Tips on storing perfumes to extend shelf life

Perfumes—like makeup and other beauty products—can “go bad” after several years. You’ll notice a change in scent or color, and while they won’t irritate the skin, you’ll feel really bad that a treasured bottle now smells like air freshener or alcohol! Here are some tips on how to store perfumes to extend their shelf life.

Keep them away from heat and humidity

A lot of us like displaying perfumes on a vanity table, or putting them in the bathroom counter where we can conveniently spritz ourselves after a shower. But heat and humidity can cause perfume’s components to break down faster. Some people think putting perfumes in the refrigerator will help, but that’s not true—extreme temperature changes are just as bad!

Store perfumes in a cool, dark and dry place. You can put them in a box in your clothes cabinet, or in a drawer of a desk that’s not in direct sunlight. You could also put them in a traincase or a sturdy plastic box in the coolest area of your bedroom.

Don’t forget the cap

Perfumes can evaporate when they come in contact with air, so make sure you tightly screw back the cap after you use them.

Don’t shake them

Many of us will bring a bottle of perfume in our bag so we can reapply, but the shaking as we walk back and forth can also cause the components to break down. If you really love a scent, or have a signature scent, buy a big bottle to keep at home and then get smaller vials for reapplying throughout the day. Or, buy a set that includes a perfume, body wash and body lotion. Layering the scent lasts longer.

Rotate your perfumes

If you have more than one perfume, or even a massive collection, don’t finish one bottle before going to the next. We can slow down the perfume’s spoilage but eventually the scent will still change. Rotate which perfume you will use so you get decent use out of each bottle. I personally like breaking my collection into batches, stored in small boxes. I keep all the bottles in a special drawer in my cabinet, but bring out four or five at a time which I keep in a box and will use for two weeks. Then, I switch the bottles.