Middle school was a dark time for me, filled with surfer sweaters and the Jonas Brothers. While I typically avoid reminiscing about those horrifying days, there's one factor that will always remain a fond memory from that time: My perfume collection. I would collect and hoard fragrances as though my life depended on it. From the tiniest sample to the biggest bottle I could afford (thanks, tutoring money), I was obsessed with discovering new scents and being able to douse my body with them. Frankly, there was no such thing as "less is more" back then.
Whether it was floral, citrus, or musky, I believed that wearing perfume gave me the sophisticated, mysterious allure that I simply couldn't achieve any other way (especially not with my school uniform).
While I may have overdone it, I think every girl in middle school wants a taste of elegance, feeling a little bit older, and, well, smelling nice. It's usually in middle school that the foray into perfume begins, and it makes sense that the first perfume you use and fall in love with would say a lot about you. Whether you used it before school, before getting froyo with friends, or after gym class in the locker room, your scent undoubtedly made a statement.
Here are 11 classic perfumes from a Millennial's middle school era, and what your most nostalgia-inducing scent may say about you.
1. Can Can: Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton Can Can, $11, overstock.com
If you loved this scent, you're down with smelling like a candy shop. You originally bought it thinking that the intensely sweet smell would fade during the day and leave behind just a hint of sugar. You were wrong. You wore it anyway, though, because you are exactly the kind of person who wants to smell like Halloween every day. Fun, weird, and an unapologetic sweet tooth holder, you make those around you feel spunky and ready for adventure.
2. Fancy: Jessica Simpson
Jessica Simpson Fancy, $59, macys.com
There's not much to be fancy about in middle school, which is why you loved this fragrance so much. Not only did it make you feel like you were a grown woman (even if your only plans besides school were for swim practice and a midnight movie with your mom), but it made you smell chic, like the characters in The O.C. You are sweet, feminine, and fresh, and Marissa Cooper and Jessica Simpson are still your sartorial role models.
3. Love, Angel, Music, Baby: Harajuku Lovers
Harajuku Lovers Love, $18, amazon.com
The cute doll bottles and the sweet, pretty fragrances somehow called to both your childlike side as well as your maturing adolescent persona. You craved Gwen Stefani's cool, effortless style, and the tunes of such pop princesses were exactly in line with your desire to grow up while preserving a sense of playfulness.
4. Fantasy: Britney Spears
Britney Spears Fantasy, $32, amazon.com
Remember how you wish the video for "Toxic" by Britney Spears was your actual life? Well, maybe with Fantasy, you could live that life for yourself. Or at least, you thought something along those lines when you invested in this perfume. This scent is flirty and seductive, exactly like you! With its juicy fruit scents paired with sensual woodsy and chocolate bottom notes, you've found the perfect companion to all those school dances. Frankly, though, you might have worn it even if it smelled like rotten milk. That's how deep your love of Britney was (and still is).
5. Love's Baby Soft
Love's Baby Soft Body Spray by Mem, $9, amazon.com
If your goal was to smell like baby powder, this was your go-to fragrance. You loved the way you smelled. Just like this perfume, you're sweet, playful, and cute. You want to smell like a baby (Johnson's FTW), and you have not a shred of guilt because of it.
6. Daisy: Marc Jacobs
Daisy by Marc Jacobs, $78, sephora.com
You were, and probably still are, a fashion nerd. You first read about Daisy in the pages of Teen Vogue, and once you got it, you never took it off. You want to be one of those women known for their scents. You're an old soul, and love whenever anyone calls you "classic."
7. Viva La Juicy: Juicy Couture
Viva La Juicy Gift Set, $96, belk.com
You thought it couldn't get any better after your Juicy Couture velvet tracksuit. You were wrong. You're young at heart, love a happy ending in a movie, and adore a juicy yet floral scent. This perfume epitomizes your optimistic outlook every day, reminding you that no matter what bad thing may happen, tomorrow is a fresh start. Audrey Hepburn is your all-time idol, and this scent makes you feel just as classy and lovely as you imagine she was.
8. Happy: Clinique
Clinique Happy, $50, sephora.com
You were probably introduced to this perfume by your mom or older sister. After falling in love with the citrus scent, you probably sprayed it every chance you got. This fragrance reminds you that it's important to avoid fighting and drama, and to focus the happy -- whether it's your adorable kitten or the cupcake you're about to bake with your mom. Life is all about the good memories, and with your fun-loving personality, you know you'll be making a lot of them.
9. Warm Vanilla Sugar: Bath & Body Works
Warm Vanilla Sugar Fine Fragrance Mist, $14, bathandbodyworks.com
You're not about fancy things, but you do like to be prepared. You like keeping your life simple yet chic, which is exactly why you love Warm Vanilla Sugar. It's easily accessible, and usually small enough to fit into your backpack. You like having a bottle on your person, in case you forget to wear deodorant or Jimmy let one rip in algebra class.
10. Princess: Vera Wang
Vera Wang Princess, $60, ulta.com
Your favorite class in school was art, where you could get your hands messy and make something of your own. You're a creative person and love DIY projects, appreciating the unexpected combinations of fabrics in outfits or toppings on ice cream. You probably prefer to make people gifts instead of buying them, and the chances that you sew your own clothes are really high. After all, that natural, introspective attitude aligns itself perfectly with the floral, woodsy scent of Princess.
11. Love Spell: Victoria's Secret
Love Spell Fragrance, $14, victoriassecret.com
You are a girly girl through and through. So it's no surprise that Love Spell -- a musky, floral concoction that you used to wish you could bathe yourself in -- was the only scent you would wear. You loved how it reminded you of the real flowers in the flower crown you made yourself, and the days spent walking through the local botanical gardens. You almost exclusively wear floral patterns, and you love to end your day sipping a rose tea.
12. Hearts & Daggers: Ed Hardy
Ed Hardy Hearts & Daggers By Christian Audigier, $42, target.com
If you absolutely adored the adorned, embellished Ed Hardy jeans, you probably owned this perfume. You're an extrovert and highly sociable, as you get your energy from other people and hate staying in and having nothing to do. Netflix is your enemy, because you would rather be talking up strangers and planning for the day you can finally get a tattoo.
13. Betsey Johnson: Betsey Johnson
Betsey Johnson by Betsey Johnson, $21, amazon.com
Fergie's song "GLAMOROUS" is your anthem. You love luxurious and lavish clothing, and Betsey Johnson's perfume is the perfect accessory (in addition to your sequined purse, sparkling tennis shoes, and diamond-encrusted hoop earrings). You can be a diva, but everyone loves you for it. Deep down, you're a generous, sympathetic person who just loves a good bright pink manicure.
So ... maybe things haven't changed that much since middle school, after all.