No one smells their best after navigating planes, trains, buses and taxis with suitcases in tow. Sure, no one can tell how you smell in the vacation photos that end up on social media. But everything's more enjoyable when you feel your best, so there's no need to leave perfume off the packing list for a trip. Bring cologne on an airplane or buy perfume to bring back as souvenirs – just make sure it's leak-proof first.


Funnel perfume or cologne into a travel-sized bottle with an atomizer, wrap it in a sealed plastic bag and nestle it within soft clothing deep inside a checked bag.

Can you bring Cologne on a Plane?

According to the TSA, cologne or perfume and other scents are totally fine to pack for flight. There are no rules preventing passengers from packing perfume in their checked or carry-on bags.

In checked bags, cologne and perfume are allowed in any quantity‌.

Packing these items in carry-on bags is a little more complicated. Although they're not on the TSA prohibited items list, cologne and perfume are liquids and therefore must be packed in accordance with the TSA's 3-1-1 rule.

It limits each passenger to a single 1-quart bag of liquids, gels, and aerosols, and each item in the bag may be no larger than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters). If your favorite fragrance doesn’t come in a smaller size, make airport security easier for everyone and put it in your checked luggage.

Packing Spill-Proof Scents

Even on a long trip, most people will only need a very small amount of perfume or cologne. Leave behind the big glass bottle and travel with a smaller container, which both saves suitcase space and minimizes the damage if the bottle does leak.

Consider buying a travel-size bottle with an atomizer (a type of spray top that releases mist). They’re easily available on Amazon.

After you have your atomizer, transfer a small amount of cologne into using either a small funnel or a plastic bag with the tip cut off.

Next, secure the perfume bottle to keep any leaked liquid from reaching your other belongings. If the bottle is glass, wrap it in a piece of bubble wrap or tuck it inside a sock for some extra cushioning. Place the bottle in a sealable plastic bag and tuck it either into your quart-sized bag (to pack it in carry-on luggage) or wedge it deep inside a checked suitcase where it will be protected by soft clothing on every side.

Smelling Your Best on Vacation

For some travelers who never skip their signature scent, the risk of leaking cologne or perfume is one worth taking.

But if that's not you, consider traveling with solid perfume instead of the liquid stuff. This product usually comes in a small tin or tube for easy application. It may be easier to find your favorite scent in a rollerball or in a sample vial, which is easy to slip into your toiletries bag.

Alternatively, pack a small tube of scented moisturizing lotion to both soothe dry skin and leave you smelling fresh.