If you want to travel with your signature scent and smell your best on vacation, then you probably want to know what the rules are when bringing perfume on a plane.

You can bring perfume on a plane in your carry on bags if it is in a bottle that is less than or equal to 3.4 oz/100 ml.

If the bottle of perfume is packed in your checked bags, it must not exceed 500 ml (17 fluid ounces).

But do the rules and regulations change by airline, when traveling internationally, or when buying duty-free perfume at the airport?

What is the best way of packing perfume when traveling?

These are just a few questions we answer in this article.

Bringing Perfume in Your Carry On Bag

TSA has something called the 3-1-1 rule that applies to perfume.

This rule states that you are only allowed to travel with liquids, gels and aerosols in your carry on bags if the container is no larger than 3.4 ounces and is placed in a 1 quart-sized resalable bag.

So if you want to bring perfume (or cologne) on a plane in your carry-on bag, make sure it is in a bottle that is no larger than 3.4 oz/100ml and then place it in a 1 quart-sized bag that you can reseal.

Bringing Perfume in Your Checked Bag

If you want to pack your perfume in your checked bags, then you have a lot more leeway.

While there are still limits to packing perfume in your checked bags, the limit of each container (bottle) not exceeding 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces) is unlikely to pose a problem.

After all, most perfume is sold in bottles much smaller than 17 fluid ounces.

Airline Regulations

If your next flight is with Delta, Southwest, American Airlines, United, JetBlue or any other airline, there is no need to worry.

All airlines abide by the 3-1-1 rule, so as long as the bottle of perfume you want to bring on a plane doesn’t exceed 3.4 oz/100ml, you can pack it in your carry-on.

No Difference When Flying Internationally

Again, it doesn’t matter if you’re flying domestically or internationally.

Worldwide, the same rules apply.

This means that you can only bring perfume on a plane in your carry on bags if the bottle does not exceed 3.4 oz/100ml.

Packing Glass Perfume in Your Carry On

The TSA allow passengers to bring glass items through airport security, so perfume in glass bottles will be allowed through and won’t be confiscated.

Number of Bottles of Perfume You Can Bring on a Plane

To work out how many bottles of perfume you can take on a plane, we need to do some quick math.

A one quart bag can hold 32 ounces, and you are not allowed to travel with containers that exceed 3.4 oz/100ml.

While this technically means that you can pack 9 bottles of perfume, the bottles will take up space in the bag you pack them in.

So, you can likely travel with 7-8 bottles of perfume in your carry-on bags.

Regarding taking perfume in your checked bags, TSA state that the “aggregate quantity per person cannot exceed 2 kg (70 ounces) or 2 L (68 fluid ounces)” and the “capacity of each container must not exceed 0.5 kg (18 ounces) or 500 ml (17 fluid ounces).”

So taking approximately 20 bottles of perfume (if that is the only toiletry you take) seems to be the maximum limit.

Duty-Free Perfume Rules

If you buy duty-free perfume – i.e. perfume in one of the stores after having passed through airport security – you are not restricted to the TSA 3-1-1 rule.

In short, this means that you can buy perfume that is over 3.4 oz/100ml and then bring it on a plane.

This is because the perfume sold in duty-free shops once you pass airport security qualify as STEB items (secure, tamper-evident bags purchased at the airport).

How to Pack Perfume in Your Carry on

When packing perfume for air travel, a few precautions need to be taken.

If you want to pack perfume in your carry on bag, make sure that the bottle does not exceed 3.4 oz/100ml and then place it inside a clear quart-size sealable bag.

This will ensure that your perfume won’t be confiscated.

How to Pack Perfume in Your Checked Bag

If you want to pack perfume in your checked bag, place the bottle in a sealable bag, away from your other toiletries in case of leaks.

Place the bag in bubble wrap or within several layers of soft clothing to ensure that the bottle won’t break.

Bringing Perfume in Your Purse

To make sure that passing through airport security is as quick and hassle-free as possible, pack your perfume in a clear, resealable bag.

Once you have passed through airport security, you can place your bottle of perfume in your purse if you would like.

What Else Should You Know About Bringing Perfume on a Plane

A couple of other things you should know about bringing perfume on a plane are to do with common courtesy instead of any rules and regulations, which are all covered above.

  • Avoid wearing perfume on the plane: 30% of the population find scented products on others irritating.
  • Don’t spray perfume on the plane: Spraying perfume on the plane can be extremely annoying to your fellow passengers and the cabin crew.

Ella Dunham, a Freelance Travel Journalist and Marketing Manager, boasts an impressive career spanning eight years in the travel and tourism sectors.

Honored as one of "30 Under 30" by TTG Media (the world’s very first weekly travel trade newspaper), a "Tour Operator Travel Guru" and "Legend Award" winner, Ella is also a Fellow of the Institute of Travel, a Member of the Association of Women Travel Executives, has completed over 250 travel modules, and hosts travel-focused segments on national radio shows where she provides insights on travel regulations and destinations.

Ella has visited over 40 countries (with 10 more planned this year).