by BR Kellie
Ever done something and instantly regretted it? And not in an 'oh bum, that wasn't my best idea' kind of way, but more in a 'what the heck was I thinking? I'm an idiot! I am NEVER doing that again' way? Recently, the latter happened to me after, while cleaning out my walk-in wardrobe, I spotted a perfume I'd forgotten about and spritzed it on, only to gag at its 'scent', which was nothing like the zesty, floral, sexy fragrance I remembered.
I ran to the bathroom and attempted to wash it off. I scrubbed, and scrubbed and soaped and scrubbed, but that sucker was staying on my skin for the foreseeable. What had gone wrong? How had an old favourite perfume become a rancid bottle of revulsion? Well, it turns out my perfume had expired, something I'd not even considered before dousing myself in it, leaving me smelling like I'd been on a boozy bender.
So how are we to know when it's time to relegate a fragrance to the great perfumery in the sky?
Unsurprisingly, an easy way to spot a fragrance that's past its use by is by its scent. But don't figure that out by doing a me and applying it to yourself, instead squirt it in the air and have a sniff. If it's no longer smelling like it usually would, it might be time to say goodbye. If it smells vinegary or metallic, it's definitely time to say au revoir.
If the colour has changed and become darker, or the liquid has become cloudy, that's another sign the perfume is on the turn.
More obviously, if a perfume that never irritated your skin in the past suddenly does, it's time to bin in.
So what can we do to keep our fragrances in fine form?
Depending on its composition, the average fragrance will last anywhere between three and five years when stored correctly, which means keeping it in a cool area away from sunlight. Keeping air from mixing with the fragrance is also important as oxygen can change its composition, so if its top can be unscrewed, refrain from doing so, and ALWAYS put the cap back on after using.
Keeping your perfume in the box can also help extend its life, and some even recommend keeping perfumes in the fridge - which, if anything, will make for a refreshing spritz in summer.
Suffice to say, after reading up how my mishap had happened, I went through my collection and ended up having to throw away all but two perfumes. The biggest lesson? Only buy what you can use, and actually use it! Lesson learned.
So have you ever had a fragrance fail that saw you stinking after squirting expired perfume? Do you have any you need to toss out? Get chatting below!