Perfume and cologne are popular staples in many people’s morning and night routines, such as getting ready for work or going out to catch up with friends over dinner. They are ideal for self-expression and some scents have been proven to boost moods, so it’s no wonder we use fragrances in our daily lives.
With so many different types of fragrances and expensive designer bottles, you may be wondering, is perfume flammable?
Perfumes have high alcohol to fragrance ratio and can catch fire easily because of this mixture. While some perfumes use an alcohol substitute that can reduce the amount of flammability, these fragrances can still pose a fire hazard.
Why Is Alcohol Used in Perfumes?
You may be wondering, why is perfume flammable in the first place? Perfume-making is an age-old art form that requires knowledge of chemistry and olfactory senses to get the right mixture. Perfumers rely on sourcing fragrances and alcohols, measuring the exact proportions of each, and then mixing them accurately to get the desired scent.
Alcohol is used in perfumes as a carrier, or a base, for the other scents to build. Some perfumes have more than one head scent with several minor fragrances that reveal themselves as the liquid evaporates over time. A blending agent such as ethyl alcohol helps aid this process in perfumes.
If some fragrances have more alcohol content than others or none at all, is cologne flammable? Colognes and perfumes differ in their alcohol to oil and water ratios, so it’s best to handle all fragrances and adhere to safety practices to keep them from heat and damage.
Is It Safe to Keep Perfume in a Car?
Since most perfumes contain flammable material, it is not safe to keep perfume or cologne in your car for extended periods. Exposure to the elements and the fluctuating temperatures can cause fragrances to build up too much air pressure and potentially combust, spilling out onto the floorboards or seats.
What Happens to Perfume When Exposed to Heat in a Car?
High heat and exposure to sunlight can cause perfume and cologne bottles to trap air inside and expand, thus rupturing the container. A moving vehicle is an even worse offender, as the motion of the car can cause the bottle to shake forcefully. The intense shaking of the container speeds up the oxidation process.
What Happens to Perfume When Exposed to Cold in a Car?
While heat is more damaging to fragrances than cold temperatures, perfume and cologne can still spoil in direct sunlight. If you must keep a perfume bottle in your car, place it safely tucked away in the glove box or away from the sun.
When temperatures dip below freezing, it’s best not to keep fragrance bottles in the car. Freezing temperatures will shatter delicate glass bottles since the liquid will expand when frozen.
How To Store Perfumes Safely
Ideally, you will want to store perfumes and cologne in a temperature-controlled environment away from UV rays that direct sunlight gives off. Humidity and heat are good ways to spoil fragrances faster, altering their longevity and usefulness.
Improper Storage Can Lead to Quicker Evaporation
Colognes and perfumes contain anywhere from 60 to 75 percent alcohol with a mix of essential oils and distilled water. Liquids like these evaporate quickly over time, especially when stored in an environment with extreme temperatures.
When storing fragrances, make sure the seal or cap is properly tightened to avoid excessive evaporation. Poor quality bottles will have seals that allow for more leakage, leading to a loss in fragrance and safety hazards. You should check reviews and speak with other people who have bought from the band to ensure you are purchasing a quality bottle with a tight seal.
The Best Places To Store Fragrances
The best place to store fragrance bottles is in a dark, dry area where the temperature is cool but not excessively cold. Cool storage spaces help prevent your fragrance from degrading.
Fragrance degradation begins the moment you open the box. It’s super important to keep your fragrances away from light, keep oxygen from seeping into the bottle, and keep your bottles in an area with a stable temperature.
Here are some things to keep in mind when storing perfume when not in use:
- Never store fragrances close to electric outlets
- Keep perfume bottles out of the kitchen and away from open flames
- Store perfume and cologne in a cool and dry environment
- Never let perfume bottles tip on their side or be stored upside down
- Keep fragrances out of direct sunlight and humidity
A good reminder is to keep fragrances out of the kitchen or bathroom, where excessive heat and humidity can cause them to evaporate quicker. If you aren’t currently using your perfume, store it in a cool, dark, and dry place such as the closet. Remember to store it upright and tighten the seal to prevent leakage.
How To Ship Perfumes Safely
Perfumes, colognes, and other combustible liquids can be tricky to ship. Whether you are running an e-commerce business and need to know how to ship fragrances to customers or have the perfect perfume to send to a family member or a friend, it’s crucial to know how to ship perfume securely so it doesn’t leak and create a safety hazard.
A variety of liquids, including perfume and cologne, are regulated by various shipping carriers. Check out the restrictions of your preferred shipper before boxing up the fragrance. Most shipping carriers restrict how much of a liquid can be shipped in one box, the volume of each bottle and how many bottles can go together.
Some carriers restrict the location you can send certain liquids, especially if those liquids contain a percentage of alcohol, such as perfume and cologne. Per USPS, for example, any fragrance containing alcohol is restricted to domestic locations using ground transportation only.
Perfumes and colognes can be an essential part of our daily routines. With that in mind, it’s essential to keep fragrance bottles stored in a cool, dry place away from humidity, water, and direct sunlight to keep your favorite perfume from spoiling or creating a fire hazard.