Can Something That Smells Good Be a Dangerous Good?
Most people don’t think of perfume as hazardous. In fact, it’s just the opposite, right? Perfume smells nice and is often sent as a gift, so it’s usually associated with well-being and health, not hazards or harm.
For this reason, many people order perfume online from the US, intending to use a US package forwarding address for international shipping. (Like most luxury products, perfume is usually expensive, and it’s much cheaper to buy in the US than in other countries.)
But unfortunately, most perfumes cannot be shipped internationally. This isn’t a decision made by the merchant, and it’s not a decision made by the package forwarding services. It’s a decision made by customs authorities and enforced by international carriers. (For example, perfume is the first item on DHL’s list of “dangerous/harzardous goods.”)
What’s Dangerous/Hazardous About Perfume?
Well, nothing, if all it’s doing is making you smell nice. But if it’s traveling under pressure in an airplane’s cargo hold, it can be a serious threat to safety.
That’s because many perfumes are almost 90% alcohol, and can be flammable under certain conditions. (Colognes and aftershaves, which also seem harmless, fall into the same category.)
But Wait… Are There ANY Perfumes That Can Be Shipped Internationally?
Yes! The problem is not with the perfume, it’s with the alcohol it contains. Luckily, there are a number of alcohol-free perfumes available that are perfectly safe to ship internationally.
Perfumes are usually a mix of perfume oils and alcohol, but many connoiseurs consider the alcohol a “filler” that dilutes the essential fragrance. Several companies, such as The Fragrance Shop and House of Rose offer pure perfumes that are not only safe for international shipping, they also smell fresher and last longer than alcohol-based perfumes.
(There are even alcohol-free perfumes from designer brands like Calvin Klein!)
To Ship or Not to Ship?
Remember that it’s the alcohol content, not the perfume, that gets an item on the restricted goods list. Make sure you check the ingredients before you buy (or contact the store if the ingredients aren’t listed).
Are there any other items that you’ve ordered, but been surprised when they couldn’t be ship internationally? Share your experiences in the comments section!