Can I Take Perfume On a Plane? [Yes, But There’s a Catch]

You can bring perfumes on a plane. Perfumes transported in carry-on luggage need to be up to 3.4oz (100ml) and fit a 1 quart-sized zipped bag. All larger perfumes need to be transported in the checked luggage.

US airlines are subject to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) rules. This means airlines need to comply with a maximum of 3.4oz perfume bottles in carry-on luggage. Larger perfumes are only allowed in checked-in luggage.

Flying with a perfume bottle can be impractical. A full bottle of perfume is large and heavy. However, those who cannot travel without it need to comply with the regulation.

Can I Take Perfume On a Plane?

You can fly with all types of perfume bottles on the plane. The size of the bottle dictates the luggage it goes in. If the perfume is smaller than 3.4oz it can go in your carry-on. All larger perfume bottles go in your checked luggage.

A secondary TSA rule that applies to perfume requires each bottle to fit a 1-quart size plastic bag.

These rules are stipulated by the Transportation Security Administration under their 3 1 1 regulation as follows

TSA 3-1-1 Rule Explained

  • 3 – all bottles need to be 3.4 ounces or smaller
  • 1 – 1 quart size plastic bag to fit all 3.4ounce bottles
  • 1 – only 1-quart size plastic bag per person

All flights inside the US are subject to TSA 3.4oz perfume limitations. All international flights to the US are also subject to the same perfume transportation rules.

European airlines allow perfumes of up to 100ml in the carry-on luggage. These perfumes need to fit a 20cm x 20cm plastic bag.

Can I fly with duty-free perfume?

The only exception to the 3.4oz perfume in a carry-on is with duty-free perfume. All perfumes (regardless of their size) purchased from a duty-free shop that is sealed and backed by a purchase receipt can be taken on the flight in carry-on luggage.

However, you should remember large perfume bottle purchases are only recommended on the returning flight. If you buy perfume on your outgoing flight you might need to put it in the checked luggage on your return flight if larger than 3.4oz.

How Many Perfumes Can I Take in My Carry On?

You can take as many perfumes (up to 3.4oz each) as you want in your carry-on as long as they fit in a clear 1-quart size plastic bag. This typically equates to 3-4 perfume bottles as TSA-approved bags are quite a room for all types of toiletries.

What happens if my perfume is larger than 3.4oz?

If your perfume is larger than 3.4oz you need to switch it to your checked luggage. If you don’t have checked luggage only traveling with a carry on you need to dispose of your perfume.

Airlines Accepting Perfume Perfume regulation
American Airlines 3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage

Larger perfumes allowed in checked luggage

Delta 3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage

Larger perfumes allowed in checked luggage

Southwest Airlines 3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage

Larger perfumes allowed in checked luggage

United 3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage

Larger perfumes allowed in checked luggage

Air Canada 3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage

Larger perfumes allowed in checked luggage

JetBlue 3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage

Larger perfumes allowed in checked luggage

Spirit 3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage

Larger perfumes allowed in checked luggage

Ryanair 3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage

Larger perfumes allowed in checked luggage

Lufhansa Perfumes of up to 0.5 liters (16 ounces) allowed in carry-on and checked luggage [not applicable for flights to and from the US]
KLM 3.4oz (100ml) perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage

3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage

Larger perfumes (and toiletries with a combined volume larger than 1liter or 33 ounce) allowed in checked luggage

British Airways Perfumes of up to 0.5 liters (16 ounces) allowed in carry-on and checked luggage [not applicable for flights to and from the US]
Emirates 3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage

Larger perfumes (and toiletries with a combined volume larger than 1liter or 33 ounce)

Qatar Airways 3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage

Larger perfumes (and toiletries with a combined volume larger than 1liter or 67 ounce)

Qantas Australia 3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage in a clear plastic bag
Air New Zealand 3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage in a clear plastic bag of up to 8” x 8”
South African Airways 3.4oz perfumes allowed in carry-on luggage in a clear plastic bag
IndiGo India Perfumes aren’t allowed in the cabin

Perfumes of up to 100ml are allowed in checked luggage

 

 *all flights to and from the US are subject to the 3 1 1 TSA rule regardless of the airline

How Much Perfume Do I Need When Traveling?

We know that 1ml of perfume equals 12 sprays for the average sprayer. This means you can apply 1ml of perfume 3-4 times on your trip or holiday. A small refillable perfume atomizer bottle is ideal if you don’t want to carry the entire bottle on the flight.

Are You Allowed to Wear Perfume on a Flight?

Yes, you’re allowed to wear perfume on a flight. However, you should not apply too much perfume on yourself as you could disturb those who don’t like the smell of perfume of people with asthma. Flight attendants have the right to ask you to move if you’re wearing too much perfume on a flight.

How to Pack Perfume In a Carry On?

If you decide to travel with your favorite perfume bottle you need to know how to pack. Wrongly packing perfume can lead to leaks, bottle breaks or even confiscated perfume bottles.

  • Only pack sealed spill-proof perfume bottles

Spill-proof perfume bottles are the bottles that haven’t had the sprayer removed. A faulty perfume bottle sprayer is the first red flag when it comes to leaking perfume, a situation you want to avoid on a flight.

