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How To Travel With Cologne In 2022

Whether you’re taking a quick day trip or an extended journey, you probably want to smell your best,  but do you know how to travel with cologne in tow? If you haven’t considered the best ways to pack your cologne, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered.

In this guide, we’ll be taking a close look at all the cologne situations you might run into while traveling. From dos and don’ts for taking cologne on a plane with you, to the best way to pack colognes to prevent spilling, and a suggestion for a travel-friendly spray cologne alternative, it’s all covered in the following sections. Let’s get started.

Table of Contents

Can I Take My Cologne On A Plane?

Traveling by plane comes with quite the robust set of restrictions and procedures. For anyone who has ever had to ditch their water bottles before going through the scanners — or had to turn over an item they forgot to take out of their bag — it’s completely reasonable to be worried about whether your expensive cologne will be confiscated.

Thankfully, the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) is very clear about what sort of liquids, including cologne, you can carry on a plane with you. The TSA guidelines for cologne are as follows

Cologne is allowed in carry on bags, as long as the total amount of cologne does not exceed 3.4 oz (100 mL). Even so, it’s important to note that as per the TSA “the final decision rests with the TSA officer on whether an item is allowed through the checkpoint”. So while you’re allowed to carry on a cologne in almost every situation, please don’t argue with a TSA officer if they say that your cologne is not appropriate for air travel.

Are Colognes Allowed In Checked Baggage?

Okay, then: Colognes are allowed in your carry on bags. But what if you don’t have room in your small backpack or briefcase for a bottle of cologne, or don’t want to risk having its scent spread to your clothes or documents?

Once again, the TSA is very clear about whether you can store cologne in your checked baggage. Their guidelines for cologne state that it is completely welcome in checked baggage, even if it is over the 3.4 oz (100 mL) that’s allowed in carry on bags.

If you’re planning on bringing more than one cologne with you on a flight, perhaps to give as a gift when you get to your destination, then you’ll definitely want to pack them in your checked baggage. This way, you won’t run the risk of exceeding the carry on liquid limit and having to turn over one of your bottles of cologne.

Can You Use Your Cologne During A Flight?

Once you have your cologne safely packed away in your carry on bag, you may be tempted to freshen up mid-flight. While the TSA does not have any specific restrictions about the use of cologne that you’ve brought with you, we’re of the opinion that it may not be the best idea. Why?

Essentially, it comes down to a matter of manners more than rules and regulations. Just as you wouldn’t apply cologne mid-meal in a restaurant for fear of bothering someone else’s sense of smell, it’s best to refrain from applying cologne on a plane. Especially in the confined environments of an airplane cabin, you’ll almost certainly overwhelm someone with even a small application of cologne since it has nowhere to go but to be recirculated.

How To Pack Perfume In Luggage To Avoid Spills And Damages

Our first tip for packing cologne and perfume in your luggage is a tricky one: Don’t bother packing your bottle at all. But how does that work?

Since you’ll only be using a small amount of cologne while you’re traveling (and certainly not your whole bottle), it’s best to get a small travel size fragrance bottle with an atomizer. Simply pour a bit of your cologne from your main bottle into this travel bottle, label it with a permanent marker, and pack it along with you.

If that’s not an option for you, your next best bet is to put a piece of tape securely over the bottle cap, then cover your cologne bottle in bubble wrap. If you don’t have access to bubble wrap, a cushy sock or two can work wonders as a snug wrapper for your bottle.

Solid Cologne: The Travel-Friendly Alternative

Recently, we’ve become converts to a totally different type of cologne for traveling: Solid cologne. If you’ve never heard of (or used) this wax-based alternative fragrance, it’s definitely time to try it out.

Solid colognes eschew the alcohol base of spray colognes for a waxy base that remains solid while at or around room temperature. They’re extra-concentrated, meaning that a palm sized tin of cologne can last for months at a time — making them a perfect addition to your everyday carry for when a spray cologne might be cumbersome.

Applying solid cologne is a bit different from using spray cologne, though. Check out our guide on how to apply solid cologne for a full rundown, and you’ll be ready to pack one along for travel.

Best Way To Travel With Cologne

With all of those tips in mind, what’s the best way to travel with cologne? In summary, you have three major options:

First, you can pack your whole bottle of cologne with you. As long as it’s less than 3.4 oz, you’re in the clear to pack it in your carry on bags for air travel. The trouble with this is that glass bottles are fragile, and you’ll need to take the extra precautions for packing that we’ve discussed above.

Second, you could get a small, travel-friendly atomizer bottle and transfer a small amount of cologne from your larger bottle. This has the advantage of allowing the same easy application as spray cologne, but in a bottle that’s easier to pack and less fragile.

Third, you could try out a solid cologne. Once you’ve learned how to apply them, you’ll find that the small size and solid composition of these fragrances makes them an ideal companion for travel. This is ideal, especially if you don’t want to put on cologne without a spray.

Best Colognes For Travel

Now that you’re in the know for how to travel with cologne, which scents should you consider bringing with you? We have a few suggestions:

Choosing colognes based on the season is always a safe bet. Check out our guides to the best winter colognes, best fall colognes, and best summer colognes to get a better idea of which aromatics pair best with each season.

Alternatively, try exploring the offerings from a single fragrance designer to find the cologne that best suits your unique style. The best Jo Malone colognes, for example, can be layered to create a signature scent, while the best Tom Ford colognes are special and intriguing in their own right.

Brian has been fascinated with fragrances since his 8th birthday, when his Dad gifted him a bottle of Acqua di Gio. Since then, he has become a men's grooming & style aficionado who teaches men how to look sharp. Backed by personal experience, Brian's articles are known for his no-holds-barred style where he holds nothing back. You will get his real opinions on the latest men's grooming products and best practices where he reveals the best (and worst) style advice every man should know.