Travel Advisory: The Fragrance You Wear Could Get You Detained at Customs

by Janine on 7 March 2013 · 4 comments

alice+olivia sequins_Chanel Coromandel_Dior Patchouli ImperialAlong with your zipper-fabulous jeans, or your sequin-encrusted top, you might want to avoid wearing your favourite perfume when you go through customs, or you risk setting off an alarm.

Deborah Fulsang, beauty editor at The Kit and founder of fragrance website TheWhaleAndTheRose.com, wound up in an unexpectedly tricky situation at Toronto’s Pearson airport while travelling with her young kids, and all because of the scent she was wearing: Les Exclusifs de Chanel in Coromandel.

“Do you smoke marijuana?” demanded the customs officer.

At her shocked denial, he barked, “I smell patchouli.”

Thankfully, Deborah’s passion for fragrance came to her rescue; she told the suspicious fellow that patchouli is one of the notes in Coromondel. Mollified by her answer, dude relaxed a bit, then explained that pot smokers use patchouli to mask the odour of weed.

News you can use, right?

And this is news I wish more people would use: Six Ways to Be Fellow-Traveller-Friendly.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Suz 7 March 2013 at 9:32 pm

Are they serious? Weed smokers used patchouli back in the 70s. Now they use Axe body spray and scented hand sanitizers and any other number of things…

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Janine 7 March 2013 at 10:15 pm

Ha ha ha! Well Suz, I guess that customs officer is a bit old-school!

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Cranky B. Pants 8 March 2013 at 8:51 am

Can’t you just see the training video for customs officers? You know that’s some NFB stuff from the 70s.

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YouLookHotToday 8 March 2013 at 10:06 am

I wish patchouli would go away forever. For me (and many other people I know), it’s a migraine-inducing scent AND, I find that many people who like it, can’t smell it in small amounts. It appears to be one of those smells that people get used to very quickly so when they’re slapping it on, each time they slap more and more on until they’re a walking cloud of patchouli disgustingness.

I would advise patchouli lovers to wear anything with patchouli in it to a wide open place. Don’t wear it on a plane, on a train, or in a restaurant. Just don’t do it. That tiny little molecule is very, very powerful – less is more.

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