In this post I discussed beauty sell by dates, I mainly touched on skincare and make-up but I neglected to mention that fragrance such as Eau de Toilette, Eau de Parfum and Cologne for personal wear can also expire.
The good news is that there are steps you can take to prevent this from happening prematurely and in most instances it won't happen for years. In fact as most of us use fragrance daily chances are you will finish your bottle of scent long before it happens. To put this into perspective I've lost several bottles of nail polish due to neglect over the last few years (they eventually separate and turn gloopy) but never, ever a bottle of fragrance. Not even once, I've left bottles in the sun (whoops), at the bottom of bags and everywhere else, not once has anything untoward happened to any of them. True story.
That's not to say it can't and won't happen, just that it is slightly less likely. To reduce the risk you should of course pay heed to the use by date (you can see in detail how to spot the symbol in this post), which in my experience is no less than 36 months. Truthfully as far as fragrance is concerned I pay no real attention to this - a simple spray will tell you if it has any way changed and then the call is yours. At the end of the day fragrance is mainly water and alcohol. I'm in no way disputing that it can't or won't happen but to offer some leverage; I have bottles of fragrance that must be around five years old that smell as good as the day I opened them.
As I always say it doesn't hurt to be careful, to minimise the chances of your fragrance collection expiring be sure to stash them in a cool, dark place. I realise this is easier said than done - when you spend a lot of money on a bottle of perfume you want to be able to display it proudly. I'd say as long as you keep them out of direct sunlight and heat in general you should be more than fine.
Out of sheer curiosity have you ever experienced a bottle of fragrance turn bad? If so how did it happen i.e do you live in a warm climate or did you just neglect it full stop?