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Does Perfume expire and is it a danger to your skin?

  • Suresh khatri
  • May, 21 , 20


People often ask if perfume can burn or irritate your skin. Some believe that it is a danger to skin and avoid it, whilst some use perfume everyday as they do soap or deodorant.

Each perfume has a unique composition of molecules and ingredients that react differently on a range of skin types. It is therefore normal when people have different reactions to fragrances. This is due to the pH of your skin, which not only affects how our skin reacts to perfumes, but also how it smells.

Does perfume really burn or irritate your skin?

Because there are a lot of chemicals in perfume that aren’t disclosed to the buyer, it is natural that you might be concerned about whether or not to put it on your skin.

The good news is that damage to your health caused by perfume or cologne is very rare. However, there are still chances that perfume could cause irritation. The most toxic ingredient in perfumes, colognes, and aftershaves tends to be ethanol or isopropyl alcohol.

The scented ingredients in perfume are infused into alcohols as a way of preserving and stabilizing the product’s desired scent. These alcohols are toxic, and may cause symptoms if swallowed in amounts greater than 30 milliliters. However, if you use perfume sensibly and sparingly (a couple of spritzes on your wrists and neck), you should be fine. Any product used in excess will cause damage.

Perfume can in some cases moisturize the skin and create a barrier which helps to protect the skin from external influences. As well as this, most perfume is made with grapefruit or avocado oils, which are naturally derived. These oils are very light and don't clog the pores or oil glands.

Perfume Poisoning: What is it and causes

Alcohol is used in perfume as a preservative. These alcohols can be toxic, and may cause symptoms if oversprayed or swallowed. If you’ve noticed redness, itching, or sinus irritation when you’re exposed to a certain fragrance, you probably have a sensitivity to something in it and should avoid using it.

Does perfume go off?

Perfume does go off and like many beauty products, it has a shelf life. Most perfumes don't have a set expiration date, but some will begin to expire in less than a year, while others can last upwards of 10 years. Three to five years is the average shelf life for fragrances.

Perfume expert Pallez (Senior Creative Director at Bvlgari Parfum), says that the longest lasting fragrances which preserve well are those with woodsy, amber, and leather notes.

Need inspiration? Choose from our range of DKNY, La Martina, and Stella McCartney fragrances, which contain ingredients made to last.

Scented liquids go by different names such as eau de parfum, eau de toilette and eau de cologne. Each of them has a different ratio of essential oils to alcohol, which makes a difference in how long the scent lasts on your skin, as well as its shelf life.

An eau de parfum has a higher ratio of essential oils to alcohol, whereas an eau de toilette has a lower ratio. This means that eau de parfums tend to last longer on the skin, but have a shorter shelf life than eau de toilettes and colognes. This is due to the higher volume of alcohol, used to preserve them.

So, if you are after a fragrance that will last long on the shelf, opt for a toilette. If you want a scent that lasts longer on your skin, choose a perfume.

Perfume Safety Requirements

Fragrance ingredients must meet the safety requirements, just like any other cosmetic. The Food and Drug Association (FDA) must make sure fragrances are safe for consumers, which means ensuring bottles are properly labelled and directions of use are clear. Companies and individuals who manufacture or market cosmetics have a legal responsibility for ensuring that their products are safe and properly labelled.

How to tell if perfume has expired?


  • Test how it smells - The easiest way to tell if your perfume has expired is to smell it. If your perfume or cologne smells of vinegar or you notice a significant change in the concentration of the original scent, it might have expired. It’s also likely to have expired if the scent is significantly different than the one you originally bought.
  • Test how it looks - Another way to test if perfume has gone bad is by looking at the colour. A perfume might have expired if it appears darker. If the colour was originally translucent and is now more opaque, that could indicate it has gone bad.
  • Check the expiration date - On the perfume bottle, there will most likely be some sort of expiration date. These are typically found on the bottom of the perfume or printed on the box it comes in.

What common ingredients are used to make perfumes?

Natural ingredients such as flowers, grasses, spices, fruit, wood, roots, resins, balsams, leaves are used in perfumes to achieve different smells. As well as this, resources like alcohol, petrochemicals, coal, and coal tars are used in the manufacture of perfumes.

Perfume makes you feel good

When it comes to fragrance, it is a matter of personal choice. Most people love to wear perfume and everyone has their own opinion on what scent is the best. Perfume can boost your confidence, which in turn makes you feel better and improves your mood. Browse our range of fragrances today! We hold a range of women’s and men’s fragrances, as well as wonderful perfume gift sets for your loved ones.

Always read the label and box of a perfume or fragrance product before use to find out its ingredients, expiration date and information. Each product will be unique with different ingredients, which means you must check the information for every product before using it to make sure it right for you.



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