men's perfume

Does Cologne Go Bad? Here’s How To Store It The Right Way

Do you love cologne? Do you like collecting them and showing them off on your dresser? You are not alone! I love buying different colognes! And collecting them and displaying them on my dresser, is so aesthetically pleasing! But do all those colognes go bad? And will my aesthetically pleasing dresser turn into a vinegar-smelling mess?

Okay, before I get overwhelmed and freak out, let me first answer the question of will cologne go bad? 

Unfortunately, cologne and perfume do go bad. But, I have some good news, their shelf life has an average of 3 to 5 years. Yay! Now I can keep my colognes and perfumes on my dresser for the next 3 to 5 years before it smells like a vinegar mess. What a relief!

But how will I know if my cologne has gone bad? There are a few simple ways to determine whether your cologne has gone bad. And yes, I’m going to share them with you!

Here are 3 tests you can perform to see if your cologne has gone bad:

  • If the cologne you are using smells the same as the day you bought and started using it. Keep on using it! But if you see that your skin suddenly has a rash, throw it in the trash!
  • Now, if the scent has changed a bit, but you still like it, use it! But when it starts to irritate your skin, it’s time to let go. Let it go, let it go, l Can’t keep this cologne no more! I know you sang that with me!
  • If the cologne’s smell has changed from heavenly to vinegary, throw it out right away. 

What Causes Cologne to Go Bad?


Okay, so except for the shelf life of the cologne coming to an end. Other reasons that can cause your cologne to go bad are the following:

  • Harsh temperature fluctuations 
  • For example, keeping your cologne or perfume in the bathroom will cause it to expire faster. Because in the bathroom there are constant temperature fluctuations. And this will cause changes in the cologne’s structure and shorten its lifespan.
  • Humidity
  • This is another factor that can cause your cologne/perfume to expire quicker. Because Humidity causes natural sweat that will destroy fragrances.
  • Direct sunlight
  • Because direct sunlight will change the chemical structure of your cologne.

Now that you know the other reasons that are causing your cologne to go bad faster. I’m going to share with you how you can let your cologne last longer.

Use a Spray Bottle Instead of a Screw-Top Bottle

The reason for this is, because screw-top bottles need to be opened. And this causes the cologne to come in contact with air. Which then leads to gradual deterioration of your cologne’s contents. With a spray bottle, this won’t happen and your cologne will stay fresher for a longer time.

Make Sure to Keep the Lid on Tight 

Only open your cologne or perfume when you are going to use it. After you are done, close it immediately so that the exposure to air is limited.

Displaying Your Cologne

Ugh, this one is for me. Displaying your cologne or perfume on your dresser or your shelf where it is exposed to direct sunlight, can also cause it to expire quicker. It is better to keep your cologne in its original box and store it in your cupboard. Bye-bye aesthetically pleasing room!

Don’t Shake Your Cologne!


I know, I know! It is so satisfying giving your cologne a shake or two before applying it, but please don’t! When you shake your cologne you are mixing air into it. And speeding up the oxidation process, that will lead to your cologne expiring quicker.

Keep Your Cologne in Its Original Container

Don’t switch containers. This is another tip that will help you to keep your cologne lasting longer. Because again this will lead to your perfume being exposed to air. And maybe the new bottle/container that you are using is not designed to keep the air out. So make sure to stick to its original bottle. 

Why do Some Colognes Last Longer Than Others?

So you might have noticed that some of your colognes last longer than others. And this is because of their ingredients. The colognes that expire faster, usually contain natural ingredients. Some colognes contain ingredients such as vegetable oil and other essential fatty acids to get that desired smell. And unfortunately, this causes the colognes to expire faster.

Okay, so I know there is a question you want to ask. Let me see if I can do some mind reading. You wanted to ask:” How long will my unopened cologne last?”. I mean if you don’t open it, leave it in its original box, and store it in your closet, it must last forever, right? Not quite.

The shelf life of an unopened cologne depends on the following factors:

  • The ingredients
  • The quality of its packaging

Some colognes might last for 3 to 5 years, while others might last longer. If you want to know if your unopened cologne can last up to 10 years, this is something you will need to test out. 

You can do a little test. Buy a cologne, keep it in its original box, and 10 years from now open it, spray it and see if it still smells the same.

Will I do this? No, I believe when it comes to cologne or perfumes you should buy it and use it! Not save it for a rainy day, but that’s me! If you want to test this out, go for it! You can even do it with your friends. Now, it’s not only a test to see if your cologne will last for 10 years but to see if your friendship will do too! 

Okay, it is now time for me to give you my opinion on whether cologne does go bad or not.

So I will say this again, I love cologne/ perfumes. And I love displaying them on my dresser. But by doing this I realized that having an aesthetically pleasing room is doing more harm than good, why? Because all that money I spent on those beautiful-looking colognes went to waste. Due to my dresser being in the direct sunlight.

