When you’re new to collecting personal fragrances, you might accumulate lots of perfume bottles that go unused over time. It’s possible that you won’t even get to the bottom of those fragrances in one lifetime.
And this is when you realize that you have more bottles of perfume than you may actually need. But you love scents, so how do you avoid collecting a massive amount of unused perfume? Consider testing out different bottle sizes!
What Are Your Perfume Bottle Size Options?
As you can imagine, perfume bottles come in a variety of sizes. Not every brand offers their fragrance in each of these sizes, but here is a list of common sizes you might expect:
|Fluid Ounces||Milliliter Equivalent|
|0.05 oz||1.5 mL|
|0.17 oz||5 mL|
|0.25 oz||7 mL|
|0.33 oz||10 mL|
|0.5 oz||15 mL|
|1 oz||30 mL|
|1.7 oz||50 mL|
|2.5 oz||75 mL|
|3.4 oz||100 mL|
|5 oz||150 mL|
|6.7 oz||200 mL|
Conversions are not always exact. For example, 6.7 oz is actually 198 mL, but it’s usually rounded up to 200 mL. Similarly, 5 oz is actually 147.8 mL – rounding up is common.
Also “oz” is actually fluid ounces, “fl oz.” I’m not sure why it’s abbreviated, possibly due to limited space equity on perfume bottles and boxes. But this also varies by brand.
How Long Will a Bottle of Perfume Last?
The length of time a bottle of perfume lasts depends on how often the perfume is used. If you spray large amounts on a daily basis, then you’ll be replacing that bottle of perfume sooner than if you were to use it more sparingly.
It has been said that the average person sprays about three to four pumps out of their perfume bottle with each use. The number of sprays you’ll get out of each bottle will depend on its size. Overall, though, there are about 10 sprays per 1 mL.
For instance, 0.25 oz (7 mL) is a good travel-size perfume vial. It would contain about 70 sprays. So, one container would last approximately 20 days, using an average of three and a half pumps.
A medium-sized perfume bottle, on the other hand, can last close to a year or more. If you have a bottle that’s between 100 mL to 150 mL, you can expect to get between 1,000-1,500 sprays out of it. At three to four sprays per day (3.5 average sprays), that means it’ll last you between 285 – 429 days.
Of course the atomizer quality is a factor as well. If the pump oversprays, causing leakage, you’ll use more perfume than intended. If it undersprays, or occasionally spurts out, you’ll not release as much fragrance as desired.
But here’s a chart offering a general idea of what you might expect in terms of longevity from your perfume bottle based on three sprays per day.
Average Sprays Per Perfume Bottle Size & Potential Usage in Days
|Fluid Ounces||Milliliter Equivalent||Average Sprays||Usage in Days|
|0.05 oz||1.5 mL||about 15 sprays||about 5 days|
|0.17 oz||5 mL||about 50 sprays||about 16 days|
|0.25 oz||7 mL||about 70 sprays||about 23 days|
|0.33 oz||10 mL||about 100 sprays||about 33 days|
|0.5 oz||15 mL||about 150 sprays||about 50 days|
|1 oz||30 mL||about 300 sprays||about 100 days|
|1.7 oz||50 mL||about 500 sprays||about 167 days|
|2.5 oz||75 mL||about 750 sprays||about 250 days|
|3.4 oz||100 mL||about 1,000 sprays||about 333 days|
|5 oz||150 mL||about 1,500 sprays||about 500 days|
|6.7 oz||200 mL||about 2,000 sprays||about 667 days|
In addition to the bottle size and number of sprays you use daily, perfume concentration is another factor that can influence what size bottle you’ll need.
In most cases, perfume has the highest fragrance concentration and will last a full day after just one application. So the chart above offers an accurate description of what you can expect in terms of longevity per bottle.
An eau de parfum would only last a working day – so close to eight hours. This is because it has less fragrance oil in its formula. Eau de toilettes and colognes have even less fragrance in them, so they only last for a few hours.
In terms of value, perfumes are the better choice because you can use less and enjoy the fragrance for a full 24 hours. Here’s a brief historical context.
Which Perfume Bottle Size Do You Need?
Determining which size perfume bottle you’ll need is a personal decision. This choice largely depends on where and how you’ll be using the perfume. Based on the chart above, you may also want to ask yourself how long you want the bottle to last.
Switch Up Your Scents
Some people are loyal to one scent, and that’s fine. But one reason to purchase smaller perfume bottles is if you like variety. If you know off hand that you like to switch up your scents every few days, then buying a small bottle of each might work best for you.
Since you’ll only use a small amount of each fragrance, only purchasing as much as you need can help minimize waste.
You’re left free to explore new fragrances that are released throughout the year, or you can purchase a new scent every season. It’s up to you but small bottles can have great value, in a personal way.
