So, you want to do the responsible thing and refill or reuse your perfume bottle? Have a defective perfume pump that needs replacing? Want to decant your perfume, or maybe you want to add whiskey to it to make the fragrance even more unique?
Whatever your reason for needing to open up your perfume bottle, I’ve compiled a list of the best ways to go about doing it for multiple bottle types.
7 Useful Tips for Opening a Perfume Bottle
Before opening your perfume bottle, make sure you protect your skin and work surface.
You may want to wear disposable gloves to prevent too much absorption if you were to spill some of the fragrance on your hands.
Also guard the surface beneath the bottle with a towel or some other protective measure to prevent spillage or breakage.
Tip: In most cases, you’ll need a pair of pliers. I’d suggest long nose pliers for a better grip. (They’re also called needle nose pliers.) It also helps to use a funnel, syringe, or pipette if you’re transferring liquid from one bottle to another one.
1. Opening a Damaged Perfume Bottle
With this method, my assumption is that you’ll be discarding or recycling the broken bottle once you’ve made the transfer.
After placing a towel on the surface, if there’s still a cap on the broken bottle, remove that first. You’ll notice that there’s a metal or plastic collar that holds the sprayer in place.
Firmly hold the glass perfume bottle. Grip your long nose pliers around the neck of the bottle. Turn either the bottle or the pliers to loosen the metal neck. The goal is to twist them in opposite directions. Once loosened, you can finish unscrewing it with your hands.
After you’ve removed the outer bottle collar, there might be a plastic one to remove as well. The plastic neck might not need to be twisted. Instead, you might have to lift it up.
You can use the same set of pliers. Grip the plastic neck with your pliers, and then wiggle the collar upwards, alternating sides.
Here’s a video demonstrating the process:
This process can lead to bottle damage. The glass neck of the bottle is more fragile than the portion that holds the liquid. Even if you aren’t squeezing the pliers really hard, the neck of the bottle might break.
So be as careful as you can throughout this process. Even if the bottle doesn’t break, pad it with a soft cloth or some other disposable item before throwing it away. If you’re recycling the glass, you may want to place the broken bottle inside another container that you’re recycling in order to avoid injury.
Also, if transferring perfume as demonstrated in the video above, I would suggest using a funnel instead of pouring straight from one bottle to another one. Funnels prevent spills and help you retain as much of the perfume as possible.
2. Opening a Broken but Refillable Perfume Bottle
Piggybacking on the last example, sometimes the inner plastic or rubber collar isn’t thick enough to be lifted with pliers.
In such cases, it helps to pry it up using a flathead screwdriver. If you don’t have one, try using a flat metal object that can slide between the collar and bottle. Whatever you choose to use, just make sure it’s sturdy.
You may have to lift one side, then move to the opposite side, and then wiggle your way around until you can fully pull this section up with your hands.
Depending on the bottle, you might be able to pull the collar and tubing straight up. Preserve all of the parts in order to reassemble them for future use of the bottle.
3. Protecting the Bottle Collar When Opening a Perfume Bottle
If you plan to continue using your perfume bottle, then you’ll want to prevent the formation of ugly scrapes and markings on the sprayer collar.
To do this, add padding between the collar and pliers using a soft cloth or paper towel. You can either wrap the cloth around each side of the pliers, or you can wrap it around the perfume bottle collar.
Then you can proceed to use the pliers to twist off the collar. You’ll notice that the aesthetics of the collar remains intact.
4. Opening a Non-Refillable Perfume Bottle
In the previous examples, the inner plastic or rubber collar indicates that the perfume bottle is refillable. But not all bottles are made this way.
Some perfume bottles have a metal closure that’s sealed with a crimping machine. These sprayers can’t be twisted off with pliers. And once removed, they can’t be replaced unless you have a new cap that you can seal with a crimping machine.
To open these perfume bottles, you’ll need a flat metal object, like a flathead screwdriver. Some people use a butter knife, but I don’t find them to be as effective. If that’s all you have on hand, then feel free to give it a try.
Opening these perfume bottles is a little trickier and can potentially lead to harm if you aren’t careful. Similar to before, you’ll want to place a towel down on the surface beneath the bottle. In this way, if it slips out of your hands, then you won’t have to worry about the bottle falling to the floor and breaking.
If your hands are oily, be sure to remove as much oil from them as possible. It would be too easy for you to accidentally lose your grip causing the screwdriver to injure one of your hands.
