It's such a conundrum. I have more than enough perfume for life, yet the occasional bottle or split still finds its way into my crowded perfume cabinet. While I return to my favorites and exciting, newer bottles, perfectly good perfume sits and risks turning. What's a girl to do? Find more ways to use perfume, that's what. Here are a few uses for perfume you like enough to keep, but fear you won't use before it spoils:
Scent your curtains. Diaghilev reportedly sprayed his curtains with Guerlain Mitsouko so when the wind ruffled their fabric, his rooms were filled with Mitsouko's sepia peach and moss. Such a romantic idea. A few years ago I followed his lead and spritzed the cotton velvet curtains in my living room with Mitsouko EdP. I nearly threw up. For about a week I couldn't spend time on the couch without occasional forays to the kitchen for air. Fragrant curtains are a terrific idea, but I recommend something with less presence than Mitsouko. Annick Goutal Eau d'Hadrien or Caron Fleurs de Rocailles might work.
Freshen up the mattress. Whenever I strip the bed, I give the mattress about three spritzes of fragrance. I used up a bottle of Stella McCartney Stella this way, then moved on to Prince Matchabelli Wind Song, and now am partway through a bottle of Thierry Mugler Cologne. Once fresh bedding is on, the scent is present but mild. Every once in a while I spray my pillows, too. You can buy special linen spray, but why not use what you already have?
Perfume your pets. I like to spray the dog's bed with something to mingle with his delicious corn chip fragrance. Tex's bed has a removable cover, and when it's in the wash I spray his bed with whatever strikes my fancy, most recently Annick Goutal Duel, but I also like the chocolate-currant-green floral of Annick Goutal Eau de Charlotte. Once I tried Jean Desprez Bal à Versailles, but it ended too funky for a dog. My cat, Mae West, has silky fur that holds fragrance beautifully. She would smell lovely in L'Artisan Parfumeur Drôle de Rose, but I don't have that, so I lightly spray her two favorite nap spots with Parfum D'Empire Eau Suave when I'm feeling luxurious and Wind Song when I'm not.
Use as room spray. Kevin does this. I've never fully related to the concept of room spray — I mean, do you just spray it everywhere? In the air? And it just hits the floor and sits there? — so I don't do it. But you might want to give it a try.
Spray on your lampshades. Most of my lampshades are made of old fabric, and none are pristine white, so I don't worry about staining them. I like to spray my lampshades with Molinard Habanita and Laura Mercier Minuit Enchanté. As the lampshades heat up (this obviously doesn't work well with compact fluorescent bulbs) the fragrance dissipates. I find it doesn't last longer than an evening.
Scent your room. A few years ago a Now Smell This reader suggested dumping sample vials of perfume into a few tablespoons of uncooked rice. It works, but it needs stirred daily to reawaken the fragrance, and its throw isn't very far. Still, a pretty teacup of rice infused with a sample of Christian Dior Dune in the bathroom would be very nice.
Perfume your laundry. I've saved the best tip for last. When I proposed doing this post, Robin mentioned she'd always wondered about spraying perfume on unscented dryer sheets. Even though I wasn't quite ready to do laundry today, in the interest of science I washed a half load of underwear and towels. About halfway through the dryer's cycle, I tossed in a cotton handkerchief sprayed generously with Mugler Cologne. My laundry came out gorgeously, gently scented — and the handkerchief smelled so good I tucked it in my purse right away. This is a tip I'll be putting to use regularly.
What about you? Do have any extracurricular uses for perfume you'd like to share?