Can I Carry Perfume on a Plane? A Comprehensive Guide!

As a frequent flier, one of the most common questions I get from friends and family is if they can carry perfume on a plane? Honestly, I used to get confused a lot earlier. However, with the number of flights I have taken in the last 5 years has allowed me to keep a close watch on the rules on carrying perfume on a plane. 

You can carry perfume on a plane. However, you need to be aware of certain size limitations. As per Transportation Security Administration (TSA), bottle size should not exceed 3.4oz (100ml) if carried in your handbag. Bottles larger than 3.4oz (100ml) need to be placed in check-in bags. 

However there are some nuances about carrying perfumes in a plane. In my personal opinion, every traveler should definitely be aware of this information so that you do not ever have to leave behind a precious bottle at the airport security counter! Trust me, it happens to many, many passengers! 

So, let us take a closer look at the key pieces of information that you should be aware of while carrying perfume on a plane.

Can I Carry Perfume on a Plane? 

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Perfumes can definitely be carried in an airplane, however, the rules for the amount of perfume carried as hand baggage and checked-in baggage is set by each country’s travel and transport government authority.  

That means in some countries, such as Australia, there is no limit on the amount of liquids that can be carried during a domestic flight. However, this rule keeps changing over time! 

It is important to know that while the TSA guidelines have been designed for travel in the US, these are also considered as the industry benchmark and are often adopted as-is by various other countries. 

In my experience, therefore, it is just safer to follow the TSA travel guidelines as they apply largely to all airlines.   

Is Perfume Allowed in Hand Luggage on a Plane? 

If you are traveling on a flight, wondering whether perfume is allowed in hand luggage or a carry-on bag is a common occurrence. 

You can carry perfume as hand luggage on a plane. Since perfumes fall under the TSA 311 liquid rule, the size of the perfume bottle needs to be 3.4oz (100 ml) or less. The bottle should be placed in a single, transparent 1 quart (1 liter) plastic bag as it may need to be screened at the airport.

It is important to note that each passenger is allowed only one plastic bag to carry all the liquids in the hand luggage. Thus, any and all other toiletries that you may be carrying such as gels, toothpastes, aftershaves etc will also need to be placed in the same transparent bag with the perfume.

Pro-tip:
Make sure that you buy a resealable and a transparent 1-quart plastic bag as it needs to be presented separately for security screening at the airport. Transparency of the bag allows the security officer to see the contents of the bag.

In case the plastic bag needs to be opened, a resealable bag will avoid you from the hassle of bag damage and worrying about looking for another bag at the airport!

Therefore, do remember to consider all the toiletries that you plan to carry in order to decide whether you should carry perfume in the carry-on luggage. 

Can I Carry Perfume in a Checked Luggage on a Plane? 

If you are unable to fit your perfume bottle in your hand baggage, you may want to consider carrying it in your checked in luggage bag!

You can carry perfume in checked-in luggage on a plane without any restriction. However, this perfume should be only for personal use. Carrying a large number of perfume bottles can attract additional customs duty and you might be asked to explain if this is an import shipment for business.

If you decide to carry the perfume in the checked-in luggage, make sure that you remember to seal, box pack and bubble wrap perfume bottles well enough to handle the rough jostling of checked-in baggage.

Do keep in mind, damage to even a single bottle of perfume can mean that all your clothes will have the perfume smell. Furthermore, perfume spillage can also leave a stain on your clothes [Learn how to remove the stain and smell from your clothes]. It can even ruin any other items in your bag especially shoes, belt, wallet or any other item made of leather. 

What Perfume Bottle Size am I allowed to Carry on a Plane? 

People often get confused on the exact size of the perfume bottle that is allowed on a plane.

The size of the perfume bottle allowed on an airplane depends on whether you are carrying it in your handbag or checked-in bag. For handbags, perfume bottles should be no more than 3.4oz (100ml). However, there is no limitation on the perfume bottle size when carrying it in your check-in luggage.

Please do remember that bottles larger than 3.4oz – regardless of the quantity inside – need to be placed in check-in luggage. So, even if your perfume is near empty but the perfume bottle is over the TSA guideline it will have to be checked-in.

Else, you will have to leave it at the airport security screening counter.

Can I take an Unopened Box of Perfume on a Plane? 

So some of my friends were carrying a sealed perfume as a gift and wanted to understand if it can be carried in your hand luggage or not. Unfortunately the rules do not change for gifts.  

A perfume bottle – whether opened or unopened – has to comply with the TSA 311 travel guideline. If this bottle is more than 3.4oz (100ml) it needs to be checked in with your luggage. 

But, what happens if you purchase a perfume bottle from the duty-free shop at the airport?

Interestingly, the rules for carrying a perfume bottle bought from a duty-free shop are slightly different. You will be happy to note the TSA 311 rule will not now apply to you.

Perfumes bought at a duty-free shop at an airport or inside an airline can be carried as hand luggage as long as the bottle is sealed and carried in the original shopping bag. This is usually a security bag with a red seal. Remember to keep the sale receipt as the airport security will need to see it.

Pro-Tip:
In case your shopping bag is unsealed by a security officer for inspection, and you have another connecting flight, request to have it resealed in a new security bag so that you can continue carrying it as hand luggage.   

So basically, you don’t need to worry about your perfume bought at duty-free being confiscated by the security team at the airport as long as it is carried in the original sealed shopping bag and you are carrying the purchase receipt with it.

How Many Perfumes am I Allowed to Carry on a Flight? 

Another question that often comes to our mind when carrying perfumes on a flight is – how many perfumes is one allowed to carry!

You can carry as many 3.4oz (100ml) perfume bottles as you can fit in 1 quart (1 liter) transparent bag. Since a 1-quart bag is mostly 6 inches by 9 inches, you might be able to fit in 6 to 12 travel-sized containers on average. Remember that each passenger is allowed only one such toiletry bag. 

So this number should be more than enough, but if you truly need more perfume with you during a flight than that, then you could request your co-passenger friend or family member to carry it on them.

The other option is of course checked-in luggage. There is no restriction on the number of perfume bottles that can be placed in checked-in baggage

Can I take Aerosol Perfume (Deodorants) on a Plane?

A perfume or deodorant, whether aerosol, mist, gel, roll-on, i.e if liquid-based can be carried as hand luggage during a flight in 3.4oz (100ml) sized bottles or less. If it is a solid perfume i.e. deodorant stick there is no container size restriction for both hand luggage and checked-in luggage.

How to Pack Perfume for Flight Travel?

Now that you know you can carry perfume on a plane. It is important to know how to safely and securely carry them. The nuances of packing a perfume as hand baggage and checked-in baggage vary, so I highly recommend you have a glance through these steps to ensure your expensive perfume doesn’t damage, break or explode during a flight.

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