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3 January 2017

The Effects of Temperature on Perfume

Scent can play a significant role in our perceptions, so as such it’s a common step in the getting-ready routine to splash a little perfume around before heading out. I’m sure you each have your favourites, but have you ever sprayed on what should be a pleasant and familiar perfume only to be greeted by an altogether different fragrance? Many people overlook the affect that temperature can have on perfume well after its creation, but in truth it can be quite startling.


As with any product intended for sale, aesthetics will invariably play an important role. Everything from the branding to the bottle shape to the colour of the perfume itself will be judged in a glance; while you would have to reach some realistically high temperatures to effect either of the former two, the perfume’s colour isn’t quite so stable. High temperatures can actually cause a perfume's colour to darken, or take on a cloudy or opaque aesthetic.


A perfume is defined by its fragrance; after all, isn’t that the whole point? Unfortunately, the process of perfecting your preferred scent goes well beyond the initial ingredient selection, and even the manufacturing process itself.  Excess heat can alter the top notes of a perfume (the notes that you smell upon first spraying the perfume). Top notes may grow sharper, less distinct or even undetectable due to overexposure to heat. Hot temperatures can also cause perfume to develop a musty smell.


As perfumes are valued based primarily upon their scent, as well as their visual appeal when bottled, temperature can have a surprising effect on the value on any perfume intended for sale. Sure, a well-known brand name can often get around such matters, but that little trick is soon discovered as soon as the fragrance is used. Manufacturers invest substantial sums in perfecting the exact composition of their perfumes, and have to be wary of variable temperatures in storage.

Sam Bonson

Sam is an aspiring novelist with a passion for fantasy and crime thrillers. He is currently working as a content writer, journalist & editor in an attempt to expand his horizons.