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Thread: Perfume Storage

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  1. #91
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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by SculptureOfSoul View Post
    No, I can't. Only that I've heard that fluctuating temperatures are more damaging than a constant temperature. I should have mentioned that in my post that it is what I've heard and is not, as far as I know or can prove, fact. Sorry!
    Keep in mind that statistically most of the fluctuating temperatures to which fragrances are exposed are of the form where they are heated above room temperature (e.g. sitting in the sun on a dresser) and then brought back down to room temperature at night. This is probably the origin of the "fluctuating temperature" theory. But this is a very different circumstance than people keeping their fragrance in a dark refrigerator or freezer 90% of the time, and then bringing it out to room temperature for a rotation now and then.

    Molecules are tough little bastards, especially the essential oils, alcohols, ketones, and aldehydes in fragrances. If you don't excite them in any way, they will outlive you. And nothing makes them quieter than lots of cold and lots of dark.

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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    If you're going to use up the bottle within a year or so I say you go for it.

  3. #93

    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Yes, but only in the vegetable drawer which is not as cold as the top of the fridge and in a ziped plastic bag to avoid humidity.

    The ideal temperature for perfumes is 12°C.
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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Thanks Astaroth for the chemistry angle of things (which is what I was hoping for!). I'm going to give this a try with one fragrance - an easily replaceable one - and see how it goes. Last night I began to think that impact to the fragrance aside, the freezer might not be the best environment for the plastic straw and the spray nozzle (the EdOV I've been storing in the freezer is a splash).

    As always, thanks for everyone's input!

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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by bbBD View Post
    Thanks Astaroth for the chemistry angle of things ... the EdOV I've been storing in the freezer is a splash.
    I might have to rain on your parade a little bit here. Splash bottles introduce another set of problems, since they allow exterior air to enter the bottle so easily. If you take a splash bottle out of the freezer, open it immediately in air with normal humidity, use the fragrance, then place it back in the freezer, you will experience a build-up of moisture within the splash bottle over time.

    This is because the cold bottle, in contact with room-temperature air, will cause condensation to occur both on the outside and inside of the bottle. This condensate will fall into the fragrance and stay there, increasing the percentage of water within the fragrance over time.

    Since you said you want to apply the fragrance when it is cold, I would actually store a small decant of the fragrance in the freezer instead of the entire bottle. You will probably end up depleting that decant in a week or two, so the fragrance will not have a chance to be altered much over time. Then just create a new decant from the original bottle, and start the process over again. (Of course, all of this assumes that the fragrance has been previously tested to make sure it can withstand freezing temperatures.)
    Last edited by Astaroth; 5th August 2008 at 07:08 PM.

  6. #96

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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    I might have to rain on your parade a little bit here. Splash bottles introduce another set of problems, since they allow exterior air to enter the bottle so easily. If you take a splash bottle out of the freezer, open it immediately in air with normal humidity, use the fragrance, then place it back in the freezer, you will experience a build-up of moisture within the splash bottle over time.
    Again my friend, thanks for the tip... I have been opening the bottle in air-conditioned air, but not necessarily throwing them back in the freezer right away. I suppose since it's a $5 plastic travel bottle (of which I own four more, not stored in the freezer), I'm not risking too much... plus since I'm using it as a post-work out refresher and not a SoTD the consequences will not be too severe.

    Of course the decant option for other fragrances is brilliant, don't know why I didn't think of it before. Specifically, I've been considering trying Aramis Cool and Ice*Men.

  7. #97
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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Astaroth,

    First of all, as a fellow scientist, let me second what you've said. I've been using the fridge next to my "lab" area for components anyway, so my spare bottles have been finding their way in there as well. I know that going the extra mile, to the freezer, is tempting me, too, particularly for long-term purchases. However, I have a few qualms, some coinciding with yours.

    (1) Condensation - the colder, the trickier. Extended warmups with limited moisture required.
    (2) Sublimation - Ice does have a way of moving around freezers. And if frost-free, would that affect things in other ways? Not sure, but it could have impacts.
    (3) Irreversible or Undesirable Phase Separations - again, not sure. Like you said. I think your advice to test individual fragrances is good.
    (4) "Challenger-type Disasters" - I'm still not confident that all spray mechanisms are able to handle serious cold. O-rings might be a particular concern, but I don't know if they're common. Leaks from bottles lying down would probably be the main issue here.

    All in all, I think a little experimentation is in order. Once we have the wiki up (fingers crossed), I would love to see some case studies preserved for posterity.

