Saturday, February 13, 2010

Sniffing Through the Ages

I hardly ever wear perfume anymore.

It would be sort of strange if I opted out of hair, make-up and zippers, but always made sure to spritz behind my ears...

Still, I'm a very scent-oriented gal. I think we all are, in one form or another.

Sights, sounds, flavors, they all work to help us cobble together memories.

But nothing is more transportive than scent.



I'm 12 years old. I have no idea who bought this for me, but I feel like the Homecoming Queen when I wear it. In the haze of its spritz, my bad perm is but a memory, I'm allowed to wear make-up, and Brad asks me to "go with him".


I'm 14 and I have officially bought into the power of Teen Magazine's persuasion. Also, they sell this at K-Mart, so I'm good. I call this "Vervay" and though I've tried most of them, it's always the teal one that I come back to. I am navigating my first year in High School and wishing I was shorter, cuter, bustier. I'm always wishing, wishing, wishing.

http://www.99perfume.com/image/AS135.jpg

I'm 15. I met Sarah this year, and there's no going back. My life is consumed with my new friends from church, and I spend most of my energy deliberating on whether I should focus my crushing on Ike or on John, neither of which returns the crush.

http://www.expresschemist.co.uk/pics/products/4392/2/Coty_Exclamation_PDT_50ml_spray.jpg

I'm 16. I have my first real boyfriend. I'm lamenting that my bangs won't do the mall-hair thing, but the light purple cans of Aqua Net don't stop me from trying. I want to break-up with my boyfriend (but I don't). I want to spend more time with my friends. Life is simpler with them, and a lot more fun.


http://www.perfumeindulgence.com.au/products/COTY_WILD_MUSK_W.JPG

I am 17. I'm graduating this year. I think I pretty much know all there is to know about the world. I'm going to college soon, to be a doctor, after all. I'm still trying to figure out how to extract myself from my pitiful "relationship". But seriously, I know everything. Don't bother trying to give me advice. I don't need it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v185/honeysprite/AnnieSpandex/340656-1.jpg

I'm 18. My new friend Stephanie, from down the hall, wears this like she means it. Fine, I'll let her have the Malibu Musk signature scent. I will miss the guava, though...
http://www.grannymar.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2007/12/calvin-klein-eternity.jpg
I'm still 18 and I've (finally!) graduated from drugstore scents. I don't even like the smell of this, but it's the cool thing right now. At least, that's what Glamour magazine says...

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/21ElxcIjlbL._SL500_AA280_.jpg

Calvin Klein, you've done it again. Only this time, I'm in love. (In fact, I think I'll name my future son after you.) I'm 19 and the (older!) boy who sits beside me in Sociology class passed me a note saying that I smell "so good". I'm pretty sure he also digs my men's XL button downs layered atop men's XL t-shirts. Turns out, he's got a girlfriend. But hours of note-passing certainly help to while away the hours while Dr. Young drones on.
Hello, Grunge-era. I'm 20 and if Kate Moss says to wear this, then I will wear it. Mostly, I just like how the bottle looks on my standard-issue dorm-room dresser.

http://www.valentineperfume.com/product_thumbnail_images/t_23728.jpg

Calvin, I'm leaving you for Ralph. I'm 21 years old now and while I'm not sporty, this makes me feel like I could be. I contemplate taking up sailing, but settle for a student council bid.

http://www.skinstep.com/product_images/ginger-essence-sensuous-skin-scent-07980630806.jpg

I am 24 years old and the bright spot in my day is spraying this on. It nearly makes me forget that I'm being (under)paid to be a glorified car-washer.

 Origins: Frolic Fantasy, Eau de Toilette Fragrance

I'm 27 and we're living in Washington, DC. I discovered this at the little Origins shop in Union Station, on my lunch break. We are living like paupers, but I finally spring for this and it lifts my city-spirits right up. Our friend Rich makes offhanded comments whenever I wear it along the lines of, "Something smells like Lysol!" But seriously, what does he know?
http://media.onsugar.com/files/ons1/335/3355655/40_2009/8d6c349ddf4bd8e7_Stila_Jade_Blossom_Eau_de_Parfum_Spray.jpg
I'm 28. We're getting ready to move back to Indiana. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

I discovered this in Sephora, but I cannot afford to buy it. Months later, post-move, I talk Rich into picking a bottle up for me and delivering it on his next visit. He agrees, and I forgive him for all of the Lysol comments.

http://www.fresh.com/MerchantUploads/edgeFresh/H00001260-M.jpg

I'm 29. I want to own every fruity thing that Fresh makes, but especially this.

http://www.sephora.com/assets/dyn/product/P191609/P191609_hero.jpg

And this.

