What to Do With All that Perfume

It's such a conundrum. I have more than enough perfume for life, yet the occasional bottle or split still finds its way into my crowded perfume cabinet. While I return to my favorites and exciting, newer bottles, perfectly good perfume sits and risks turning. What's a girl to do? Find more ways to use perfume, that's what. Here are a few uses for perfume you like enough to keep, but fear you won't use before it spoils:

Scent your curtains. Diaghilev reportedly sprayed his curtains with Guerlain Mitsouko so when the wind ruffled their fabric, his rooms were filled with Mitsouko's sepia peach and moss. Such a romantic idea. A few years ago I followed his lead and spritzed the cotton velvet curtains in my living room with Mitsouko EdP. I nearly threw up. For about a week I couldn't spend time on the couch without occasional forays to the kitchen for air. Fragrant curtains are a terrific idea, but I recommend something with less presence than Mitsouko. Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien or Caron Fleurs de Rocailles might work.

Freshen up the mattress. Whenever I strip the bed, I give the mattress about three spritzes of fragrance. I used up a bottle of Stella McCartney Stella this way, then moved on to Prince Matchabelli Wind Song, and now am partway through a bottle of Thierry Mugler Cologne. Once fresh bedding is on, the scent is present but mild. Every once in a while I spray my pillows, too. You can buy special linen spray, but why not use what you already have?

Perfume your pets. I like to spray the dog's bed with something to mingle with his delicious corn chip fragrance. Tex's bed has a removable cover, and when it's in the wash I spray his bed with whatever strikes my fancy, most recently Annick Goutal Duel, but I also like the chocolate-currant-green floral of Annick Goutal Eau de Charlotte. Once I tried Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles, but it ended too funky for a dog. My cat, Mae West, has silky fur that holds fragrance beautifully. She would smell lovely in L'Artisan Parfumeur Drôle de Rose, but I don't have that, so I lightly spray her two favorite nap spots with Parfum D'Empire Eau Suave when I'm feeling luxurious and Wind Song when I'm not.

Use as room spray. Kevin does this. I've never fully related to the concept of room spray — I mean, do you just spray it everywhere? In the air? And it just hits the floor and sits there? — so I don't do it. But you might want to give it a try.

Spray on your lampshades. Most of my lampshades are made of old fabric, and none are pristine white, so I don't worry about staining them. I like to spray my lampshades with Molinard Habanita and Laura Mercier Minuit Enchanté. As the lampshades heat up (this obviously doesn't work well with compact fluorescent bulbs) the fragrance dissipates. I find it doesn't last longer than an evening.

Scent your room. A few years ago a Now Smell This reader suggested dumping sample vials of perfume into a few tablespoons of uncooked rice. It works, but it needs stirred daily to reawaken the fragrance, and its throw isn't very far. Still, a pretty teacup of rice infused with a sample of Christian Dior Dune in the bathroom would be very nice.

Perfume your laundry. I've saved the best tip for last. When I proposed doing this post, Robin mentioned she'd always wondered about spraying perfume on unscented dryer sheets. Even though I wasn't quite ready to do laundry today, in the interest of science I washed a half load of underwear and towels. About halfway through the dryer's cycle, I tossed in a cotton handkerchief sprayed generously with Mugler Cologne. My laundry came out gorgeously, gently scented — and the handkerchief smelled so good I tucked it in my purse right away. This is a tip I'll be putting to use regularly.

What about you? Do have any extracurricular uses for perfume you'd like to share?

Note: image is What a drip [cropped] by polarjez at flickr; some rights reserved.

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  1. jlee16 says:

    Hi Angela, Tex does smell amazing! Love these tips and hope I can see you and smell Tex next time I’m in town.

    • Angela says:

      I hope so, too! You know where to find me (and Tex).

  2. dee says:

    Most of those tips are already in use in my house (the dog has his own bottle of SJP Lovely…) but I LOVE the dryer-handkerchief idea! That’s brilliant! … and will be put to use in my house. :)

    Thanks for the tip Angela!

    • Angela says:

      I love the idea of a dog smelling like Lovely!

      The dryer-handkerchief thing was truly inspired. I can tell, though, that you need a special handkerchief for each scent. Although my socks lost their aroma of Mugler cologne by the end of a day’s wear, the handkerchief is still going strong. (The socks in my drawer still smell of Cologne, though.)

      • RusticDove says:

        The scented hanky for the dryer is brilliant and I’ll be copying that idea fo sho.
        Your scented lampshades reminded me that years ago I bought a ceramic ring that fits around the base of a lightbulb and I filled it with essential oils – same idea – it would be heated by the bulb and give off fragrance which then totally scented a room. I wonder if you can still find those ceramic rings? I’ll have to Google.

        • Angela says:

          Another commenter mentioned those, and I’ve seen them around, too! Most of my lightbulbs are compact fluorescents, but I do have one lamp I keep a traditional bulb in because of where it is and its quality of light.

  3. Na says:

    Hi Angela. Great post!
    The throwing in a sprayed handkerchief is a brilliant idea!
    I wonder if the perfume stays in the dryer for long though.

    • Angela says:

      Good question! It’s Monday morning now, and I did laundry Saturday afternoon. I just went to smell the dryer, and there’s no trace of fragrance in it. (Of course, the dryer has an air vent to the outside, so it’s been aired out by January air for the past day and a half.)

