How To Decant Perfume - perfume sample

Are you a fragrance enthusiast who enjoys experimenting with different scents or someone new to the world of perfumery? If this is the case, learning how to decant perfume might open up a whole new world of opportunities for you.

Since the fragrance hobby can become expensive very quickly, learning how to decant is a cost-effective way to save money and allows you to sample a wide range of perfumes at a fraction of the price.

Besides committing to full-sized bottles, this fascinating practice also offers the opportunity to carry a variety of perfumes conveniently when you travel or don’t want to take a full bottle with you.

In this ultimate guide, I will provide you with valuable insights on various techniques and equipment involved during this process, and give you tips on how to expand your collection affordably.

Along with this, you will also learn different decanting methods, the benefits of decanting, the essential equipment you’ll need, and much more.

Let’s delve into the fascinating world of fragrance decanting and explore how you can enhance your fragrance-collecting experience.

How To Decant Perfume: The Basics

In this section of the article, we will learn the basic information you need before we delve together into the different methods of fragrance decanting.

The process of transferring fragrance liquid from its original bottle into a new container, usually a smaller sample atomizer, is referred to as a perfume decant.

This allows individuals to create smaller portions or samples of fragrances for various purposes. This method is trendy among perfume collectors and consumers who want to try out multiple scents at a fraction of the price.

Fragrance decanting allows you to sample different perfumes at an affordable cost and offer a convenient and portable option.

Furthermore, fragrance decanting promotes sharing and fragrance community engagement within the perfume enthusiasts’ world.

Not only does it allows you to exchange or gift smaller portions of your favorite perfume with others, but it also allows you to explore new scents and receive samples of fragrances that you may not have had the opportunity to try otherwise if you live in a smaller place without perfume stores.

Lastly, decanting is beneficial when you a smaller quantity of a particular perfume. Fragrance hobbyists with large perfume collections usually don’t have enough time to finish all of their bottles and will usually split the cost of an expensive fragrance with others.

Before you can actually start decanting, there are several essential tools you will need. Each of the following tools will ensure a smooth and efficient decanting process that allows you to transfer perfumes securely.

  1. Sealable Vessels such as sample atomizers, roller ball vials, drams, or larger perfume bottles
  2. Small Funnel
  3. Tube Dispenser
  4. Labels for easy identification
  5. Cleaning Supplies
  6. Syringe or Pipette(only for professionals)

Both options have their pros and cons, but I recommend using glass vials since they provide better protection against light and air, which can potentially harm the perfume over time.

One more thing that portable glass bottles have over plastic ones is that they are also reusable, making them a more eco-friendly choice.

Plastic decant bottles are lightweight, cheap, and less prone to breakage. But, since over usage of plastic harms our planet, I highly suggest sticking with glass options.

Decant bottles come in a variety of sizes such as 1ml, 5ml, 10ml, 50ml, 100ml, and more. For travel, I recommend carrying 5ml vials at most, and for personal use, you won’t ever need more than 50ml or 100ml size decant bottles since they are not hermetically sealed, which means, they won’t last as long as factory-sealed perfume bottles.

Decanting perfumes for personal use or sharing with friends and family is commonly accepted and falls within the area of fair usage.

However, selling decanted perfumes or engaging in decanting as a business may be restricted or need authorization.

Please familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations related to fragrance decanting in your jurisdiction since some fragrance brands or perfume oil manufacturers may have specific guidelines or restrictions on decanting their products so it wouldn’t be a bad idea to check their policies as well.

The Best Decanting Methods

How To Decant Perfume - open perfume bottle

Now that we know that there are different decanting methods, we will go through the most convenient and flexible ways to customize your perfume collection according to your preferences.

This range of decanting techniques caters to different needs and these step-by-step processes provide tips for each method.

By mastering these methods, you can preserve the quality of your perfumes, and learn how much convenience decanting offers.

1. The Classic Method: Spraying Into An Empty Bottle

This is by far the easiest way to learn how to decant perfume and is used by most people. I recommend using an sterile glass empty bottle with an atomizer which you can easily buy from your local chemist or from eBay or Alixepress.