I also wouldn't mind everything by Jo Malone.

ps- We're adopting a baby!
http://www.my-hair-tools.com/images/PER678.JPEG

I'm 31. My honey bought me this for Christmas. I love the departure from all-scents-fruity. It's watery and floral and makes me feel a little more sophisticated than I'll ever really be.
http://images0.like.com/product-images--a9f85307a7c2a5c03882534ff7966bdc40006365-26b9483ffb8484fe--jpg_sqthumb_large--fragrances-fresh-sugar-lemon-to-go-1-oz-eau-de-parfum-spray.jpg
I'm 32. Lemon. Sugar. Could this be the Holy grail?

I'm 33. I have 10 bottles of perfume in my cabinet and I rarely wear any of them. I think it's time to shake things up a bit...


52 comments:

  1. This was a great post! Totally took me back to when I was younger... You pretty much nailed them on the head until you were 21 then we parted ways. I too don't wear purfume as often but there is nothing like having a bunch to choose from. My latest is Escada Into the blue. P.S. did you have the boyfriend who bathed in Drakkar??? When ever I smell that it takes me back to being 16 or 17. I'm still with him... wonder if he would wear it every once in a while if I got it for him??? :)

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  2. Ah, the memories of Polo Sport and CK One (and what was the black bottle that came out after it...CK Two??).

    I probably would've gone the rest of my life not ever thinking about those and how old I was when they were cool. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

    Now, well, I'm loyal to Abercrombie 8, and I don't care if I'm completely out of place pushing a double stroller in there to buy it.

    ps. You should do boyfriend cologne through the ages next!

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  3. Well, I was going to ask you if you ever tried mixing them all together to see what happens....and then you ended your smellicious post with talk of shaking things up a bit. : p Maybe you and the wee ones need to get out your mad scientist outfits and give those fragrances a whirl.

    : )

    Julie M.

    ps Though I rarely wear "perfume" these days (I do love yummy hand lotion)...Ralph has always had my heart.

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  4. How in the world is your memory this good? ASTOUNDING!
    I have LOADS that I love and I change on nearly a daily basis. I often go without makeup but NEVER without a squirt of something!

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  5. You are spot on especially with the younger years!!! That was so much fun reading!

    Sarah

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  6. Oh that brings back some memories! Especially Love's Baby Soft and Exclamation! Congrats on the baby too!

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  7. This is such a great post! We grow up with fragrance, I never thought about that. I too loved Luv's Baby Soft. Really never ventured too far away from true florals. I now wear Jessica McClintock almost exclusively. I start my day and end my day with a spritz!

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  8. I just had flashbacks of my entire life....

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  9. Love's Baby Soft Musky Jasmine...so long ago, but I still love that scent!:) I like something soft and floral and a little musky. I use all of a bottle before I buy something new, working on Dior now.
    Hugs!
    Rgonda

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  10. Fabulous post my dear! I believe in the power of scent. I think I can do a timeline with hair care products and toiletries. Something about the smell of PermaSoft or Noxema transports me back. Thank you for the trip...what a lovely ride.

    Cheers~
    e

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  11. It's true, scent does transport you. I remember the loves Baby Soft although I'm a wee bit older than you! I adored it and totally forgot about it until your mention. Thanks for a great post.

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  12. Oh my gosh...that was an awesome post! You totally took my back. My sister and I were just talking about Verve the other day. I couldn't believe she didn't remember it! I remember being so excited to go into Osco Drug to pick out a different "color". And Exclamation...I wore that baby all the time. And Malibu Musk...and Eternity!? Did we all just wear the same thing? Too funny, thanks for the memories, as they say. Thank goodness we have all moved on. Now I am all about Tommy Bahama (in the pink bottle). I can't get enough of that one! ~mary~

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  13. okay so here's the thing. i totally sprayed on the verve stuff. I must have smelled to high heaven. I went through a HUGE love affair with anything ginger by Origins. now i'm OBSESSED WITH JO MALONE! I mean passionately obsessed! I'm wearing the lime, basil, mandarine lotion with the grapefruit cologne. It's a splurge but I swear i could roll around in the stuff all day!

