Topic: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

I was talking to someone about perfumes (well, EDC's) that we've had for a long time which have gotten concentrated and lost their subtlety. Is there anything you can do to make them wearable again, or are they just past their prime? For example, I have a bottle of the original Ysatis, and one of Salvador Dali, and they're just overpowering if I put on even a tiny amount. I have to admit that I didn't realize that you should keep the bottles in the dark; I learned that here - thank you, Fragrantica!

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

I never worked in the world of fragrance, but here I am putting my chemistry degree to use:

Sometimes light decomposes ingredients irreversibly. Sometimes, abrupt changes in temperature cause ingredients to separate, some of which may then evaporate over time.

In my opinion, you would need a whole chemistry lab to get a degraded fragrance smelling as if it was fresh. Once it's gone, it's gone.

However, yours doesn't sound like a lost case. Sounds like the volatile component evaporated, but the juice is still there. If your frag is too strong, experiment with diluting it yourself. Spray some in a sample bottle, then add a little of good quality vodka. Give it a thorough shake. I read that it's then a good idea to store the mixture in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks to age it, shaking it every few days to make sure it stays blended, and VOILA!

Let me know if you want more detailed instructions, or want some things cleared up. Good vodka is key, since top shelf liquors undergo a better distillation process, you will not have impurities interacting with your scent. Add the vodka in teeny tiny increments, shaking thoroughly after each addition.

I hope that helps. glad

"A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting." -Christian Dior

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

And make sure you experiment with a sample, don't go all out on the whole bottle, just in case the process isn't as successful as hoped.

"A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting." -Christian Dior

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

Thank you - that's very interesting!  I'm regretting that I never studied chemistry, now that I've gotten fascinated by fragrances.  I have Absolut vodka, is that high enough quality?  I'll definitely try this, and let you know how it works.

I have another question but I probably don't have enough info to frame it properly - there's a certain pungent smell that's become very common in shampoos - it's sharp-smelling, I don't know how else to describe it, but it's in most of the commercial shampoos now and I can't stand it.  Do you have any idea what it is?  Thanks.

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

Yes, yes! Please let me know! I'm so curious as to whether it would work, and I'm glad you found my advice helpful. I'll try it with a strong fragrance too (maybe Tom Ford Black Orchid), and report back to you. I'm pretty sure I have some vodka at home... http://fimgs.net/smilies/cool.png

Absolut should be perfect. Actually, as I recall the taste has less "kick" than Grey Goose or Belvedere, so it might work as a solvent quite well. I did a quick search on Google about diluting perfume. There are methods including jojoba oil, wax and baking soda! But from what I read, most perfumes are diluted in an "alcohol-based fixative", so I think the vodka method is best.

My first guess as to the pungent shampoo smell leans toward sulfates, but I have noooo idea for sure. Can you please tell me what brand of shampoos you find the smell is most and least prominent in? I'll check when I'm in the store, look at the label, do some research, and get back to you with my thoughts.  smile

"A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting." -Christian Dior

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

Sure - thanks! I haven't tried the diluting trick yet, maybe I'll do that tonight.

It will be so exciting if it works....

Thanks again!

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

styrling sylver wrote:

Yes, yes! Please let me know! I'm so curious as to whether it would work, and I'm glad you found my advice helpful. I'll try it with a strong fragrance too (maybe Tom Ford Black Orchid), and report back to you. I'm pretty sure I have some vodka at home... http://fimgs.net/smilies/cool.png 

Absolut should be perfect. Actually, as I recall the taste has less "kick" than Grey Goose or Belvedere, so it might work as a solvent quite well. I did a quick search on Google about diluting perfume. There are methods including jojoba oil, wax and baking soda! But from what I read, most perfumes are diluted in an "alcohol-based fixative", so I think the vodka method is best.

My first guess as to the pungent shampoo smell leans toward sulfates, but I have noooo idea for sure. Can you please tell me what brand of shampoos you find the smell is most and least prominent in? I'll check when I'm in the store, look at the label, do some research, and get back to you with my thoughts.  smile

I finally tried it! And I think it worked, but with interesting results. I diluted a few drops of Ysatis, and discovered that it doesn't appeal to me anymore; I also tried a bit of Cabotine, which I got as a sample, and that one also was just too overpowering even in a very diluted form! So I guess I've just developed different preferences in perfumes. I'll try it with my mother's bottle of YSL Paris - it's her favorite, so that might be a better test than mine. Did you try it?

