The longer your flight, the more important it is to look (and smell) your best when it’s touchdown time. For that reason, one of the most helpful resources you can have at your disposal is your favorite perfume. But this begs the question, can you take perfume on a plane?
The short answer is yes, you can.
You’re allowed to fly with items like glass perfume bottles, solid deodorant, and aerosols, all of which can help make you feel a little more put together once you’re back on the ground.
However, there are several guidelines and you have to keep in mind if you want to avoid any problems at the airport security checkpoint.
To help you do this successfully, we’ll be sharing the best travel tips to ensure you can have your best and most expensive perfume at hand when duty finally calls.
Traveling with Perfumes on International and Domestic Flights in the U.S.
Airport security measures account for the fact that fragrant body lotions, aerosol deodorant perfumes, and floral fragrances are essential items in many people’s grooming regimes.
So provisions for these items are available under the Transportation Security Administration’s guidelines.
The TSA’s 3-1-1 rule for liquids states in clear and concise terms the approved quantity and approved airline packing procedure every traveler must follow when packing these items in their luggage.
We’ll be taking a quick look at the 3-1-1 rule, the best way to leverage it, and the situations in which it doesn’t apply.
The TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule for Liquids (3.4-Ounce Liquid Rule)
Under this rule, your perfume fluid ounces are treated as normal liquids. So it is allowed to be packed in your carry-on just like your favorite lotions, gel products, and aerosols without breaching any security measures.
However, before perfume and body lotion lovers start to jump for joy, there is a catch.
All your liquid items must follow a strict packing process. You must fit your expensive perfume, shower gel, and lotions into 100ml (3.4 oz) containers or smaller, hence the 3.4-ounce rule.
In addition to this, all the 100ml (3.4 oz) containers you pack must fit securely in a single 1-quart plastic bag. This can then be packed into your carry-on bag.
For the most part, the 3.4-ounce liquid rule isn’t a problem when it comes to perfumes as only a few perfumes bottles are larger than that. However, as the chances of using all of that perfume on a single trip away are rather low, we recommend you decant a small portion of the perfume into smaller-sized travel bottles.
Even if you forgo your full-size bottles of perfume in favor of travel bottles, you still need to pack those items in a 1-quart plastic bag. But at least you’ll have more room for your other toiletries.
Exceptions to the 3-1-1 Rule
The 3-1-1 rule requires you to limit and organize the liquids packed in your carry-on luggage.
One exception to this rule is if you purchase anything from duty-free airport shops. Getting duty-free perfume from duty-free shops exempts you from the 3-1-1 rule.
So basically, duty-free items allow you to exceed the 100ml per item limit when you purchase a bottle of cologne or perfume.
However, you’ll need to make sure the liquids are packed in a transparent, secure, tamper-evident bag by the retailer and have not been opened before being screened by TSA or this privilege is voided.
Another exception to the rule is packing your perfume in your checked luggage.
Even though checked bags and checked luggage allow you to avoid all imposed size limits, we don’t encourage using this option as it puts your prized items at risk. This is because they’ll be away from your view, meaning anything could happen. Your perfume bottles can break during transportation and you won’t have them in reach to freshen up post-flight.
Travel Tips for Packing Your Bottle of Cologne or Perfume
Now that you know the answer to the question “can I take perfume on a plane?” the next step becomes making sure that you do it properly.
Paying attention to this aspect of packing your perfume is an important part of your entire travel experience. It ensures that the glass bottles your cologne or perfume is contained in don’t break.
With this in mind, here’s a simple 3-step guide you can follow to ensure you pack right.
If you’ll be carrying glass perfume bottles, make sure it’s sealed properly. This goes a long way in minimizing damage or risk of spills from your expensive bottle of perfume.
Place each bottle of cologne or perfume in a separate zip-lock bag and ensure it is sealed tightly. This packing hack helps make sure that your different bottles of essential items don’t clang against each other and break during the usual turbulence of air travel.
Some travelers complement this packing hack by putting bubble wrap on the bottles to be carried in checked luggage. When you bubble wrap perfume bottles and put them in a zip-lock bag, you provide them with additional security and a buffer that further keeps them safe.
When packed inside your carry-on luggage, you’ll need to pack your already sealed perfume with other delicate, essential toiletries in a small, transparent bag. You can provide your prized possessions here with additional security by wrapping your toiletry bag in clothes before finally placing them in your carry-on.
Now the next time someone asks “Can I take perfume on a plane?” you can share these helpful tips with them for the best ways to travel safely without violating the TSA’s rule for liquids.
By following all we’ve highlighted here, you’ll have no problems going through airport security with your signature bottle of perfume.
Of course, if you don’t want to stress yourself over TSA regulations here, you have the option of packing your perfume into your checked luggage or shopping duty-free shops.