Monday, December 03, 2007

Perfume for the Occasion: Air Traveling

I apologize for my delay in posting this. Participating in my dear friend's wedding this past weekend (I am so happy she met such a wonderful man!), updating our home with Christmas decorations, maintaining my exercise program and preparing for work this week has inundated my time. A girl can only do so much, right?

Nonetheless, I am pleased to discuss a topic that often causes anxiety and worry. With 4.7 million U.S. residents expected to fly during the month of November according to AAA and the Air Travel Association, it is no wonder holiday travel inspires dread in the hearts of those who bravely choose to do so. The TMH household has made an executive decision to stay put during the holidays, partly because our weather is so balmy (why would we want to leave?) and partly because we both travel so much for business we would rather relax at home during time off. But I digress. My aim in writing this piece to assist those who do travel to get through it stress-free and smelling fine!

First and foremost, remember that U.S. regulations regarding liquid carry-on items are very strict. You cannot carry more than 3 ounces of liquid in one container and all liquid containers must fit in a quart sized plastic zip-lock type bag. You can only carry one plastic bag and it must be removed from your carry-on and placed in a bin to go through security. (There are exceptions such as baby formula, prescription medication, etc. Read more here.) Second, if you are brave enough to pack your coveted perfume bottles in your suitcase, beware! If you have ever been privy to how roughly your suitcase is handled, you will keep those bottles in their deserved safe place. In light of all this, what is a perfumista to do?

Several maneuvers that I have employed have allowed me to travel fragrant and worry-free since these policies were implemented. They are the following:

  • Decant whatever fragrances you plan to wear into smaller containers. I prefer 5mL atomizer sprays as it gives me an ample dose of the fragrance. Pack these fragrances into a waterproof pouch, such as a dop kit or even a plastic resealable bag. Wrap it with a towel or washcloth and nestle it between two items of machine washable clothing or inside a shoe in your checkable luggage. I have yet to have a problematic leak when I have adhered to these tips! And it allows me to take as many fragrances as I would like safely.

  • Invest in a few solid fragrances to put in your carry-on. That way no matter how far you have to travel, you will be able to reapply and smell wonderful. Better yet, utilize some tips from our last entry "In Times of Stress" and incorporate solid fragrances with stress-relieving notes. A few solid fragrances to investigate include Zents which can be found at this website and my personal favorite Crazy Libellule & the Poppies (read my entry here). There are many other solid perfumes to try! Keeping them in your purse makes the task of getting through security much easier and faster, saving you time and sparing the nerves of the travelers waiting behind you. In addition, solid scents typically have very little sillage which other airline passengers may appreciate. Remember, air on planes is circulated! What smells great to you may cause the traveler behind you to have a terrible asthma attack. Be a responsible traveler and consider the needs of those around you.

  • If purchasing a fragrance at your destination, have it shipped home. This may incur a larger expense than packing the lovely new scent into your suitcase, but unless you have a lock I would not risk it. I recently had an empty Tumi tote bag stolen from inside my suitcase. Claims submitted to the airline, TSA and airport lost and found left me empty handed. If you must pack the new fragrance, invest in a TSA accepted lock. You can find one in an airport or online. A list of accepted locks can be found here. In addition to risk of theft, the bottle may be crushed or broken (heaven forbid!) in your checked baggage. That said, I did miraculously make it back from Italy with an intact bottle of Nasomatto Absinthe. I doubt this happens often unless you bring bubble wrap and tape with you, as I did. If you purchase a fragrance abroad, you will also have to declare the item to customs upon re-entering the United States. Just pay the shipping and lose the hassle and worry.

If you follow these simple tips and plan accordingly, you can count on smelling great and making it through what I call "the airport gauntlet" hassle-free. Now, let us hope that flight delays and rude passengers or airline staff do not ruin your day. That is another subject altogether and one that I have dealt with repeatedly. For that, I just say bring a great book, a cozy sweater or blanket, an iPod with your favorite music loaded, some noise-cancelling headphones and remember the old adage, "You attract more bees with honey than with vinegar." Happy and Fragrant Holiday traveling to all!

Please be sure to read Divina's wonderful European take on things at Fragrance Bouquet.

Image of airplane courtesy of Solid Crazy Libellule & the Poppies perfume courtesy of


tmp00 said...

Very informative and I have one thing to add on shipping- of you have it shipped from the source and your home state does not have a branch of that store, you don't pay tax. The shipping costs on something like a bottle of perfume of a new bag could be far less than the tax on it (8.25% here in Los Angeles, for instance)

Also, a lot of the skin care lines at department stores are more than willing to load you up with samples that you can take while travelling- Erno Laszlo at Neimans did for me.

ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Great tips, Tom! I wholeheartedly agree on the skincare samples - a great way to get around the liquids issue at security too! Thanks for your informative comment. :-)

Anonymous said...

Interesting and helpful topic! There was just a similar poll on MUA yesterday with opinions about what scents would be appropriate to wear on a plane. I had already read your post, so the combination of thoughts was interesting. Thanks for the great suggestions!


ForTheLoveOfPerfume said...

Oh, that's great. We are all on the same wavelength! :-)


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