If you’re planning a flight out of town, then you’ll want to make sure that all of your essentials are neatly packed. Liquids are kind of tricky since you can only bring so much before the TSA confiscates them. So, if you want to take perfume with you, do you need to transfer it to a travel bottle?
Perfume is typically sold in bottles measuring between 0.05 and 4.2 fl. oz. Travel bottles for perfume, shampoo, and other liquids are usually limited to 3.4 fl. oz. to adhere to the TSA’s restrictions of liquid carry-on. Large perfume bottles are not allowed on flights.
In this guide, I’ll explain the different perfume bottles and travel bottle sizes, why there is a restriction on liquid carry-on in the first place, and how to pack liquids for your upcoming flight.
Perfume Bottle Sizes
If you purchase bottled perfume at a brick-and-mortar store, you shouldn’t have much trouble finding how many fluid ounces or milliliters are in the bottle. However, shopping online and having the perfume shipped to your home can be a bit more challenging. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask the seller how much perfume is in the bottle in the first place.
But if you forgot to ask, here’s a quick rundown of the most popular perfume bottle sizes.
Are there larger perfume bottles than 4.2 fluid ounces? Of course, there are. However, most large-size perfume bottles will be limited to 3 or 4.2 fluid ounces, which equates to between 36 and 50 spritzes (between 9 and 12 spritzes per 1 fluid ounce).
Travel Bottle Sizes
Before I go on to explain how many fluid ounces and milliliters are in a travel bottle, it’s important that we establish what a travel bottle is.
From its name, we can conclude that a travel bottle is a bottle made for traveling. To be more specific, a travel bottle is a bottle that is specifically designed to hold as much liquid as the TSA allows on flights.
So, a travel bottle is a bottle that holds 3.4 fluid ounces (100 milliliters) of liquid when full. There are also smaller travel bottles measuring between 1 and 3 fluid ounces.
Why Does the TSA Restrict Liquid Carry-on?
To many people, 3.4 fluid ounces or 100 milliliters might sound like an arbitrary figure designed to make traveling more cumbersome, but that’s not the case.
Back in 2006, some irresponsible people tried to sneak liquid explosives onto a plane in Britain. After extensive research, scientists concluded more than 3.4 fluid ounces of a liquid explosive would cause significant damage to an aircraft. Afterward, the TSA imposed the 3-1-1 rule.
What Is the TSA’s 3-1-1 Rule?
In short, the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule states that passengers may fill a 1-quart bag with containers measuring no more than 3.4 fluid ounces. Usually, the number of bottles is limited to 2 or 3, depending on the physical measurements of the bottle.
The types of liquids you can take aboard a flight include aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes. The FAA allows for restricted medicinal and toiletry items, which include perfumes and cologne.
What Happens When You Have More than 3.4 Fluid Ounces of Perfume?
If you attempt to take more than 3.4 fluid ounces of liquid in a single container onto a flight, the TSA agent might confiscate the container. However, if you have travel bottles on hand, they might sometimes let you transfer the perfume into the travel bottles. They might not appreciate you trying to pull a quick one, but at least they won’t take your perfume away.
However, if you don’t have travel bottles and a 1-quart resealable bag, then the TSA agent will take your perfume away, and there’s nothing you can do about it unless you want to miss your flight.
How to Pack Liquids for a Flight
If you know your perfume bottle contains more than 3.4 fluid ounces, then you will need to transfer the perfume into travel bottles. So, the first thing you should do is pick up a pack of travel bottles, such as the LiquiSnugs Silicone Bottles for Toiletries.
Now, carefully unscrew the perfume bottle and pour the contents into the travel bottle. Make sure to wipe away any spills with a clean rag or paper towel. Continue doing this until you have prepared enough perfume for your trip.
After filling the travel bottle(s) with perfume, slip the closed travel bottles into a 1-quart resealable bag. Lock the zip and make sure that your bottles can’t come out of the bag. To be extra safe, place the bag inside another bag with its zip side down.
How Much Perfume Do You Need per Day?
It depends on how potent your perfume is. Some perfumes can last an entire 24 hours on a single spritz, while others may require re-spritzing once every 6 to 8 hours.
On average, 1 fluid ounce of perfume is enough for 9 to 12 spritzes. Depending on how long-lasting your perfume is, that means 1 fluid ounce should between 3 to 12 days. If you’re planning a week-long trip, you’ll only need to fill a single 3.4-fluid-ounce travel bottle with your favorite perfume.
Can You Put Perfume in a Checked-in Suitcase or Bag?
Yes, you can. In fact, if you want to take more perfume with you on a trip (perhaps you’re planning a 2-month-long vacation somewhere tropical), then you can place larger perfume containers in your check-in luggage.
At most, the FAA allows for 70 ounces (0.5 kilograms) or 68 fluid ounces (2 liters) of a permitted liquid in checked-in luggage per person. However, you must split the liquid into 17-fluid-ounce (500-milliliter) containers, which means you can only pack a total of 4 17-fluid-ounce bottles for your trip.
Don’t worry about that not being enough perfume for your trip. Following the 9-to-12-spray formula, 68 fluid ounces of perfume equals as many as 816 sprays or more than a year’s worth of perfume!
How to Remove Perfume Stains from Carry-on bag or Suitcase?
Even if you were super careful about packing perfume, there’s still a slight chance that the bottle will leak. When this happens, all of your bags will be left with a concentrated smell of your favorite fragrance. And as we all know, too much of a good thing can be bad.
If your perfume spills all over your bag, place the opened bag under the sun and let it sit for 2 to 3 hours. Next, rinse the bag with a moist cloth before rubbing the bag with vinegar.
After that, let it sit for an additional 30 to 60 minutes before filling the bag with activated charcoal bags to absorb the residual fragrance. It can take as many as 2 days for the charcoal bags to completely get rid of the sharpness of the concentrated perfume.
Should You Bring Perfume or Buy It at Your Destination?
That’s entirely up to you. Perhaps you’re accustomed to using a particular fragrance that might not be readily available in your destination city, state, or country. If this is the case, then you should take your own perfume with you (remember the 3-1-1 rule!).
Alternatively, if you can easily purchase the perfume at your destination, that would make things a lot easier. However, if you have leftover perfume when your vacation comes to an end, remember to separate the perfume into 3.4-fluid-ounce bottles before boarding your flight back home.