Does Perfume Damage Jewelry? Best Jewelry Protection Guide

Written By Lamaya Mahboob

As perfume helps us to build confidence, jewelry gives a finishing touch to our daily/occasional look.

Both are equally precious to us in a very different way. Therefore, it is important to know whether one (perfume) is damaging the other (jewelry).

To know about how perfume affects jewelry, do read till the last word of this article.

Does Perfume Damage Jewelry?

Does Perfume Damage Jewelry?

Yes, perfume damages jewelry. Perfume contains essential oil, ethyl alcohol and some color dyes in its molecular composition. These elements are to be blamed for the damage done on your jewelry. Perfume can make jewelry lose its sheen, make a dull layer and discolor its original color.

Follow our guide to know Why Is Perfume Not Vegan?

Can perfume affect gold?

Can perfume affect gold?

Perfume does not directly affect the gold in your jewelry. However, it reacts with the alloy present in the gold and causes discoloration and takes away its sheen, and makes it dull. Both negatively affect the look and appearance of your precious gold jewelry.

Gold itself is highly ductile and malleable. It does not have the strength to form a shape and structure which you can wear as your elegant jewelry.

To provide the strength to its weak legs so that the gold does not crack or bend easily, a small percentage of alloy is added to its composition. And that is why perfume can affect gold.

Perfume cannot react with gold itself; however, this small amount of alloy has a big impact.

Does perfume damage diamonds?

Does perfume damage diamonds?

Yes, perfume can damage diamonds as well. It can also damage any natural gemstone. The glaze that you get from your sparkling diamond can be easily taken away by the molecules in a perfume.

You may think nothing can come and stop a diamond from shining bright. But it is far from reality.

It is reasonable to think that diamonds are unaffected as they are made with extreme amounts of heat and pressure which take millions of years.

And not only that, it is known to be one of the hardest natural materials in the world.

Even then, the essential oil in perfume can destroy the shiny object and makes it pale yellow, if not cleaned properly.

If the oil is not cleaned properly, the residue can form a layer on the diamond jewelry and make it discolored.

All these damages do not only make your diamond look ugly but also reduce its original value.

To keep your diamond shine as new, you should:

  • Avoid wearing it every one. Wear it only on occasions. 
  • Clean your diamond jewelry once a year by professionals. 
  • If there is damage, avoid wearing the item until checked by a jeweler.

Here’s a complete guide on Can Perfume Make Babies Sick? 

How to get the perfume smell out of jewelry?

The easy ways to get perfume smell out of jewelry are:

The essential oil in perfume not only affects the sheen of the jewelry but also creates a bad odor in perfume. Therefore, it is important to clean your jewelry to get rid of any oil residue.

Here is how you can do it:

  1. Take a bowl of warm water and mix 2 tablespoons of baking soda and four ounces of white vinegar in that water. Soak the jewelry in the mixture for 2 to 3 hours to get rid of the sticky smell.
  2. Another homemade cleaning solution is to squirt a lemon in a bowl of water and add some salt as well. Place the jewelry in the solution for 10 to 15 minutes. As walsy remember, do not use any homemade cleaning solution or dishwashing liquids  to clean diamond, pearls or any natural gemstones as the acidic nature of these liquids will corrode with them.
  3. Using toothpaste is a good ingredient as well to remove any unwanted smell from the jewelry. Apply a small amount of plain white toothpaste on the jewelry and use a toothbrush to gently rub over the jewelry so that it goes into the  nooks and crannies. Run water on it to remove any excess paste. Then use a towel to dry it.
  4. And lastly, remember jewelry cleaner is the safest option to use over jewelry as it can be applied anywhere without any doubt.

Can perfume damage pearls?

Can perfume damage pearls?

Yes, perfume can damage pearls. And, it affects pearls much more than gold and diamond. It can very easily mudge, abrase and discolor pearls.

A strong reaction takes place even if the perfume contains natural fragrance oil instead of essential oil. Oil makes pearls lose their shine.

Avoid wearing perfume if you are putting on your pearls.

However, if you love your perfumes as much as your jewels, wear your pearls after 10 to 15 minutes of applying your scent.

This will avoid strong reactions which may harm the pearls.

To keep your pearls clear and away from any kind of oil, wipe them with damp clothes and store them away in a zip lock bag.

Also, keep your pearls separated from any other jewelry. Gently wipe pearls after each wear to prevent deterioration.

What can damage jewelry?

Here is the list of items that can damage jewelry:

  • Water

Jewelry overly exposed to water can cause discoloration and rusting. It will affect the appearance of the jewelry. Salt water discolor jewelry as well, which is why people advise people to avoid wearing jewelry while going for a swim.

  • Sun and Heat 

Direct sunlight and uv rays can discolor jewelry and make it dull. Therefore, store jewelry in a cool and dry place.

  • Chemicals

As jewelries are made up of natural materials, they easily react with chemicals which cause discoloration and also deterioration. Keep the jewelry away when doing house cleaning and laundry as the detergent contains chemicals which are harmful to it.

  • Beauty Products

If jewelry is worn before doing hair and make up, it can be damaged as make up and hair sprays contain chemicals and they can react with it. And it may cause deterioration with time. Always wear jewelry after wearing make up.

  • Physical Damage

Jewelry can be damaged if you do not take it off while doing heavy work with machines or outdoor activities. It can get scratches or become unstructured by force. It would be best to take it off while working and put it back on when the job is done

  • Lack of maintenance 

When jewelry is never taken to the jeweler to do professional cleaning, it deteriors faster. Of Course with time, jewelry would get less appealing, however, with properper care you can slow down the process.

  • Improper storage

Jewelries can be damaged if they are all tangled together in a box. Make sure all jewelry is stored separately.

Does perfume damage imitation jewelry?

Yes, even imitation jewelry is damaged by perfume. The fragrance oil in perfume is harmful for all kinds of jewelry, either real or fake.

People might think only real jewelries are affected by the essential oil of perfume, however, that is not the truth.

Even natural fragrance oil can damage imitation jewelry by making its appearance dull over time.

Thus, you have to be extra careful when you are applying perfume while wearing jewelry.

Looking for something different? Then check out something cool- Can perfume freeze?


It should be clear after reading this article that perfume is jewelry’s one true enemy.

Whether its gold, diamond, pearl or imitation, perfume manages to damage all of them.

But if you want to decorate yourself with both perfume and jewelry, don’t worry, just wait for 10 to 15 minutes before wearing your jewelry.

And keep jewelry clean from any chemical from the perfume.

If you have any further queries, please feel free to ask them in the comment section, and I would be happy to answer them.

About The Author
Perfume has always been Lamaya's passion as she grew up smelling all the perfumes her mother had. And sometimes she would spray them on her secretly. Lamaya likes doing doodling art as well. If you ever see her in person, you can request a doodle art. You might get one. She wants to be an Environmental & Animal rights activist in the future.

Leave a Comment