It is also the method I regularly use when I want to decant my perfumes, and is completely straightforward.

Simply remove the cap from the original fragrance bottle and place the atomizer over the nozzle. Press down firmly to release perfume into the new container.

While this is the easiest method, it can sometimes result in a bit of messiness due to the different atomizers.

To avoid any spillage or excessive spray, it’s essential to proceed with caution and take your time during the decanting process.


2. Decanting From Refillable And Splash Bottles

The new trend in perfumery that rose during the last couple of years is refillable bottles you can easily refill from the official refillable products. We have seen many brands do this such as Dior, and Giorgio Armani.

While I’m not a fan of this new trend which potentially shortens your perfume shelf life, it is useful when you have a larger bottle that you want to divide into smaller sizes or sell decants.

To do this, simply remove atomizers from both bottles and carefully pour the desired amount of perfume into the decant bottle. As with spraying perfumes into an empty vial, pour slowly and steadily to avoid spills or waste.

Using a funnel can make the decanting process easier and more precise which combines these two methods, and offers the best of both worlds.

Place a sterile funnel at the top of the open decant bottle and pour the perfume through it, allowing it to flow into the bottle. You can also do this by spraying the perfume into the funnel.

Since funnels absorb aroma chemicals and can contaminate your samples, I recommend using a new funnel for each new decant.

The alternative to plastic funnels are pipettes you can use to decant refillable or splash bottles.


3. Tube Dispenser Method

Many still don’t know about this method that offers a precise and effective way to decant fragrances.

You can find tube dispensers on Amazon and a variety of chemist shops or pharmacies, and they are quite affordable.

This method includes attaching a short tube attached to the perfume bottle’s atomizer, allowing for direct and controlled transfer of the fragrance into a second vial.

The tube dispenser method offers several advantages such as minimizing the risk of perfume wastage or spillage by channeling the fragrance directly into the vial.

But, by far the best advantage of this kind of decanting is that the fragrance you spray into the new bottle doesn’t create a mist.

As with funnels, tube dispensers are also made out of plastic, which means, you will have to use a new one each time you decant a fragrance.


4. Syringe Method

Using a syringe allows for the most accurate measurement and control over the amount of fragrance being transferred.

DISCLAIMER: Use this method only if you are a professional chemist, have prior experience with this type of perfume decanting, or are under the guidance of a professional. If you are unsure about safely decanting perfume using this method, it is best to avoid it entirely. Scent Grail does not assume any responsibility for potential product damage or personal harm.

To decant with a syringe, insert it into the original perfume bottle to draw the desired amount of fragrance into the syringe. Then, inject the liquid into the new bottle, taking care not to spill or waste any of the perfume.

The issue with this type of decanting is that you can potentially damage the atomizer, and more than once, you will need to widen the bottle opening with the syringe or regular needle in order to get it to fit over the tube.

The only time I would actually use this method is when dealing with fragrances that have crimped or permanently fitted atomizers since it is a reliable way to extract perfume from damaged products.


5. Step-By-Step Process Of Removing Rollerballs To Decant Perfumes

Rollerball fragrances some people tend to use as it doesn’t require spraying. And it is easier than it sounds.

Firstly, remove the cap and set it aside. Then, hold the bottle securely with one hand, and place the lid back over the rollerball without screwing on it.

Apply gentle pressure to the top of the rollerball fitting which should be enough to loosen the fitting and allow it to slide out.

While maintaining gentle pressure, continue to push and slide the rollerball fitting out of the bottle. Transfer the perfume, and return the rollerball to its place.

Please keep in mind to handle the rollerball with care throughout the process to avoid any spills or accidents.


6. Decanting At The Perfume Store

One method of perfume decanting that rarely anyone talks about is getting a decant from a retail shop. It may be one method not everyone is willing to try, but you would be surprised that this is actually possible.

Firstly, remember to be respectful and considerate of the store’s policies and staff during the decanting process.