Traveling Light, Or Not
When traveling by air, each passenger is allowed to bring up to 100 mL (3.4 oz) of liquids on the plane with them. Perfumes fall into the liquid category. This means that you can take one 100 mL bottle, or multiple smaller bottles that equal up to 100 mL.
But you’ll likely need to take other liquids, like facial cleansers, mouthwash, etc, along with you as well. This is where tiny bottles of perfume come in handy.
If your trip is five days or less, you would only need a 1.5 mL bottle of your favorite fragrance to last you until you return home. A 5 mL would have you covered if you’re away for two weeks.
For longer trips that require larger luggage to be checked in, you can place any size perfume bottle in your check-in bag without penalty. Just be sure to place it inside a waterproof bag, and then cushion the bag to prevent breakage. You may not like your favorite scent as much if it breaks and seeps into all of your other belongings.
Test New or Expensive Fragrances
Fragrances sprayed into the air or on test strips don’t always smell the same when sprayed onto your body. It’s even possible to enjoy a fragrance after it’s immediately sprayed on, and then dislike it as the day progresses.
Understanding this can cause you to be hesitant to commit to paying large sums for perfume that you aren’t sure you’ll actually use every day.
But many retailers allow you to either sample smaller bottle sizes, or purchase a decanted scent in order to test a new fragrance.
Buying smaller bottles or decanted perfumes is a nice way to sample an expensive scent without the upfront investment costs. It’s a fairly low risk if you later find that you dislike the scent or it happens to irritate your skin.
In addition to the price break, it’s another way to sample fragrances that you may otherwise have never come across. This is especially true of rare scents that may not be easily accessible where you are.
There are individuals who’ll purchase these fragrances, and then decant them, making them available to buyers online. Rich and Luxe, Scent Split, and Decant Boutique are a few examples.
Stick with What You Love
Then there are times when you’ve been given a sample of a fragrance that you love, or you’ve somehow tried a scent that you cannot live without. In such cases, you might want to go ahead and purchase the larger bottle.
Just like buying the cookie, or the shoes, you can go ahead and buy the perfume. Perfume bottles that are 150 mL or 200 mL will definitely last more than a year, possibly two years or more. This offers great value for those who are loyal to one scent.
In addition to the monetary savings, you’ll also enjoy a nicer looking perfume bottle.
Manufacturers have a knack for making their larger perfume bottles look irresistible. Even if a 50 mL bottle has the same shape, something about the 150 mL bottle simply looks fancier, more sophisticated, or otherwise more eye-catching.
If displaying your perfume bottles is part of the allure of using personal fragrances, then opting for large bottles might be more appealing to you.
Maximize Your Purchase
And there’s an alternative option if you enjoy the aesthetics of larger perfume bottles but are unlikely to use all of the juice inside. Decant them.
Your feelings about a fragrance may change over time, but you aren’t stuck with that scent. There are any number of perfume decanting kits available in various sizes and styles, along with funnels.
For instance, this kit comes with six 10 mL glass bottles, labeling stickers, two droppers, and two funnels. If you’re decanting more than one scent, it helps to filter each fragrance through its own funnel.
There are also 30 mL bottles, and various handle color options. Sleeker designs also exist.
Decanting is the best solution for selling off the perfume that you aren’t or won’t ever use. Keep some, sell some, you, your customers, and the environment all win.
Are Larger Perfume Bottles More Economical?
Some people prefer to purchase larger perfume bottles because they feel as though they’re getting more value for the dollars spent. In terms of volume, you usually pay less per ounce of a fragrance when you purchase the larger bottle.
But are you really saving with larger bottles if you aren’t going to use it all, anyway? That is the question you have to ask yourself.
If you plan to decant the amount you know you won’t use, then you can give a portion of your perfume away as gifts or sell them to others.
Otherwise, you might be stuck with a larger bottle that doesn’t actually offer you any additional value.
Do Larger Bottles of Perfume Smell Different Over Time?
Scents like Coco Chanel Mademoiselle have endured for decades and each bottle can last for years while the fragrance remains the same. But it’s up to you to protect your fragrance so that it can last for years to come.
Some of the suggested ways to do this is by keeping your bottle of perfume away from direct sunlight. Keep your bottles closed when not in use because air also diminishes the fragrance. No matter which bottle size you choose, make sure to store them in a cool, dry location.
I hope this guide covered everything you needed to know about perfume bottle sizes. Perfumes are the most concentrated of all personal fragrances on the market. Not only is the perfume fragrance stronger, but it lasts longer, so you won’t need to apply as much when you wear it. So even moderately-sized perfume bottles can last you an entire year.
Tiny bottles are convenient for traveling and sampling scents. Small and medium-sized ones are more likely to get the most use without much waste. And some people simply like the larger bottles, so they’re willing to pay more.
If you really love a fragrance, then you’ll probably want the larger bottle size as well. But if you’re on the fence, the smaller bottle is probably sufficient.