Can Drinking Perfume Kill You? Here’s What You Need to Know

Have you ever been so captivated by a fragrance that you’ve pondered the peculiar question – what would happen if you drank perfume? 

Drinking perfume is extremely hazardous due to its high concentration of toxic substances like ethanol and essential oils. Ingesting perfume can lead to severe poisoning, including symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and even life-threatening conditions such as respiratory failure. Immediate medical attention is crucial; contact poison control or emergency services.

Does your curiosity still persist? Then by all means, continue reading for a deeper dive into this fascinating, albeit hazardous, topic.

Why People Might Drink Perfume

While it may seem like an absurd proposition, but yes, there are instances of people drinking perfume, both accidentally or purposefully. Now, you might be asking yourself, “Why on earth would someone drink perfume?” Well, let’s explore some of these puzzling circumstances together, shall we? 

  1. Confusion or Misidentification: Picture this: you’re at a house party, the lights are dim, and you’re not entirely familiar with the host’s eccentric decor. You spot a crystal bottle that looks like it would hold a fine liqueur or perhaps a colorful mouthwash. You take a swig, only to realize, much to your horror, that you’ve just gulped down a mouthful of Chanel No. 5.
  2. Curiosity or Experimentation: Children, with their innate sense of wonder and seemingly endless inquisition, are often the culprits here. A pretty bottle with a pleasant smell? To a child’s mind, that’s practically an invitation to taste. And let’s not forget about our furry friends. Pets, especially puppies, find a world of intrigue in every new scent and could be tempted to sample a lick or two.
  3. Masking Alcohol Breath or Drug Use: Doesn’t it strike you as odd? Well, it does happen. Some individuals, in their desperate attempts to disguise the smell of alcohol or drugs, might swallow perfume hoping it would mask their breath.
  4. Self-Harm or Suicide Attempt: This is a grievous and distressing scenario, but it’s important to understand that there are people who might ingest perfume as a form of self-harm or even an attempt at suicide.
  5. Addiction: While we may appreciate the aroma of a lovely perfume, there are those who are addicted to fragrances. Their obsession can reach such extreme levels that they resort to consuming the perfume itself, hoping to capture that scent within them. And then there are those addicted to alcohol who might drink alcohol-based perfumes to satisfy their craving.

It’s a strange world we live in, isn’t it?

What to Do If You Drink Perfume

Well, let’s paint a picture here: you’re twirling around your room in your finest attire, getting ready for a night out. You’re literally on cloud nine and then, oh no! You or someone else ends up drinking perfume instead of your cocktail. A strange, unnecessary mix-up, don’t you think? But hey, accidents happen! So, what do we do next? Let’s dive into it! 

  • First things first: spit out any remaining perfume in your mouth and rinse it with water. Like one would after a poor choice of toothpaste. It’s all about minimizing the exposure time and lessening the damage.
  • Resist any urges: you might have this undeniable urge to induce vomiting. Like after watching a particularly gross scene in a movie? But, hold up! Do not induce vomiting unless instructed by a poison control center or a doctor. It’s not always the best route to take.
  • Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate: Drink plenty of water or milk to dilute the perfume in your stomach. It’s like diluting your overly strong coffee, only in this case, it’s perfume we are talking about. A bizarre drink, indeed!
  • Keep an eye out: monitor your symptoms and look for signs of irritation, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, drowsiness, confusion, etc. You know, the common signs that something isn’t quite right in our system.
  • Reach out: Call a poison control center or a doctor for advice and guidance. They’re the experts after all!

Remember, when it comes to perfume, it’s better on your neck than in your throat. Stay safe, folks!

What Are the Symptoms of Perfume Poisoning?

Have you ever thought about the effects of accidentally ingesting perfume? The consequences can vary greatly. Factors such as the amount and type of perfume swallowed are important, as are personal factors like your age and weight.

