How to Open a Perfume Bottle

Perfume or cologne bottles come in all shapes and sizes, made from a variety of materials, mainly glass, plastic or metal. Some are ornate and delicate, while others are simple and understated. But they all have one thing in common: they protect the precious fragrance within from the elements and allow the scent to be released with a fine spray or placed gently on your pulse points with your fingers.

Most perfume bottles are made of glass, but some are also made of plastic or metal, with plastic bottles are most commonly used for refill bottles.  The cap or stopper on the top may be made of wood, metal, or plastic, depending on the style of the bottle. And sometimes there is a sprayer nozzle attached to the bottle so that you can spray your perfume onto your skin.

Because perfume or cologne bottle design is only limited by the imagination, sometimes trying to work out how to open it can leave you scratching your head.

bottle perfume

The first time you try to open a perfume bottle or a refill, it can be confusing. Hopefully, this very simple checklist will work:

  • If your bottle has a sprayer nozzle, remove this first if possible – of course, the sprayer nozzle may be part of the problem!
  • Grip the cap of the bottle between your thumb and index finger
  • Use your other hand to twist the bottle in the opposite direction of the cap
  • Continue twisting until the cap pops off

Now, that sounds pretty straightforward, doesn't it? However, we've all been in a situation where the lid just simply won't come off! For instance, if you like to travel, sometimes factors such as airplane pressurization can affect your bottles.  Let's look at some scenarios and give some pointers on how you can open the bottle safely.

perfume bottle

First Things First

Fortunately, there are several methods that you can use to try to open a perfume bottle, so you don’t have to resort to forceful measures. Try these:

  • Fill a container with hot tap water and place the perfume bottle in it. Leave it for a few minutes, then gently twist the bottle again. The heat of the water should cause the cap to expand slightly and come off more easily. This may particularly apply to refill bottles.
  • Wrap a rubber band around the base of the stopper or cap to get a better grip on it. Then use some elbow grease and twist the cap firmly but steadily until it pops off. If your hands are not effective, you can also try pliers.
  • In some cases, you may need to apply a lubricant such as petroleum jelly or vegetable oil around the cap’s base. This should help loosen any residue that is preventing the cap from coming off easily and is particularly helpful with glass bottles.

If That Doesn't Work

If the stopper is well and truly stuck, you can try using a small knife, travel scissors or pliers to help remove it. Travel scissors and pliers are particularly effective because of their small size but beware when opening your cologne or perfume fragrance because there is a potential for injury. 

Once the cap is lifted, grab onto it and pull as gently and steadily as you can to remove it from the bottle. If necessary, place a small cloth between your hand and the bottle - this will give you more grip on the cap. You may need to twist or turn the cap to loosen it up enough for opening.


There's nothing more frustrating than being excited about wanting to spray your brand-new fragrance and having trouble opening the bottle! Hopefully we've been able to give you some hints and tricks to make removing the cap child's play!

How to Open a Perfume Bottle
Lilyana has been a beauty industry insider and professional online marketer from a young age. She specialized in the organic and creative side of marketing, focusing on content creation, search engine optimization, and social media marketing. She writes articles for the BeautySourcing blog and posts for our social media channels.
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