What's potentially more powerful than a throwback Thursday 'gram? Nostalgic scents of the '90s. Do not underestimate the capability of a seemingly innocent spritz — one spray and you'll instantly find yourself transported down memory lane. And you thought time could erase your teenage penchant for chain store body splashes — history never forgets, and neither does the internet.
Whether you were team Bath & Body Works or all for camp designer perfume, there is no denying that behind every bottle was a story. If the popular girl in eighth grade carried CK One in her bag, that was essentially your cue to also get your hands on a bottle — or what about your brief love affair with fruity Lip Smackers, worn out of hope for seven minutes in heaven with the boy from next door? When these scents resurrect again in the present, it breeds instant reminiscence. I mean, could anyone forget their first foray into the Bonne Bell world?
No wonder the masterminds over at Bath & Body Works have decided to re-release their most iconic '90s scents — catch a whiff of Country Apple or Freesia and it'll bring you back to 1995 like no other. Nostalgia is all the craze, and consumers are developing a hungry appetite for everything and anything throwback-worthy.
In the case that you've forgotten what your '90s fragrance was like, fear not. I rounded up the best smelling beauty products of the '90s, ranked from most likely to induce regret to beloved childhood scents you wouldn't mind rocking as a millennial.
12. Demeter Fragrance in "Dirt"
To fully round out the classic grunge getup of the '90s, you definitely needed the dirt scent. Don't let the name throw you off — Dirt from Demeter Fragrance still maintains a cult following today thanks to its fresh, earthy aroma with a hint of sweet. Let's talk flannel, Dr. Martens, and a dose of backyard redolence.
11. Love's Baby Soft Cologne Spray
With a controversial tagline ("Because innocent is sexier than you think"), Love's Baby Soft had the troubling task of balancing both childhood and womanhood. The notes — musk, jasmine, rose, lavender, patchouli, to name a few — are mature at the same time clean and pure. If your '90s self wanted a gentle yet natural scent, this was most likely it.
10. Gap "Om" Perfume
It comes at no surprise that a bottle of "Om" will fetch for quite a price tag nowadays. Decades ago, you would probably found a bottle sitting on every vanity — and for good reason too. The scent was woodsy and spicy with musky undertones — masculine and intense, this was the go-to perfume when you clearly meant business.
9. Calvin Klein "ck one" Perfume
Ah, two initials that defined the '90s era — CK. This was the cool girl elixir, the essence that translated to status and subtle sex appeal. The fragrance is refreshing and flirty thanks to notes of citrus, jasmine, rose, and pineapple. AKA my kind of tropical cocktail.
8. Bonne Bell Lip Smacker in "Cotton Candy"
Lip Smacker "Cotton Candy", $2, Lip Smacker
By law, you cannot write a '90s throwback article without mentioning Lip Smackers of some sort — and of course, this is no exception. For the sweet tooths of the beauty realm, the Cotton Candy flavor was especially enticing. Try not to lick your lips 24/7 with this baby on.
7. Victoria's Secret Body Splash in "Love Spell"
Sometimes, simplicity is all you need to navigate the battlefields of romance. "Love Spell" was a hit during the '90s due to its fruity and floral accords. Crafted with just three ingredients — peach, cherry blossom, and white jasmine — all you had to do was spritz and hope your crush would answer that AIM message of yours (as if your away message didn't already make it painfully obvious...)
6. Bath & Body Works "Cucumber Lemon" Scent
Yet another must-have of the time, Cucumber Melon is crisp and light scent with a mighty lasting power. Wear it summer, winter, spring or fall — its year-round versatility made it an absolute steal no matter the season.
5. Bath & Body Works "Warm Vanilla Sugar" Scent
I'm handsdown a vanilla girl — slather me in this mist any time, any day. Vanilla and floral make up the top notes, along with infusions of coconut, musk, and sandalwood. No wonder this was everyone's favorite post-gym class scent — stash a bottle in your locker and you were bound to have friends clamouring for a spritz.
4. Bath & Body Works "Juniper Breeze" Scent
For me, Juniper Breeze is what happens when fresh laundry and the coastal sea meets. If rich and musky aromas aren't your scene, Juniper Breeze will do just the trick with a soft blend of juniper leaves, pineapple nectar, and blue jasmine.
3. Gap "Dream" Perfume
In the '90s, you were either pro-Heaven or pro-Dream — there was no inbetween when it came to the showdown of Gap fragrances. Dream is a romantic bouquet of floral notes; count freesia, orange blossom, violet, and lily-of-the-valley as the key ingredients.
2. Victoria's Secret Body Splash in "Pear Glacé"
Imagine that it is the year '98 again and Mom is about to drop you off at the movies for your first date with Mr. (Junior High) Right. What's your go-to scent? Pear Glacé, obviously. Leave it to Victoria's Secret to whip out the sweetest concoction around. I'm very partial to fruity and floral scents, so this pear, cassis, and violet mix is right up my alley.
1. Bonne Bell Lip Smackers in "Dr. Pepper"
Is this number one contender really a surprise? Ask any '90s gal to name the most nostalgic Lip Smacker flavors and chances are Dr. Pepper will make the cut. As someone who faithfully believes in the clear separation of Coke, Pepsi, and Dr. Pepper, I consider this lip balm especially important to beauty history.
Images: Courtesy Brands