Some common symptoms of perfume poisoning are :

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Irritation of the eyes, nose, mouth, and throat
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Seizures
  • Coma

How to Prevent Perfume Poisoning

We’ve all been there – that moment when we’re spritzing our favorite scent, and a rogue droplet ends up on our tongue. Or when we see our toddler or pet eyeing a shiny perfume bottle with a dangerous level of curiosity. So, what can we do to prevent these rather unfortunate, and potentially dangerous, perfume mishaps? 

  • Store Perfume Safely: Keep your perfume bottles in a safe and secure place, far from the reach of food and drinks. When it comes to perfume, location is everything. And we’re not talking about the pulse points on your body!
  • Label Clearly: Do we expect you to remember all your perfume names? Certainly not! But, ensuring they are labeled properly and kept in their original containers can help to avoid any mix-ups.
  • Supervision is Key: Never leave perfume bottles unattended or within the reach of children or pets. Perfume is an adult’s plaything, my friends, not a child’s or a pet’s!
  • Educate the Young and Furry: Teach your children and pets about the dangers of drinking perfume or other household products. Yes, you heard it right. Education isn’t just for humans – it benefits our furry friends too.
  • Use Sparingly: While we understand the desire to smell like a spring meadow or a spicy forest all day long, use your perfume sparingly. And avoid spraying it near your mouth or eyes. Trust us, it doesn’t taste or feel as good as it smells.

In conclusion, we must treat perfume with the same caution that we apply to other household products. After all, would you want to drink your window cleaner? We thought not!

When to Seek Medical Help

It isn’t every day that we come across a topic as bizarre as this, is it? But humor aside, drinking perfume is no laughing matter. An accidental sip or gulp might lead you down a path of severe health implications. But what exactly happens if you end up in such an unfortunate situation? Let’s explore. 

Firstly, let’s emphasize the critical importance of seeking medical help. The gravity of the situation is not to be taken lightly if you experience severe or persistent symptoms. We’re talking about symptoms such as: 

  • Difficulty in breathing or swallowing, which can be truly terrifying,
  • Swelling of the mouth, throat, or face – scary stuff indeed,
  • Severe pain in the chest, abdomen, or throat – not your average stomach ache,
  • Irregular heartbeat or blood pressure, which is far from ideal,
  • And lastly, seizures or loss of consciousness – a clear sign that something is seriously wrong.

Are you following along? These aren’t symptoms to be shrugged off; they’re serious business. Trust me, the last thing you want is to have to explain to the doctor that you’ve been downing perfume like it’s your morning coffee. 

Remember, it’s important to act quickly and decisively. If these symptoms persist, the situation could become life-threatening.

Taking Action: Contacting Medical Professionals 

Now that we have a grasp on the gravity of the situation, it’s time to focus on what to do. How do you contact a poison control center or a doctor in your area? What information should you provide? 

  • First and foremost, do not induce vomiting or give anything by mouth unless instructed by a doctor or poison control center. You don’t want to risk making things worse.
  • Next, call your local emergency number or the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 for advice on how to handle the situation. As we’ve already established, this is no time for guesswork.
  • Then, provide as much information as possible about the type and amount of perfume ingested, the time of ingestion, the symptoms experienced, and the age and weight of the person. Every little detail could be crucial.
  • Finally, follow the instructions given by the medical professionals and monitor the person’s condition until help arrives. This is not a drill, and you are the first responder.

Remember, we’re all in this together. Let’s do our part to make sure that our curiosity about the taste of perfume doesn’t land us or our loved ones in life-threatening situations.


In this journey of exploration, we’ve discovered the intriguing and somewhat alarming world of perfume ingestion. Who knew that such an everyday luxury could have such dramatic consequences?

Knowledge can prevent trouble! With this understanding, you’re prepared for a situation that hopefully you’ll never face. Also, consider sharing this article about the risks of drinking perfume with friends. You could prevent them from having an unpleasant experience. Let this weird topic be a conversation starter, okay?


Hello and welcome to Fragrance Advice! My name is Grace Young, and I’ve been drawn to fragrances since I was a little girl. There's just something about scent that brings me so much joy! 

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