Should You Shake Perfume Bottle Before Use? Truth Revealed!

It is quite common to see people shake a perfume bottle before spraying some perfume. I know I did it for a long time out of habit! But, should you really shake a perfume bottle before using it? Does it damage your perfume? I did some research and reached out to the experts, and here’s what I found out.

It is not recommended to shake a perfume bottle. Perfume is usually made of compounds held in a delicate chemical balance to produce a perfect scent. Shaking a perfume bottle induces kinetic energy. This can produce heat and alter the chemistry at a molecular level, and ruin your perfume.

In this article, I shall get into the details of this phenomenon. Additionally, you will also get to learn what should be the correct way to wear your perfume. Plus, I will share with you a few tips that I have learned along the way to make your perfume last longer!

So, let’s get started!

Should You Shake Perfume Before Use?

You may have either seen your parents shake their perfume bottle before use or perhaps you may have seen it on TV. Regardless of how you learned about it, the real question is – is shaking a perfume bottle the right thing to do?

You should not shake perfume before use. Shaking a perfume bottle can produce heat due to the kinetic motion of the molecules. The heat produced can damage the quality or the duration of the scent. If a perfume bottle has been shaken, it is best to allow the perfume to settle for 2-3 days before using it again.

Shaking a perfume is almost never a good idea.

That said, sometimes, you may notice that the ingredients in perfume have settled at the bottom of the bottle especially when the bottle hasn’t been used for a long time. This may not happen for all perfumes, but it may be apparent with some perfume bottles.

If that is the case, you can give the perfume bottle a gentle twirl a few times. This can help to make the mixture more homogenous. However, do not try to shake the bottle even in such a scenario.

Why Does Shaking a Perfume Ruin It?

Perfume is made of compounds held together in a delicate chemical balance. When I say delicate, I don’t mean unstable (as in it won’t explode). So, when we shake the bottle of perfume, we end up transferring the energy from our muscles (potential energy) to the fragrance molecules as kinetic energy.

This causes motion or movement in the perfume molecules. During the process, some amount of heat is also produced. This heat is detrimental to the delicate chemical balance of the fragrance.

It is important to note that although the heat produced is marginal, its impact is visible on a molecular level. So, obviously, you will not feel or sense the temperature of the perfume increase for this reason.

This heat triggers the release of scent from the fragrance molecules, and therefore the overall life of the perfume is impacted. So, while you may not see any visible change to the perfume in the immediate or short term, the perfume will depreciate in quality and lose its fragrance faster in the long term.

One common belief that a lot of people often tend to have is if shaking perfume damages it, then why does it still work when you ship it from one location to another. Doesn’t a bottle of perfume get a good shake when it is shipped when you are either moving places or receiving a perfume bottle in the mail?

The answer to that is yes, it does impact the perfume. However, in most cases, the damage is not immediately visible (as described above). That said, in almost all cases, you will notice that the life span of perfume gets reduced.

Moreover, when you are shipping a bottle through mail or during transportation, you really don’t have a choice to avoid the shake. However, shaking a bottle as part of your perfume routine is completely avoidable!

What is the Correct Way to Use Perfume?

Shaking a Perfume bottle before use

When using perfume, there are some general dos and don’ts that you should be aware of. I’ve highlighted the process of using perfume below –

  1. Clean Your Skin before Application – The first thing that you want to do is make sure that your skin is clean. It is best to perhaps have a shower before applying perfume as this will not only take off any dirt from the skin but also keep your skin moist and make the perfume last longer.
  2. Wipe Off Excess Water Before Application – The next step is to wipe off any extra water or moisture on your body using a towel. Don’t worry, this won’t make your skin dry. Instead, it will just wipe off extra water which can negatively impact the perfume that you shall be spraying.
  3. Spray the Perfume on Your Skin – You want to make sure that you spray the perfume on your skin instead of your clothes. The perfume will be most effective when it mixes with the oils present on your skin. Plus, it also often produces a unique scent. Moreover, using perfume on your clothes can damage or stain them. You can read more about this topic in this article that I wrote previously.
  4. Apply Perfume on Your Pulse Points – It is best to apply perfume to your pulse points as this helps to diffuse the perfume better. You can apply perfume to your inner wrist, elbows, shoulders, behind your ears, etc.
  5. Use 3-4 Spritzes of Perfume – When applying perfume, it is important to remember that “Less is More”. Depending on the type and brand of perfume you are using (basically based on how strong it is), spray about 3 to 4 spritzes on your body. If you are wearing perfume to a workplace, 1 or 2 spritzes should be enough. (Check out our guide to wearing perfume at the workplace)
  6. Re-apply During the Day – If you feel that your perfume doesn’t last long, don’t hesitate to re-apply perfume during the day!