    I think that Night's advice (12°C = 53.6°F) is pretty much guaranteed to avoid any potential disasters. At that temperature, well within the range that I would presume designer labels prepare for, none of our concerns should apply. But as we push lower, there are more and more possibilities for failure, just as there are in the lab (who has not had a wet sample from careless or intense cooling?). Still, I can vouch for the fact that many highly reactive organics can be preserved perfectly for decades at deep-freeze temperatures, as solids or as organic solutions. There is a real incentive to push to lower temperatures if you are anticipating the possibility of putting a fragrance into a time vault.

    Imagine an original bottle of Chanel No.5, preserved at -30°C in the dark from first release. One would be able to examine it now for the slightest impurities - for the contents of the original components - and know that it was virtually unchanged. Amazing!

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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    I'm delighted with the level of technical response! Thanks -

    Given this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    (1) Condensation - the colder, the trickier. Extended warmups with limited moisture required.
    (2) Sublimation - Ice does have a way of moving around freezers. And if frost-free, would that affect things in other ways? Not sure, but it could have impacts.
    (3) Irreversible or Undesirable Phase Separations - again, not sure. Like you said. I think your advice to test individual fragrances is good.
    (4) "Challenger-type Disasters" - I'm still not confident that all spray mechanisms are able to handle serious cold. O-rings might be a particular concern, but I don't know if they're common. Leaks from bottles lying down would probably be the main issue here.
    !
    Is your advice then to allow a fragrance to come back up to room temperature to avoid condensation? What if you just take it out of the freezer long enough to spray, then put it right back in?

    I'm also worried about the spray mechanisms, is it the plastic or rubber components that pose more of a risk? LOL @ 'challenger disasters'

  9. #99

    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by bbBD View Post
    Is your advice then to allow a fragrance to come back up to room temperature to avoid condensation?
    No. It is when you allow a cold surface to come to ambient temp that you start getting condensation. To avoid problems with condensation either a) expose it to room temp for as little time as possible or b) let it come to room temp slowly in a desiccator before you open it (which defeats the purpose of chilling a cologne to use as a refreshingingly icy cold splash).

    But if your talking about small splash bottles of an inexpensive cologne you shouldn't worry too much. The level of moisture added due to condensation in a small splash bottle is going to be negligible. Cold is not going to destroy your fragrance. And if you have already been doing it for a while, you have already tested the integrity of the splash bottle. At the level of concentration of an EdC you don't need to worry about essential oils dropping out of solution. With parfums or extraits you may have a problem.
    Last edited by surreality; 6th August 2008 at 02:35 AM.
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  10. #100

    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Imagine an original bottle of Chanel No.5, preserved at -30°C in the dark from first release. One would be able to examine it now for the slightest impurities - for the contents of the original components - and know that it was virtually unchanged. Amazing!
    Only to find that several decades at -30C has caused the glass stopper to seize and in your haste to sample and test the bottle using the latest GC/TOFMS or LC/TOFMS system the bottle breaks and a piece of history is lost forever....
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  11. #101

    Cool

    Why put your bottles in the freezer when you can get Vetiver Frozen by Guerlain and Ice*men by TM

  12. #102
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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by bbBD View Post
    Is your advice then to allow a fragrance to come back up to room temperature to avoid condensation? What if you just take it out of the freezer long enough to spray, then put it right back in?
    Spray mechanisms are great because they limit what goes into the bottle to being the same volume of air as what comes out during a spray. They also prevent skin and other impurities from getting into the bottle. However, if you spray while the bottle is still very cold, the warmer moisture-laden air passing through the cold mechanism of the atomizer into the bottle will still cause some condensation to occur inside it (albeit not as much as in a splash bottle).

    The best solution is to view the dropping of the temperature to be a preserving measure, and the operation of the spray bottle to be confined to room temperatures (where they were meant to be performed). So, for anything other than small decants which will not last too long anyway, operation of spray bottles should be done at room temperature. This also means that the decants should be made at room temperature.

    I'm also starting to think that it is a good idea to place long-term storage fragrance containers in their own air-tight containers, in order to provide a small volume of top note partial vapor pressure which will prevent top notes within the main vessel from disappearing over time. This is a consequence of Henry's Law. Once again, the lower temperature storage helps with this immensely, since the partial vapor pressure of the top notes is driven down a lot by the Ideal Gas Law. Heat is most unkind to your top notes, since they are the ones trying to escape the most.

