Can Perfumes Freeze?

No, perfume can’t freeze, at least not on planet Earth.
does perfume freeze

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Key Takeaways

  • Due to their high alcohol concentration of 80-90%, most colognes can’t freeze are as there’s no place on enough cold enough to do so.
  • Extreme cold can thicken perfume or disrupt its fragrance notes, but it’s unlikely to cause permanent damage.
  • Leaving perfume in a car, especially in hot weather, can degrade the fragrance due to heat and direct sunlight.
  • Storing perfume in a freezer can risk bottle damage and alter the scent profile due to uneven cooling of fragrance notes.
  • If perfume freezes, bringing it to room temperature and gently swirling can help restore it.

Have you ever wondered if perfume can freeze if you leave it in a cold place? Maybe you even read about the TikTok trend where fragrance addicts stored their perfumes in their freezers to make them last longer.

Today, we’ll dive into the world of perfumes and temperatures, breaking down the science into easy-to-understand pieces. You’ll leave not just with answers, but also with practical tips on how to best care for your fragrances.

Will Your Perfumes Freeze?

Technically, yes, perfume can freeze, but it’s highly unlikely to happen on Earth. Even in the coldest corners of the world, like the North Pole, the conditions are not extreme enough to freeze most perfumes. This is because traditional perfumes have an alcohol concentration of 80-90 percent, and alcohol has a super low freezing point, making them resistant to freezing under any condition seen on this planet.

Oil and water-based fragrances get a bit more complicated. perfumes aren’t just alcohol. Water freezes at 0°C (32°F), and fragrance oils have their own freezing points, usually higher than alcohol but lower than water. 

This mix means that while your cologne might not freeze solid like an ice cube, it could get a bit slushy in extreme cold, especially if it’s water-heavy.

What temperature does perfume freeze at?

There’s no set temperature at which point perfumes freeze.

I’ve created this table to give you an idea about what temperatures different perfumes freeze at. 

Type of PerfumeFreezing PointNotes
Alcohol-basedApprox. -173.5°F (-114°C)Alcohol has a very low freezing point, making these perfumes unlikely to freeze in any earthly weather.
Oil-basedAround 16°F (-9°C)Oil-based perfumes may start to get frosty around -10°C (14°F) and could freeze at lower temperatures.
Water-based32°F (0°C)Water freezes at 0°C, leading to potential fractional freezing in perfumes with water-based components. This means parts of the perfume may freeze, causing separation.

Does cold weather damage perfume?

The short answer is yes, cold weather can damage your perfume, in three particular ways.

Extreme cold can make your perfume thicker or even slushy, affecting how it sprays and feels.

Additionally, the balance of fragrance notes can be disrupted in cold conditions. This means the perfume you love might not smell the same after it’s been exposed to severe cold.

And that’s before you take into account the fact that when liquids freeze, they expand. This can put pressure on your perfume bottle, potentially causing leaks or breaks.

The good news is that freezing is unlikely to cause permanent damage to your perfume. Both alcohol and oil-based perfumes are designed to withstand a range of conditions, and a little freeze isn’t enough to ruin them. 

While the consistency and scent might undergo temporary changes, these can often be reversed with proper thawing and mixing.

Can you leave perfume in a car?

Many of us are guilty of leaving personal items in our cars, but when it comes to perfume, you might want to think twice. The environment inside a parked car is far from ideal for storing fragrances. 

Cars can become incredibly hot inside, especially during the summer months. This heat isn’t just uncomfortable; it can be harmful to your perfume.

Direct sunlight and high temperatures degrade fragrances, changing their scent and often their color. The heat can cause the volatile components of the perfume, which give it its fragrance, to evaporate more quickly.

While perfume is highly flammable, it’s unlikely to set fire if you forget it in your car, unless you park somewhere extremely hot, like the middle of the desert. 

The movement and vibrations can also speed up the breakdown of your perfume’s complex chemical structure, leading to a change in scent.

Does perfume freeze in the car?

Given that there’s nowhere on Earth cold enough to freeze normal fragrances, leaving them in your car, even in winter, isn’t going to freeze them. 

What happens when you put perfume in the freezer?

The freezer is not an ideal spot for your fragrances as it can cause your perfume bottle to crack and even leak. As liquids get colder, they expand, so a full bottle might just ruin your bottle. 

The notes in your perfume won’t cool down at the same rate either, so you could accidentally change the scent profile of your fragrance when you put it in the freezer.  

Recently, I did a test of my own. I put a small decant of Mancera Cedrat Boise in my home freezer. After about a week, I noticed that it was slightly thicker and even slightly, but the cologne hadn’t completely frozen.

perfumes in freezer

How Can You Unfreeze Perfume?

If you’re panicking because you’ve already frozen your perfume, stop now. I’ve been where you are, and I promise unfreezing your cologne is relatively straightforward.

Here’s how to carefully unfreeze your perfume and restore it to its former glory

  • Bring it to room temperature: Move the frozen cologne to a room temperature environment. Avoid placing it near direct heat sources like radiators or sunny windowsills, as rapid temperature changes can damage the perfume further.
  • Swirl gently: Once the perfume has reached room temperature, carefully swirl the bottle. If it’s oil-based and the layers have separated, this will help recombine them. Do this gently to avoid creating air bubbles that can affect the perfume’s appearance and spray mechanism.
  • Check the fragrance: After the perfume has fully thawed and you’ve mixed it, give it a small test spray. If the scent seems off, give it a little more time. Some fragrances may take a while to return to their original bouquet after being frozen.

Remember To Store Your Perfume Properly 

Freezers are no place for aftershaves or perfumes. They’re best kept stored in dark, dry places away from extreme temperatures, like your bedroom closet.

Definitely don’t keep them in your bathroom, which I’d been doing for years before I realized it had been spoiling them. 

After learning this harsh lesson, I decided to create a guide for beginners to learn to store perfumes properly, which I’d love to know your thoughts on in the comments. 

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