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Smelling Salts

[whitespace] Smell THIS

Girlie Scents for The Modern Woman

By Dara Colwell

When I was a little girl, roll-on lip gloss kept me from going hungry at recess. Now that I've discovered roll-on perfume--in "flavors" like Soda Pop Fizz and Canned Peaches--I'll again be able to sail through the lunch hour, no problem.

A collection of distinctive, nostalgia-inducing, sweet-girlie smells, Smell THIS fragrances are meant to trigger emotions by association. Like the smell of plastic lunch boxes that transports the unwitting back to fourth grade, sugary flavors like Cake Batter and Vanilla Milkshake push you smack dab into Grandma's kitchen, licking batter off the bowl.

Now, as far as noses go, smells are extremely individual and the memories they stir even more so. To my nosebuds, Beach Smell reminded me more of the ladies' powder room than a warm, sandy vista and Fluffy Pillow had an aroma of new Barbie doll with a dash of hairspray thrown in. If anything, I experienced a mild panic--the kind that washed over me when I lost my mom in the dressing room of a department store.

But ... Baby Powder, which smells like a downy newborn's head, and Clean Wet Laundry, which is like plunking your nose into a batch of starched men's shirts, are so real and so fresh that, well, the idea of smelling a baby's head while doing the laundry becomes almost irresistible. Five to six hours after coating my wrists, I smelled so clean, even my friends wanted a sniff of me.

Smell THIS fragrances can be picked up at Nordstrom for $14 a bottle, and they also come in bath gels and body lotions (which are a little harder to find). Other scents include Rain Forest, Salon Shampoo and Tropical Fern--all very real smells and, depending on the nostrils, reminiscent of being in a different time and space.

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From the March 1, 1999 issue of the Metropolitan.

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