Can you reuse perfume containers?
July 9, 2012 6:35 PM   Subscribe

How can I reuse perfume containers?

The tops of perfume containers seem to simply not come off and the bottom is generally glass or some kind of plastic. Has anybody figured out a way to reuse these things? I make my own smelly oils I would like to put into them.

Creativity welcome. Doesn't need to look nice:)
posted by JJkiss to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
My understanding is that the tops of perfume bottles are generally attached in a way that you cannot remove, and if you managed to remove it, you would not be able to get it back on. However, there are lots of different types of containers available online for your oils.
posted by insectosaurus at 7:31 PM on July 9, 2012

Agreeing that you should use new containers. While you can clean glass and metal to remove any trace of the previous scent, plastic (including the tube and spray mechanism) will hold scent forever and contaminate your lovely creations.

If you can find some vintage glass bottles with ground glass stoppers, you might be able to clean them to spec, and you could fill with your product, though you would have to apply by dabbing. Maybe you could even find a Serge Lutens bell jar!

Lastly, my experience with scented oils is that they are best applied by rollerball. Spray oil can be kind of sticky, they generally spatter way too much oil over too large an area, and the spray mechanism gets gunked up after a while. Rollerballs and other good container options here.
posted by apparently at 7:57 PM on July 9, 2012 [1 favorite]

Reusing modern perfume bottles is all but impossible (and when it's not impossible the leftover scent ruins whatever you put into them, as "apparently" says).

However, if you want to reuse an item, go to an antique store and look for old perfume bottles. Exactly how old is up to you; my grandma still has her grandma's perfume bottle from the 1800s, and I can't imagine the spray function became truly ubiquitous until the 50's at the earliest (though don't quote me on that).

Either way, these kinds of perfume bottles are not only designed to be reused, but each one has history, and will work just fine with thicker, oilier perfumes of the type often made at home.
posted by Urban Winter at 8:41 AM on July 10, 2012

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