Last Updated: September 30, 2022

Can You Bring Cologne on a Plane?

Packing a bag for a flight is becoming harder and harder these days as regulations regarding what you can have in your carry-on bag or in your checked bags are often updated and changed.

There is nothing more annoying than packing cologne (which is expensive mind you) for your upcoming trip so you can smell good at dinner, only to find that it doesn’t follow regulations and you have to leave it behind and buy some new duty-free perfume to cover yourself.

Well, I am here to make sure that when you bring cologne on a flight, it never gets taken away and always comes back home with you to boot. Join me as I run through all the rules around the question, can you bring cologne on a plane? So you are ready and confident when packing cologne for your trip.

Can You Bring Cologne on a Plane?


Yes, you most certainly can bring cologne on a plane as there are no rules against it. It is not a harmful substance in any way and the fact that you can buy duty-free perfume is a testament to that, and it is usually much cheaper too!

But, there are some rules you have to follow depending on how you plan on bringing cologne onto a plane, in your checked bags, or in your carry-on bag.

Can You Bring Cologne in Your Carry On Bags?

You can bring cologne on a plane in your carry-on bag but it must follow the TSA (Transport Security Administration) 3-1-1 rule which applies to all liquids, creams, gels, etc. If you travel a lot, you will already know the drill when it comes to liquids in your carry-on.

The 3-1-1 rule states that all liquids, like cologne, must be packed in a bottle no larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 ml. All your liquids, gels, creams, and pastes have to follow the 3.4 ounce/100 ml rule and be put in a clear plastic bag, but there is an extra catch too.

Each passenger is only allowed to bring one quart-size plastic bag of liquids etc in the carry on which means you have to fit all your liquids, including your cologne into a single bag. If you can’t, chances are the excess liquids will have to be left behind and you won’t get them back.

Can You Bring Cologne in Your Checked Baggage?

Yes, you can put cologne in your checked baggage since it is considered the same as any other liquid you may want to take on the plane.

This means you do not have to conform to the rules of having a 100 ml or less container with checked baggage like you would have to do with a carry-on. This means you can put your larger bottle or bottles of cologne or perfume in your checked bag without any worries whatsoever.

When you pack perfume or cologne in your checked luggage, it pays to pack it in a sensible manner as if it was to leak, or in the worst case, break, then you would lose all your cologne/perfume and all your clothes will smell delightful but probably quite intense.

I always pack things like cologne in a zip lock bag and I tape the lid too, this way it can not leak and if it did break, the spill will be contained.

How Much Cologne Can You Bring on a Plane?

how much cologne

How much perfume and cologne you can bring on a plane is usually determined by the Tax Duty rules of your final destination.

You can put as much collagen or perfume in your checked luggage as you want to but if customs find it in your checked luggage and deem the amount more than you would use personally, you are likely to get charged for it.

If you are flying domestically, say within the United States, you can carry as much cologne as you like without any worries since you are not crossing any international borders and thus the duty has already been paid.

For example, when traveling back to the United States from an international country, you can bring either $200, $800, or $1600 worth of things for personal use from the country you have just visited. You can use all your allocation for cologne or perfume if you like.

But, the import tax if you go over your limit is very high and is charged at 20% for cologne with no alcohol, and a huge 75% for a cologne with alcohol.

It is also wise to bring receipts for any expensive cologne or perfume you bought in the US and are traveling back with as the customs agent will think you bought them in the country you visited. If you can not prove it and the amount is above the limits, they will charge you.

What Are the Rules for Duty-Free Cologne?

One often thinks about buying our cologne or perfume in duty-free but is duty-free perfume cheaper? And how much can you bring on to the plane?

You can buy cologne and perfume in duty-free shops at the departing airport, on the plane, and at the duty-free shop at the other end too. You can buy larger bottles than 100 ml bottles too as duty-free liquids go into a separate sealed bag for when you take them on the plane.

The amount you can buy still has to be within the limits allowed by your arriving country though or you might have to pay customs duty.

Something to be aware of is that bringing large sealed bottles of liquids from duty-free, like cologne or alcohol, onto a plane is only guaranteed for the first flight you take. This means that if you buy it in New York for example, and land in Dubai, connecting to the Maldives, it might not be allowed on that last flight.

Always buy your duty-free liquids before your final flight to your destination, that way it is guaranteed to make it there and you will be able to take them home with you.

How to Pack Cologne for Air Travel

packing cologne

When it comes to packing cologne for air travel, how you should pack it depends on which bag you plan on putting it in, your carry-on, or in your checked bag.

If you are planning on taking it through the security checkpoint in your carry-on, then you need to follow the 3-1-1 rules we laid out above. Basically, ensure your cologne or perfume is in a container of 100 ml/ 3.4 ounces or less, and then add it with your other toiletries like toothpaste into the quart-sized clear plastic bag.

If your bottle of cologne or perfume is larger than 100 ml/ 3.4 ounces, you can decant it into a smaller bottle so that it can pass the security check. Perfume and cologne manufacturers also make travel-size minis so if you travel a lot it might be a good idea to pick up one of these.

When putting cologne into your checked luggage, you can put any volume of cologne in there but the risk of the bottle getting broken or leaking is something to be cautious of.

When packing perfume and cologne, you need to make sure it is securely packaged to ensure it survives the journey. Baggage handlers aren’t as delicate with luggage as you might think.

When you pack your cologne or perfume, get some electrical tape, some bubble wrap, and a zip lock bag. Start by taping up the lid with the electrical tape so that there is no chance of it popping off during your flight.

Next, wrap the bottle in bubble wrap and use the tape to ensure it is secure. Once ready, slip it into the zip lock bag and seal it. Now, your cologne or perfume is ready to be packed and will handle anything the baggage handlers want to throw at it.

You must be sure to use electrical tape as it is the easiest tape to undo and re-use for your journey home.

Other Important Considerations When Bringing Cologne on a Plane

We have pretty much covered everything you need to know about how to bring cologne bottles or a perfume bottle on a plane in your checked luggage or carry-on bags. But, what we have not covered is cologne and perfume etiquette on planes.

You might think that your cologne or perfume smells great, but everyone on the plane might not. Don’t spray cologne on the plane and avoid wearing cologne on the plane for the sake of your fellow passengers.

Remember, the air on a plane is in a closed system and therefore circulates. If you spray cologne at one end of the plane, everyone behind you is going to get a whiff of it. I’m sure you have all been on a plane when someone uses nail varnish remover, it is not enjoyable for anyone!



About the Author Roger Timbrook

Roger is a little obsessed with travel. He has been to over 40 countries, broken 3 suitcases and owned over 10 backpacks in 12 months. What he doesn't know about travel, ain't worth knowing!

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