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Can I Bring Perfume on a Plane?

Can I Bring Perfume on a Plane?

Nicolle Harwood-Nash
9 minutes read
Last Updated: February 14, 2024

When preparing for air travel, it's important to know which items you can bring along in your carry-on or checked luggage. From toiletries to personal belongings and food you can take on a plane, understanding the rules and regulations ensures a seamless journey. Among the frequently asked questions is whether you're allowed to take perfume on a plane.

In this article, AirAdvisor presents a comprehensive guide that answers the query, "Can I take perfume on a plane?" We provide valuable insights and practical tips to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience, allowing you to bring your favourite fragrances with confidence as you take to the skies.

Is Perfume Allowed in Carry-on Luggage?

Carry-on luggage refers to the smaller bags or suitcases that you bring into the aircraft cabin with you. They're typically stored in the overhead compartment or underneath the seat in front of you. The contents of carry-on luggage are subject to strict regulations because of security concerns.

Perfume is allowed in your carry-on luggage. However, there are restrictions in place concerning the volume of liquids, gels, and aerosols you can carry on an aircraft, which also applies to perfume.

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What Size of Perfume Can I Put on Carry-on Luggage?

The maximum size of a perfume bottle (or any other liquid, gel, or aerosol) you can carry in your hand luggage must not exceed 100 ml or 3.4 oz. This rule is known as the 3-1-1 liquids rule implemented by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in the United States, and followed by most airports worldwide.

Can I Bring Perfume in Checked Luggage?

When it comes to air travel, it's important to understand the regulations surrounding both carry-on and checked luggage. In a nutshell, the answer to "Can I bring perfume in checked luggage?" is yes. However, there are some important factors to consider when doing so.

While carry-on luggage refers to the smaller bags you bring with you into the cabin, checked luggage comprises the larger bags or suitcases that you hand over to the airline at the check-in counter. These checked bags are then stored securely in the aircraft's cargo hold during the duration of the flight. While checked luggage regulations are generally less restrictive than carry-on regulations, there are still guidelines that you must follow to ensure a safe and smooth journey.

Because of the typically larger size of checked bags and where they're stored during the flight, you're generally allowed to pack perfume in these bags. It's important to note, however, that there's still a limitation on the total quantity of "dangerous goods" you can pack in your checked luggage, including flammable liquids like perfume.

What Size of Perfume Can I Put in Checked Luggage?

The size of the perfume bottle you can put in your checked luggage is generally larger than what's allowed in your hand luggage. According to the regulations set by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which apply globally including in Europe, no single container of such goods in your checked luggage should exceed 500 ml or 17 oz.

To avoid any inconvenience or potential confiscation, it's recommended to refer to the specific guidelines provided by your airline or consult their official website for the most up-to-date information regarding the size and quantity restrictions for perfume and other dangerous goods in checked luggage.

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How Much Perfume Can You Take on a Plane?

Below, you can explore the total amount of perfume you can take on a plane:

Carry-on Luggage

As mentioned, the general requirements for taking perfume in carry-on luggage follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule, which allows you to carry containers of liquids, gels, and aerosols that are no larger than 100 ml (3.4 oz) each. You must place these containers in a clear, resealable plastic bag with a maximum capacity of 1 L (1 qt).

Each passenger is typically allowed only one plastic resealable bag. This means that, in terms of volume, the total amount of perfume you can bring in your carry-on bag is limited to the number of 100 ml (3.4 oz) containers that fit within the 1 L bag.

Checked Luggage:

IATA's Dangerous Goods Regulations (DGR) state you can carry perfumes in your checked baggage under certain conditions. Alongside the condition that states no single container of perfume should exceed 500 ml or 17 oz is the condition that stipulates the total net quantity of the perfume you pack must not exceed 2 L or 2 kg. This limit applies to all toiletries, including perfumes, colognes, and other similar items.

The maximum 2 L limit for perfumes and similar toiletries, as classified as dangerous goods, is recognised internationally and typically isn't subject to changes from one airline to another since most airlines follow IATA guidelines for safety and consistency. If you're unsure, it's always recommended to check with the airline before packing your perfume.

How Do I Pack My Perfume When Flying?

Packing your perfume for a flight requires careful consideration to prevent spills and breakage, and to ensure compliance with aviation safety regulations.