Not every fragrance store may allow customers to decant fragrances, and I highly advise that you talk with a sales assistant or a store manager beforehand.

Some stores have their own equipment for this kind of scenario where they could refill your official refillable bottles.

Still, I would recommend being mindful and bringing your own tools, and use one of the previously mentioned methods except a syringe since that would be weird, to say the least.

If you are new to the perfume decanting world, don’t be shy and request assistance from a sales assistant. Always seek their permission and guidance throughout the process, and make sure to purchase something from that particular store eventually.


Additional Tips&Tricks

How To Decant Perfume - two perfume samples

Now that we have learned about the most popular methods how to decant perfumes, there are a few additional tips and tricks I would like to share with you that can help you achieve the best results.

Before using any tools, including syringes, funnels, and decant bottles, make sure they are clean and sterile. This helps to preserve the fragrance’s integrity and prevents cross-contamination which happens more than you expect.

It may be a piece of common knowledge, but it doesn’t hurt to repeat it. Always label your decant bottles with the name of the perfume, and take it a step further to write the date of decanting. There is nothing worse than liking the perfume from decant and not knowing what it is.

To preserve the quality of your decanted scents, store them in a cool, dark, and dry place such as a clothing cabinet away from direct sunlight and fluctuating temperatures. This will help prevent degradation and extends their shelf life. Still, it is worth noting that the decanted perfume won’t have the same shelf life as the hermetically sealed bottles. I recommend using them within one year at the most.

I don’t know why this is still the “thing” in the 2020s, but some official samples or travel atomizer perfumes come without a proper atomizer. Without any doubt, the best way to experience perfume is by using perfumes or decants with sprayers since they allow for easy application and are the only proper way to experience your perfume.

While it all boils down to personal preferences, here are some guidelines I use when deciding which decant size fits my current needs:

  1. Sample size: The easiest and most widespread way of sampling perfumes. Often, you will receive a couple of official fragrance samples with your perfume purchases which often come in 1ml or 2ml sizes. They are convenient for testing perfumes before deciding whether you will commit to a full bottle.
  2. Travel size: if want to have your favorite fragrances on the go consider taking travel sizes like 5ml or 10ml bottles instead of the full bottle. These smaller sizes of perfumes comply with airline regulations for carrying liquids in your hand luggage and take away necessary doubt about whether can you take them with you.
  3. Splitting bottles: For those with larger fragrance collections, scent-splitting participation allows for multiple uses and ensures everyone gets a sufficient amount of fragrance and shares the cost of a single perfume. Fellow fragrance enthusiasts usually split their fragrance split perfumes into larger sizes like 10ml, 20ml, 50ml, or even more.
  4. Personal usage: Lastly, if you want to keep a fragrance decant just for yourself, 50ml or 100ml, a substantial amount of fragrance without an official bottle should suit your needs. I rarely recommend this amount of decanted perfume since it will go “bad” much sooner than you think.

Here are some of the most popular fragrance sample stores you can use to buy perfume decants:

  1. Fragrance Samples
  2. Lucky Scent
  3. Scent Split
  4. My Fragrance Samples
  5. Twisted Lily

Final Words

how to decant perfume - clear perfume vials

In the end, this cost-effective and versatile approach enables you to explore a wide range of scents without breaking the bank.

This way, you can save money, sample various high-end designer and niche fragrances, and build a strong collection in the future.

With these insights and knowledge coming from my personal experience, you can embark on your fragrance journey knowing that it is always better to sample a perfume through the art of decanting before buying a full bottle.

What are your thoughts about this article? How often do you decant perfumes? Let’s start a conversation and let me know in the comment section below.

In case you are in doubt about whether you should consider buying any fragrance or not, it’s always good to take a look at Scent Grail’s S.P.A. Signature Factor Guide.

It is easy to use and the most relevant perfume-buying guide on the web. This way, you can check out if a particular fragrance is worth checking out, and potentially find your signature perfume.


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Find out more Scent Grail articles about perfumery, check out top lists, and other helpful reviews via the links below:




Until next time, stay humble, and keep smelling great!

Best, Marin!
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