How to Tell How Much Perfume’s Left

Guess less, spray more. Sterlish readers share their tips and tricks for figuring out how much juice is left in a bottle.

Published Categorized as Fragrance
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When your favorite fragrance comes in a heavy, opaque bottle, how do you know that the supply is running low and it’s time to refill it or buy a new one? Shaking the bottle or holding it up to the sun obviously does not work, so you have to be more creative.

Keeping track of how much perfume is left in the bottle can be a difficult task, and each of us has a different way of doing it. Last month, we asked you for your ideas. Today, we are finally ready to share our favorites with you.

To determine how much perfume is left in an opaque bottle, hold your phone’s flashlight to the other side of the glass in a dark room (like your bathroom). If the bottle is too dark, tilt it left and right and try to spray it. If the atomizer struggles to deliver a spray, it will soon be empty.

John C. from London says that holding the flashlight of his iPhone to the back of the bottle is usually enough to determine how much liquid is left in the bottle. “Do this in your bathroom, when the lights are off, and even the most opaque bottle suddenly becomes translucent.”

Some bottles, however, have a solid color. It is impossible to tell how much liquid is left in such a case, even if you take John’s advice and have a blindingly powerful flashlight.

Stacy D. of Chicago, IL, has an ingenious trick we hadn’t thought of. As she applies her perfume, she tilts the bottle slightly in both directions. If the atomizer doesn’t give a luscious spray in either, it’s a sign that the juice is about to run out.

We loved all the tips you shared, but Stacy’s had us wondering, “Why did not we think of this before?”

Mia T. from Boston, MA, weighs a perfume bottle on her kitchen scale and logs the weight in her iPhone’s notes app. When she’s not sure if she has enough left, she weighs the bottle again—a technique which she describes as “so accurate, it’s virtually fool-proof.”

She says it’s important to wait for the reading to stop changing once you put the bottle on the scales. “You’d be amazed,” she also adds, “just how heavy some perfume bottles actully are!”

Kelley M. from Rockford, IL, told us she had bookmarked “How Many Sprays Are There in a Bottle?” and that she keeps coming back to it as she counts the number of times she sprays each bottle of perfume.

“I like to write things down,” she adds. “So I keep a diary—a perfume journal, if you will—and this one simple habit has helped me never to run out of my beloved perfumes.”

Noah P. from Los Angeles, CA, makes a note of the date when he buys a bottle. He wears only three fragrances at a time, and when he wears one, he uses six sprays per day. Based on this number, he can estimate when it’s time to replenish his supply.

“Sometimes,” he wrote us, “my timing is impeccable. But I have also run out of my favorite cologne, you know. And had to search for it for weeks because it is about as niche as they get, and you can’t find it in every department store.”

Peter G. from Munich, Germany, always keeps two same-sized bottles of his favorite fragrances. When one is in use and the other is full, he can easily weigh the used bottle by hand and determine when the juice is running low.

It’s better to have two bottles of perfume in the dresser drawer, he says jokingly, than to have none at all.

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