In terms of how to pack perfume in carry-on luggage, your perfume should be in a container that's no larger than 100 ml (3.4 oz). The container should then be placed in a transparent, resealable plastic bag, which must be 1 L (1 qt) or smaller. It can be a good idea to cushion the perfume bottle to prevent it from breaking due to impacts or changes in cabin pressure. You can wrap it in a small towel, a piece of clothing, or bubble wrap it for added protection. Make sure the bottle is tightly sealed and consider putting it inside an additional plastic bag for extra leakage protection.

When it comes to packing perfume in checked luggage, the precautions are similar, but no single container of perfume should exceed 500 ml or 17 oz to ensure safety. Make sure you protect your perfume well to avoid any damage from the typical handling process during the flight. Like with perfume packed in your carry-on luggage, you might want to wrap your checked luggage perfume bottle in bubble wrap or a soft item, such as a piece of clothing, for added protection. Another helpful tip is to place the perfume in the centre of your luggage, surrounded by other items, to offer more cushioning.

a woman purchasing perfume from the duty-free store at the airport

Can I Bring Perfume from Duty-Free on the Plane?

Yes, you can bring perfume purchased from a duty-free shop on the plane, but there are specific guidelines to follow.

Duty-free perfume refers to perfume that is purchased at duty-free shops, typically located within international airports. Duty-free perfume is considered safe to bring onto an aircraft because it adheres to the stringent safety and security measures enforced by airports and airlines.

When you purchase items, including perfume, at a duty-free shop, the sales associates will package your items in a tamper-evident bag, often called a STEB (Secure Tamper Evident Bag). This is a special bag designed to show if it has been tampered with or opened. Once your duty-free items are secured in a STEB, you'll receive a receipt showing proof of purchase. This receipt is essential to present at security checkpoints, as it provides proof that you purchased the items within the last 48 hours at a duty-free shop.

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It's worth noting that the liquids rule (only allowing containers of 100 ml or 3.4 oz in carry-on luggage) does not apply to duty-free liquids, including perfume. However, if you have a connecting flight in a different country, different regulations may apply, and you may have to place your duty-free liquids in your checked baggage.

Why Can’t I Bring Larger Perfume Bottles on a Plane?

In summary, the restrictions on perfume bottle size in both carry-on and checked luggage are in place to ensure the safety of all passengers and the security of the aircraft. In the event of a change in cabin pressure, larger volumes of liquid housed in larger bottles could potentially cause harm if they leak or spill. Additionally, large perfume bottles could potentially be used as a weapon, hence the strict regulation.

Why Are Liquids Restricted on an Aeroplane?

Liquid restrictions on aeroplanes are mainly due to security reasons, following attempts to carry out terrorist attacks using liquid explosives. The most notable incident was the thwarted 2006 transatlantic aircraft plot, where terrorists planned to detonate liquid explosives carried onto flights in hand luggage while travelling from the United Kingdom to the US and Canada. The plot was discovered by the British Metropolitan police. 

In response to this threat, aviation security authorities worldwide established new rules limiting the amount of liquids that passengers can carry onto flights. This is to make it harder for a large enough quantity of a potentially harmful liquid, aerosol, or gel to be brought onboard to cause harm.

By limiting the size of the containers, security personnel can more effectively screen liquids at checkpoints. It also reduces the likelihood that harmful substances can be combined to create a larger volume.

Despite these restrictions, exceptions are usually made for medications, baby food, and certain other necessities, although these items may need additional screening.

What Other Items Are Not Allowed In the Aeroplane Cabin?

Aside from restrictions on liquids, many other items are prohibited in an aircraft's cabin due to safety and security reasons. These include sharp objects, sporting goods, guns and other firearms, tools, martial arts and self-defence items, explosive and flammable materials, and many other items that could be used as potential weapons. We compiled a comprehensive list that details what is not allowed in hand luggage.

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Below, you can explore some frequently asked questions about bringing perfume on a plane, along with their answers:

Can I Use Perfume While Flying?        

It's best to avoid using perfume during the flight. Some passengers may have allergies or sensitivities to strong fragrances, and in a confined space like an aircraft cabin, this could cause discomfort or health issues for those individuals.

Can I Bring Glass Perfume Bottles on a Plane?

Yes, you can bring glass perfume bottles on a plane, both in your carry-on and checked luggage, as long as they meet the respective size regulations and total quantity limitations. It's important to take extra protective measures when travelling with glass to minimise the risk of breakage.

How Many Ounces of Perfume Can You Take on a Plane?

In your carry-on luggage, you can take as many perfume bottles of up to 3.4 ounces (100 ml) that fit in a 1 qt (1 L ) plastic, resealable bag. For checked luggage, most airlines allow up to 70 oz (2 L), but it's always best to check your airline's specific regulations.

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