      • Na says:

        Oh good! I’m definitely trying this- I just have to figure out which perfume I want to try it with =)

  4. Thalia says:

    Ha! I scent the pets without meaning to — my husband says he can always tell when I’ve been holding the Junior Cat, because her fur smells like my scent of the day. Fortunately, cat fur + perfume is pretty much always a happy combination.

    • Angela says:

      Cat fur already has its own magical perfume. I can’t really smell it clearly on Mae West, but a snootful of her fur smell fills me with love and happiness. I wish there was some way to mix it with my other perfumes and wear it into the world.

      • Queen_Cupcake says:

        Cat fur always smells great to me without perfuming it.
        I love your cat’s name–Mae West–brilliant!

        • Angela says:

          I named her Mae West because she’s a portly seductress. She was 6 when I adopted her from the shelter, and her name had apparently been Woobler. Doesn’t suit her at all. She loves being Mae West, I can tell.

          • Sandi says:

            Woobler?!, You’d hang that on a retriever. Cats have more dignity. Might want to stock up on regular light bulbs, I think they’ll soon be going they way of the dodo as they’ve already been banned in some areas. And now I need to go buy a 12 pack of white cotton handkerchiefs. Maybe I’ll do the dude’s T’s with a shot of what I like on him too since he doesn’t wear it nearly often enough.

          • Angela says:

            I hope your laundry came out sweet and fresh!

  5. OperaFan says:

    These are great tips, Angela! I’ve occassionally spritzed a bit of something into the air or onto my top sheet when feeling decadent.
    Christianne Celle’s Chevrefeuille is great for this, especially in the spring and summer because of the crisp greens mingled with the ambered musk at the base that makes me think of clean laundry. I recently picked up an old bottle of AG Camille on ebay that would also work nicely. Because of its age, it’s lost a lot of the green freshness (becoming more like sun-warmed grass clippings), but still very much recognizably Camille and smells lovely.
    The cats would never tolerate a spritz to their sleeping quarters, however. They’ll just go looking for an unscented spot to nap in…

    • Angela says:

      I’m really careful to go light on the scent on the animal beds. One light spritz misted from a few feet above is about right.

      Camille sounds perfect! A lot of the Goutals would be good, I think. Petite Chérie, for example.

    • LaMaroc says:

      I just got a bottle of Camille for Christmas and I ‘m totally with you on the sun-warmed grass. Such a comforting scent. But I have to put it away for now as it makes me a little too yearnful of spring. (And if the weatherman is to be believed, my little corner of the Midwest should be under about a foot and a half of snow, on top of the 4-5 inches already on the ground.)

      • Angela says:

        I’m jealous of both the Camille AND the snow. It hasn’t snowed here at all, and I’m hopping mad about it! All I want is one good snow…

        • LaMaroc says:

          I’ll swap with you any time. I really miss the PNW!

  6. maggiecat says:

    I love these ideas – although DH not being a big perfume fan (major understatement) I’ll have to be careful of employing them. Great post!

    • Angela says:

      Uh oh. That would be a problem. He probably wouldn’t thrill over bath towels redolent of Stella.

  7. odonata9 says:

    Reading this reminds me of my grandmother. She had this porcelain night light on her bedside table and would put a cotton ball spritzed with perfume into the little hole at the top. Her scent has pretty much always been Chantilly, so I imagine that’s what she spritzed it with.
    Alas, my husband is sensitive to fragrances due to migraines, so scenting the house would be torture for him! I do spritz my pillow occasionally with lavender. A little Mugler Cologne probably wouldn’t be too bad – it’s such a soapy fresh scent.

    • Angela says:

      Was the nightlight made especially for scent, do you think? If so, I like that idea a lot more than Glade Plug Ins. Chantilly is such a perfect grandma scent, too.

      • odonata9 says:

        You know, I don’t think it was but it is possible. I was looking for pictures online, but didn’t see anything similar. I wonder if she stll has it ? She’s in a retirement/nursing home now and has jad to give away most of her furniture and things (I got her vanity!).

        She does love her Chantilly – my mother always gives her a solid compact and bath powder gift set for Christmas if she can find it (usually only the spray to be found).

        • Angela says:

          Chantilly reminds me of a bath set my uncle gave me when I was in high school. I really Chantilly’ed it up for a few months.

          It sounds like you have nice memories of your grandmother. I hope you’re close enough to wear she lives to visit sometimes.

        • crowflower says:

          I have two perfume lamps made by Irice. One is in the shape of a cat with a flowered hat and the other is a cart or wagon full of flowers. They have a small bulb and a little indent on top (the top of the cat’s hat and one of the flowers in the cart) in which to put a few drops of perfume. Works nicely and very cute as well.

          • Angela says:

            Nice! I’d never even heard of perfume lamps before, but they sound great (and cute).

  8. Julia says:

    Thanks, Angela. I do all of these except spray the pets and the thing with the rice. I keep my clothes in a 1930′s wardrobe which has a little perforated metal holder for camphor (in very cool deco lettering). I like to put cotton sprayed with perfume or almost empty sample vials in there to evaporate. It isn’t strong enough to scent my clothes, but it smells really nice when I open the doors.

    • Angela says:

      Hi Julia! I’ve been missing you. I think of you everytime I reach for Shalimar….

      What a genius idea to build a scent-disseminator into a wardrobe. I realize it was probably meant to ward off moths, but this is a perfect use.

      • Rappleyea says:

        I put three or four drops of essential oil of cedar on cotton balls and put them in my sweater drawers. I bet that would work well for your wardrobe, Julia.

        • Angela says:

          Where do you get cedar essential oil? I’d love to use some where I store my wool coats.

