Simple Tips for Storing your Perfume Correctly …



I love wearing perfume and it’s something I use everyday. It’s as much a part of my makeup/beauty routine as anything else and I never feel like I’ve finished getting ready without a spray of one of my favourite perfumes. There are, however, a few Do’s & Don’ts when it comes to storing perfume to make sure it lasts as long as possible and its fragrance doesn’t change or disappear altogether.


So, if you’re not sure if your perfume has “gone off”, you might notice:


  • It may change colour (which you’ll only really see if it’s in a see-through bottle)


  • The smell may change. You’ll get fairly used to the smell of any perfume that you use frequently, so, if it suddenly changes and smells different or doesn’t smell “quite right”, it may have gone off.


  • You develop a sudden skin irritation, rash or reaction where the perfume is applied. Perfume that has gone off will have undergone a change in its chemistry which your skin may react to. This doesn’t necessarily mean you are now allergic to your favourite perfume, it could simply be that it’s out of date.





Here are some simple tips to help extend the life of your perfume:


  • Always store perfume away from direct sunlight, in fact, the darker the storage spot the better. Sunlight can damage perfume and when this happens, it won’t last as long. Therefore, putting your perfume in a darkened drawer or cupboard is a good option. Perfume that is produced in a coloured or dark bottle may last a little longer but will still benefit from being away from the sunlight. And, if you have multiple bottles of perfume but only intend to use one at a time, consider leaving the other bottles in their boxes as this will help protect them from heat, humidity and sunlight.


  • Despite many perfume bottles being decorative and attractive, don’t be tempted to display them on the top of the bathroom vanity, dressing table or window sill. I’ve been tempted to do this myself but it does leave the bottles exposed to sunlight, and that my friends, is public enemy number one when it comes to your beautiful perfume. There’s no hard and fast rule as to how long perfume will last, however, as a guide, it will usually only last 1 – 2 years before going off. Storing it correctly though can prolong its shelf life.





  • Avoid storing perfume in the bathroom. Although this might seem to be a logical place (because using it will be part of your beauty routine) bathrooms are susceptible to variations in temperature from heat, steam and even humidity. Perfumes are best stored in a room where there is a more consistent temperature to prevent it from deteriorating.


  • Don’t leave your perfume in the car either. If the heat in the bathroom can lead to the quality of your perfume deteriorating quickly, imagine what the heat of the car on a hot summer’s day could do to that expensive bottle of Chanel No 5!


  • I have read suggestions that keeping perfume in the fridge can be a good idea. To be honest, I haven’t tried this myself but I guess the fridge temperature would have to be not too high or the extreme cold could have the same effect as extreme heat. I suspect this option could work a treat for anyone not living in an excessively hot climate where the fridge wouldn’t be as cold.



  • Only buy or keep what you can realistically use in a 2-year period. There’s nothing worse than buying an expensive bottle of perfume and then wasting it because it has “gone off” and has to be thrown out.


  • Consider also the size of the bottle you buy. It may seem more economical to buy a larger bottle but, if you don’t wear perfume every day, you may risk not using it up before it “turns” or “goes off”. Therefore, you could be better off buying smaller bottles that you will use up more quickly.


  • Avoid pouring perfume into another bottle and try to keep it in the original one. Pouring perfume between bottles can expose it to the air which may affect its smell and cause the perfume to breakdown. This might happen if you’re travelling and don’t want to take a large, heavy bottle (remember also that a large bottle would need to be packed in your suitcase so as not to breach strict liquid quantities when clearing Customs at the Airport). A better idea would be to buy a smaller travel-sized bottle of your favourite fragrance and take that instead. A smaller bottle is also less likely to be broken when travelling.


  • If your perfume comes with a lid, leave it on the bottle rather than throwing it out. It will prevent spills and accidental spraying when you pack your perfume to travel and it will also help with limiting the perfume’s exposure to air. Always remove the cap, use the perfume and then replace the cap.





  • Choose perfumes that come with a pump spray rather than bottles that are completely open once the lid is removed and require an applicator to apply. Apart from exposing the perfume to air, use of an applicator or, worse still, upending the bottle directly against the skin, might contaminate the whole bottle. Either method allows germs, oils or small particles of dirt from your skin to enter the bottle and mix with the contents. One way to avoid this is the use of disposable applicators.


  • Don’t shake your perfume bottle unless it’s specified by the manufacturer. Perfumes are generally fairly stable and the individual elements don’t usually separate. Shaking the bottle only mixes air inside the bottle with the perfume and air can cause the perfume to deteriorate more quickly.


  • Generally, the life span of your perfume doesn’t start until it’s been opened and used for the very first time. So, if you have a bottle of perfume in the cupboard that’s been there for a couple of years (possibly even still in the box) there’s a very good chance it will still be ok. The average life span of approximately 2 years, usually begins once your perfume has been used or sprayed for the very first time.




And, on a final note, can you save your perfume if it’s “gone off”? Probably not and, sadly, the best place for it will be the bin.


No perfume will ever smell exactly the same on any two people due to differences between an individual’s body chemistry, odours and even temperature, so it’s a very personal choice! Some of my favourites are Lou Lou by Cacharel, Arpege, Oscar de la Renta, Balenziaga, Anais Anais and Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker.


So, tell me, what’s your favourite perfume? Do you wear perfume every day or only for special occasions?