I ship from home, have a small scale, and use all kinds of fun stamps, as my vast fan base can attest. My understanding is that a package 13 oz or less can be put in a mail collection box. Mine are well under that, usually, 3 ounces or less. I mark the package "First class GROUND". I wonder if this is sufficient.
What do insomniac perfumers do to fall asleep? They count chypres!
My guess is that on any given day there are thousands if not tens of thousands of shipments via USPS that contain undeclared 'hazardous' materials, i.e fragrances. Anyone know of a data base of problems that can be studied, a data base of explosions or fires etc. caused by these particular (fragrances) 'hazardous' materials? I have never heard of a single incident, but then, I don't have access to such a data base if one exists.
Last edited by kbe; 7th February 2014 at 01:44 PM.
we have seen the enemy...and he is us.-Pogo
I actually didn't realize that laptop batteries are so prone to fires. It's a wonder they allow them on airplanes at all.
I rate in-transit spontaneously generated explosions/fires from shipped fragrances to be on a par with, both in number and accuracy of cause, with the (supposed) spontaneous human combustion:
If the problem with shipping fragrance is the possibility of the alcohol/oils contained in fragrances as being fuel for a spontaneous or an existing fire, then I say ban all air shipment of any and all flammable products, and of course the use of any flammable wrapping materials such as USPS provided paper/cardboard envelopes, boxes and stamps. Explosion containing, high melting point metal wrappings/boxes/envelopes/stamps etc. Yeah! That's the ticket!
Last edited by kbe; 7th February 2014 at 06:04 PM.
we have seen the enemy...and he is us.-Pogo
My complaint is that it sounds like the Govt is charging exorbitant fees (now $50 a whack) to ship perfume overseas, just to give the package a different seat on the same plane! I really don't get it. I hate to be obtuse , but , WTF!
Also, English rules, on Ormonde Jayne , for instance as follows; Under 30ml, reduced fee (don't recall) over 30ml $50 fee. So isn't a small amount of alcohol just as flammable?
Last edited by kumquat; 7th February 2014 at 06:29 PM.
I just noted that Fragrancenet doesn't label with ORM-D, but from what I recall, Saks does. However, Fragrancenet may be using some other form of registered shipper regulations, since they do so much. Clearly, this whole thing is very complicated.
But that does betray a method to the madness. The CABIN is where they allow laptops and batteries - NOT luggage. The reason is clearly fire suppression. Cabins are filled with excellent fire-suppression equipment and people trained to use it. But if something is in the hold, only automated systems can combat it. Planes appear to be in greatest danger from odd combinations of things that come together accidentally, such as in the mail, but in a place that can get out of control without any possibility for intervention.
I have searched Google for incidences of explosions or fires caused by mailed perfume or any cosmetic fragrance. Below is the list of events uncovered by this search:
we have seen the enemy...and he is us.-Pogo
It is strange that, the last time I flew, I answered yes to TSA when asked if I had anything blah blah blah and flammable. I let them open up the bag and told them it was a bottle of cologne, then they said "nah, we're looking for something with a higher flashpoint than that". So yeah, safe enough to put in your luggage on a flight, but not in a box.
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Red, I use stamps.com for my mailing and no, for domestic mail, does not ask what you are mailing. International will tell you what you are not allowed to mail to the various countries, and have never seen one that says Perfume or anything related.
As for flashpoint, what they meant was LOWER flashpoint. Egads.
I think that fragrance as a consumer commodity could probably get the go-ahead for international shipment by air without paperwork, from a safety standpoint. Planes are basically giant flying gas tanks - much more flammable than alcohol-based fragrances. But what they should do is simply this - announce and *enforce* on declaration (not labeling, since ultimately that's not needed). Then keep the alcoholic stuff bagged separately from the rest of the mail. So as long as you declare your fragrance, it can be easily segregated and shipped by air. Fine a few people for shipping undeclared perfume at the FB level, but zero cost for shipping declared perfume, and people will comply swiftly. The mantra at the counter could be simply "Perfume and alcohol fly separately." Problem over. And let liquor shipments back on planes, which is a moneymaker for the USPS, which needs it.
(BTW - the switch to electronic form could actually be a preparation for levying of fines. It would make sense. Not saying it is, but it would make sense.)
Batteries and oxidizers are the real sticky widgets. I really think those are the troublemakers. There are REAL cases of lithium batteries catching fire on the runway. Laptops overheating and turning into fireworks. Batteries need to go cargo or cabin. As long as people know they need to carry their loose lithium batteries outside of checked luggage, no problem.
The policies on batteries in planes are sensible. They realize that when they're enclosed in a device, they will most likely just drain in place, or the device will contain the burn. Thus, only loose batteries are prohibited in checked baggage - a good call.
Between eBay and basenotes, I think I've sold about 12 perfumes. All have been discontinued perfumes I figured id release into the wild and let someone enjoy, and then about 4 bottles of Meharees to poor Californians that can't buy them (I made no money on them).
I bought a kitchen scale off of eBay for $5. It's digital and let's me do everything accurately at home and on my computer without having to wait in the miserable post office. And of course you save a ton of money.
If I did have to go to the post office, and they asked me anything, I'd lie. They can kiss my butt. Lol
"I am more afraid of an army of 100 Sheep led by a Lion than an army of 100 Lions led by a Sheep."
I have thought much the same - most fragrances are made in France, and then most of the rest are made in Italy, Spain or the US. Yet clearly they are sold throughout the world. How do these fragrances travel from their country of origin to the rest of the world ? Not by boat I can assure you. There are clearly some entities / individuals who are permitted to ship via air, supposedly because they have the correct training, or the correct licenses etc. But fragrances are not a restricted or "dangerous" goods - they are sprayed all over our bodies, they are handled by pimply faced SA's the world over.
I understand the whole "alcohol flammable flashpoint" argument, but to me it is flawed.
It's only really affecting the poor old consumer/grey market/small producers, Paul - hence my doubts.
Aw, no fighting then, Paul
I appreciate the vote of confidence. I was actually a bit worried about the part where I advocated enforcement of declaration in exchange for more lenient shipment. Sounds like that wasn't as unreasonable as I feared it might sound!
The simple fact is that the world is becoming so connected, that every difference incurs a cost. If there are not enough people to advocate for preservation of a difference, humanity will try to smooth it out without asking. So the efforts to harmonize transportation rules have impetus, even if there is no large-scale conversation about it. I have to say - I value some of the benefits. The fact that I can drive around Spain in an English sports car made mostly in Germany with a Japanese engine, and all I had to do was show my American driver's license - I'll take as much of that as I can get.
This can have a downside, of course. In America, we see increasing numbers of foreign truckers whose exam standards are less than our own. But our grocery bills and prices of manufactured and assembled goods are still very reasonable for the same reason.
As things smooth out, there are kinks this way and that. Some will lead to lower safety, others to too much. In the case of fragrance, they seem to just want to harmonize the shipping rules, and the big players are the ones that help work those out by lobbying for the changes they need to stay in business. Nobody is at the table speaking directly for us. MAYBE somebody from eBay, though I think they're worried more about dealing with the counterfeit issue. So nobody is really advocating for our convenience. The big players will only do as much for us as is needed to prevent a media debacle. So I don't think they will ever ban the shipping of fragrance by individuals. But they will come as close as they can, if it means convenience for a big player of any kind.