How To Decant Perfume [4 Simple Ways]

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If you’re a regular traveler like me, you probably want to take a couple of scents with you. You also probably don’t want to take the full, heavy bottle with you.

Especially if, also like me, you try to never check a bag!

I try to go carry-on all the time, so the “maximum 3oz of liquid” rule applies. But also it’s just about space and weight. I like to decant a little of my current favorite into an atomizer or a splash on bottle and only take that.

There are lots of other reasons to decant perfume of course – to merge two bottles, to give some to a friend, or of course, if you make your own perfume.

But how do you decant perfume properly?

how to decant perfume

How To Decant Perfume

There are so many different styles of perfume bottles – it can be tricky to decant from some of them. Particularly if you’ve got a spray bottle that has a crimped top which can’t be removed easily!

Luckily there are several methods that you can use, depending on the bottle that you need to decant from, and what you need to decant it into.

First Choose Your Container

The first thing you will need to do is choose the best container for your perfume needs.

If you want to decant from a larger bottle into smaller bottles, you are likely going to be choosing vials. Other popular options include atomizers and empty bottles you have to hand.

You will also have to decide between plastic or glass bottles. Plastic bottles may be easier to decant into in some ways, but glass tends to be more re-usable. I’ve found that plastic never really loses the scent.

Glass bottles also provide some protection from UV light (source), which can degrade perfume.

Decant Using The Spritz Method

If you are decanting your perfume from a spray bottle, it can be tricky to remove that spray top. They are often crimped onto the top of the bottle itself, making it hard to remove without a tool to prise it off (and that can send it or the bottle flying when it does finally come off…)

So, of course, one of the easiest ways to decant your perfume from bottles of this type is to spritz it directly into your container of choice.

This may take some time, depending on the size of the bottle or bottles that you are trying to fill! It can also be all too easy for perfume to escape if you don’t place the tip of the spray bottle right to the open neck of the bottle you are trying to decant it into.

Even if you perfectly position the mouth of the receiving bottle over the spray outlet, the chances are, you will lose some of the perfume to the environment.

When you should use this method: Only use this approach when you have very little perfume to transpose (the last few sprays of a favorite for example) and the spray cap is hard to remove.

Decant Using The Funnel Method

Similar to the spritz method, the funnel method just requires an extra piece of kit – a funnel. By using a funnel to spritz (or pour) into, you will minimize the amount of perfume that is wasted.


Obviously, you can also use this method for other types of bottles where you can remove the cap! It is an excellent way to ensure that all of your perfume gets into the bottle you are trying to decant it into.

This is by far the simplest method, but you’ll want to get a very small funnel (they’re typically just referred to as “mini funnels” if you go look on Amazon or elsewhere).

Make sure the funnel is very clean, but not recently cleaned with soap that may leech into the perfume as you pour it. Clean with warm water and scrubbing only.

When you should use this method: When you have more than a few spritzes to decant, as this method will capture a larger volume of the perfume than trying to aim into the neck of a small bottle.

Decant By The Eye Dropper Method

This method requires getting an eye dropper (or a pipette if you want to go full chemistry-lab…) and using the dropper to move a small quantity at a time.

Decanting perfume with a dropper

Note that an eye dropper is harder to clean than a funnel, but again – don’t use soaps that may leave behind a residue. Warm water only.

If you haven’t got a pipette/eye dropper – you can use those small drinks straws in a pinch (dunk, put your thumb over the top, and lift.)

When you should use this method: If you can get the top off the source bottle to get access to the perfume, but the receiving bottle neck is very small (think travel size). This wouldn’t be a good way to transfer a larger quantity of perfume (that would get very tedious very quickly) but for samples it can be ideal.

Advanced Users Only: The companies that actually sell decants of perfumes (well, the reputable ones, anyway) use sterile, single use syringes to decant from a purchased perfume bottle. We don’t recommend this for the average perfumista!

Decant By Removing The Bottle Top

OK, this is pretty obvious, but just for completeness here:

The easiest method by far for decanting perfume is to simply remove the top of your perfume bottle and pour!

Woman pouring perfume oil into glass bottle at table

You can simply pour your perfume into the new bottles that you are trying to fill if their neck opening is large enough. This might be tricky depending on the type of bottle that your perfume is stored in, and the type you’re pouring into obviously.

Using this method can also avoid your perfume from becoming oxidized via the spritz method, and means you won’t lose any to the air as a fine spray.

When you should use this method: Clearly you can only use this approach if you can actually get the spray cap off! Pouring directly into the open neck of the receiving bottle is extremely simple, though there is the obvious risk of your hand shaking and losing some.

We’d recommend the investment in a funnel before doing this.

How Do You Open A Sealed Perfume Bottle?

With some bottles it can be well nigh impossible to find the opening where you can remove the top of the bottle to remove the liquid inside. 

In this case, you will need a set of pliers handy to help you. You can use the pliers to grip the sprayer of your perfume bottle. Next, you will need to keep a firm grip, and wiggle the bottle from side to side to try and loosen it up a bit.

That’s right – hold the pliers steady on the spray cap, and move the bottle – you are much less likely to end up tightening the spray cap on more firmly if you do it this way.

This should then help the crimping holding the sprayer in place to loosen up. If it comes right off, great! If not, try to use your pliers to get under the loosened crimping and remove it. Voila! You are now able to simply pour your perfume into your readily prepared bottles.

Before You Go…

OK, we’ve covered the rules for decanting perfumes. But what do you do with that bottle you know you’re never going to use again? Is it safe to dispose of? (after all, the alcohol is flammable…). Read our next article to find out!

How to Dispose of Perfume

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