By Khalea Underwood
It’s kind of crazy how certain scents can instantly evoke memories you’d completely forgotten about. The smell of warm gingerbread cookies, for example, can transport you to that night you slept underneath the Christmas tree while waiting for Santa and his reindeer to show up. Sunscreen and coconut oil can remind you of drinking a daiquiri on the beach in Hawaii years ago. And Chloé Love Story might make you recall an ex-boyfriend’s… mom?
That’s because spritzing your favorite perfume is an experience in itself — and it’s usually done before a big moment. However, there are some moments we’d really like to forget. Immediately. Ahead,
R29 editors share the scents that are forever tied to awkward, cringe-y memories.
“When I was in the eighth grade, my friend gave me this mini of Vera Wang Princess for my birthday. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize that the container was glass, so I shoved it in my school bag. It completely shattered and the fragrance spilled all over. I mean,
everywhere. My bag smelled like a bouquet for months afterwards. I was too embarrassed to tell my parents what happened and I couldn’t afford to buy a new bag, so I just wore it as a personal air freshener until the last day of school.” – Jen Anderson, editorial assistant
Vera Wang Princess Eau de Toilette Spray, $75, available at Ulta.
“This girl who moved out of my apartment left a fancy Jo Malone perfume, amongst other toiletries, in the bathroom. I was digging the jasmine scent, so I started wearing it every day — until she informed me that she’d been using it as a
Poopourri substitute. I could never look at the ‘shit scent’ the same way again.” — Caroline Ammarell, content strategy editor
Jo Malone London White Jasmine & Mint Cologne, $65, available at Neiman Marcus.
“I will never ever ever forget this boy I liked lending me his sweatshirt in 7th grade math class. At the end of the day, he told me I could wear it home and bring it back to him the next day. I was beside myself with joy, and proceeded to go home and spray like 18 different perfumes on it (Pink Sugar, Victoria’s Secret Love Spell, Lacoste’s Touch of Pink, and a bakery full of Jessica Simpson’s Desserts). I gave it back to him… and he never wore it again.” — Rachel Krause, beauty news writer
Pink Sugar perfume, $30, available at Sephora.
“During my second summer of journalism camp (I’m a dork), I fell deeply in like with this boy, Victor. I thought he was
so cool because he worked at Abercrombie and Fitch and wore popped-collar polos from the brand every day. So every time I went to the mall, I’d drench at least 12 tester cards in Victor’s signature scent, Fierce, and place them around my bedroom so I’d always be reminded of him. Those cards — and my sweet, sweet memories — were trashed after Victor not-so-politely curved me once I came clean about my feelings. A few years later, I found out that he wasn’t even into girls… but I still can’t smell Fierce without squirming.” — Khalea Underwood, beauty writer
Abercrombie & Fitch Fierce Cologne, $58, available at Abercrombie & Fitch.
“I doused myself in Chloé Love Story once while trying to seduce my boyfriend at the time… and it ended up being his mom’s signature perfume. It makes me feel awkward even thinking about it now.” — Cat Quinn, beauty director
Chloé Love Story Eau Sensuelle Eau de Parfum, $75, available at Ulta.
“In middle school, someone told me that bathing in Bath & Both Works Warm Vanilla Sugar would attract all the boys. It didn’t. I just reeked.” — Mi-Anne Chan, beauty writer
Bath & Both Works Warm Vanilla Sugar Fine Fragrance Mist, $14, available at
Bath & Body Works.
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