How can I reuse or recycle pretty, old perfume bottles?

perfume-bottleWe’ve had an email from Jenny asking:

I have some old perfume bottles, they are so pretty they shouldn’t just be thrown in the normal glass recycling.

Is there anything I can do with them, other that just display as an ornament. I don’t want to do this, as I hate clutter. Any ideas?

For starters, some of what to do with old Tabasco sauce bottle ideas might apply here too – since both are small, pretty glass bottles with a tiny-teeny neck.

For sprays, I also like DJ’s idea on the pump action spray bottle page – fill the bottle with water to use as a cooling spray mist on hot days.

Taking that a step further, you could refill the bottles by making your own scented body or room sprays using essential oils – if that’s not your sort of thing, you could maybe offer the empty, clean bottles on Freecycle to someone in your area who would like to do that.

What else can you do with empty perfume bottles? Do you have any special ways to reuse them?

Best Suggestions

  • Pass on: Some people collect particular types of bottles – particularly vintage or exclusive brands. Check eBay and the like if you think you might have something special, or offer them on Freecycle/Freegle in case someone nearby would like to collect or reuse them.
  • Reuse: Refill spray bottles with water to make a plant – or person – mister, or add essential oils to make a room spray or insect repellent (citronella is a good oil for that). Alternately, they could be used as mini single-stem vases.
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas

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45 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle pretty, old perfume bottles?”

  1. dyz says:

    You could sell them on ebay , ebid or another venue. Charity shops may like them too. There are lots of collectors of old bottles out there.

  2. Make ornaments of the smaller ones… Turn the larger ones into fancy snow globes…… Or add some old broken jewelry to the outside… voila…. Bling Bottle Paperweights!

  3. Bobbie says:

    I was thinking that perhaps you could put lotion or liquid soap inside and fit a pump on it, so it could be beside the bathroom sink, functional but beautiful. All depends on finding a pump to fit…

  4. Clare says:

    When I was at nursery school, we had some big empty perfume bottles to smell.

    This was a long time ago, and it might not be allowed now, though — small bottles and lids would be a choking hazard; and it wouldn’t be so good for kids with chemical sensitivites.

  5. Lizzy says:

    For those of us who are bitten by mosquitoes in the night alot – and spray repellent stuff around everywhere – and then take a breath and think – ugh what am I breathing in *choking noise ensues* ….anyway , how about filling them with mosquito repelling essential oils / herbal teas etc. and spraying that around – It would work the same way for oils and stuff to make the room smell nice :)

  6. Karen says:

    Pump style ones can be used to mist plants in the window. I keep a bottle like this in every window with plants. Looks pretty and i don’t have to run around the house looking for a misting bottle.

  7. zainab says:

    Is it safe to use it for lotions? Just after rinsing it with water?

  8. Lisa says:

    I have a few ideas. I use my most beautiful empty perfume bottles to make christmas ornaments. The ovely glass bottles are beautiful on the tree when all the lights are on or off. Also, they make great sun catchers. Creat the design you like and hang them in a sunny window or a sunny spot in the yard and look at them sparkle and make beatiful colors reflect everywhere. If anyone else has any good ideas

    PS..if your wiccan like me, some of them are good for potions, hold herbs or creating your own essential oils.

  9. Medeea says:

    Sorry to say, but most of the perfume bottles I used could not be refill.
    Just out of curiosity, how do you refill them?

  10. Khwan says:

    Hi, I sell perfume and empty bottles.
    Usually, I wash the perfume bottle with alcohol for cleaning. And odor removal.

    • Maggie Hofmann says:


      would you be interested in buying 4 ounce sprinkler finish retangle glass bottles with white caps. NEW, never used. My brother passed before he could produce his cologne. I have 576 bottles and am too old and handicap to finish his project.
      I live in Charleston SC. I am deaf and do not have a phone. Please contact me at the above e-mail.
      Thank you much.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I took the tops off of mine using pliers then used them as little flower vases. I found small fake flowers and used it to decorate my vanity.

  12. lucianna says:

    With bottles of the appropriate size I wash them out with a little soap and water, then with a little alcohol to remove the scent. If you have any residue that is old and difficult to remove, try putting some uncooked rice in the bottle and shaking it up really well. That usually will clean it out. Then rinse well and leave it uncapped long enough for any moisture to evaporate completely. I then use them to hold my vitamins, and my current medications. I carefully write what is in it, and dosage on either a label or a tag which I attach with a small pretty cord or ribbon. Then I place them on a pretty tray in plain sight where I will remember to take them. I just hate the look of vitamin and perscription bottles and jars, and this little trick keeps me aware of taking my pills every day, and keeps them in an attractive way. It, of course, only works with bottles that have removable stoppers. Remember, of course, to keep them away from where kids can get to them, and to label them clearly. Also, some need to be kept out of direct light as well. Use good sense. I find with medications that I have to take daily, the fact that they are in different shaped bottles actually helps me to keep from getting them mixed up.

  13. Cathy says:

    I heard about someone making a wreath with pretty perfume bottles and hanging it in her bathroom. I haven’t seen it so I can’t describe it. But I bet someone reading this will have the creativity to make one.

  14. Rachel B. says:

    Slumping. Ceramics artists use a low fire setting on kilns now to melt the bottles until just flat. You can use them as ringholders, suncatchers, for bobby pins, etc…

  15. Kabeer Khan says:

    A/c to my creativity :

    1-prepare a box of glass/mirror and insert some small size 3-4 bulbs in it
    2-fill all bottles with different colors liquid
    3-keep all bottles in that box
    4-turn on bulbs which will make a good effect

    by doing above method we can also make some good showpiece,
    painting on mirror, or write any Quote there..
    1000’s of techniques.

    if don’t like my tech then :

    Save Scrap ! and enjoy

  16. Kabeer Khan says:

    Thanx all for there sugestions

  17. Olia says:

    Buy the same perfume only in a big bottle, then pour some into small bottle. Now you have one for home, and one for your purse.

  18. Cyril says:

    Would it be safe to drink from the empty perfume bottle? I’m hoping to use it as a bottle.

  19. priscilla t stoffels-lemke says:

    i love perfume i have been collecting perfume bottels for many years i have so many of them i don’t know what to do with them i need some wonderful ideas on what to make out of perfume bottles besides christmas ornaments can you please give me some outrageous ideas on what to make.

  20. mary says:

    How about making sun catchers or hanging displays for kichens, sunrooms orany room imn thje house

  21. Susan says:

    I have just seen a mosaic done using old mugs jugs etc.. made into a panel for outdoor or indoor. I think it would work just as well with pretty perfume bottles

  22. Anna says:

    If you stick a candle to the top, the nice ones turn into really pretty lights that would be safe bedside or desktop candle lights

  23. kristin says:

    i use mine to store home made perfumes i make my self using flowers that are pestiside free

  24. melissa schlaikier says:

    Get them all togther and place in a material bag and smash them all into peices then glue to a mirror : )

  25. Rita says:

    How can I clean a perfume bottle that has a spray top on it?
    I can’t seem to get the top off.

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