So with dry hands on a padded surface, use the flat metal object to pry up the edges of the bottle collar. Slowly work your way around the edges until you can completely remove it from the perfume bottle.
The video below demonstrates the process but I’d suggest you incorporate my safety precautions into the process.
5. Opening a Carolina Herrera Heel-Shaped Perfume Bottle
Stylish and eye-catching, bottles that hold the Carolina Herrera Good Girl collection are in the shape of a high heel.
So, how do you go about opening them?
First of all, know that Good Girl fragrances are not poured into refillable bottles. Once you open this perfume bottle, you’ll only have two options.
One, you can decant the perfume into smaller containers, emptying the original perfume bottle. Secondly, you can obtain a crimping device and related supplies to reseal the perfume bottle for future use.
So let’s get to opening it. First, you have to detach the heel from the shoe base.
In order to do this, you’ll have to pry the heel off with a flathead screwdriver or similar tool. Wedge the screwdriver in the space between the heel and shoe. Take your time and alternate between sides. This step requires gentle persistence and patience.
At some point, the heel will pop off, so be prepared to catch it or direct its projection.
Next, you’ll want to remove the metal base. You can use pliers to peel off the metal base. Slowly pinch at it until you disassemble the metal and remove the plastic tubing.
Be mindful of any pieces of metal remaining around the edge of the bottle. You might want to hammer it down with the side of your pliers in order to avoid cutting yourself.
In order to decant from these perfume bottles, you’ll want to use a longer pipette.
6. How to Open a Perfume Bottle Without Using Pliers
If you don’t have a set of pliers, or you simply would prefer to take a different approach to opening your perfume bottle, then pull out a metal emery board with a rounded tip (or similar tool).
First, pull up the sprayer cap and place it on the table. To remove the metal collar, run your rounded emery board along the inner rim of the collar. Slowly work your way all the way around until you notice the collar lifting.
Then you can begin lifting the collar from the base, using the emery board as leverage. Once loose enough, lift off the collar.
Next, you’ll notice the inner plastic tubing base. Wiggle it up from the perfume bottle’s neck base.
Attached to it is the tube that sanctions up the perfume, so have a place in mind for it once you lift it out of the bottle. I’d put it on a paper towel or something similar.
At this point, you can transfer some of the perfume to a travel sprayer or smaller perfume bottle.
Reverse your steps to reassemble this type of perfume bottle.
Here’s a video outlining the steps:
7. How to Open a Classic Chanel Perfume Bottle
You’ll notice that some Chanel perfume bottles have a different closure. Instead of a metal base connecting the bottle and sprayer, the flacon is sealed using the baudruchage method.
Baudruchage is a coveted, labor-intensive sealing method that isn’t widely executed. Since it can only be done by hand, perfume houses reserve this sealing method for their more exclusive parfum fragrances.
The process involves covering the bottle opening with a delicate membrane that protects the parfum from exposure to air. And the wax seal guarantees that the bottle has never been opened.
This video shows the final wax seal application:
Of the process, Chez Chanel explained in the video below, “This ultimate and precious gesture consists of manually placing a thin membrane called a balloon on the neck and cap of the bottle.”(Transcribed from below video and translated with Google translate)
More of the process is also shown in this video:
The delicate “balloon” used to be made of animal intestines, but the translucent skin is presently made of natural plant or synthetic materials.
There isn’t a sprayer on these bottles because the perfume is intended to be dabbed onto your pulse points. Nevertheless, you can still open the stoppered perfume bottle. And the process is actually quite easy.
To open the perfume bottle, the first step is to lift off the cap. If you want to preserve the string, then you’ll want to gently rock the cap from side to side. Usually the thread is loosened enough to lift the cap away from the perfume bottle.
If the thread doesn’t stretch or loosen, then you can simply snip the thread with a pair of scissors.
Once the cap is removed, you’ll want to peel off the baudruche membrane. It’s usually pliable and easy to remove. You may want to peel all of it away in order to have a clean bottle neck.
Now you can use your stopper to dab on fragrance as desired.
It might seem daunting to open up a full bottle of expensive perfume. But sometimes you want to transfer some of the fragrance to a portable bottle. Other times, the bottle may no longer spray properly, so you’ll have to transfer all the remaining fragrance into a functioning bottle.
Or, if you’ve never encountered a flacon with the Baudruchage closure, understanding how to open it can be quite confusing.
There can be a number of reasons to need help opening a bottle of perfume, but it’s doable, so I hope you found these tips helpful.
Be sure to share this article with someone who might also find it helpful!