Storing your fragrances

Friday, 22 June 2012

Storing your fragrancesFragrance, like other cosmetics, has a shelf life. But unlike most make-up, it can be hard to replace, extremely expensive, and once something happens to it, there’s no putting it back together. Because fragrance is so vulnerable to degradation from a number of factors, smart storage practices are important. Want to know how to keep your favorite fragrances smelling exactly as they should for as long as possible? Here’s what to do.

Keep them away from temperature extremes.
Most of the time, this means heat, but people who attempt to put their scents in the freezer to keep them fresh often also end up destroying the integrity of the fragrances. The best temperature is a good bit colder than a comfortable room. If you want the perfect conditions, try storing your stuff in a cooler.

Don’t put them in your bathroom.
It makes sense to put your favorite perfume on your sink, but it’s actually not a good idea. Bathrooms are hot and humid, which makes them prime areas for breaking down the fragrance’s molecules and introducing bacteria.

Keep your stuff in the dark.
Light exposure degrades lots of molecules, including those in most fragrances. So keeping your scents somewhere with little to no light exposure is best.

Use opaque bottles.
If you have to have your fragrances out on display, transfer them to frosted or wholly opaque bottles, since clear bottles allow light to affect the fragrance ingredients.

Don’t leave the top off.
Scents that are alcohol-based have a rapid rate of evaporation once they’re exposed to air, so forgetting to seal up bottles means that your scent will dry up sooner.

Written by Miriam Lacey, this article originally appeared on BellaSugar.

Image: Romanchuck Dimitry/

Other articles you may be interested in:
How to wear perfume
Build your fragrance wardrobe
Shop for perfume
The story of perfume
Your perfume personality

Written by

Megan Kakora has helped launch the websites of, and been the online editor for, some of South Africa’s biggest glossy magazines. She believes in less-is-more, except when it comes to her collection of nail polish colours.
Megan on Google+

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  1. Carina Vermooten

    Definitely moving my perfume bottles into a darker space TODAY!

    5 years ago •

  1. Shaheeda Loofer

    I leave my perfumes in my cupboard so that my clothes smell like my perfume too.

    5 years ago •

  1. Firefly

    Thanks for the tips and info!!! I tend to leave the tops off my perfume.. :( Will remember not too in the future

    6 years ago •

  1. Zu

    A common friend who works at duty free hongkong that sells perfume says i should keep my favorite perfume on the fridge.

    7 years ago •

  1. BeautySouthAfrica

    Hi Mohamed,
    If your fragrance is sealed, the alcohol won’t really be able to evaporate. But unfortunately not all things are air-tight so over the years you may start to see small amounts disappearing – depending on the condition of the seal.

    7 years ago •

  1. Mohamed

    I leave my perfume in a dark box in a cupboard… Hope that keeps them. If a fragrance is unopened, still sealed in the box, like new, will it evaporate?

    7 years ago •

  1. Maddy

    i keep my purfumes hidden in cupboard cox if my toddler got hold of it its gone but i guess its doing me good :)

    7 years ago •

  1. Humphreys

    And i do this religiously! Nothing comes between me and my fragrances :-)

    7 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Kay

    Thanks for the tips! Will try this, always concerned how safe they are stored.

    7 years ago •

  1. Tanya

    Wow this is an interesting article and great tips thanks

    7 years ago •

  1. Nashie

    WOW!! really didn’t know all of these things.Very helpful hints and advise

    7 years ago •

  1. Varsha

    this verifies where I keep my bottles! In a cupboard that gets no direct sunlight :)

    7 years ago •

  1. Botes

    Interesting, I display my perfumes and sometimes leave the top off :-(…….. thanks for the tips, now ill make them last longer.

    7 years ago •

  1. Grobler

    I keep my perfume in a dark cupboard, where I find it last the best. Most people these days have open plan bathrooms that does not change temp that much. The bottles are always beautiful and it is almost a crime to hide them, but this is the only way that it will last forever. Love the Chanel private range that got a magnet lid that seal the fragrince of after use. An something I can add, is never to rub your perfume after application.

    7 years ago •

  1. Guccigirl

    I’ve been a very bad girl. I take mine everywhere with me in my bag.

    7 years ago •

  1. Shaheeda Loofer

    wow never knew that u should put perfume in opaque bottles will def try this tip,thanx

    7 years ago •

  1. landman

    Thank u so much for this advice i am sometimes really a slob when it comes to my perfume to lazy to put them back where they actually should be now i know how to look after them, interesting article.

    7 years ago •

  1. Mpbutterfly

    Did not know about the bathroom tip. Wow! Moving my perfumes ASAP.

    7 years ago •

  1. Jansen van Rensburg

    This is what I needed, once I had my perfume for over a year and the smell just went off.

    7 years ago •

  1. julandism

    Thank you for this info, I will definitely be making use of these tips!

    7 years ago •

  1. Rochelle Stewart

    I won’t be keeping my perfumes in the bathroom cupboards any more!

    7 years ago •

  1. CarolynMcM

    Thanks for the info, I’ve definitely learned something new! I store my perfumes in my wardrobe, which is a dark place as I don’t open that wardrobe very often.

    7 years ago •

  1. The Ferosh 1

    I’ve found the culprit!heat,after 6months my perfume smell different.thanks for the great tip

    7 years ago •

  1. ricebunny

    Thanks great tips will definitely try these as I get so sad when my expensive perfumes do this

    7 years ago •

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