Can You Bring Cologne on A Plane?

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Packing for a trip can be stressful. Packing lists help decrease the possibility of leaving a wanted item at home. As you check off the list and get to your cologne, you might question, can you bring cologne on a plane? Yes, you can if you follow the TSA 3-1-1 Liquids Rule.

This article will answer your questions about bringing cologne on an airplane and how to pack cologne in a carry-on or checked bag. You will find additional information about cologne products suited for carry-on bag travel.

What are the TSA Rules?

Once you find and become familiar with TSA rules, they are easy to follow. According to the Transport Security Administration (TSA), cologne and perfume are allowed on airplanes in carry-on luggage, handbags, and checked bags. There are no quantity limits, but you need to follow the TSA 3-1-1 Liquids Rule. 

The 3-1-1 Rule states all liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes are limited to 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) or less per item for carry-on bags and handbags. These items should be sealed in a 1-quart clear bag – 1 bag per traveler. 

You can carry all liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes of 3.5 ounces or more in your checked luggage. It is still a good idea to store these items, including cologne and perfume, in a sealed quart-sized bag in case of spillage. 

Can You Bring Cologne on a Plane?

Yes, you can bring cologne on a plane. The Transport Security Administration (TSA) allows you to carry cologne and perfume on a plane. You just need to follow the TSA Liquids Rule for Carry-ons and Checked bags.

Can You Bring Cologne in a Carry-on?

You can bring cologne in your carry-on. Carry-on bags are often handled more gently, so carrying cologne and other valuables in these bags is a good idea.

If you’re wondering can you bring Cologne on a plane in your carry-on bag (including a handbag), follow these TSA rules:

  • Travel size containers cannot exceed 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters)
  • Each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels, and aerosols
  • This includes toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, mouthwash, and lotion
  • All items must fit in a sealed, clear, quart-sized bag

Can You Bring Cologne in a Checked in Bag?

When you check a bag, you will find it easier to bring your cologne or perfume along as you are limited by the size of the bottle. While many cologne bottles are acceptable under TSA/FAA rules, the larger sizes will pose a problem. All bottles larger than 3.4 ounces (100 milliliters) must be in stowed in your checked bags.

Be aware that there is a total maximum quantity of cologne that you can bring though this limitation shouldn’t impact the average traveler. The total amount of cologne per person cannot exceed 70 ounces (2 kg) or 68 fluid ounces (2 L). The TSA Rules also include a limit on the capacity of each container in your checked bag as not to exceed 18 ounces (0.5 kg) or 17 fluid ounces (500 ml).

An average bottle of cologne is 3.4 fluid ounces (100 ml). The next size up is 4.2 fluid ounces (125 ml). Even with a few cologne bottles in your luggage, it would be unlikely to send you over the maximum fluid ounce rule.

How to Pack Cologne for Air Travel

Whether you will be packing your cologne in a carry-on or a checked bag, you want to pack it safely. The only thing worse than smelling not so fresh after a long travel day would be your entire bag and all its contents wreaking of cologne after the bottle breaks.

How to Pack Cologne in a Carry-On

Bringing your cologne on the flight is the preferred way to carry it for most people. It’s nice to be able to freshen up a bit when you arrive at your destination so it’s much easier to access from your carryon.

A little extra care when packing your cologne is needed:

  • If your cologne bottle is in a glass bottle or fragile container, wrap it in small bubble wrap or a small cloth. A pair of socks does the job nicely.
  • Add the cologne to the rest of your liquid toiletries into a 1 quart clear bag as the TSA requires.
  • Pack the plastic bag in between your clothes so they have some soft padding. This will help you to avoid breaks or spills while traveling.

If you have a larger bottle, you may want to transfer some of it into a portable cologne spray bottle. This will keep you within the size limits but also keep your favorite fragrance with you on the trip.

It’s best to pack your clear bag of liquids in an easy to access spot in your checked bag. Unless you have TSA Pre-Check, you will need to get the clear bag out at security. You don’t want to be that person holding up the line as they tear through their bag looking for their liquids.

Remember, each passenger is allowed one clear bag when they carry on. 

How to Pack Cologne in a Checked Bag

You will want to be careful in packing a bottle of cologne or perfume to prevent breakage or spilling. It is recommended to pack these items in a quart-sized sealable bag so if there is a break or spill the rest of your bag’s contents are impacted.  A good way to avoid any damage as your bag is tossed around in transit, is to surround the bag with clothes for padding.