As for shampoos, I haven't gotten to the store yet, but it seems like almost everything has that sharp artifically fruity smell. All the Herbal Essence, all the Aussie and Bed Head or whatever it's called. I found a bottle of something called Phytorelax at a Ross store and bought it because it doesn't have that smell, but it's pretty expensive at full price, I think. So I'll be out there opening and sniffing bottles at the store again - usually before long some young guy appears in the aisle who also seems fascinated by shampoos! I'm pretty sure he's security, suspicious of what I'm doing. lol

If you can figure out what I'm talking about and can recommend any shampoos that don't have that smell and aren't too expensive I'd be very grateful. Maybe I just need to spend more on them, ha - but my hair is pretty trouble-free so I hate to do that! Thanks....

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

Try the Yves Rocher botanical shampoos.

The Lord is my strength and my song.

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

interesting  rock thank you for the input

lene002's Website

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

MoKa wrote:

I finally tried it! And I think it worked, but with interesting results. I diluted a few drops of Ysatis, and discovered that it doesn't appeal to me anymore; I also tried a bit of Cabotine, which I got as a sample, and that one also was just too overpowering even in a very diluted form! So I guess I've just developed different preferences in perfumes. I'll try it with my mother's bottle of YSL Paris - it's her favorite, so that might be a better test than mine. Did you try it?

As for shampoos, I haven't gotten to the store yet, but it seems like almost everything has that sharp artifically fruity smell. All the Herbal Essence, all the Aussie and Bed Head or whatever it's called. I found a bottle of something called Phytorelax at a Ross store and bought it because it doesn't have that smell, but it's pretty expensive at full price, I think. So I'll be out there opening and sniffing bottles at the store again - usually before long some young guy appears in the aisle who also seems fascinated by shampoos! I'm pretty sure he's security, suspicious of what I'm doing.  lol

If you can figure out what I'm talking about and can recommend any shampoos that don't have that smell and aren't too expensive I'd be very grateful. Maybe I just need to spend more on them, ha - but my hair is pretty trouble-free so I hate to do that! Thanks....

Sorry to get back to you so late! I need to subscribe to threads or whatever to see when someone writes back.

I'm glad it seems to have worked! I tried it on Tom Ford Black Orchid with great results!! It's lighter and more subtle. I didn't age my mixture though, just diluted and applied. It took a lot of alcohol, more than I thought! For 2 sprays, I added 1.5 teaspoons of vodka. After reading some perfume bottles, I see the alcohol percentage is 75 or 80, so maybe I shouldn't be so surprised. It would probably be better if left in a dark area for 4 weeks. I read if diluting with alcohol, letting the mixture age is critical.

I know what you mean about the overpowering shampoo scent. I like to use Alba Botanica. Though the scent is still present, it's dumbed down. I suggest looking in organic food stores. In my experience, it's the only place where you can find shampoos, conditioners and lotions without ridiculous scents attached. Sniffing shampoos before buying is a great way to go. It's what I do too.  glad

Last edited by styrling sylver (2012-04-03 11:44:44)

"A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting." -Christian Dior

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

Thanks for the Yves Rocher recommendation, Arabelle!  I see they have a website and if I order from them I can get a free "lavender foot kit" as well; that sounds nice....

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

styrling sylver wrote:
MoKa wrote:

I finally tried it! And I think it worked, but with interesting results. I diluted a few drops of Ysatis, and discovered that it doesn't appeal to me anymore; I also tried a bit of Cabotine, which I got as a sample, and that one also was just too overpowering even in a very diluted form! So I guess I've just developed different preferences in perfumes. I'll try it with my mother's bottle of YSL Paris - it's her favorite, so that might be a better test than mine. Did you try it?

As for shampoos, I haven't gotten to the store yet, but it seems like almost everything has that sharp artifically fruity smell. All the Herbal Essence, all the Aussie and Bed Head or whatever it's called. I found a bottle of something called Phytorelax at a Ross store and bought it because it doesn't have that smell, but it's pretty expensive at full price, I think. So I'll be out there opening and sniffing bottles at the store again - usually before long some young guy appears in the aisle who also seems fascinated by shampoos! I'm pretty sure he's security, suspicious of what I'm doing.  lol

If you can figure out what I'm talking about and can recommend any shampoos that don't have that smell and aren't too expensive I'd be very grateful. Maybe I just need to spend more on them, ha - but my hair is pretty trouble-free so I hate to do that! Thanks....

