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Perfume Storage

Natural essences are easily damaged by exposure to light and air, and by radical changes in temperature. They should be stored in small, dark glass (not plastic) bottles, with the tops tightly sealed to prevent deterioration of the fragrance. If you live where it is extremely hot and humid, you may consider keeping them in the refrigerator. Always label both the bottle itself and the cap or stopper; it is amazingly easy to put the wrong top on the wrong bottle. The more often you open a bottle containing a natural essence, the greater the chance of oxidation, which increases the resinifying of the essential oil itself and hastens the staleness of the citrus oils in particular. Try not to open any more often than necessary. If you buy your essential oils in large quantities in order to save money, you should immediately transfer a small amount to a small bottle to preserve the rest. If the first whiff upon opening begins to smell stale or rancid, or you notice that an oil has become thicker or hazy, the essence may have deteriorated.

Most natural essences will keep for many years stored in this fashion. A number of them-jasmine, orris, patchouli, rose, sandalwood, frankincense, rosewood-ripen, growing richer and deeper over the years. Rose and cedarwood may form crystals, but they are not a sign of damage and can be dissolved by the warmth of your hand on the bottle. Citruses, however, deteriorate easily. They should be purchased in small quantities and stored in the refrigerator. After about half a year (or sooner if they begin to smell flat or off), they should be replaced.