          • Rappleyea says:

            Angela – when I use the cotton balls for hanging items, I put them in an open sandwich baggie, and poke a hole in the top of one side of the baggie and slip it onto the hanger.

          • Angela says:

            That sounds perfect. Thanks!

          • platinum14 says:

            Many health food stores carries essential oil. You should be able to find cedar oil easily.

          • Angela says:

            I’ll try my local co-op. If they don’t have it, it’s nice to know there’s a reliable online store, too.

        • OperaFan says:

          I’m guessing that helps to ward off the wool-eating moth larvae? If so, I’ll give it a shot. Hate mothball smells and have lost a few good sweaters to those little critters….

          • Angela says:

            I’ve heard tonka beans work, too, but I don’t know where to get any. But wouldn’t it be nice to have sweaters that smelled of tonka?

          • Rappleyea says:

            I use these people now:


            They have great service and great prices. For moth control (and I haven’t had a hole in a sweater since I started doing this) I use either the Mexican or Virginian cedar – not the more expensive Atlas. Both of these are actually juniper species and are what we think of in N. America when we think of cedar trees.

  9. Dolly2 says:

    Hi Angela! Great article. I like to spray a piece of tissue and then fold in half. Then I spray again, then fold. I repeat the process until I have a square that usually measures about an inch across. I then put it in my purse or in my coat pocket ( for this I usually do 2 squares.) and I find that this lasts for 2 to 4 weeks and I have a scent with me wherever I go without being overbearing.

    • Dolly2 says:

      Kind of like a tissue fragrance sachet.

    • Angela says:

      Nice! I like to keep a cotton handkerchief in my purse for the same reason. Plus, you never know when you’ll need a hankie.

  10. Karin says:

    Wow – great ideas, Angela! I’m getting to the point where my collection will definitely outlast me. I’m not a fan, though, of multiple scents around me. One perfume – on me – is about all I can stand. Even when my husband wears a fragrance now (and I’m the one who started it for him of course – ha!), I sort of don’t like it! Why? Cause it usually conflicts with what I’m wearing. So, I don’t do candles, or scented laundry detergent (don’t want my clothes to have a scent that will conflict with my perfume), or air freshener, etc. Maybe I need to change my ways on this!? Otherwise, some lucky young perfumista will be quite happy when I leave them my perfume collection in my will. ;-) Any takers??? Well, I’m not THAT old. We’re talkin’ another 20-30 years, or until Jesus comes back. Ha!

    • Angela says:

      I don’t like assertive scent around me–except for scented candles, but then I can control when I smell them or not. But a faint, fresh fragrance is really nice.

      I hope you live a good, long time to make it through every one of those bottles!

    • AnnS says:

      I’ve jokingly thought I need a fragrance will also. Please leave this to so and so, etc. My problem is also that I tend to apply sparingly. I just need to apply with more gusto!

      • Angela says:

        You go, girl!

      • Haunani says:

        Hey, as we all get older we’ll need to apply more to smell it properly!

        • Angela says:

          So, there’s some hope!

        • Karin says:

          Oh no – then we’ll become the old ladies with the suffocating perfume! I hope this never happens to me…

          • Angela says:

            Or else we’ll all have to hang out together so our weak noses won’t notice!

  11. Benj says:

    I just recently started using scent-free laundry detergent because I couldn’t stand the scents of any of the normal ones. So I may well take up your suggestion of scenting my laundry!

    How much to use though, that’s the question.

    • Angela says:

      I used about 5 sprays on a small cotton handkerchief, figuring since it was cologne it couldn’t be too cloying. But it’s probably smart to start lighter and add sprays in future loads if you want more fragrance.

  12. krokodilgena says:

    The last tip sounds like a good idea…
    but there’s the issue of fragrances clashing.
    I’ve always wanted a minty version of Bulgari Black since I wore it while sitting beside someone chewing spearmint gum, so I was thinking “a-ha! I could spray a hankerchief with Ava Luxe’s Moroccan Mint Tea and then wear Bulgari Black” but I’m not sure if I want minty clothes? Maybe I do, idk.

    • krokodilgena says:

      oh once I sprayed a card with Angel at Sephora and I left it in my sister’s car and she told me it was scenting her car.

      • Angela says:

        My car could use a little sweetening up. Maybe I’ll try the same thing. Bulgari Black would be perfect in there, come to think of it, given its already oily smell.

        • miss kitty v. says:

          I spray my car with any fragrance I like that doesn’t work on my skin. My car gets more compliments on it’s perfume than I do. :)

          • Angela says:

            That’s funny!

        • CM says:

          After a trip to the mall, I usually have several scent paper strips of perfume testers. Rather than leave these in my purse, I tend to stick them in the air vents in the car (so they’re partially sticking out). As the air flows out of the vent, it gently scents the air, and I can sniff them as I drive around. Doesn’t last very long – a day or two maybe, but it’s a great way to ‘experience’ a new scent…. and it’s free!

    • Angela says:

      Really good point. Classic colognes are good mixers for most of the year. I guess if you wore a lot of heavier scents in the winter, maybe a woody or gently ambery fragrance would work, too. Mint sounds good, but you’re right–it could clash.

      • krokodilgena says:

        I don’t really have the problem presented in this entry XD
        I have 4 bottles of perfume–Alexander McQueen Kingdom, Bulgari Black, Black Cashmere, and Ava Luxe Moroccan Mint Tea.
        I decided my next will be Cuir Ottoman.
        Making all my clothes smell like leather could be cool.

