Scents-able travel tip: Can I take perfume on a plane?

Scents-able travel tip: Can I take perfume on a plane?

It's always a good idea to keep your perfume usage to a minimum while you're in the confined space of an airplane cabin. Your fellow passengers will thank you. But if you want to bring perfume or cologne in your carry-on bag, you'll have to follow the FAA rules. Here's the scoop for taking perfume on a plane.

Perfume and Cologne

Perfumes, eaus and colognes, like most toiletries, fall under the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) 3-1-1 rule, which means that these items are allowed in your carry-on luggage or personal items as long as they follow the airport security guidelines for hand luggage.If you're planning to bring large bottles of perfume, you'll have to check them, because the TSA is very strict about the amount you can pack in your carry-on.

TSA Liquid Rules

The 3-1-1 rule essentially states that all carry-on liquids, gels, creams and aerosols must be in containers not larger than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters). You can bring as many 3.4-ounce containers as will fit comfortably in one quart-sized bag, generally a clear zip-close plastic bag. Each passenger is limited to one such bag. Any liquid greater than 3.4 ounces that isn't medically necessary must go in your checked luggage. TSA officers will check to make sure you’re following these rules at the security checkpoint, and will check the amount of liquids and fluid ounces and to make sure you aren’t taking any items that are not allowed. It’s a hassle to have to remove items from your bag, so make sure you’re following these TSA rules before you get to the airport!

Packing Perfume

You can pack perfume in an original container with a capacity of less than 3.4 ounces. Transferring it to your own smaller travel-size container is also acceptable if the original bottle is too big. To get the most out of your carry-on, pack liquid toiletries such as perfume, toothpaste, and lotions in a resealable quart bag separate from a solid toiletry bag, for bars of soap and solid deodorants.If the perfume is in a glass bottle, also consider packing it in bubble wrap or wrapping it in soft clothing, especially if it’s in your checked baggage and might get jostled around.

Duty-Free Perfume

When it comes to perfume, the only way around the 3-1-1 rule is to purchase it at a duty-free shop located within the airport. Duty-free liquids greater than 3.4 ounces are allowed in your carry-on, or on your person, as long as they are packaged by the retailer in secure, tamper–evident bags. You must also have the receipt to show that you made the purchase within the last 48 hours before air travel.

Travel Tips: Perfume

No one smells their best after a long flight. Dousing yourself with perfume before boarding might help, but at the expense of other travelers. The better way? Stash a small amount of a favorite scent in carry-on bags or checked luggage so it's handy after landing. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and airlines treat perfume just like any other liquids – but because it can do a lot of damage if it leaks, pack perfume carefully.

Packing Perfume in Baggage

In carry-on baggage, liquid perfume falls under the TSA liquid rules or the TSA's 3-1-1 rule. The rule allows each passenger to pack liquids, gels and aerosols in containers of up to 3.4 ounces, with all containers fitting in a single quart-sized bag or plastic bag. That's no problem for most perfume lovers, as few bottles are larger than 3.4 ounces anyway, but carrying around a full-size bottle is impractical considering how little most people use during a trip. Decant a small amount into a sample-size vial, which should be a sufficient amount of perfume for even a long voyage. Still, the vial must be packed in your 1-quart bag, and the entire bag must come out of your bag for screening unless you're exempt as a member of TSA's PreCheck program.The TSA doesn't restrict liquid container sizes for checked baggage, so even a full-size perfume bottle can be packed there as it it not allowed and won’t pass through the airport security checkpoint for personal items for air travel.The threat of your perfume leaking or spilling in your toiletry bag during the trip is a more pressing concern than the size of the bottle. Bags get jostled during the screening process, especially checked bags. Double-bag the perfume bottle or vial to contain any spillage, or skip the liquid perfume altogether and travel with a solid perfume stick instead. If you do opt to pack a large bottle of perfume in your checked bags, it's a good idea to wrap the bottle in bubble wrap to cushion the glass as the bag is tossed around, especially if it’s in a glass bottle.

Managing Fragrance in Flight

Bothered by the smell of perfume? You're far from alone. An estimated 30 percent of Americans are irritated by fragrances on others. Those with allergies may experience headaches, watery eyes, nausea and breathing problems when exposed to perfumes and other fragrances like scented detergent.If you find yourself stuck next to someone who smells strongly, discreetly explain to your flight attendant -that you're having a strong, and ask if it's possible to be moved. But because being moved isn't always feasible, especially once the flight begins, anyone who has a strong reaction to fragrances should prepare for the possibility of being seated near someone wearing perfume.Wear a turtleneck and pack a scarf in your carry-on to cover your nose and mouth. Spritz a handkerchief with a fragrance that's pleasant to you and hold it near your nose when the perfume odor is overwhelming, or ask a flight attendant for tea bags and sniff them instead; the mild scent of tea may neutralize any strong smells. Carry migraine medication or other over-the-counter pain relievers to ease any physical symptoms of fragrance sensitivity. And if the smell of perfume doesn't bother you, keep in mind that others on your flight may be sensitive. Wait until after the flight to spritz yourself with your signature scent.