Remember – when applying perfume do not rub the perfume over your skin. The heat produced due to rubbing can damage the fragrance molecules and impact the performance of your perfume.

While these are a few general steps that you should take when applying perfume, honestly the perfume application routine of people can vary based on their comfort. So, over time, you shall also be able to see what works best for you and adapt accordingly.

Tips to Prevent Perfume Bottle from Shaking

Now that you know how to apply perfume correctly, let’s take a look at how you can prevent your perfume bottle from shaking and avoid perfume damage –

  1. Do Not Store Your Perfume in a Drawer – It is best to store your perfume in a cool and dry place preferably inside the original packaging box. However, do not put the perfume inside the drawer. Consistent opening and closing of a drawer will shake the perfume every time the drawer is opened. This will damage your perfume over time.
  2. Do Not Carry the Perfume Bottle Every day – Some people like to carry the perfume bottle with them in the purse or bag. However, this will most certainly damage your perfume. Instead, use a Perfume Atomizer. This will avoid reducing the life of your perfume.
  3. Avoid Shaking Perfume Bottle Before Use – You want to make sure that you don’t shake the perfume bottle before spraying perfume. Shaking the perfume bottle will damage your perfume over time.
  4. Do Not Store Perfume in Car – Another common practice that a lot of people tend to have is to carry or store their perfume in the car. It is especially true for people who travel a lot in their car for work or other purposes. Having perfume in the car makes it easily accessible, however, it is a sure-fire way to damage your perfume not only through shaking but also exposure to temperature changes and humidity. Plus, there are also safety concerns with perfume in the car that you should be aware of.
  5. Pack Your Perfume Bottles Properly before Moving – Another factor that can impact your perfume is when you are moving from one location to another! It is difficult to avoid perfume bottles from shaking when moving but you can limit the damage by packing the perfume bottles correctly.

Should You Shake Cologne Before Applying?

You may think that shaking Cologne might be okay is it is not perfume. However, that is not the case.

You should not shake cologne before applying. Shaking the bottle of cologne can alter the chemistry of your cologne and ruin it. The effect may not be visible immediately, however, cologne will depreciate in quality and lose its scent faster over time!

Cologne works just like perfume. In fact, cologne is just another type of perfume. Cologne (or Eau de Cologne) simply has lower concentration of fragrance in the perfume.

Thus, essentially, all the factors that have been mentioned in the article above for perfume are also applicable to a cologne!

Why Do You Have to Shake a Deodorant Before Use?

When it comes to deodorants, the story is a bit different.

It is advisable to shake a deodorant before use. Some deodorants, especially antiperspirants, contain components in the form of fine powder such as aluminum chlorohydrate that are heavier and often settle at the bottom of the bottle. Shaking a deodorant ensures that an even mixture comes out.

However, it is not necessary to shake all deodorants. Only deodorants that contain antiperspirant qualities need a shake before use. That said, shaking your deodorant will not harm it even if it is not an antiperspirant since most deodorant sprays are aerosol-based,

If you want to be really sure of whether to shake a deodorant before application, you can read the instructions of use written on the bottle. In most cases, the instructions will clearly lay out what you need to do.

More Related Topics

  1. Should Perfume be Sprayed on Skin or Clothes? A Definitive Guide!
  2. 9 Best Perfumes for a Date! [For Him & Her]
  3. Deodorant vs Perfume: What’s the Difference? [Complete Guide!]
  4. Is Perfume a Good Gift? [With Options for Every Occasion!]
  5. Does Perfume Stain Your Clothes? [With Tips to Avoid the Stains!]
  6. 13 Reasons Why Your Perfume Fades So Quickly!

Credit to Kaboompics (on Pexels) for the Featured Image of this Article

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