        • Angela says:

          You know, I bet Cuir d’Ottoman would go nicely with all of those fragrances if it were a lighter, background scent.

      • krokodilgena says:

        I feel like I need a mini of Prada Infusion D’Homme though.

        • Angela says:

          That should be easy enough to find, I’d think. Good luck!

        • boojum says:

          It’s been several weeks, so I can’t say about now, but last time I was in Sephora, they had the minis (along with all the other little travel sized items).

  13. Rappleyea says:

    Great article, Angela, but I’m like Karin (above) in that I don’t like my environment or my clothes scented. These expensive vintage perfumes are only going on my body! And my cats skeedaddle when I put my perfume on in the morning.

    • Angela says:

      They’re waiting for you to trot out the Eau de Tuna. Hey–maybe Sushi Imperiale? I’ve never smelled it, but the name sure sounds fish-like.

      • odonata9 says:

        Ha! I am sampling Sushi Imperiale, and have been meaning to look up why on earth it is called that. Nice enough scent (and not fishy at all!), but not for me.

        • Angela says:

          Probably not a cat-pleaser, then, either.

          • Rappleyea says:

            AND…. they hate my essential oils! But they’ll fight me for cabbage! Go figure.

          • Angela says:

            I know a cat once, named Popeye (of all things), who loved brussels sprouts. Go figure.

        • Sandi says:

          Our Maine Coon mix loves vanilla ice cream, apples, strawberries and corn chips, but hates fish, not just fishy cat food, the little weirdo won’t eat fresh cooked salmon, halibut or cod (he won’t eat any meat raw either, only cooked). Maybe I should try a fruity Oriental on him. XD

  14. ami says:

    hi Angela,

    big thanks for the post.
    especially liked the ‘ in the interest of science ‘ part : D
    the way you guys write is art in itself, that’s what makes this blog so extraspecial : D

    • Angela says:

      You’re so nice!

  15. Robin says:

    Thanks for testing the dryer sheet idea! And Mugler Cologne is perfect since it goes with nearly any other scent. Going to go dig through my husband’s dresser, I think he still has a real handkerchief somewhere.

    • Angela says:

      I thought about using a square from a torn cotton pillow case I have, too.

      In the meantime, I’ve discovered another way to spread fragrance. Last week the cat knocked over a bowl of lavender flowers, so I vacuumed them up. I just finished vacuuming this week, and the Miele spewed warm lavender scent! (Much nicer than the usual dusty, animal fur smell.)

      • Rappleyea says:

        Vacuum cleaner bags are another great spot for cotton balls scented with either perfume or essential oils.

        • boojum says:

          Or um… Christmas tree needles. :) FINALLY got my tree out to the curb last week. Well, half of it, anyway. It lost a lot of needles along the way, most of which are now residing in my vacuum.

          • Angela says:

            Oh I understand completely. I’ll probably be vacuuming up needles until summer.

        • Angela says:

          Great idea!

        • OperaFan says:

          That could work. I grow lavenders and usually bring dried cuttings into the house in the late summer and fall and vacuum up the leaves and dried flower pods. They scent the house everytime we vacuum the house.

          • Angela says:

            That sounds just like the experience I had this morning!

  16. Jemimagold says:

    I spray perfume into my car’s a/c vents (when they are off, of course) and generally around the car. Do this in the evening when you won’t be using the car any more than night and leave all of the windows up/sunroof closed. The next morning you will have a gorgeously scented interior. In experimenting with this, I’ve found that stronger scents work best and last the longest. Bandit was excellent for this purpose as was Hermes Rouge.

    • Angela says:

      I’ll try it! I love the idea of Bandit, since then I could pretend I have leather seats.

    • Haunani says:

      I like this idea. So many of us spend plenty of time in our cars. May as well enjoy their smell! I learned the hard way once that spilling an entire sample on your car mats works very well. That week my car smelled like Siena in winter, LOL!

      • Angela says:

        Sometimes accident–more than necessity–is the mother of invention!

  17. AnnS says:

    Angela: I think about my poor neglected fragrances too. I am trying to cycle through them, esp. since I can get away with wearing 2 or three different fragrances during the course of a long 17 hour day.

    Another good way to use up unwanted fragrances is to give them to the women’s shelter. I’m actually rounding up all my unloved samples to pass along that way.

    • Angela says:

      I’ve given some of my old perfume to a free store for people living with HIV and AIDS. A women’s shelter is a terrific idea, too.

    • Haunani says:

      Another great idea. I was talking with some other perfumistas who do this. They said that lotions and cosmetics, including samples, are also very much appreciated.

      • Angela says:

        Yes, I can see that. Anything pampering would be so nice.

    • Karin says:

      I’ve thought of doing this – giving away perfumes to a woman’s organization…

      • Angela says:

        There are so many good organizations out there.

  18. OperaFan says:

    Has anyone tried converting their (stronger) fragrances into bath oils or bath salts? I would love to be able to take baths in some of my fragrances, but haven’t figured out how to keep the scent in the water and not dissipate in the air above.

    • Angela says:

      I wonder if you could mix some fragrance with a handful of epsom salts?

    • ggperfume says:

      I just spray the fragrance into the water as it’s running. Seems to work well enough to enjoy as I linger in the bath. It doesn’t have to last long on my skin – if I want to wear it as my SOTD I can apply it directly.

      • Angela says:

        Does it take a lot in the water?

        • Anita says:

          I personally use a couple of drops or a spritz; it depends on the intensity or sillage of the fragrance.

