Does Cologne Evaporate?

Cologne can evaporate around the sprayer in low-quality atomizer bottles. The way the atomizer is installed on the bottle dictates if a perfume evaporates. Some low-quality atomizers allow perfume evaporation. Airtight quality atomizers prevent perfume evaporation.

Over a long period of time, you can see your perfume levels dropping inside a bottle even without spraying any of it on yourself. This is called cologne evaporation. Even when you place the cap on the atomizer, you might still see diminishing perfume levels as a direct result of evaporation.

Causes of cologne evaporation

Low-quality perfume atomizers with poor airtight sealing are the main cause of perfume evaporation. Storing perfumes next to heat sources such as a radiator or in direct sunlight also speeds up the evaporation process in low-quality bottles.

You’d believe all types of perfumes evaporate. Still, I have plenty of perfume bottles without any diminishing liquid even when stored for years. Truth be told, all of these perfumes are stored in a closet, away from direct sunlight.

The 2 biggest concerns with perfume evaporation

Evaporating perfume is troublesome. Unfortunately, there’s no direct way of knowing if a certain cologne is going to evaporate or not simply by looking at the bottle. This is why you can expect the following types of negative influences of this evaporation process.

  1. Losing money

You lose money when the perfume evaporates. If you only own one bottle, it might not have time to evaporate before you use it. But when you own multiple perfume bottles that you only use on occasion, you will start to see evaporation and you will lose money.

Most people expect perfumes to last for years. While they can be there for you in the bottle, scents can also evaporate. As an example, when you pay $200 on a Creed Aventus, this might be an issue (Aventus doesn’t evaporate as far as I know).

  1. Scent changes

Does cologne evaporation cause scent changes? Yes, evaporated perfume tends to change the smell of your perfume. The evaporation process needs to be well underway for this to be visible, but it does happen.

Alcohol tends to evaporate first. It can be one of the most troublesome issues when it comes to scent changes. But top notes are also sensitive and they evaporate faster. A perfume with a low-quality atomizer sitting in a bottle for years is going to lose some of its top notes such as citruses, as they are the most volatile.

The simplest way to test smell changes in evaporating perfume is when using decants. You’ll know that these small decants tend to evaporate the fastest as they have poor airtightness with their cheap atomizers. When the decant perfume is nearly evaporated, you will notice the perfume gets darker. This also means the perfume is a bit more concentrated. You’d expect this concentrated perfume to smell better or more intense, but in most cases is smells worse.

Final words

Perfume can evaporate even through small openings which allow oxygen to get inside the bottle. The alcohol in the perfume evaporates first. Even a small 0.1mm opening of the atomizer button is enough for perfume evaporation. Wax, paraffin, and cellophane are used on new perfume atomizers to prevent or to slow down the evaporation process which now takes decades with most perfumes.