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  14. Ah, a trip down memory lane to get my weekend off to a laughing start! I can still feel the way the Malibu Musk can felt in my hand!

    I've heard everything about Jo Malone but we don't have anywhere that sells it and I'm nervous about buying it over the net without smelling it first.

    I'm into Chance by Chanel and Lovely by Sarah Jessica Parker--creating new memories now of falling in love, babies and life as we now know it!

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  15. Great post. Laughing on my trip down memory lane.

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  16. Oh the memories! I think we all started out on Love's Baby Soft back in the day. Oh and there was this aerosol body spray that I graduated to after that and I can't recall the name. By graduation I was hooked on Ralph Lauren Tuxedo. Do you remember that one? It was amazing. I still mourn it!

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  17. Oh I love this post! I can smell each of those bottles right through the computer screen! WOW - memories!

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  18. What a great post! It caused me to take a little trip down memory lane with all the perfumes I have worn. Who could forget the Love's Baby Soft and Malibu Musk!!!

    I am currently wearing Light Blue by Dolce and Gabanna and love it but I am alwayas ready to try something new. I have heard about Jo Malone but don't have a store nearby for me to go and try them out:(

    Hooray on the adoption... can't wait to hear more!

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  19. Oh this brings back memories. We must be close to the same age because I know I wore ckOne and Ralph Lauren Sport close to the time that you did. on mine, you would have to add Electric Youth by Debbie Gibson (my first perfume) and Navy by cover girl. There are a few others... I also love the Fresh ones, I think the one I used to have was called Heliotrope. And, Burberry Touch. And Fresh. And Baby Doll (my all time favorite! but the hubs doesn't like it) Last Mother's Day I got the Kate Spade perfume and it kind of makes me feel grown up and 31. I like it and the hubs likes it.

    Thanks for the great post... it would be fun to do this one on music, but it could on for weeks!

    Michelle

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  20. I had Love's Baby Soft, but quickly became a huge devotee of the less popular Love's Rain Scent....remember that one? Now, I'm hooked on GAP Grass. Even if there's no fresh cut hay in the field, just close your eye's and you can pretend. Is it okay to want to smell like a pasture? And I so wish Gap would bring back the citrusy Summer. Loved that one.

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  21. OMG, bout tinkled in my britches!!! Thanks for taking us back to the 80's, oh how I loved Verve & Exclamation in those days ;)

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  22. Flashback to my younger days currently taking place at this moment. Really great post and so fun to read. ;0

    I can smell the Loves Baby Soft right now....ahhhh.


    Beth

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  23. Love your post! I so remember Loves Baby soft! Its amazing how all the scents can come flooding back along with all the memories! I loved all those goofy names of perfume but I remember Aqua Net the most. I know it wasn't a perfume but I swear there were girls in my HS that used it as a body spritz because they didn't shower that day, and they were smokers.

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  24. I'm dying over Malibu Musk and Exclamation. They take me right back to middle school!

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  25. I had forgotten all about Exclamation. I loved that stuff. What a fun walk back in time!!

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  26. So funny! I forgot all about baby Soft, boy does that take me back!!! Great post, it was fun to take the trip down memory lane.

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  27. Oh my flashback to the 80's my favorite time. My favorite perfume was Anaise Anaise..smells sooo good..love this post! ~lulu

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  28. Loved all CK scents. Eternity.. highschool, perm, takes me straight back to 1990. Escape/One... college, Doc Martens, Cranberries music, coffeeshop days. Now, I am a L'Eau D'Issey.... love it. Jo Malone, love too. Do I wear it, no.

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  29. Boy...just one look at the Love's Baby Soft and the memories come flying back! I loved this post!

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  30. congrats on the new baby coming your way!

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  31. I wore wild musk, exclamation and the ginger stuff from Origins, oh and of course the Love's baby soft. I heard about the lemon sugar from pioneer woman just haven't gotten it yet. We are two peas in a pod...you and me!

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  32. This is so fun! Brings back memories. I too, have quite the collection but rarely wear any of them. Oh well. I see you have a baby coming soon. YAY!!