          • Angela says:

            That’s not much at all–I’ll have to give it a try.

  19. jo says:

    Hey Angela!!!

    I have been spraying my bed/carpet/etc for years with Estee Pure Fragrance Spray. I cannot wear it for some reason, but, in my house, it is awesome….

    Before that I used Xia Xiang, a Revlon perfume, that was lovely……..just not on my skin!

    Another idea I would recommend is to look up on your browser: Light Bulb Scent Diffuser Rings.
    These can be ceramic, brass (with a channel you fill with scent), or heavy card stock that you load with your perfume and then put directly on your incandescent light bulb. The heat subtly spreads the scent all over……. Some of these have a channel in them that you fill with scent. Either way, it is great!

    And, finally, thanks for all the other good ideas…..Any way I can get more fragrance in my house is a winner!!!!


    • Angela says:

      Thanks for your recommendations!

      I do have a brass light bulb scent diffuser around the house somewhere–I’ll have to hunt it down and give it a try again.

  20. ceelouise says:

    I once sprayed J’Adore into my bath water. Ten sprays or so, a lot, I know. It smelled nice enough, but I haven’t been moved to repeat. Instead I like to wear perfume to bed and enjoy it while I read a book. However, I wouldn’t do this every night. I just think my nose needs a break to avoid headaches. I’m thankful I have a daughter. She’ll have a lot of perfume to play with.

    • Angela says:

      What a lucky daughter!

  21. yvashche says:

    Oooh what a good idea. I too face this problem: too many perfumes, too little time. I always worry that if I don’t use them fast enough they will spoil. I like the idea of perfuming curtains and lampshades. I tried to spray my couches with a lot of perfume, and it was quite overpowering and long lasting. I throw drops of perfume from sample bottles onto the bed, which work fine and does not kick up too much smell in the air. I will try to perfume my lanudry too-haven’t tried that.
    Also, one thing I have enjoyed immensely is to give perfume bottles to guests. When new people visit my home, I make sure to lead them to my collection and then give them a few bottles of the ones they like.

    • Angela says:

      You are a very generous hostess!

  22. platinum14 says:

    Youth Dew is my favorite air freshener.
    I once sprayed a mattress in the guest bedroom with Habanita, but it turned out to be too much. I must have had a trigger happy hand… I had to air out the room for 2 days.
    My favorite is unglazed porcelain ornaments (Christmas or otherwise). They can be sprayed and they hold the scent quite well. The Christmas ones can be hung in the closet or in the linen closet –until they can go back to the tree.

    • Angela says:

      I that’s why I like Habanita on lamp shades. The scent dissipates so quickly it never overwhelms.

      Unglazed ornaments! That’s a great idea. Plus, a hanger is built in if you want to put it in a closet.

  23. Quarry says:

    Applause from me for your writing another fun article, Angela.

    There are some scents I love, but which I do not wear well, so they’re relegated to spot scenting.
    ~ For select visitors, I will spray Wet Garden in the entry vestibule just before their arrival in order to create a fresh bouquet impression.
    ~ We are fortunate in having an old pantry, which people must pass through to reach the hall to the bathroom. Bosari Macchia Mediterranea, spritzed at nose height on a cabinet, makes it smell like garden herbs hang from the ceiling.
    ~ When our shower/dressing area needs refreshing, I spray Yves Rocher Green Tea on the small area rug.
    ~ We’ll soon have an extraordinary fitness room, and I’ve been thinking I want to be able to release Bulgari Au Thé Blanc during my time there. I may just spray it on a paper blotter and prop that up in a clip holder.

    Yes, I can sort of imagine that Bal à Versailles + canine fur would lean toward the funk. What a relief to see that no readers have getting unduly concerned about animals being exposed to minute quantities of perfume. Aren’t you happily surprised, or are you simply that confident about the intelligence and integrity of NST readers? — Silly question.

    • Angela says:

      Nice! I’m imagining a house scented like a cottage on the Mediterranean in summer.

      We did think about the fragrance-animal connection (you’ll note the image on this post is pet-less), but gave readers the benefit of the doubt. Worrying about the toxicity of a few drops of fragrance indirectly transferred to my dog’s fur is nothing compared to the mysterious stuff he eats off the sidewalk if I’m not fast enough to stop him.

      • ggperfume says:

        Hear, hear. Dogs are such carrion-eaters, really.

        • Angela says:

          I swear my dog can smell a rancid chicken bone a mile away. Once he found a hotdog bun under a bush, and he looked under that bush every time we passed for two years.

          • ggperfume says:

            Funny because it’s true! Dogs never forget a lucky find.

        • CM says:

          Hehehe! My dog is fan of ‘worm jerky’ which seems to be plentiful in the hot texas summers.

          Unfortunately, he does not like scent on his fur. If I even get close to him with a bottle (sprayed or unsprayed) he squirms away and tries to bury his head in the covers.

  24. egabbert says:

    I occasionally use perfume as room spray, since my current apartment has no curtains, just blinds. I guess it just settles on the floor/furniture, but whatever — it seems to work! I’ve been using a bottle of Gap Coconut Tuberose (which just smells green and soapy really) in my bathroom, and scented my living room with Calvin Klein Truth yesterday, which was nice and fresh. CK Be, believe it or not, makes a great sheet spray.

    • Angela says:

      Thanks for clearing up the room spray mystery for me! Coconut Tuberose sounds like the perfect bathroom freshener.

