Sneaking Perfume Past Security

Does limiting all your fluids and gels to a single quart-size bag in your carryon mean you can’t take a little perfume or cologne on your next trip? Not necessarily.Perfumed Cotton

Remember, the TSA isn’t trying to stifle your fashion sense when it comes to, well . . . scents. The government’s concern is with liquids that can be used for nefarious purposes—although I’m sure some people would like to make a case for nefariousness when they’re being overcome by clouds of Shalimar or Drakkar Noir emanating from an adjacent airplane seat.

The secret to including cologne when packing light is to dampen cotton balls slightly with fragrance and keep the cotton in an airtight container. Once absorbed into cotton, perfume isn’t considered to be in a liquid state, and you don’t have to keep it in your liquids bag when going through security. At your destination, just swipe a bit of cotton on your pulse points, and you’ll exude the same effect you would have achieved had you brought along an entire a spray bottle of the stuff.

I like to separate one cotton ball into several smaller tufts before dampening. That way, when a bit of cotton begins to pick up body oils and become dingy, I can throw it away and still have enough applications left for the rest of the trip.

Try this idea, and you’ll come out smelling like a rose—even if the label actually says Jungle Gardenia.


Fiercely Frugal Savage Sister Diana has gathered packing pointers over the years on numerous domestic and foreign trips. Most recently, she travels in conjunction with the publication of her latest book, 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.

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