  13. #103
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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    (2) Sublimation - Ice does have a way of moving around freezers. And if frost-free, would that affect things in other ways? Not sure, but it could have impacts.
    The best solution here (see previous post) is to completely isolate and reduce the volume of air engaged in equilibrium with the container (e.g. Zip-Lock bag, or, even better, small air-tight solid container). Warm-ups are then done completely within this container.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    (4) "Challenger-type Disasters" - I'm still not confident that all spray mechanisms are able to handle serious cold. O-rings might be a particular concern, but I don't know if they're common. Leaks from bottles lying down would probably be the main issue here.
    Bottles being stored in either the refrigerator or the freezer should always be oriented so that the liquid has as little contact with the seal mechanism as possible (i.e. upright). This obviates any need to be concerned about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    I think that Night's advice (12°C = 53.6°F) is pretty much guaranteed to avoid any potential disasters. At that temperature, well within the range that I would presume designer labels prepare for, none of our concerns should apply. But as we push lower, there are more and more possibilities for failure, just as there are in the lab.
    You and I both know this is the real reason for the pithy maxim that 12C is the "ideal" temperature. It's "ideal" because it balances the desire for low temperature with the need to prevent a catastrophe in a deep freeze. However, all other things being equal, Arrhenius rules the day.
    Last edited by Astaroth; 6th August 2008 at 04:01 AM.

  14. #104

    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

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    Last edited by surreality; 6th August 2008 at 05:14 AM.
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  15. #105

    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    This is because the cold bottle, in contact with room-temperature air, will cause condensation to occur both on the outside and inside of the bottle. This condensate will fall into the fragrance and stay there, increasing the percentage of water within the fragrance over time.
    And if you never open the freezer, which is my case as I've got 2 ?
    Last edited by Night; 6th August 2008 at 05:44 AM.
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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by irish View Post
    Why put your bottles in the freezer when you can get Vetiver Frozen by Guerlain and Ice*men by TM
    Ice*men is one of the scents I was going to try.

    Astaroth, Surreality and Redneck, you guys are hysterical... thanks for the laugh (and the chemistry lesson)... I'll let y'all know how it goes
    Last edited by bbBD; 6th August 2008 at 05:50 AM. Reason: typo

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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    This is because the cold bottle, in contact with room-temperature air, will cause condensation to occur both on the outside and inside of the bottle. This condensate will fall into the fragrance and stay there, increasing the percentage of water within the fragrance over time.
    And if you never open the freezer, which is my case as I've got 2 ?
    If you never open the freezer? In this case, all the fragrances transform into gold bullion ... honest. But you're just going to have to believe me, because if you open the freezer to see if it happened ... well ... then it didn't happen.

    Seriously, just leaving the bottles in the freezer will probably keep the fragrances indefinitely. No condensation can occur inside the bottle, since no air is going inside it to replace liquid coming out.

    ... but I think you already knew that.

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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by bbBD View Post
    Astaroth, Surreality and Redneck, you guys are hysterical ... thanks for the laugh (and the chemistry lesson) ...
    I think Redneck Perfumisto would agree with me that all scientists should probably be on maintenance doses of medication, for everyone's safety.

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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    I think Redneck Perfumisto would agree with me that all scientists should probably be on maintenance doses of medication, for everyone's safety.
    OMG - you mean there are some who aren't?
    * * * *

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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    If you never open the freezer? In this case, all the fragrances transform into gold bullion...
    Astaroth - do you think it's such a good idea to bring up quantum mechanics this early in the thread?
    * * * *

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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by irish View Post
    Why put your bottles in the freezer when you can get Vetiver Frozen by Guerlain and Ice*men by TM
    LMAO

    Or Cave*men by Geico. 30,000 years on ice and still smells....well, maybe that's a bit OT.

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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Redneck Perfumisto View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Astaroth View Post
    If you never open the freezer? In this case, all the fragrances transform into gold bullion...
    Astaroth - do you think it's such a good idea to bring up quantum mechanics this early in the thread?
    That would be Schrödinger's Smellies.

  23. #113

    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    I put my colognes in the wardrobe where my underwear is.
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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    I can't see where the condensation inside the bottle would really make any difference. And we are talking about inside the bottle condensation, right?