  25. platinum14 says:

    Oh! just remembered my mother’s trick: She place fragrance on a small piece of cotton fabric in the vacuum cleaner, in the part after the filter. The air goes through it before coming back out, filling the room with fragrance!
    Makes vacuuming more fun… so she says!

    • platinum14 says:

      Oh! One more thing (this topic really is a lot of fun!)
      I bought a Scentbug from Bath & Body Works–and a load of the little tampons–for lack of a better word. Instead of the perfumed oils, I use my many sample vials or my lesser used frags.

      • Angela says:

        Bugs? Tampons? I’ll have to check this out next time at the mall.

      • OMG. I just googled this and I MUST have it. How much do you spray on it?

        • platinum14 says:

          3 to 4 spray usually does the trick, depending on the concentration and the scent. If it’s too strong, you just turn it off. :-)
          You should change the pad everytime you change scent, unless you want to layer the fragrances to create a customized scent. I usually write on the little pad (with a permanant marker) which fragrance I used. The pads can be reused for ever. It is a neat little thing.

          • Omg, this is just such a neat idea.

            So, do you have to respray the cartridge every time, or can I re-use it without respraying? I’m so intrigued!

            In my head, I’m wondering if I’d be willing to go crazy and use 3-4 spritzes of my favorite frags to scent a room (Ta’if would make a great room spray) but I am such a hoarder….

    • Angela says:

      Great idea! I welcome anything that perks up vacuuming time.

  26. Haunani says:

    I enjoyed this article through and through, Angela! And there are great ideas in the comments, too. You have given me an idea… we use buckwheat hull pillows, which do have a very light, pleasant fragrance of their own. I’m thinking of taking some of the hulls out and tossing them with a few spritzes of a lavender or vetiver fragrance, putting them back into the zippered case and shaking. Could be good!

    • Angela says:

      Great idea! Let me know if it works.

  27. Musette says:

    I do all of the above – and what a GREAT post, btw. When I wash the ceiling fan blades (I do it regularly – I am a freak with horrible sinuses) I take a slightly damp cloth and spritz it with whatever catches my fancy and polish the blades with that cloth. Not a long-lasting scenter but for an evening, it’s gorgeous.

    On the curtains, btw: it’s better with lighter curtains, rather than heavy drapes. if you are going to do heavy drapes I recommend you spraying fragrance (even Mitsouko) on your hands and running them across the lining. It holds a nice scent but isn’t overpowering. If it stays too long or gets on your nerves, take some baking soda, rub it into the lining and vacuum out. 99% of the scent will be gone.

    xoxoo Heloise :-D

    • Angela says:

      You should get your own column in the town newspaper! Lots of good tips.

      • Rappleyea says:

        Second that! I’m impressed Musette! :-)

  28. Merlin says:

    Not very long before my drastic nose-dive into perfumery I bought a couple of Crabtree&Evelyn body-sprays on a sale. Supposedly they are also good for the skin, but the scent lasts on me for less than 10 minutes. But I discovered that a few sprays of Clementine&Basil on my pillow before bed-time is a nice little luxury!

    • odonata9 says:

      Great idea! I have some B&BW and GAP body sprays that are ignored now in favor of “real” perfume! And the GAP ones are huge, so I should use them for this kind of stuff.

    • mals86 says:

      Clementine & Basil sounds very pleasant!

    • Angela says:

      That sounds ideal. It sounds like they’re light, and the fragrance sounds so fresh.

  29. ol rait says:

    The first fragrance I really fell for and bought was Bond 9′s Chinatown and I went through a 50ml bottle in less than six months because I sprayed my pillow nightly, along with not a few spritzes on my person in the day. I often find myself wanting another bottle but I can’t in good conscience get another bottle. What a terrible company! If anyone had an unloved bottle laying about though, I’d snap it up in a second.

    • Angela says:

      Check out the swaps on Makeupalley. You never know…

  30. RusticDove says:

    This isn’t really on-subject, but just walking into my bedroom and closet is a splendid olfactory experience – between all of the vials, decants and bottles and being the place where I apply scent every day, there is always a lingering subtle fragrance in the air. And despite the fact that there’s such a diverse bunch of perfumes, there’s no clashy, obnoxious fragrance – it simply smells pretty there. I suppose others here have noticed this as well.

    • Angela says:

      That sounds so nice. Relaxing and pretty.

    • OperaFan says:

      My bedroom smells like that! Just this nice, rich, well-blended combination of all the scents I’ve been using during the season, slghtly warmed by the light. Of course, it changes facets depending on the rotation, but the CEO and I both apply our fragrances in the bedroom, so it’s a nice mix of both of our scents.

      • Angela says:

        Mmm. Sounds nice.

  31. mough says:

    I accidently sprayed some of my new Parfum Sacre into my car’s heating vent, and wow, that was a blast. But it worked fabulously. I got doused, the whole car did, and smelled great for days. So, now, I regularly spritz the vents with whatever I have that isn’t the expensive stuff, and might go well in a vehicle. Lavender works well.

    I have been known to spray directly into the laundry softener cup, when I use scent free softener, of a perfume. And I’ve used the scented hankie for the dryer and underwear drawer for a long while. Plus, like now when it’s cold, I spray a good vanilla onto my flannel sheets and turn the electric blanket on to 10, so when I get in tonight, it will be toasty and all vanilla-y and fabulous.

    I think Guerlain spritzed his horses with Habit Rouge. If I had extra, I’d use a bit of MFK Absolue pour le Soir, which is very sweet and horsey to me anyway.

