Shake well before drinking, says the label on that carton of almond milk in the drink fridge at work. The good, instruction-following person that you are, you give it shake, open the cap, have a sip, and voilà, it actually tastes better!
Then, out of the blue and as any true fraghead would, you can’t help but think to yourself… If this works with your drinks, does that mean you should be doing the same to your bottle of perfume before spritzing the fragrant liquid on your skin?
The short answer is “no,” and we’re about to have a chat as to why.
There’s no need to jiggle or shake perfume before spraying it on your skin. Shaking a perfume bottle can be detrimental to the scent, as it can introduce air into the juice, oxidizing it and shortening its lifespan.
To put it simply, it’s a myth that you must shake perfume before applying it to your skin.
The solution in the perfume bottle has already been mixed. And, as you’re about to find out, jiggling it can cause more harm than good to that beloved scent of yours in the dresser drawer (so don’t do it).
Essentially, perfume is a chemical concoction of delicate fragrant molecules mixed to perfection and neatly sealed in a glass bottle with an airtight atomizer.
Perfume must be protected from direct sunlight, sources of heat, and excess moisture at any time. So keep your fragrances in a cool, dark, and dry place—such as a dresser drawer—to maximize their lifespan. Otherwise, they can go off faster than you anticipate.
Though it’s okay to carry around a perfume bottle in your purse (or cologne in your travel bag), there’s nothing that requires you to jiggle it or, worse, to shake it vigorously whenever applying it to your skin. Had that been the case, it would have said so on the label.
Don’t worry: that’s not to say that one shake, intentional or not, and the bottle’s done. But shaking the bottle every single can violate the formula of the scent, especially if you’ve got a leaky atomizer that’s prone to letting air in.
How to Use Perfume
To apply perfume to your skin properly, gently lift the bottle, remove the cap, and spray your body’s pulse points (neck, wrists, elbows), preferably on well-moisturized skin after a hot shower.
You could spray it on your clothes as well, but it wouldn’t smell the same, and you would have to be careful about what other scents you wear with these garments unless you’ve given them a good wash or taken them to the dry cleaners.
P.S. We came across a couple of bloggers claiming that shaking your perfume bottle creates so much heat that it can damage the scent—and that it could break the bottle. We think this is B.S., with capital letters and all, unless you happen to hold the Guinness world record for shaking.