    This isn't 'new' water but water from the mix and air already in the bottle. Wouldn't it just remix to an equilibrium when the temperature of the bottle and contents rose? The water content of the liquid within and in the air within is a temporary constant, changing percentage only when a quantity of new air is introduced through use and filling the gained air space, given a virtually air-tight lid or spray mechanism. But this change in air volume and introduced moisture happens during use at just about any normal ambient temperature and varies in direct proportion to the ambient humidity of the air drawn in by use.
    Last edited by kbe; 6th August 2008 at 02:15 PM.
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  25. #115

    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    The problem is that once the water condenses it will become a permanent part of the solution. It will not evaporate at room temperature and once again become part of the air in the container.

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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by aeromatic View Post
    The problem is that once the water condenses it will become a permanent part of the solution. It will not evaporate at room temperature and once again become part of the air in the container.

    Well I concede that might be a slight problem with a large container with very little fragrance in it but a given volume ambient air contains 1-3% water vapor. So consider a 30ml bottle is half used and half full of air (15ml air) that would mean on average 2% water in that volume of air to condense. That is about 0.3ml of water if half of the frag is used and 0.6 ml total water from introduced air if 100% of the frag were used.

    And lets not forget that we are considering all the captured air as a single unit beginning with the first spritz from the bottle, so that a total of 0.3ml of water taken from the air is a slow and gradual process and when introduced into the liquid in the bottle will then tend to equalize with the dryer air left after any condensation takes place to re-humidify that lower humidity air. It makes sense that the dryer air left after condensation will take water from the frag to replace some humidity so that the frag is simply giving water back to the de-hunidified air it came from (if left at room temperature). I think that captured air in the frag will never be at anything close to zero humidity and more likely be close to a saturation point of 100% humidity, given the constant interface with the water-laden frag and the molecular tendency to equalize. It is simply taking water back from the fragrance in what is an exchange toward equalization.

    Anyway, in the instance I cite 0.3ml seems a very small amount and not nearly enough to be a problem (after all, it just evaporates quickly when spritzed on as part of the fragrance) considering almost all frags have a decent percentage of water in them to start with from the alcohol and water added by the makers.

    But hey, who knows...
    Last edited by kbe; 6th August 2008 at 08:06 PM.
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  27. #117
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    Default Re: Can fragrances be stored in a freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by kbe View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by aeromatic View Post
    The problem is that once the water condenses it will become a permanent part of the solution. It will not evaporate at room temperature and once again become part of the air in the container.
    Well I concede that might be a slight problem with a large container with very little fragrance in it but a given volume ambient air contains 1-3% water vapor. So consider a 30ml bottle is half used and half full of air (15ml air) that would mean on average 2% water in that volume of air to condense. That is about 0.3ml of water if half of the frag is used and 0.6 ml total water from introduced air if 100% of the frag were used.
    aeromatic is right; there will be a gradual build-up of water. This is also the reason freezers need to be defrosted. Every time the door is opened, air at room temperature with a normal water content enters inside. It's water content eventually sublimates and forms frost on the inside surface. That water content does not go back into the air; it remains solid and forms the surface for new ice crystals the next time the door is opened.

    I agree that the amount of water building up in the fragrance is not large, but it is greater than if the spraying or decanting had occurred at room temperature. This is significant because there is generally also acid content in the air (carbonic and sulfurous acid, mostly), and this will also concentrate in the bottle if it routinely enters in a gas phase and immediately goes into solution during condensation. In this case, even small amounts are bad, since acid acts as a catalyst for many reactions in the fragrance that we want to avoid.

    My own feeling is it's better to raise the bottle to room temperature before spraying or decanting. This forces more of the impurities entering the bottle to remain in a gaseous phase, thereby taking up more volume, and avoiding a higher concentration of them in the bottle over time.

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    Talking Fragrance storage Q's

    I have my fragrances stored in a medicine cabinet in my bathroom. The medicine cabinet is always closed but i was wondering whether the steam from the shower could damage the integrity of my collection. Any thoughts would be helpful. Thanks.

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    Default Re: Fragrance storage Q's

    I've been warned on BN that the bathroom is not a good place because of warm steam, but I have no idea whether (a) that's true, or (b) if true being in the medicine cabinet helps. I still keep mine in the bathroom, but to be honest it's a modern and very large bathroom with fantastic ventilation, so steam never gets near the bottles and with the A/C on the temperature barely changes.

  30. #120
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    Default Re: Fragrance storage Q's

    Bad idea IMO.

    This is because temperatures mostly fluctuate very often in the bathroom -- especially since you mentioned "steam." It's unhealthy for your lovelies. Better to move them to somewhere where temps are stable and away from direct sunlight. If you have a large bathroom like bbBD, then I'd say it's safe!
    Last edited by moltening; 8th August 2008 at 04:44 PM.
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