From the 14th of January 2013, it will no longer be possible for UK-based individuals to use Royal Mail to send perfume abroad. Indeed, it would seem that anyone in the world who wishes to comply with the Civil Aviation Organization’s Technical Instructions For The Safe Transport Of Dangerous Goods By Air will be obliged to use sea/surface methods to transport perfume. No-one I've spoken to wishes to go on record about why these changes have been implemented.
Needless to say, all this raises countless questions not just about the future of online perfume retailers but also about relatively trivial practicalities. For instance, someone pointed out on Twitter (I'm fairly certain it was @nickrgilbert) that if it is now unsafe for perfume bottles to be aboard planes, then surely none of us should be allowed to pack any fragrances in our suitcases. And would this mean that airport shops would have to get rid of their perfume departments? I can't see that happening any time soon!
What's even more interesting is that apparently, at the moment, it is illegal for individuals to send perfume within the UK using Royal Mail. Tell that to the thousands of sellers on eBay. However, from the 15th of July, Royal Mail will permit individuals to post perfume within the UK.
Confused? Hopefully, the situation will become clearer after the 14th of January. But until then, it might be worth thinking about a bell jar or two from Uncle Serge...