Also take these steps to ensure your cologne arrives safely at your destination:

  • First, ensure the top of your cologne bottle is sealed completely—no reason for an accidental spill.
  • If the glass is fragile, wrap the container in small bubble wrap or a soft cloth.
  • Seal the Cologne container in its own plastic bag as an added layer of protection
  • Pack it with your other toiletries in a quart-sized bag. (You can have more than one quart-sized bag when you check luggage)
  • Place the toiletries bag between delicate items such as clothes. You might wrap the bag with clothes.
  • If you have hard-sided luggage, pack your cologne away from the hard sides, nearer the middle.

Can You Bring Cologne on a Plane? – Other Options

There are some creative travel size cologne ideas you can try for your next trip. All of these follow the TSA 3-1-1 Rules and fit in your carry-on.

Travel Spray Bottles – You can transfer a portion of your cologne into a bottle made especially for travel. There are a lot of options in materials that aren’t as fragile as your cologne bottle or as prone to leaks.

Travel Sprays – These are a smaller version of your cologne. The disadvantage is they are almost exclusively contained in glass and are easier to break. You can also decant your favorite fragrance into a refillable spray bottle.

Rollerball Colognes and Perfumes – These are airplane friendly and easy to use. Many people prefer them for everyday use anyway as more of the scent makes it to your skin. This means you’ll use less and it’ll last longer.

Solid Colognes – These are great for travel as they can’t leak or spill. They’re typically made of beeswax and are easy to apply. They also have a more subtle smell that is not overwhelming in close quarters.

Fragrance Testers – Next time you pick up your favorite fragrance ask for some samples. Usually you can get a few tiny bottles for free. Another option for the frugal out there is to grab the testers out of magazines to bring on your trip.

Cologne Atomizers – Purchase your favorite cologne or perfume in an Atomizer. You can also decant your favorite fragrance and put it in an Atomizer.

Duty-Free:  How to Bring More Than 3.4 0z of Cologne in Your Carry-on

An alternative option to bringing your favorite cologne in your carry-on is to purchase a bottle in Duty-Free. There is Duty-Free shopping in most international airports where you can stop in and purchase cologne. Because the Duty-Free shop is already inside the airport and past security, you won’t have to worry about the 3.4-ounce rule either. You can buy any size you like.  

Once you have purchased cologne, the Duty-Free agent will securely wrap the package. They deliver it to the gate where you can pick it up and take it with you on the plane. Don’t be tempted to open the bag before you arrive though to avoid any risk of it being confiscated.

Is Duty-Free Cheaper?

Well, it depends. If you’re coming from or headed to a location with high prices, you can find some deals in Duty-Free. Most of the benefit comes from the fact that you aren’t charge import, sales, VAT or other taxes on products purchased in these stores.

Before you pack do a quick price check on your cologne if you were to buy it today in your hometown. You can also do a search in your destination if you’ll be changing countries where there could be a be a big cost difference. It’s then easy enough to check the prices at the Duty-Free stores at your local airport.

Typically, alcohol is less expensive because it is taxed at a higher rate in most states and countries. Items such as cologne and perfume, on the other hand aren’t taxed so heavily so the price break may not be as great. Your best bet is to shop prices online before purchasing cologne in Duty-Free. 

Can You Use Cologne During the Flight?

You can use cologne or perfume during the flight. There are no TSA or airline rules regarding the use of cologne.

However, you do want to be considerate of other passengers. Many have allergies or asthma that can be inflamed by fragrances, even more so in small spaces. 

If you decide to add cologne or perfume while on the plane, consider these options:

  • Use a rollerball or solid – these are less fragrant and adhere directly to your skin so less of the scent is released into the air.
  • Head to the lavatory to apply your cologne then wait 2 to 3 minutes for the spray to have settled before exiting. If you find you’ve used too much you can take a paper town, dip it in water and wipe off the excess.

You Can Bring Cologne on a Plane

You can bring cologne on a plane in a carry-on or checked bag. You can also purchase cologne at the Duty-Free shop at the airport. 

Check the Transport Security Administration (TSA) Liquid 3-1-1 Rules and see how to transport your favorite cologne on a plane with you.

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