Sorry to get back to you so late! I need to subscribe to threads or whatever to see when someone writes back.

I'm glad it seems to have worked! I tried it on Tom Ford Black Orchid with great results!! It's lighter and more subtle. I didn't age my mixture though, just diluted and applied. It took a lot of alcohol, more than I thought! For 2 sprays, I added 1.5 teaspoons of vodka. After reading some perfume bottles, I see the alcohol percentage is 75 or 80, so maybe I shouldn't be so surprised. It would probably be better if left in a dark area for 4 weeks. I read if diluting with alcohol, letting the mixture age is critical.

I know what you mean about the overpowering shampoo scent. I like to use Alba Botanica. Though the scent is still present, it's dumbed down. I suggest looking in organic food stores. In my experience, it's the only place where you can find shampoos, conditioners and lotions without ridiculous scents attached. Sniffing shampoos before buying is a great way to go. It's what I do too.  glad

No problem - going on this site seems to just swallow up hours of time whenever I visit, so I know it's hard to keep up with it.... so much fun, though - I'm so impressed by the knowledge that so many of the members have.

I didn't try aging my dilutions either - I forgot that part.  Maybe I'll try doing that with some Byzance - I think I might still like that one. And I didn't dilute mine as much as you did, so I'll try that too.

Alba Botanica sounds familiar - I think I might have found that one time for a friend who wanted a scent-free shampoo, so I'll give that a try.  I also have trouble with things like face creams having obnoxious scents; I can't stand most of them, and they compete with whatever perfume I'm wearing too.  I wonder if there's a site that sells only scent-free products?  I bet there is, since some people have allergies - I'll have to check that out. But it will probably be expensive. http://fimgs.net/smilies/sad.png

Well, I'll let you know the results of my next perfume-thinning experiment!

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

MoKa wrote:

No problem - going on this site seems to just swallow up hours of time whenever I visit, so I know it's hard to keep up with it.... so much fun, though - I'm so impressed by the knowledge that so many of the members have.

I didn't try aging my dilutions either - I forgot that part. Maybe I'll try doing that with some Byzance - I think I might still like that one. And I didn't dilute mine as much as you did, so I'll try that too.

Alba Botanica sounds familiar - I think I might have found that one time for a friend who wanted a scent-free shampoo, so I'll give that a try. I also have trouble with things like face creams having obnoxious scents; I can't stand most of them, and they compete with whatever perfume I'm wearing too. I wonder if there's a site that sells only scent-free products? I bet there is, since some people have allergies - I'll have to check that out. But it will probably be expensive. http://fimgs.net/smilies/sad.png 

Well, I'll let you know the results of my next perfume-thinning experiment!

I can't stand lotions, face creams and face washes with scents as well. To top it off, I have very sensitive skin. Both of those factors leave me with a very small pool of products, but I found some good ones!

I use Ann Webb body lotion. It's scent-free, uses mostly natural ingredients, and doesn't irritate my skin. I pay $12 for an 8 oz tube. It's not as cheap as I'd like, but the benefits are so great I consider it an investment. Many of her products are scent free. She has a lot to choose from:

http://www.skinbyannwebb.com/

Up until late, I was using Clinique on my face, but recently it's been too strong, so I'm testing a Japanese product called Kose. Both are scent-free.

http://www.kose.com.sg/

There are great low-priced, scent-free products out there, it just takes time to find them. It took me YEARS to stumble upon these things, sometimes by accident.

Though in my experience, few things moisturize better than some plain vitamin E oil, which can be found at almost any drug store.

I'm definitely curious about how your dilutions will turn out! I'll keep you updated too. glad

"A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting." -Christian Dior

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

styrling sylver wrote:

I never worked in the world of fragrance, but here I am putting my chemistry degree to use:

Sometimes light decomposes ingredients irreversibly. Sometimes, abrupt changes in temperature cause ingredients to separate, some of which may then evaporate over time.

