What to Do with Old Perfume? - SAINT SKEI

What to Do with Old Perfume?

Feb 06, 2024

Do you have a collection of old perfume bottles gathering dust in your closet? Perhaps some were gifts that didn't quite match your taste, or you're holding onto a beloved fragrance long past its expiration date. No worries, there are plenty of clever ways to breathe new life into these scents or dispose of them in an environmentally friendly manner. Here are our top tips to make space and get creative at the same time!

Check the Expiry Date

Before reusing or disposing of old perfume, it's essential to check the expiration date. Like any cosmetic product, perfume has a limited shelf life and can lose potency over time. Using expired perfume can cause skin irritations or unpleasant odors, so it's advisable to check the date before application. The expiration date is often indicated by a small symbol on the perfume bottle resembling an open jar. This symbol is called the "Period After Opening" (PAO) symbol and indicates how many months the perfume can safely be used after opening. You can also check the bottom of the bottle for a printed expiration date. If your perfume has expired, it's best to dispose of it properly.

Perfume can deteriorate over time due to exposure to air, light, and heat. Here are some signs that your perfume may have gone bad:

  • Change in color: If your perfume has changed color or become cloudy, it might have gone bad. Perfume should be clear and uniform in color.
  • Change in scent: If your perfume smells different than before, it might have gone bad. The fragrance can become dull, sour, or musty.
  • Skin irritations: If your perfume causes skin irritations or a rash, it might have gone bad. This can happen when the ingredients in the perfume break down and become unstable.
  • Weak scent: If your perfume doesn't last as long or the scent isn't as strong as before, it might have gone bad. Perfume should maintain its potency for at least two or three years but can lose its fragrance afterward.

If you notice any of these signs, it's best to dispose of the perfume properly and avoid applying it to your skin.

Creative Uses for Old Perfume

If your unwanted perfume is still within its expiration date, and you're looking for good ways to reuse it, try the following:

  • Room or linen spray: Mix a few drops of perfume with water in a spray bottle and use it to freshen the air in a room or lightly scent your bed linens. You can also apply the perfume to cotton balls and place them in a small bowl or sachet to refresh drawers, closets, or other small spaces like guest bathrooms.
  • Refresh potpourri and dried flowers: Spritz dry potpourri or dried flowers with perfume to breathe new life into them.
  • DIY beauty products: Use your old perfume as a natural fragrance for homemade bath items like bath salts or scrubs.
  • Scented stationery: Spray the perfume with enough distance onto stationery. Especially on thicker paper, the scent will last longer.

Remember that when using perfume in these forms, a little goes a long way. Start with a small amount and adjust the intensity to your liking.

Properly Disposing of Old Perfume – Here’s How

If your old perfume has expired or you simply want to make space, there are several responsible ways to dispose of it:

  • Recycling: Check if your local recycling program accepts perfume bottles. If yes, remove the cap and spray head, rinse the bottle, and place it in your recycling bin.
  • Special waste disposal: If your local recycling program doesn't accept perfume bottles, contact your local special waste disposal center to find out how to dispose of them safely. Resources are available there to environmentally dispose of them.
  • Donate: Consider donating unused or lightly used perfume to a women's shelter or charitable organization. They often accept unused personal care products to distribute to those in need.
Important: Keep in mind that perfume contains alcohol and other potentially hazardous chemicals, so it's crucial to dispose of it properly. Don't pour it down the drain or simply throw it in the trash, as this can harm the environment. Instead, choose one of these responsible disposal methods.

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