Perfume The Most?

A study by Statista revealed that 44% of Americans between ages 18 to 29 use perfume daily, while 28% use perfume several times a week, and 8% use perfume once a week. In comparison, 41% of Americans between ages 30 to 49 use perfume daily, while 23% use it several times a week, and 6% use it once a week.

Do Perfumes Last Longer On Skin Or Clothes?

Scent Diffusion: Fragrances tend to linger longer on fabrics than on the skin. Spraying perfume on clothes creates a more subtle scent that diffuses slowly, creating a pleasant and long-lasting effect. Freshness: Clothes tend to hold on to fragrances longer than the skin.

Why Does Perfume Not Smell On Me?

Low fat diets, stress, spicy foods, fast foods all affect body temperature and encourage the skin to throw off perfume. Add dry skin and pregnancy to the list and you will see why so many women complain about the staying power of their fragrance. The solution? Put an emollient layer between your skin and your perfume.


In the above post, I’ve discussed how long does perfume last after opening. An open bottle of perfume can last three to five years. Whereas an unopened bottle of perfume lasts for three months to three years. Perfumes having higher alcohol content last the longest. Here, alcohol prevents the aromatic molecules from oxidizing. Alcohol-free fragrances, oil-based fragrances, and perfumes tend to expire the fastest. Remember that storage conditions play a major role in the lifespan of a perfume. Storing them near the window is the worst place to store fragrance. Once you know how long does perfume last, you can postpone its expiration date for as long as possible!