Saturday Question: Do You Decant Perfumes for Personal Use?

The week ran away from me, and I didn’t publish the post I planned. More posts are coming soon, both from me and Portia, but meanwhile let’s just talk.

Saturday Question on Undina's Looking Glass

Saturday Question #82:

Do You Decant Perfumes for Personal Use?

We all buy or swap decants, so of course we use those and make them to send to others. But do you make decants from your own bottles to use yourself? If yes, why? For which perfumes? Do you replenish them?

My Answer

Yes. I have decants for almost (if not all) 50 ml and 100 ml bottles in my collection. First, I was making them to take with me on trips. Then, since I had a scent-sensitive co-worker, I would put on just a tiny amount in the morning and then later would apply more once he left or on my way home. And then my collection grew to the size where some of the perfumes had to be stored in the third, forth, etc. row, not too easily accessible – so, instead of playing perfume boxes Tetris in the morning, I’d use a decant.

These days, while working from home and not really traveling, I can use bottles again. But many of them are still in the third, forth, etc. row… And I don’t want my decants to evaporate. So, on many days I still use perfumes from decants.

Decants

Do You Decant Perfumes for Personal Use?

27 thoughts on “Saturday Question: Do You Decant Perfumes for Personal Use?

  1. What a lot of decants! I am impressed that you can identify them by the letters – my memory these days is so poor that I think that if I did that I would have a hard job remembering what they were. I am amusing myself trying to guess what yours stand for ….. HE = L’Heure Exquise? PoaL = Portrait of a Lady?

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    • They all have full labels as well. But since I look at them from the top (they are inside the drawer), and I don’t want to check them one by one, I added these letters hoping they’ll help me to optimize the search.
      HE – Annick Goutal Heure Exquise. And PoaL was almost an official acronym for that perfume, so it’s one of the simplest :)

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  2. In the 1970s and 1980s when bottles were primarily splash I would go to my local Woolworths and buy empty travel sprays to fill with my perfumes because I preferred spray application and because I wanted to carry them in my school bag when I was student and later purse as a young adult. I was decanting long before it was popular. Now? No. I spray myself very early in the morning before driving to work, keep a bottle of something in my office for afternoon fresh up, then spray something at home in the night time . Because I have scent devouring skin even my Brigitte level of sprays (as high as 32) doesn’t mix scents. By the afternoon I can barely detect on my wrist so reapplication of what’s in my desk (currently Balenciaga) is fine.

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  3. Fun question. Rarely, but I decant from splash bottles which I don’t want to open all the time. Particularly rare or older scents, when I also don’t want to contaminate them.
    So my Guet-Apens lantern bottle for example I decant from.
    For travels and to take with me, I have so many other decants, that I’ll take those.

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  4. Yes, I make samples and decants all the time, for travelling, overnighting or just to have in my handbag for a freshen up during the day. Like you Undina, my bottles are packed tightly and so it’s much easier to access this way. I’m very impressed with your decant holder, a tidy job for sure.

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    • A friend of mine whose hobby is woodwork made that holder for me for 5 ml decants. And another one for 10 ml. It’s really convenient way of storing them inside the drawer ready to wear. Because I noticed that those that I put away into boxes I rarely get out to wear.

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  5. Hey Undina,
    I really WANT to say yes but the reality is mainly no. Splash bottles usually get ignored around here.
    I have SO MANY decants bought off sites and friends etc that many will never get used.
    I love to take a selection when travelling though. Often as many as 10 travel sizes and decants. Ahhhh, but even that has slowed. The last few trips I’ve taken only three or four in the hopes of going through a solid amount of them.
    Jin does this much more than me. He has about eight decants in his work locker because he showers there at the beginning and end of a shift. When they empty he brings them home and refills. He also decants his Lutens MKK bell jar into a Lutens Travel and has used that on most of our trips.
    Portia xx

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    • I rarely use anything in a splash bottle – unless it’s pure parfum. For several perfumes I have “native” travel sprays, and I keep replenishing those. But for the rest I make decants.
      I would have done it much less had I been working from home all the time. Probably, there would have been only decants for traveling. We’ll see how it goes now with less office time and travel.

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        • First of all, I’m not sure the pandemic will be over any time soon. But whatever happens, I plan to work from home as long as I can. I don’t mind going to an office once a week or as necessary to meet people. But with most of my team members working from different states and even countries, it doesn’t make too much sense for me to drive to the office to have the same conference call I could do from my home office.

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  6. I make spray decants of my splash bottles and if I want to have access to a scent in both places I live. I make dabber decants of the few scents I prefer dabbed rather than sprayed. Other than that I hate decants in general as I love using my pretty bottles and hardly ever remember to use my miscellaneous decants, so they dry up or go bad. I only spray at home and don’t carry perfume in my purse.

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  7. I only have a couple of decants that I have made myself from my own bottles. I have many travel sprays for longer trips and most of my trips now are to my son’s house and I just put a couple of bottles in my suitcase since it’s a car trip.

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    • The only plane trips for which I still take at least one real bottle is Hawaii (I always bring Bronze Goddess with me), everywhere else I prefer travel sprays or decants. But since I don’t like to be limited in my choices, I make decants of what I want to take with me.

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  8. That is a neat collection! Makes me tempted to get a label maker! :)
    I don’t make decants because I usually have some samples or travel sprays that I can take with me—I also don’t tend to reapply perfume throughout the day.

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  9. Other than a couple of travel decants, the only perfumes I have decanted are a couple of rollerballs (because I don’t like rollerball application) and my L’Artisan Vanille Absoluement, which I dropped and broke (but was able to save a lot). I don’t have any full size splash bottles, just minis.

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  10. I am very impressed with the number of decants you’ve made for yourself!

    I make decants for splash, Guerlains (the ones with the removable atomizers because I would rather store them with the splash top) and anything I decide to bring with me on vacation although I typically have official travel sprays of the few I bring on vacation.

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    • I’m not sure if I should mention that, but that’s not the final set of decants, I have even more :)

      I also store those Guerlains with the screw on top – not to risk any evaporation.

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  11. Oh yes, have done that loads of times for travelling, also to have a handy size of a favourite scent in my handbag on nights out. I agree with you that it is a good idea to finish the decants first in case they turn. I do that too with little travel pots of cleanser and moisturiser I have ‘decanted’, if you can use that word for something semi-solid. ;)

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