When you’ve invested in an expensive perfume, you want it to last as long as possible. Here are 5 Do’s and Don’ts to store perfume and make your fragrance last for years.
Don’t: Keep perfume in the bathroom
Heat and humidity are enemies of fragrance, and both are found abundantly in your bathroom whenever you bathe or shower. If you have cabinets that close well enough to lock out your shower’s steam, you might be able to safely store perfume there.
If your perfume has an open top, dauber or roll-on, you can easily introduce water into your formulation and cause the whole bottle to go bad. Keep these out of the bathroom and apply them on dry skin.
Light shining through glass is a beautiful thing. I do use a sunny window to my advantage when taking photographs, but otherwise my perfume bottles go into a box or onto a shelf away from direct light. You don’t have to bury your bottles under your lingerie or anything, but definitely don’t let it sit in direct sun every day. Storing fragrance in a drawer is great, but it’s not going to hurt anything to leave it atop your vanity so long as the light is indirect and it’s not amplified by mirrors.
Oh, and do not leave it in your car! The interior of a car can get very hot very quickly even on mildly warm days.
Don’t: Store it in the fridge — unless you’re into vintage
If you store perfume in the fridge it can create a couple issues. First, you probably shoudn’t be eating perfume-flavored food, so you ought to have a dedicated machine for the purpose of storing fragrance. More importantly, every time you take it out to use and put it back in, you expose your fragrance to a temperature shift. Warming and cooling your perfume over and over could change your perfume over time. The safest course is to have your perfume stay a consistent temperature, rather than continually raising and lowering the temperature.
If you find a fragrance you love so much that you buy in bulk–perhaps to hedge against reformulations or loss of availability–then by all means use the refrigerator to store perfume for long periods. In this case, you would treat it as you would a bottle of wine; give a cool, dark and dry place and allow it to sit untouched.
A cool dry cellar would be ideal, but since most of us don’t have wine cellars built into our basements, try a mini-fridge. Extreme cold could also damage your perfumes components, so set it to a mid level temperature setting.
Do: Make sure your bottle is well sealed
A bottle that is not well sealed will quickly lose its top notes, the most volatile components. Make sure when storing that your top is closed, but be careful not to over-tighten the cap. I’ve personally broken through quite a few caps by torquing them down like a lugnut on a tire.
But let’s say you pick up a vintage perfume or decant and it comes in a partially-filled bottle. If you do want to keep the fragrance long-term, consider carefully moving your juice into a smaller container to lessen oxygen exposure. Oxygen is the key ingredient in oxidation — think rust but for perfume ingredients.
You shouldn’t need to worry about oxidation in most cases, as the effects of oxygen in the bottle are low and slow. No matter what type of opening or dispenser, your perfume will come in contact with oxygen. Keep in mind the biggest factor in aroma’s degradation is actually heat and light, not time. In most cases, you will use up your perfume before you really see the effects of oxygen degradation.
Do: Enjoy your fragrance for years
Perfumes and fragrances rarely come with an expiration or best-by date because they are made to last practically indefinitely. As long as you make sure not to put them in situations where they can be damaged, you can enjoy your fragrances for years and years to come.