The 5 Scents That Ruled Your '90s Childhood

People like to toss around assessments of the '90s zeitgeist these days. This article is different. PSYCH! It's exactly the same. Because today, I'm distilling an integral part of the prototypical American mall experience in the '90s: classic chain-store scents. You get me. The '90s mall was body spray republic, and you were an upstanding citizen devoted to its grape-scented preservation.

Any child who grew up perusing the Delia's catalogue and collecting Spice Girls' lollipops understands that this was the only fashionable way to smell: like a cocktail of melted jolly ranchers. You and your friends made it your mission to form a pack of Cucumber Melon-scented smog at the local commercial center, while debating about which was Leo's dreamiest scene in Titanic. Bath & Body Works provided a Xanadu of testers ripe for the sniffing. How many brain cells did you kill huffing those little eau-de-toilette sticks? TOO many to count.

There was scented glitter shower gel. There was roll-on perfume. There was SO MUCH LOTION!!! So, prepare yourself for an in-memoriam montage. Here are all the scents that defined your '90s mall trips. One thing's for sure. You sure miss having them spilling in your purse and infusing all of your possessions with the aroma of artificial watermelon.

Bath & Body Works "Art Stuff" Electric Apple Glitter Lotion

When you were deep into your Limited Too stage, the kiddie toiletry line known as "Art Stuff" from Bath & Body Works catered to all of your powder room needs. My go-to was always electric apple, but let's pour out some body wash for "Blazin' Blueberry," "Berry-go-Round," and "Charmin' Cherry." Ahhh... I can just smell the notes of plastic masked by grenadine right now...

Bath & Body Works Country Apple

When you were ready to graduate from the juvenile heavy-handedness of "Art Stuff," you ventured into Bath and Body Works' classic collection. As I've already established, I was an apple fan, so Country Apple was my gateway drug into body spray that wasn't specifically marketed to children. When I inevitably overdosed on Country Apple, I moved onto a new scent and got further in touch with my inner basic bitch: Cucumber Melon.

Bath & Body Works Cucumber Melon

Ta-da! The chosen scent of girls everywhere who aspired to be in LFO's newest video. Cucumber Melon was a crowd pleaser. It was fresh and sweet. It was noticeable but inoffensive. And you couldn't get enough of it.

Bottled Emotion

Oh, the whimsy of bottled emotion. Before you even knew what "flirty" meant, you knew you wanted to smell like it. Then you learned the definition and thought "EW!" because you were in your latent stage. You probably collected these little guys just for sport. They were best kept in a bear-shaped backpack.

Gap Classic Scents

Everyone had their favorite version of Gap's classic scents: Om, Dream, Heaven, Grass, Earth and Day. They seemed slightly more subtle than the candy-scented fragrances you were used to. In your tween brain, these coded a graduation to the world of non-juniors sizing and school-organized dances. How far you had come.

PS: RIP to all of these scents, excluding Cucumber Melon. Never forget.

Image: Mike Mozart/ Flickr; bl0ndefl0wer, krsmarie96, minniepearlsmom, beautyinterrupted/ ebay;