Is your cologne past its expiration date?
Yes, you read that title properly: Those bottles of cologne on your dresser have an unwritten ‘use by’ date. The first time you smell a great cologne in the store, it has an aroma that is strong and long-lasting.
Typically, this is because stores will keep these fragrances in their original box, as well as keep them behind glass that may, or may not, be cooled. This is not done by coincidence, but on purpose. While a fragrance may never show the appearance of being “bad,” it will lose its original scent and become less potent over time.
What Causes Fragrance Deterioration?
Properly preserving men’s fragrances requires a little bit of awareness on your part concerning what causes the ingredients to break down inside the bottle. There are three main factors that every fragrance, perfume or cologne will be susceptible to:
- Light: Direct sunlight will cause some of the fragrance’s essential ingredients to break down.
- Air: The introduction of oxygen into the fragrance will allow it to lose its aroma.
- Temperature: High heat or cold temperatures will also speed up the deterioration of a perfume’s scent and ingredients.
Now that we know the three main factors of fragrance deterioration, we can better understand how to preserve our fragrances.
Preserving Techniques: how to keep your cologne smelling great
The good news is that quality fragrances for men are not programmed to go “bad.” When stored properly, your colognes can still retain their current smell for years to come. However, in order to preserve these fragrances the general storage techniques most men use will likely need to be altered. This will include removing fragrances from:
- The bathroom where extreme temperature changes often occur.
- Areas like windowsills where the perfume bottle will be in direct sunlight.
- Cold areas, such as the basement or attic.
- Shelves or furniture that is in the direct path of heating or cooling vents.
The ideal place for your fragrance to be placed is within a dark closet, or a vanity that is void of light. This is why some fragrance houses use dark-colored bottles. While many guys place their cologne and aftershave bottles in the bathroom, one hot shower can cause a fragrance container’s temperature to change dramatically. Sure, if you are buying cheap cologne and using it quickly, it probably does not matter much. However, if you are spending some serious cash on buying exquisite fragrances, you should treat them like fine wine.
For the practical man, the best way to preserve your cologne’s aroma is to simply place the bottles inside a bedroom hutch or a dresser drawer; these areas are easily accessible and will be a moderate temperature where harmful sunlight cannot degrade the scents.
The dilemma of air getting into the fragrance is one without a remedy. The best option is to choose Eau de Parfum or Eau de Cologne that is housed in a spray bottle. Otherwise, the ingredients will lose their potency with the introduction of oxygen and pollutants found within the room’s air every time you open the bottle.
If stored adequately, the cologne you own (hey, that rhymes!) will be just as robust and dynamic as the first day that you purchased it.