  • Always keep the perfume in a zipped plastic bag

Even the thickest perfume bottles can break when you accidentally drop your carry-on or when you hit a wall with your carry-on bag. This is why you always want to store your perfume bottle in a clear zipped plastic bag as a safety guarantee even outside of the plane or outside of the airport.

  • Wrap perfume bottles in soft clothes in the bag

Wrapping perfume bottles in soft clothes isn’t possible on a flight as you need to keep your perfume bottle in a clear bag for easy identification.

However, once on the flight, you can wrap the entire clear toiletries plastic bag in clothes to protect the glass bottle of the cologne from possible breaks and leaks.

The Verdict

Yes, you can take perfume on a plane. The perfume bottle has to be equal or smaller to 100ml and fit in a zipped plastic bag which measures around 20cm x 20cm or 8” X 8”. These plastic bags are provided by airports or you can bring them yourself. Larger perfume bottles need to travel in the checked luggage.

Most flights inside the US, from the US, and to the US are subject to these rules. International destinations and even different airports from the same country might have different rules for flying with perfume so you need to check your location’s rules before departure.

There’s also a difference between the perfume you buy in a duty-free shop at the airport and the perfume bottles you bring from home. You can buy perfume of any size in a duty-free shop, once you get past the gate.

If you want to bring your favorite perfume on a flight the catch is to choose small bottles (of up to 3.4oz). The good news is most perfumes are available in this exact size (ie. Dior Sauvage 3.4 ounce, Bleu de Chanel 3.4 ounce). Some perfumes come in larger bottles (ie. John Varvatos Artisan 4.2oz) while others come in smaller bottles that fit carry-on luggage (ie. Versace Bright Crystal 3oz).

FAQ about flying with perfume

How many perfumes can you take on a plane?

You can take as many perfume bottles of up to 3.4oz you can fit in a 1 quart zipped plastic bag. You can also take more perfumes on a plane in the checked luggage. However, the more perfumes you buy from abroad, the higher you are to pay taxes on your perfume bottles.

You will pay 75% taxes with alcohol and 20% taxes on perfumes without alcohol as import tax when traveling into the US.

What size cologne can you take on a plane?

You can take all colognes of up to 3.4oz on a plane when only traveling with a carry-on. All other larger perfume bottles can be transported in the checked baggage when you travel with checked-in baggage.

Can you take cologne on a United Airlines plane?

You can take cologne of up to 3.4oz or 100ml on United Airlines flights to and from the US. The cologne needs to be placed in a clear plastic zipped bag for easy identification. You should also check the perfume traveling regulations of your destination country when flying outside the use on United Airlines.

Why can’t you bring perfume on a plane?

Large perfume bottles (over 3.4oz) are classified as liquids with a potential flammable risk. You can’t bring them in your carry-on but you can bring them in your checked luggage.

How to pack perfume in a carry-on?

You always need to pack perfume in a clear plastic bag in your carry-on. All other toiletries such as deodorant, toothpaste, and makeup need to be placed in the same bag.

Can I take perfume in checked-in luggage?

Yes, you can take perfume in checked luggage. However, perfume bottles can break in checked luggage if not packed properly. It’s also advisable not to travel with expensive perfume in checked luggage as all types of luggage get lost on different flights,

Is perfume allowed in carry-on luggage?

Perfumes of up to 3.4oz or 100ml are allowed on all US carry-on luggage flights. This is allowed following TSA regulation for flying with liquids and toiletries.

Can I take a 100ml (3.4oz) perfume bottle on a plane?

Yes, you can take a 3.4iz perfume bottle (or smaller) on a plane. Perfume is treated as a liquid which means it gets a maximum allowance for all flights in carry-on luggage. Checked luggage is recommended for all larger perfume bottles.

Will I pay tax for flying with perfume into the US?

You will not pay tax for perfume when flying into the US when this perfume is purchased at a duty-free shop in an airport. You might pay tax on all cologne bottles you bring into the US depending on their alcohol content. Perfumes without alcohol are subject to a 20% import tax while perfumes with alcohol are subject to 75% import tax.

How many sprays are in a .5oz travel size perfume?

A .5oz travel size perfume equates to 14.7ml. You get 12 sprays for 1ml of perfume which means a travel size perfume of .5oz gets 176 sprays.

How many perfumes do you take with you when traveling?

Most people get at least 2 perfumes when traveling to have some scent variation. It’s not uncommon for people to travel with 4 perfumes for a 2-week vacation.

Should you wear perfume on planes?

While you can wear perfume on a plane it’s always best to apply it in small amounts, particularly scents that are not off-putting. This includes warming scents such as sweet vanilla perfumes or aquatic perfumes which are fresh and easier to tolerate for fellow travelers compared to boozy perfumes, tobacco perfumes, or perfumes with intoxicating pepper notes.

Can I take 3 x 100ml bottles of perfume in carry-on luggage?

You can take as many perfume bottles as you can fit in a regular 8” x 8” zipped plastic bag for carry-on luggage as long as each perfume bottle isn’t larger than 100ml (3.4oz).