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The Definitive Guide to Perfume Storage (10 Tips)

Figuring out how to store perfume can be tricky, especially with the litany of “perfume storage” instructions online.

However, according to most perfume connoisseurs, the ideal place to keep your perfume fresh for as long as possible is in a cool, dark, and dry place.

Considering that fragrances don’t come with set expiry dates like food and beauty products, most people assume that perfumes don’t expire.

However, this assumption, alongside the desire to display the out-of-world perfume bottles on your dresser, can ruin the smell of your fragrance, which can be bad for your health and finances.

Fortunately, you can boost the shelf life of your fragrance by storing it properly.

For instance, you can store your perfume bottle in an air-tight container away from direct light. 

Many fragrance experts also recommend that you stop storing your fragrance bottles in the bathroom, on high shelves, and in the car. 

10 Tips on How to Store Perfume

Contrary to popular belief, scents not only dilute and lose their alluring fragrance over time, but discoloration and degradation can trigger weird smells.

If you store perfume incorrectly, it can start going bad soon. 

To avoid this, here are the 10 best ways to store perfume bottles:

1. Keep Your Perfume in a Dark Place

Fragrance bottles can be eye-catching—when sunlight hits them, crystalline visages spray across your room.

However, this can be damaging, especially if you place them as a centerpiece on your dresser.

Many don’t realize that leaving out fragrances exposes them to extreme temperatures and direct sunlight that can affect their smell and appearance.

Light tends to quickly degrade a scent while heat and hot temperatures break down the chemical bonds that give a fragrance its scent.

Direct heat and hot temperatures are not only bad for your perfume, but they tend to warp or melt plastic bottles.

So, to avoid altering the sensitive DNA of your perfume, ensure that you store your perfume in a dark cupboard or drawer.

You might also have noticed that many perfume companies are reverting to storing fragrances in opaque bottles.

This helps delay sun rays from degrading your perfume, but you need to keep your bottles away from window sills and radiators.

Typically, the darker the bottle, the longer the shelf life for your scent. 

2. Store Your Fragrance Bottle in a Dry Place

Like other delicate substances, water can damage perfume.

Humidity affects a fragrance’s makeup and triggers unwanted chemical reactions. 

So, if you have a room with a dehumidifier, that will be the best place to store perfume. 

3. Avoid Storing Perfume in the Bathroom

Most people store their cologne in the bathroom, where it’s within reach.

In any case, applying perfume after a shower or bath is a clever way of extending the longevity of the scent.

What many don’t realize is that excessive humidity breaks down the perfume liquid causing severe damage.

So, to stop humidity from destroying your fragrance, make sure to keep your bottles in a cabinet safe from the steam.

You can also benefit from storing the perfume bottle in the hallway closet. 

4. Keep Your Scents on a Low-Level Shelf

If fragile bottles are stored on a high shelf, this can trigger spillage, which can be financially devastating.

So, aim low when keeping your fragrances. 

5. Storing Perfume in the Car is a Bad Idea

It can be tempting to keep a bottle of perfume handy in the car, but it’s one of the worst mistakes you can make.

During the summer, excess heat can alter the chemical structure of the scent, while during winter, extremely cold temperatures can destroy your cologne.

So, the best way to preserve your fragrance is by keeping it in a dark, cool, and dry space. 

6. Limit Air Exposure of the Perfume

If you’ve been looking forward to having a table filled with perfumes decanted into elegant glasses, you might have to rethink your plans.

While the plastic bottle might seem dull and uninviting, decanting perfume is not a good idea.


Well, it turns out that excess air can affect the fragrance composition, triggering oxidization, leading to weird smells.

7. Keep the Cap on the Bottle

Reiterating the need to store your perfumes in the original container, make sure that you also remember to keep the cap firmly in place after spritzing it on your skin. 

8. Avoid Shaking the Fragrance Bottle

While shaking your fragrance can be tempting, most perfumers claim it can agitate your scent leaving you with an undesirable science fair rather than an alluring accessory.

Oxidation can even destroy the scent’s composition in the long run. 

9. Store the Perfume in Its Original Bottle

The original container of colognes is made airtight and features a specific spray head that allows you to disperse the right amount of perfume and prevent air contamination. 

10. Check Your Fragrances for Discoloration

It’s not so much a storage tip but a good habit to maintain.

Most natural ingredients darken over time, while synthetic colognes mostly turn oily.

So, if you observe noticeable discoloration, make sure to stop using the bottle since expired perfume can be detrimental to your health. 

How Long Can You Store Perfume?

Most perfumes don’t have a specified expiry date and can last anywhere between one to ten years.

However, three to five years is the average time a fragrance can last. 

How Long Can You Keep an Unopened Perfume Bottle?

If stored without a proper cap, perfume can last you for 12 to 18 months.

A citrus scent with fresh green notes is likely to turn sooner, though. 

Is It Better to Keep Perfume in the Box?


Perfume packaging is designed to help put perfume away correctly.

First, the original box will hold the perfume bottle upright and stable, and then its volume will make it less likely to be knocked off your cabinet or drawer.

As perfume is sensitive to UVA rays, the boxes also help prevent the sun from reaching the fragile liquid. 

Should You Keep Perfume in the Fridge?

There have been many deliberations around this issue, but according to several perfumers, one can safely store your fragrances in the refrigerator—based on the type, of course.

The cold temperature of a fridge can damage an eau de parfum or perfume’s chemical composition. However, you can comfortably keep your cologne and eau de toilette boxes in the fridge since they have a more sturdy chemical structure. 

The Bottom Line

If you have been racking your mind trying to find the best way to keep your fragrances, you can relax.

With proper precautions, even the most luxurious perfumes can be kept safe. 

All you have to do is keep perfume away from the sun and humid temperatures. 

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