How Does a Perfume Atomizer Work?

An atomiser is an apparatus that transforms liquid into a mist or spray. They come in all shapes and materials, ranging from a plastic squirt bottle used to dispense cleaning fluid to an asthma inhaler.

A perfume atomiser is usually glass-based and comes in a variety of shapes and styles, depending on the designer or perfume maker. Perfumes often use atomisers to turn the fragrance's scented oil (eau de parfum) into an easily applicable spray that can cover a larger area of skin. Atomisers, because they usually require the scented oil to be mixed with water or alcohol for easier dispensing, typically produce weaker fragrance than the oil does alone.

What Are the Parts of an Atomizer?

An atomiser is made up of four basic parts: the bottle or vial that holds the liquid, a thin tube, a nozzle or bulb, and a screen. In a perfume atomiser, the bottle is usually made from glass or plastic, and is often crafted into a distinctive shape that is symbolic of the designer. Some famous and easily recognisable shapes for perfume atomiser bottles include Jean-Paul Gaultier's female torso-shaped bottle, Thierry Mugler's star-shaped bottle and Elizabeth Taylor's diamond-encrusted bottle.

The thin tube used in the apparatus is just a little shorter than the length of the bottle itself, and is cut diagonally at the bottom. Many atomisers have nozzles that can screw off and on, allowing the owner to refill the bottle as needed. The screen is set into the nozzle.

How Does It Work?

Generally, a perfume atomiser works by sucking liquid up from the bottle through the tube and expelling it through the nozzle. The user holds the bottle and depresses the nozzle. This changes the pressure inside the tube attached to the nozzle and causes the perfume to be pulled up the tube quickly. At the top of the tube, the perfume hits the nozzle and is pushed out the only exit: through the screen into the air. The screen has very small outlets that turn the already small amount of perfume in the tube into myriad droplets that to the human eye appear as a mist. By the time the user has pushed down on the nozzle and allowed it to release back up, this process is completed, and the spray of perfume has been expelled from the nozzle.