    • Angela says:

      I’m definitely going to try the car trick, and vanilla sounds so good for a chilly night.

      And you’ve reminded me I need to try Absolue our le soir! I know (and fear) I’ll love it…

  32. Seraph says:

    On the Guerlain website they have the “Perfumer’s Secret” which is “when travelling, slipping generously perfumed handkerchiefs into your luggage allows the scent to delicately permeate your clothes” which, I suppose, is a bit like the dryer trick…but it would perhaps tie your hands scent-wise at the other end…so, perhaps, only with something subtle…Angel or Mitsouko might not work that well..

    • Angela says:

      Nice tip, but you’re right–you’d have to decide to live with that scent for the trip, or scents that blend well with it.

  33. kaos.geo says:

    What I do (and that brings me a lot of joy) is finding a friend who uses perfumes, enjoys them, but hasn’t got the time (or the natural impulse) to become a perfumista.
    Then what I do when I’m faced with that huge bottle that I never seem to end, and that is preventing me from getting new stuff, is to make a decant of 10 or 20 mls into a small spray bottle, then give the BOTTLE as a gift to that friend. THat way I get to keep the fragrance “for my records” but also make space for another new thing that I might love. :-)

    • Angela says:

      You’re a good friend! Spreading the perfume gospel….

  34. 50_Roses says:

    How much perfume do you have to use for the handkerchief-in-the-dryer trick to work? I have not had good luck when I have tried this. Usually, I cannot smell the perfume at all when the clothes are dry. A few weeks ago, I accidentally left my vial of AG Rose Absolue in a pair of jeans that got washed. The cap came off the vial sometime during either the washer or the dryer cycle. Anyway, I wish I could say my clothes smelled of Rose Aboslue, but unfortunately, they did not.

    • Angela says:

      I used 4 or 5 sprays on a small handkerchief on about half a load of laundry. Also, I put the handkerchief in when the load was about halfway dry already.

      I’m sorry to hear about your Rose Absolue! Heartbreaking.

  35. debbie says:

    Love your cats name! My feline does not perfume and wont have anything to do with me when I first spray it on! even scented body lotions or hand washes make her run away!
    I freshen up old potpourri with perfumes that I just dont wear anymore- not that I l no longer like them-just that I like others better.

    • Angela says:

      Of course! Great idea. Potpourri can get old, but it’s still absorbent.

      • debbie says:

        Left out like my feline does not like perfume! I really must get reading glasses!

        • debbie says:

          Now-my last comment doesnt make sense! I Must be tired and so I am giving up for the night!

        • Angela says:

          It sounds like lots of cats don’t like perfume! I think I must scent Mae West’s bed lightly enough that she doesn’t mind. Either that or its location with a clear view of the birdbath is just too attractive.

  36. Marjorie Rose says:

    One tip I haven’t seen here. . .
    When I have oils, NOT perfume (too flammable!), I sometimes place a few drops in an unscented candle before I light it. I put them near the wick but not on it, and it seems to slowly melt and evaporate with the wax. Nice when you don’t have candles that smell right for your mood!

    (BTW–only a few days ago, I was joking with my dad that I was going to start using the cats as my new air fresheners! Spray them and let them run amock [per usual] and scent the room as they go! They’d never tolerate it, but funny image!)

    • Angela says:

      I haven’t heard that one before. It sounds a little scary, really, but if you’ve tried it then it must work all right.

      Your idea with the cats is hilarious!

  37. KRL says:

    I like the idea of scenting the laundry and may try that sometime, but I would never dream of changing the scent of my beloved dog – Sacrebleu! Besides, since dogs are blessed with such an acute sense of smell, it would probably really throw them off…

    • Angela says:

      I’m glad you love the smell of your dog! Tex doesn’t seem to mind the gentle scent of his bed, fortunately, and he is as keen as ever at detecting the odor of anything I might pull from the refrigerator.

  38. hongkongmom says:

    Hi Angela

    I could never fragrance my beautiful dog, cause he suffers from ecsma!
    My home is filled with scented products, and at the front door is a milefiori talco diffuser…My friends in the building say that they love come to my floor, cause the lobby smells so good! I just spray randomly whenever I feel like smelling one of my frags. I do burn candles and room fragrance oil as well! I used to have an oil diffuser in my car with citrus and woods, but now I will spray something on the heater/aircon vent.

    On another note, I discovered a shop in HK that has profumun roma and sprayed dambrosia…does anybody have any loves or reviews for this italian co perfumes…i cannot stop smelling it…it is addictive

    • tulp says:

      Hi Hongkongmom, You can look under http://www.profumum.com I only smelled Acqua e Zucchero, it is very sweet, but not loud. It remembered me of Acquolina Pink Sugar.

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like your house smells delicious! All those wonderful fragrances.

  39. annemarie says:

    It is scorching hot where I am at the moment so the scent of a cool breeze is what we really want at the moment.

    However, I have a water cooled fan thing-y, the sort where you pour water in the bottom and the fan blows over it, hopefully giving off cool air. I’ve just squirted a few spritzes of Chanel No 5 hair mist into water and poured it into the machine. It seems to be scenting the room as I type, but I do wonder if it will leave some kind of nasty residue in the machine … ? I suppose not if it evaporates fast …?

    • Angela says:

      That sounds so delightfully old fashioned, like the cartoons where the characters put a block of ice in front of the fan!

      I don’t know how fragrance could hurt a water well in a fan. In fact, it seems like it might even help to disinfect it a bit. I bet Guerlian Eau Imperiale would be nice.