Jip, those lovely smelling colognes ended up smelling like a vinegary mess after a couple of months. I learned my lesson! For sure! Now I have a shelf in my cupboard dedicated to my colognes and perfumes. It isn’t as aesthetically pleasing as seeing it on my dresser every day. But what is the use of having so many perfumes displayed on your dresser, but you can’t even wear one? But I still have to give you my opinion. Yes, colognes do go bad, and I’m talking out of the experience.

Since I have learned where I can store my colognes and where I can’t I want to share these places with you.

Places Where You Should and Shouldn’t Store Your Cologne

storing perfumes

Should Store

  • Closet
  • Refrigerator
  • Bedroom
  • Dresser drawer
  • Kitchen cabinet

Should not Store

  • Basement
  • In front of windows
  • Bathroom
  • Top of your dresser
  • High shelves

Okay, I want to share with you a list of long-lasting fragrances. Even though this has nothing to do with how long the cologne will last before it expires. I still want to include it! Because you will then get an idea of how long it will last on your skin. And if it is even worth keeping it in your closet for the next 3 to 5 years. 

Let us have a look:

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Baccarat Rouge 540

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Baccarat Rouge 540

This fragrance makes a perfect signature scent. But shhh… Don’t tell anyone I told you that! It is perfect for wearing during the day or even at night. But this fragrance might feel a bit warm in the summer. Remember those days when you went to visit your boyfriend and forgot to bring your jacket on purpose? Just so that you can wear his?

You take a jacket from his closet, and it smells as if he has just sprayed his cologne on it. Now, this is exactly how this Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Baccarat Rouge 540 fragrance is. Even if you spray the cologne on today, you will still be able to smell it on the collar of the jacket months later. 

Creed Aventus by Creed Eau De Parfum Spray For Men

Creed Aventus by Creed Eau De Parfum Spray For Men

This fragrance does not only have an amazing masculine smell, but it also lasts very long! It has top notes of black current and apple. And base notes of ambergris, vanilla, and oakmoss. Doesn’t that just sound incredible?

Versace Eros For Men

Versace Eros For Men

This Versace perfume is the best for work! Because you can spray it in the morning before work and it lasts the entire day! Get yourself this Versace cologne today!

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male

Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male

Do you love going to the club and dancing your butt off? We all know that dancing gets you all sweaty and stinky. But don’t worry the Jean Paul Gaultier Le Male cologne is perfect for those nights out. Its scent is sexy, masculine, intense, and long-lasting. You definitely need to try this cologne!

Prada Amber Pour Homme by Prada

Prada Amber Pour Homme by Prada

This cologne is perfect for those modern men out there. It is also incredibly versatile! You can wear it to work and on a special date night. No need to spend money on 2 different colognes, this cologne is good for both occasions!  And a bonus is that it lasts very long and you will still be able to smell this amazing cologne on your skin at the end of the day. What are you waiting for? Get yourself this cologne today!


Question: Can Expired Cologne Hurt You?

Answer: Even though perfume does not expire in the same way as what food does and you can’t get sick from it. You can still get skin irritation. Or in the worst case, an allergic reaction if you apply expired cologne to your skin.

Question: Can I Save My Cologne for a Special Day?

Answer: As I said before, perfume is meant to be used. And if you leave it too long it might deteriorate and then you can’t use it at all! There are such a big variety of colognes and as time goes on the variety is only getting bigger.
So why save the cologne when you can use and enjoy it? Again this is my opinion and you are free to do what feels right for you. Just keep in mind that cologne does expire.

Question: Does Men’s Cologne Expire?

Answer: Yes, just like women’s perfume men’s cologne also has an expiry date. Men’s colognes usually have a shelf life of 2 to 4 years. 

Question: Does Cologne go Bad in Cold Weather? 

Answer: Weather will definitely affect cologne. But let me tell you something interesting. The winter weather is actually suitable for storing your cologne. Why? Because liquid colognes are alcohol-based and contain aromatic oils. And storing these colognes in lower or cooler temperatures will extend the cologne’s shelf life. Amazing right?

Question: Should You Keep Your Cologne in the Fridge?

Answer: Yes, experts have recommended that you store your cologne in the fridge.  And you might wonder why. And this is because the fridge will maintain a stable temperature. If you want to avoid oxidation and chemical degradation. This is the best way to store your cologne!


I hope this article has answered all of your questions. Did you learn something new?  When it comes to cologne, there is such a big variety of different scents to try out. So why do you want to save them? Use them!  Colognes don’t expire as fast as your milk or sunscreen, but it does in fact expire after a few years. So learn from my mistakes, don’t let your dresser enjoy your cologne! Because the sun will become your cologne’s worst enemy!

Make sure to use and enjoy the cologne that you buy! And if you are looking for colognes that are long-lasting and worth saving in your closet. Try out the list mentioned above! 

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