Let’s talk cologne storage! My family likes fragrances. Once my son started high school, cologne became an obsession for him. Then, thanks to his interest, my husband and I started discovering new fragrances.
From there it all kind of snowballed. I soon found myself looking for the best way to store eau de toilette, perfume bottles and cologne…so here we are!
Check out some great ways to organize your cologne or perfume collection below.
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1. The Best Place for Perfumes and Colognes: Dark and Dry
First, let’s discuss where you should store your fragrances. Then we’ll get to how (the fun part).
According to Argos Fragrances, the ideal place to store perfume and cologne is a dark, dry place. Humidity, temperature changes and direct sunlight can all affect the chemical composition of a fragrance. Your favorite perfume can evaporate more quickly or (worse) become rancid before you can use it all.
This means a bathroom vanity or bathroom shelves are not a great idea for fragrance storage. Even though it’s called “eau de toilette.” (Unless your bathroom is a large, well-ventilated space with a nice dark medicine cabinet…but even then, why risk it?)
A better bet would be a bedroom closet, dresser or nightstand away from the windows. A spot with a stable temperature.
2. Try Marble Display Trays
A simple rectangle or square tray is the perfect place for my husband’s cologne! We placed it on the dresser in our bedroom, out of direct light. It offers easy access to bottles of different sizes and shapes and looks nice.
We found this one at Pottery Barn a few years ago. I think it was originally intended for cheese (charcuterie is all the rage, as you know), but for us, it’s the perfect perfume platter!
Amazon has a similar option:
You might also try your local antique stores for pretty trays.
3. Give a Lazy Susan Perfume Organizer a Whirl
I’m a huge fan of Lazy Susans. In my opinion, they are a great way to ensure easy access to all of your favorite perfumes. The turntable helps prevent you from knocking over (and possibly breaking) your delicate bottles.
The option below has two tiers, so you can group small bottles together on top and taller full bottles on the bottom.
SIDE NOTE: You can use a Lazy Susan in every room in your house. I even use one in my garage. It’s the most versatile storage solution I’ve found. Be sure to check out my post on how to organize with a Lazy Susan for more amazing storage ideas!
4. A Makeup Organizer Works for Cologne and Perfume Bottles, Too
It’s totally fine to use old storage solutions in a new way. A spare makeup organizer can be perfect for storing your fragrance bottles. A style like this allows you to store both cosmetics and perfume bottles together:
P.S. I have an entire post dedicated to makeup storage ideas for the bedroom and bathroom…check it out!
5. Maximize Storage Space With a Tiered Rack
I’m all for a less cluttered look, especially in my bedroom. And a large collection of cologne bottles can quickly become a cluttered mess. If you lack adequate space on your dresser or dressing table, a tiered rack offers a smaller footprint by adding vertical storage.
6. Add Style to Your Space With a Cake Stand
Here’s another repurposed storage solution. I love the look of this beautiful cake stand! Who says it can only be used for cake?
The metal branches and glass plate give it such an elegant feel. This would make a lovely addition to a bedroom or dressing room for your lovely bottles of perfume.
7. Try A Wooden Valet With Hidden Storage
This streamlined, modern wooden valet looks great on a dresser. The tiered stand can easily hold several bottles of cologne, glasses, watches, cuff links and other accessories. And it has a handy hidden storage compartment for valuables.
Want more ways to organize a dresser, top to bottom? Take a peek at my tips on how to organize a messy dresser.
8. A Wall-Mounted Spice Rack is Nice for Scents
If you live in a small space, you might need to get creative with your cologne storage. Whenever space is tight, I say look UP. (Literally. Up on the wall.) You can take advantage of an empty wall and mount a spice rack — it’s perfect for fragrance bottles.
(P.S. Spice organization is my passion…check out my tips for spice storage in small spaces.)
9. Add Elegance to Your Dressing Table With a Glass Box
This beautiful closed box gives me Old Hollywood glam vibes! I think it would make a lovely display for your favorite luxury fragrances.
10. Try a Decorative Mirror to Display Fragrances
Here’s another idea: set a small round decorative mirror on your dresser to display fragrances. You can add protective feet to the base of the mirror to prevent scratches. As an alternative, a mirror tray achieves the same effect:
11. Keep Your Special-Event Cologne in its Original Box
Fragrances begin to lose their strength as soon as you open the bottle. The less you expose them to oxygen, the better. For colognes that you only use on special occasions, consider storing them in their original boxes on a shelf in your closet. (Dark and dry, remember!)
12. Store Perfumes in Their Original Bottles
I mentioned Old Hollywood glam a few tips ago. Remember those lovely old movies where the star spritzes herself with a large decorative perfume bottle before going to the ball? Those bottles (gorgeous as they are) do not preserve fragrance well.
First, decanting your perfume exposes it to oxygen. Second, the original bottles are manufactured to be as airtight as possible, keeping your fragrance fresh for much longer.
13. The Fridge is Ok for Some Fragrances
This is a topic of much debate, as I have learned in my research. Some people say all fragrances will last longer when stored in the fridge. This may be true for cologne and eau de toilette, but perfumes may be too delicate for cold temperatures.
14. Use a Travel Fragrance Atomizer on Vacations and Trips
Many full-sized cologne and perfume bottles are too large to bring in your carry-on luggage. Plus, it would be terrible to break a bottle of your favorite fragrance while on a trip. A travel fragrance atomizer is the perfect solution. You simply transfer small amounts from the original bottle to the travel atomizer and you’re good to go!
This set comes with three bottles, a funnel, a dropper, a transfer tool and a bag.
15. Pack Your Travel Fragrance in a Waterproof Pouch
Leaks happen. When you travel with fragrances, keep your atomizers secure in a waterproof pouch. This will limit the extent of any leaks.
FAQs on Fragrance and Cologne Storage and Shelf Life
Does a fragrance expire?
According to Perfumania, the average shelf life of perfumes and colognes that have been opened is about 4 years. Lighter fragrances may expire sooner than that. If your perfume hasn’t been opened, it can last quite a bit (up to several years) longer.
Which fragrances last the longest?
According to Perfume.com, eau de parfum (perfume oils) lasts longer than eau de toilette. Fragrances made with essential oils stay fresh and pure longer than those made with vegetable oil, which can become rancid over time. A fragrance with a higher concentration of water or alcohol will evaporate more quickly.
How can I tell if my cologne has expired?
FragranceX.com says that if your fragrance begins to smell different (or, worse, “off”), it’s definitely expired. Some bottles will come with expiration dates, but many don’t. Check for changes in the color, consistency and scent. I had a very nice perfume that lasted close to 10 years (stored in a cabinet) before I noticed the color begin to change.
What happens if I use an expired perfume?
If you spray a rancid fragrance on your skin, you could experience an irritation or allergic reaction. If you’re not sure whether your fragrance has expired, it’s probably a good idea to test it before you spray it all over your skin.
Which cologne storage solution will help my fragrance last?
The very best option is to store your cologne in its original packaging in a cabinet or drawer. But if that’s not an option, just keep it away from direct sunlight and sources of heat and humidity.
I live in a very humid area. How can I keep my fragrance fresh?
Try a dehumidifier. This handy invention removes the moisture from the air in a humid environment. It’s helpful for preventing mildew and mold buildup, too.