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  33. Thanks for the memories! My first scent was Jean Nate. Each Christmas I received every form of the scent possible (my mom was REALLY into gift sets. Perfume, cologne, body wash, powder, lotion...I was ultra lemony for several years until I moved on to the sugary sweet Chantilly...and

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  34. I am pretty sure Baby Soft is a rite of preteen passage, isn't it? Did you ever use their other scents I think one was Rain?
    I also did Malibu Musk! I would have recognized the bottle, or should I say aerosol can anywhere!
    Once Bath and Body works came in town, I was a loyal devotee until my twenties and I also had the Ginger from Origins.
    Fun post!

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  35. Malibu Musk and Exclamation were two of my faves :) I also remember loving a Tommy Hilfiger perfume when I was in high school. Now it's Very Sexy by Victoria Secret or Happy by Clinique :) Although, I definitely don't wear it like I used to either.

    Cute post!

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  36. We must be around the same age! I wore all of those first 5 through most of the 80's!! I totally laughed when I saw them!!!

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  37. Not to be off the subject, but this site made me think of you! http://decor8blog.com/

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  38. Awesome post!!! I can't believe you brought me all the way back to Baby Soft. I think I can smell it if I close my eyes.

    -FringeGirl

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  39. TOO funny girl! either you have a FANtastic memory, or you're full of it!

    it's fun to see that so many girls have gone down the same path:)

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  40. Hooray!! Praise God!! Your PS was wonderful to hear.

    I still love Loves Baby Soft. My little one wears it sometimes. When she outgrows it, I may still have to buy it just to spray for those sweet memories.

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  41. Oh my word...this post totally made me smile! I wore so many of these too. When I was 13, my grandma gave me her bottle of Chanel No. 5 because I like to sneak spritzes of it...I still love that today.

    Your blog is a JOY.

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  42. No way!! What part of indiana are you from?? Following you! :)

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  43. Love the post! I was just thinking about Loves Baby Soft the other day when my 10 year old asked me is she was old enough to wear perfume :) I was wondering if they still make it so I could get her some for Valentines day :)

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  44. Loved this! ;) We've shared many a scent!

    I spent a lot of time with Calvin in college though it was 'Contradiction' that held me captive I went between that and Victoria's Secret pear something or other - discontinued now, but also had a certain boy saying I 'smelled soooo good'

    these days my fave (affordable) is bath and body works japanese cherry blossom

    i'll have to check out 'blue' sometime!

    ps - thanks for joining in the fun at my love story linky party - after seeing this post, I'd have to agree we probably would have been friends! ;)

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  45. I've worn nearly all of these at some point in my perfume wearing adolescence. An Exclamation story: I remember wanting it SOOO bad for Christmas and I told my mom at least a dozen times. But right before Christmas, I realized that every girl I knew was wearing it. So I told my mom I'd changed my mind. She was irritated, but didn't say much. Probably because she'd already gotten me what she thought was the one thing I'd really wanted, I thought. Sure enough, it was in my stocking on Christmas morning. I felt bad for being so fickle and picky, and I wore it faithfully, matching scents with a bajillion other high school girls that year. The smell of that perfume whisks me back in time quicker than a Delorian going 88 mph.

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  46. Ok this was just a fun trip down memory lane. My hubby bought me perfume for my last birthday... and proceeded to ask the next morning after I put it on ~~ "what's that smell?" with a turned up nose. :-)

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  47. Hi,
    I am 34 and this was so much fun to read. You are so cute. I have been trying for years to find the perfect scent. Then a friend got me to try Chance from Chanel (the green bottle) I had never tried their perfume before. I must say I do love it. Next time you are in a department store you have to try a sample!
    Love reading your posts. There is no body out there like you
    Take Care,
    Maria

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  48. I love this. I remember some of those older scents semi-fondly. Isn't amazing how strongly these scents are tied to our memories?

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  49. What a fun post!! Love's Baby Soft was my favorite,,,Yorkton, SK age 13 or so.... :)

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  50. I might steal this idea for my blog! I LOVE it. I've already done one on perfumes, but this....I love sniffing through the years!

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  51. When I had been married for over 10 years I still had a full bottle of Babe perfume in a dresser drawer. I hadn't opened it in ages, but it was there and ready to share the memories whenever I popped the top and took a whiff. I remember the day I finally threw it in the garbage because it was smelling, well, rank. Now if you get into the men scents then Brut, Stetson and Lauren will make me swoon everytime. My hubby wore Brut in high school. Wow.

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