Monday, December 21, 2009

Perfume Storage

A few years ago there was an article in Allure about Donatella Versace and her perfume collection. It has been haunting perfume nuts ever since, and even more so after Vogue published a photo of (what I assume to be) part of this collection, which you can see in this Blogdorf Goodman post. For many of us it's not so much about the bottles as it is about the display.

Perfume storage has always been a popular topic on the discussion boards. Do you keep the boxes? How do you control the temperature in the room? How do you protect the precious ones from light? Bottles and boxes come in so many sizes it's hard to find a good storage system that accommodates them all. And as I've long discovered, a deep cabinet swallows the bottles up and makes it hard to find what you're looking for at a given moment without accidents.

Donatella would never approve of my recent discovery. I can't even say I approve of these Ikea cabinets, which aren't exactly an example of the highest craftsmanship or quality material (that was my way of saying they are pretty crappily made, and my husband wants to add: a pain to assemble and mount to the wall). But for what they are and for what they cost, the Bertby cabinets do a good job of housing most of my perfumes and not looking half bad. I still use my old unit to store many of the vintage bottles, minis, odds and ends (and the entire stash of backups), but most of my perfumes live happily on these shelves, originally meant for media storage. The shelves' height is adjustable, so you can customize the display as needed. Even when storing the tallest bottles (I think the Ormonde Jayne boxes hold the record), I could still fit all nine glass shelves in the cabinet and get the most out of it.

While I still hope to either get a custom-made furniture at some point or find a fabulous antique (I've been searching high and low for the last couple of years), I have to admit I already bought a backup Bertby, planning for a future expansion of the collection. Uncle Serge is still churning the juice, after all.

How do you store your perfumes?

Bertby glass door cabinets ($99.99) are available from Ikea stores (can't be purchased online, though).

Photos by me.


  1. I get good strong, but pretty, storage boxes with lids in the home decor section at discount stores like Ross and TJ Maxx and sort by bottle size. However, pretty soon I will need to organize them more, since my smaller bottles and samples are getting to be too much of a jumble. I do keep the boxes, but most of my minis and samples are loose so I need a different system for them.

    I think your system looks pretty good! I would love a Donatella-grade perfume cabinet "system" myself, but that is not gonna happen!

  2. This may seem a strange question, but how are the cabinets attached to the walls? Did you have to cut into the walls to mount them? They look great!

  3. I keep the frags in their boxes, in a cabinet with doors, in the coolest room in the house. No unnecessary sunlight exposure for those babies, no sir!(LOL) That may be going overboard a bit - after all, I don't get the pleasure of enjoying the pretty bottles. But at least things should last for a while.

  4. Hah, Kerri - I was thinking the same thing. These cabinets appear to be recessed, which seems like a lot of cutting into walls. But they do look nice and seem to do the trick. Gaia: any concerns about light? I keep my bottles in baskets (from IKEA! Go IKEA for perfume storage!) which sit on the floor of my dark, cool closet. Perhaps it doesn't display them prettily but I'm afraid of sunlight.

  5. D., my sample drawers are the definition of chaos. One day when my nieces are old enough I'll have to bribe them to organize and catalog the mess.

  6. Kerri and Gretchen, the cabinets aren't recessed. They really are as shellow as they look here, so no digging and cutting through walls. They are mounted with screws and also sit on an extra plastic piece that's screwed to the wall underneath the cabinet. My husband made sure to find the studs in the wall and get the screws into them, so everything is more stable.

  7. Patty, I have the same fear of light when it comes to perfume, so none of the cabinets are in direct sunlight during any part of the day. I also keep everything in boxes (when available). The ones that need extra protection (super vintage with no box) are in a different cabinet in relative darkness.

  8. I had the same question as Kerri- wow they DO look like built ins! I was picturing your husband grumbling as he sawed through dry-wall for the love of your perfumes :D

    Do you think the frames could be painted out or are they highly varnished? I think I want a couple and am imagining them painted out the same colour as my walls.

    Gorgeous! Thanks for posting!

  9. I have two of these cabinets, but I use them for my CDs. I hadn't though of using them for perfume. But since they are in my warmest room, that wouldn't be ideal, and anyway where would I put all those CDs? ;-)
    I have a six-drawer tallboy in the bedroom for my scents. They also overflow into another drawer in my dressing-table, and on top of the table!
    I'm paranoid about heat and light, even though I don't have any vintage scents. I keep the boxes nowadays, but didn't always, so some bottles are naked.
    Of course, with my storage it's not always easy to find the one I want, or even to remember everything I have to choose from! But I'm not sure what kind of storage would overcome that issuse, with the number of bottles I have. Filing cabinets with labels and an index, maybe!

  10. I love your storage solution -- it's the nicest most practical I've found, thanks for the head's up about Ikea I never would've thunk it!


I love comments and appreciate the time you take to connect with me, but please do not insert links to your blog or store. Those will be deleted. The comment feature is not intended to provide an advertising venue for your blog or your commercial site.

Related Posts Widget