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Perfume Color Change: What Does It Mean?

Perfume color change is an indication of longevity. When liquid perfume turns darker, it means that it has evolved and not necessarily spoiled. Synthesized products, on the other hand, do not change color and this is bad because the perfume could harm the skin and disrupt certain hormones.

According to Bee Shapiro of Ellis Brooklyn, perfumes change color since their natural ingredients break down and evaporate in the course of time. She told mindbodygreen that clean fragrance lines are composed of natural ingredients such as vanilla bean, rose and sandalwood. These products change in color due to the breakdown of the molecules and evaporation of components. These are actually normal processes that take place when you have natural products.

Co-founder of new natural perfume line ORMAIE Paris Baptiste Bouygues added that the hue of natural perfumes depends on their exposure to sunlight or temperature. He also said that the color change occurs a few months after these perfumes are produced. Therefore, keeping natural perfumes from intense exposure to sunlight and high temperatures makes the scent last longer. The same procedure is followed with those containing essential oils. These products are preserved in dark amber bottles to keep them from darkening quickly, evolving and becoming spoiled.

Meanwhile, unchanging shades of perfumes is a sign that they are unnatural and synthesized. They contain phthalates that disturb certain hormones and cause serious health issues. According to a study published in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, phthalates are endocrine disrupters that help the perfume last longer than natural ones.

The problem here is that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not require these unnatural products to indicate phthalate content on their labels. The agency considers the components as trade secrets, making it harder for consumers to know whether they are buying the natural or synthetic ones. Although the unchanging color indicates that it may possibly be a harmful, synthesized product, the time it takes for the change to occur is not practical in distinguishing it from natural products.

Nevertheless, those labeled with “parfum” or “fragrance” are highly likely synthesized. Krystal Quinn Castro of Los Feliz Botanicals said that the natural ones usually indicate that they are made from essential oils or absolutes, among others. Those with ingredients that include “nature identical,” on the other hand, are typically synthesized products.

Overall, perfume color change helps you distinguish the harmful ones from the natural ones. Aside from hinting at the changes in the components in the perfume, this could also help you anticipate its expiration.