Is Perfume Flammable? Can All Perfumes Catch Fire?

Perfume is truly personal. The right fragrance can make us feel better, take us years back to a particular memory, or remind us of someone near and dear.

Understandably, the perfume market is worth billions, as most people require various fragrances in their lives.

Perfumes are transported from all over the world. Some prefer European luxury scents, while others love natural florals from the Middle East.

To transport these perfume bottles safely to each part of the world, it’s important to understand the risks that come with doing so.

The main risk is perfume’s flammability. Is perfume flammable, and if it is, how should you store it so it doesn’t catch fire?

Generally speaking, perfume is flammable due to its alcohol content. Alcohol is needed to blend different aromas. You can buy alcohol-free perfume, but these alternatives can still catch fire.

To be on the safe side, assume that all perfumes are flammable, unless the producer specifically states differently.

So, perfumes, along with non-alcoholic varieties, are flammable. This may make you worry about whether your scents could catch fire in your home.

In this article, we’ll cover if all fragrances are flammable, why alcohol is needed in perfumes, and how to store perfume safely in your home.


Can All Perfumes Catch Fire?

We’ve covered that perfumes are flammable as they contain alcohol. Alcohol has many benefits which make it a necessary ingredient to include in perfumes.

Some perfumes contain more or less alcohol compared to each other, but these can still catch fire.

Despite this, there are certain fragrances available on the market that aren’t flammable. These perfumes don’t use alcohol as one of their ingredients.

Without alcohol, these perfumes won’t be as different in variety, or as long-lasting. These scents aren’t likely to be as flammable as traditional fragrances, but the alcohol substitute used may still catch fire.

Most fragrances contain a mix of alcohol and essential oils. Rather than alcohol, many alcohol-free perfumes contain a blend of essential oils instead. These come with a few benefits:

  • Without alcohol, these perfumes don’t evaporate easily, so the scent lasts longer on the skin.
  • Alcohol can be irritating and drying for the skin. Alcohol-free perfumes can be better for sensitive skin. The essential oils can also be moisturizing when applied.
  • These tend to be less expensive than normal perfumes.
  • Some of these aren’t flammable, making them safe to carry and transport.
  • People with alcohol allergies can use these perfumes safely.

Alcohol-free perfume doesn’t contain alcohol, so these bottles shouldn’t be flammable compared to regular varieties. However, you shouldn’t assume that these bottles are completely non-flammable.

To create perfume, preserving agents and solvents must be used to blend different aromas. These might not contain alcohol, but they can still be flammable.

Most perfumes won’t catch fire easily, but if you’re still worried, you can opt for solid perfumes instead. Solid perfumes use a mix of beeswax and essential oils.

These are free from flammable solvents, so they’re safer to store and ship compared to traditional fragrances.

Why Is Alcohol Needed In Perfume

Why Is Alcohol Needed In Perfume?

As said previously, alcohol makes perfume flammable. Even alcohol-free perfumes can contain elements that could catch fire.

You may be wondering why such dangerous ingredients are needed in perfumes. Alcohol is necessary for a few different reasons:

Alcohol Helps Fragrances Blend Together

To make perfume, you need to find the ingredients, figure out the measurements needed, and blend the scents together.

It can be hard to make a balanced scent, as certain materials and aromas are difficult to meld with each other. Alcohol breaks down these materials enough so that they can combine, making one whole blend of scents.

Alcohol Helps Aromas Spread Out

Alcohol evaporates quickly, so when perfume is applied to the skin, alcohol helps the scents lift upwards and spread through the air.

This means that alcohol is a great ingredient to include in perfumes. In more expensive perfumes, alcohol is carefully used in particular amounts.

These measurements allow the aromas in the perfume to steadily spread out. They diffuse in three levels: the top note, medium note, and base note.

Alcohol Helps Perfumers Create Art

Various aromatic ingredients break down within alcohol at different levels. Similar to how a painter uses paints, a perfumer uses several fragrance notes to create carefully made scents.

The history of perfume production and fragrance sampling has led to most fragrances containing three notes. Nevertheless, there are some simpler bottles with just two notes.

You can also find some complicated perfumes which blossom over six notes. This is all thanks to alcohol, as it can make a variety of different fragrance notes.

The alcohol can also help preserve the blend, so the bottle can be kept for longer.

Safe Storage Of Perfumes

Now that we’ve covered why perfume is flammable, you may be wondering if your usual perfume is a fire hazard in your home.

To put your mind at ease, most manufacturers keep their perfume in strong containers. These are difficult to break, so they won’t catch fire unless you spill the liquid.

The general guidelines on perfume storage involve typical common sense. However, mistakes are easily made. It only takes a few seconds for a mishap to occur and cause a fire.

Here are some tips on storing perfume so that you can avoid any fire hazards.

  • Keep perfume away from the kitchen. Flames and excess heat are common in the kitchen, which could make any fragrances in the area catch fire.
  • Don’t store perfume near electric outlets. Electric sparks and heat from the outlet can set your perfume alight.
  • Don’t keep fragrances in unpolished wooden cabinets. Wood is very porous. Without polish, any scents that spill out from the cabinet can be absorbed by the wood.
  • Keep glass bottles or metal containers away from sunlight. The sun can affect your perfume’s lifespan, but it may also catch fire from the heat.
  • Keep scents in a dark and cold area. This reduces the risk of your fragrance catching fire, but also prolongs your scent’s lifespan.