Skip to main content

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

If you thought metal accents were the only thing you have to avoid wearing when you go through customs, you're a little bit wrong. Certain fragrances might set off alarms of their own.
  • Author:
  • Updated:
alice+olivia sequins_Chanel Coromandel_Dior Patchouli Imperial

Along 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, 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.