In general, I am a person who believes that beauty does not have to be expensive. The majority of my beauty collection has come from either the drugstore or from large sales that I've stumbled across. However, there is one area where I am willing to open my wallet a tad (maybe more than a tad) wider -
While you can find some good basic scents (think those with only one note) at more reasonable prices, I gravitate towards those that blend multiple notes together to become something lovely and complicated; not a jumbled olfactory mess. And to get this - you pay.
For something that entails such a financial commitment, you should know how to take care of it; and frankly, many people don't. A little part of me dies inside every time I see an expensive bottle of perfume being sabotaged to degrade before its time. (Not really, but I felt the over-dramatization might help emphasize the subject's importance.)
Many of us like to store our perfume in one of two places:
1) in our bathrooms because it's convenient, or
2) near a window because the light looks lovely passing through the bottle.
I have, at one time, also been guilty of these, and both are terrible mistakes. You might as well be committing perfume homicide. Fragrance compounds in perfume will naturally break down over time, but exposure to heat and light will speed up this process. This will weaken the perfume's staying power and can actually change the scent. I'll bet you'd be none too happy if that $80 bottle of perfume were to suddenly smell differently (even more so when you find out you made it happen).
However, fret not. It's really not difficult to get around this. So long as you keep your bottles in a room that does not get extremely warm and out of direct line of sunlight, you will prolong the life of your perfumes. I keep mine on top of a dresser in my room away from a window and have some scents that haven't changed over years.
I hope this has informed someone and helped spare the life of some defenseless eau de parfum.
Happy smelling, everyone!