  40. Cheryl says:

    Lampshades, yes! I used to scent my lampshades each time I cleaned the house. I have read that the writer Colette used a different perfume in each of her rooms in her Palais Royal apartment..

    Off to spritz my dogs!

    • Angela says:

      Colette! Fabulous! I’m down to once incandescent bulb now except for some ceiling fixtures I rarely use, so I’ll have to stick to scenting just one room, but I love the literary history behind it.

  41. Lanuitdemiel says:

    I spray my pillows with Waterford Lismore or Bond No 9 Saks for Her before putting fresh pillowcases on – the whole bed smells like, well, a flowerbed! (And it is also a perfect “marker” on the cat who decided to challenge the”no cat zone” rule while I am away from home – I am owned by two Abyssinian gangsters, very prim and proper when watched closely).

    • Angela says:

      The Abyssinian mob! That’s funny. What beautiful cats, though.

  42. Ann says:

    Hi Angela, thanks for a wonderful post! Lots of great ideas on here from everyone. One thing I do if I’m having overnight company: I dab (or very lightly spray) the light bulbs in the ceiling fan of the guest room with a light or fresh fragrance. That way, when they turn on the light and the fan, a gentle breeze of scent fills the room, and it doesn’t last so long as to become annoying.
    I, too, have given unwanted samples (and beauty products) to my local women’s shelter because I know they appreciate those little luxuries so much. And I applaud the idea of giving friends samples of your unloved perfumes and then make a decant for them of the ones they like best.
    We perfumistas love to share our passion, don’t we?

    • Angela says:

      Musette puts fragrance on her ceiling fan blades, too. You’d have to keep a stepladder handy, though.

      That’s so nice that you share your perfume. It is nice to make a few converts among friends.

  43. Ann says:

    Oops! I meant above, keep the decant and give friends the whole bottle.

  44. Olfacta says:

    Wonderful ideas! I’ve used room spray on curtains but am guilty of Limited Imagination I guess, because I hadn’t thought to use “real” perfume that way. Bed linens/clothes in the dryer I’ll have to check with the DH, who probably wouldn’t want to go to work smelling like tuberose but maybe citrus or tea would be ok. I like to scent handkerchiefs with EL Tuberose Gardenia and keep them in an old Russian cigarette case, in the handbag — open the case and the scent just rolls out.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, that sounds so nice, plus the idea of a gorgeous little handkerchief in a Russian cigarette case is so romantic.

    • odonata9 says:

      What a great idea – I have several cigarette cases and that would be one way to keep the fragrance from scenting your purse so you could change it up!

  45. Hedi says:

    Turning on the shower before you step into it and spraying fragrance into the steamy air can be very relaxing. The scent dissipates once the water’s turned off, but in the interim you’ve got an aromatherapy chamber! The lighter or crisper florals, gourmands, and orientals work nicely for this. I don’t think I’d try it with anything too heavy.

    • Angela says:

      Great suggestion!

  46. guerlainguy says:

    Intrigued by a post here a while back I bought a tester bottle of Bill Blass Nude……I spray it on my pillow cases before settling in for the night. Somewhere, somehow I got a tester of Badgley Mischka (go figure, I’m a guy in love with big blowsy florals) and I’ve been spritzing a handkerchief with it these past super cold winter nights, and placing the handkerchief over a small portable radiator device and my room smells delicious at night. As for the cigarette case, yes! A friend gave me an antique silver cigarette case and that’s where the more heavily spritzed handkerchief resides. The case is always inside my daily tote/bag/carry-all. I always use my father’s old handkerchiefs so it’s a double-good feeling. Great ideas and comments to all!

    • Angela says:

      What terrific suggestions! I bet I could put a cloth with perfume near a furnace vent for a similar effect. And I’m definitely on the lookout for a cigarette case now.

  47. louizkoul says:

    Great post, thank you, Angela! “Enough perfume for life” describes me! I am trying to find new ideas just to spray superfluous perfumes…
    Did anyone mention the car? I often use them this way. (…most of the time, I drive alone, thank God!!! Who could stand Vanilla Fields in the middle of Athens’ traffic?!)

    • Angela says:

      The car is a great idea! My car could sure use a fragrant boost.

  48. Perfumella says:

    I have, ahem, rather a lot of fragrance myself and I use them in lots of ways. One is to spray the centre cardboard core of my lavatory rolls (assuming they are initially unscented). Another is to spray some perfume on bicarb soda (I use an old Shake-N-Vac container), shake it up, leave overnight, then use it the same way you would use Shake-N-Vac. I often use different fragrances for different rooms. One more use is to spray fragrance on mosquito coils. If you use woody orientals, or any fragrance with a prominent woody note you’ll be ok. Even if you don’t have mosquitoes, the fragrance will drift through the house like incense. Beware – not all orientals or citrus fragrances do well on mozzie coils, as I found out much to my chagrin!

    I use unscented sorbelene to make body cremes and lotions (good for fragrance you don’t want near your face – rub it on your feet) and make my own shower gels, shampoos, bath bombs etc, but I guess everyone has a stab at that sooner or later.

    I also perfume my little female dog who adores orientals like Tabu. Smells like ancient cat wee on me – amazing on her…

    • Angela says:

      What great ideas! Lots of new ones, too. I’ll definitely mix some perfume with baking soda and try it on a rug. Thanks for sharing!

  49. czenyu says:

    Really like your lens, wishing you all best :-)
    Best Regards from China

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