11 Fragrances You Will Immediately Associate With Your Junior High Crush
Junior high was filled with heart-doodled binders, angsty emo songs, pop ballads, and intense crushes that would keep us burning a candle for years to come. Which is why there are certain smells we associate with junior high crushes. While you might still be able to remember something about them (from the way they wore their hair to the poor T-shirt decisions they rocked on the regular), there's something about smell that — when given a whiff — will transport you right back to those middle school hallways and your awkward attempts at flirtation.
A lot of us had "signature" perfumes that we wore as teens, so those scents are usually closely entwined with our memories of first loves. Whether your boo wore citrus or musky odors, just a random waft of it at a department store or down the street might still get you thinking of braces and stammered-out pick-up lines, or of first dates paid with Dairy Queen paychecks and hand-holding in parking lots. It's all equal parts cringe-worthy and sweet.
So whether your secret love wore department store brands or drugstore steals, chances are high that their go-to scent was one of the popular '90s and early '00s picks below. Let's go down memory lane. Below are 11 fragrances your junior high crush very likely sported.
1. Fierce From Abercrombie & Fitch
This right here is the smell of teen spirit. It once seemed like every boy ages 14 to 19 had this bottle sitting on their dresser. The spicy, intriguing notes did the trick when it was time to make out on a Friday night.
2. Code By Armani
The crush who wore this usually resembled the department store bought bottle: Grown-up, mysterious, and classy AF. Granted, he might have gotten the cologne as a Christmas gift, but it made you think he was so much more mature than all those Axe-spraying boys.
3. Essential By Lacoste
Lacoste Essential Eau de Toilette for Men, $75, Amazon
Ah, your prepster crushes. Chances are this boy-o wore popped collars and boat shoes, but when you had cartoon hearts in your eyes, you couldn't find faults. The fragrance had notes of apples, black pepper, and true love that lasted a month.
4. Sean John Unforgivable
Remember Sean John? Whatever happened to Sean John? Anyway, his cologne had the power to whip confused hormones into a frenzy, giving off synthetic, spicy tangerine smells in waves.
5. David Beckham Instinct
Fact: Wearing David Beckham perfume would turn you into David Beckham. Oh, how all of us wished that had been true. But I guess smelling like cardamom and walking around with crunchy spiked hair was a good second best.
6. Curve Chill By Liz Claiborne
Oh man does this take me back to sitting on the same side of diner booths and nervously holding hands in dark theaters. It had a sour citrusy smell that was also slightly... powdery? Love turns us into fools.
7. I Am Juicy By Juicy Couture
Synonymous with high ponytails and velour track-pants with "JUICY" stamped across the butts, this perfume went hand in hand with our biggest of junior high school crushes.
8. Sweet Pea Body Mist From Bath And Body Works
Sweet Pea, $14, Bath and Body Works
It seemed like girls had a whole arsenal of different B&BW mists, but whenever this sweet pea one wafted past you on the way to math class, you were probably a goner. The next 45 minutes would be spent writing bad poetry in the back of notebooks.
9. Curious By Britney Spears
She was the queen of pop — all she had to do was tell her legions to jump and we'd ask how high. Of course a girl crush was going to have a bottle of this rolling around in her locker. Back then it was standard to have a shrine of worship built to Queen Britney, so how could we expect any less?
10. DKNY Be Delicious
She smelled like apples and was just as preppy and sweet. Chances are this crush wore cherry lip balm and had a couple of sherbet-colored Polos in rotation — and might or might not have been the treasurer of a certain club.
11. Victoria's Secret Very Sexy
Musky, warm, with a good hint of spice, this perfume made you think very, very distracted thoughts during gym class once you got a whiff. Ones that made your palms clammy and made the words, "Wanna go out?" seem impossible to vocalize without a stutter.
Whether your crush wore Armani or Juicy, one thing is for certain: Smelling these scents today is difficult without thinking back to those baby teenage days.
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Images: Courtesy Brands