Light, air de-scent scent

January 15, 1998|By Elsa Klensch | Elsa Klensch,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

My wife claims to be a "nose," someone with a discriminating sense of smell. Last week I found a bottle of one of my favorite after-shave lotions in the back of my closet. It has probably been two years since I received it as a gift.

My wife says it smells stale and claims fragrances go off after a time. It smells OK to me, and since fragrances have a high percentage of alcohol I'm wondering how they could go stale. Who's right?

Annette Green of the Fragrance Foundation tells me that a fragrance kept in a tightly closed bottle in a cool, dark closet should be OK for three to four years.

She points out that both air and light cause a fragrance to oxidate, which changes its scent:

"Most people find their fragrance changes quickly when they leave it on a bureau or near a window or in the bathroom where it is moist and humid.

"If you avoid these conditions and keep your bottle tightly closed, your fragrance will hold its scent for years."

Pub Date: 1/15/98

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