In my opinion, you would need a whole chemistry lab to get a degraded fragrance smelling as if it was fresh. Once it's gone, it's gone.

However, yours doesn't sound like a lost case. Sounds like the volatile component evaporated, but the juice is still there. If your frag is too strong, experiment with diluting it yourself. Spray some in a sample bottle, then add a little of good quality vodka. Give it a thorough shake. I read that it's then a good idea to store the mixture in a cool, dark place for 4 weeks to age it, shaking it every few days to make sure it stays blended, and VOILA!

Let me know if you want more detailed instructions, or want some things cleared up. Good vodka is key, since top shelf liquors undergo a better distillation process, you will not have impurities interacting with your scent. Add the vodka in teeny tiny increments, shaking thoroughly after each addition.

I hope that helps.  glad

A fellow chemist!!!!! Hello!!!! Might I also suggest:

http://www.ehow.com/facts_6158260_dipro … umes_.html

Swap: http://www.fragrantica.com/board/viewtopic.php?id=93254

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

Styrling Sylver, thanks for the scentless product recommendations - I may try those when I use up what I currently have (it's by Origins, not too smelly, kind of a bitter-orange, and FEELS nice.)

Sweetiepea, that website is fascinating - lots to read there! Have you tried the stuff they recommend (of course I've forgotten the name already!)

I work at a university and have had many different student employees - one of them was a chemistry major who told me she wanted to create perfumes as a career - I wonder if she followed through with that?  Maybe it's different now in school, but it never occurred to me back then that studying science could allow you to do something like that; if it had I might have tried harder with those subjects!

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

sweetiepea161616 wrote:

A fellow chemist!!!!! Hello!!!! Might I also suggest:

http://www.ehow.com/facts_6158260_dipro … umes_.html

Hi, Sweetie Pea! It's nice to meet you. That's so great to know!!!! I always wondered how some of those chemicals played into fragrances. Thank you for sharing! I love learning about these things.

MoKa wrote:

I work at a university and have had many different student employees - one of them was a chemistry major who told me she wanted to create perfumes as a career - I wonder if she followed through with that?  Maybe it's different now in school, but it never occurred to me back then that studying science could allow you to do something like that; if it had I might have tried harder with those subjects!

I didn't really feel the benefits of chemistry knowledge in non-research settings until much later in life, when I had time to do more than just study.  I can't blame you for not loving chemistry off the bat. If you ask me, the fun doesn't start until the 200+ levels, sometimes later. I changed majors my junior year! If I knew I could apply my chemistry knowledge to so many places, I probably would've graduated with more A's. wink

MoKa, Sweetie Pea - I'm so glad I have the chance to interact with you! superglad

"A woman's perfume tells more about her than her handwriting." -Christian Dior

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

Thank you! You too! I first earned a BA in psychology, and I wasn't into hard science really but then I decided to go to med school. In my studies, I discovered chemistry and it just so happened that I fell in love with it and I realized the amount of possibilities for careers in chemistry. It's not for everyone, and I know because I attempted to take it twice in my first degree. I thought it was so hard! But later on I realized I just needed a great teacher to help me see how cool it is!

I agree that it gets much more interesting as time goes on and you get into more advanced classes. I've learned so many cool things.

I hope to meet more people with chemistry backgrounds who have gone into cosmetics/perfumes as I find it fascinating!!

Swap: http://www.fragrantica.com/board/viewtopic.php?id=93254

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

I've added vodka and purified distilled water. It helps, but if the oils are rancid, you will just get a watered down version of the stench. glad besitos! xo

"Two things make a woman unforgettable, their tears and their perfume." S.Guitry
<3<3<3

Re: Is there any way to revive old bottles of fragrance?

sheridanellis wrote:

I've added vodka and purified distilled water. It helps, but if the oils are rancid, you will just get a watered down version of the stench.  glad besitos! xo



Hmmm....I've been buying samples based on what the review pages list on the side as what people who like the scent also like, and there are some that seem so awful - and I don't know if they're rancid or if that's how they really do smell.  Like a tiny sample I got of Poison - I suspect it's turned, but I don't know!

Do you add the vodka and purified water at the same time?  And do you let it age, as Styrling Sylver recommends?

Thanks!

Last edited by MoKa (2012-04-12 03:57:01)