90′s Beauty Nostalgia – Smells Like Teen Spirit (Deodorant) Edition

Whenever one of those lists about being a teenage girl in the 90′s graces my feed on Facebook, I usually end up clicking on it and taking a trip down memory lane. Inspired by the fun of those lists, I thought it’d be a fun activity to highlight some of the beauty trends or makeup styles that I participated in as a teen every once in awhile and recall the memories surrounding them. (To view previous posts, click here).

90's beauty nostalgia 2

I attended a small private school when I was of elementary school age.  Until I was in 5th grade, the school desperately needed to relocate to a larger building due to the ever-increasing population of enrolled students.  Classrooms were stuffed to the seams with children, making for a stuffy, jam-packed learning environment.

One particular abnormally warm spring day when I was in the 3rd grade, my classmates and I came tumbling back into our seats after a rather rowdy recess session.  The boys, who at that time were heavily into playing “Army” during recess, made up most of the class (there were only 3 girls total that year).  As we busied ourselves with the work our teacher had assigned to us, the familiar fragrance of “young sweaty boy” wafted through the air in our small, stuffy, packed-to-the-gills classroom.  It was a stench I was becoming accustomed to smelling during that time of day, but it seemed to be gradually getting stronger daily as the army play during recess grew more intense.

Our teacher was a nice older woman we absolutely adored, but on that day, I apparently wasn’t the only one who noticed the overwhelming fumes, because she abruptly interrupted our paperwork, clapped her hands twice together and announced:

“OKAY.  TELL MOM AND DAD TO BUY YOU DEODORANT.  YOU ALL NEED TO WEAR DEODORANT.  IT’S TIME.” And she brought a huge piece of a poster board over to the open windows and started waving it around frantically.

We all felt dumbfounded, but pretended not to be as we looked around the classroom at each others faces searching for any sort of outward sign that anybody had a clue as to what she was talking about.


Later that evening, I asked my mom if I could start using her deodorant stick .  After I applied it for the first time, I finally *got it*.  (“Ohhh…. so my armpits AREN’T supposed to slip ‘n slide back and forth when I move!”)  She let me have that stick and it lasted me about 3 years.  I apparently wasn’t really that dedicated to not having underarms that made this sound when I lifted them:†

However, in 6th grade, the subject of hygiene started becoming more important to me as there was a boy named Chad* I started to notice, so I decided to accompany my mother to the store to pick out my very own stick.

I had seen the commercial for Teen Spirit deodorant and figured that was the brand designed just for me (although I wasn’t a teenager yet, maybe it would make me smell like one).

Upon entering the antiperspirant aisle, I saw the multitude of  Teen Spirit varieties and told my mom I would meet up with her later.  I needed to be left alone to make such an important decision as to which would be my signature armpit scent.

When she left, I glanced up and down the aisle making sure nobody else was around and slowly lifted the lid to Teen Spirit #1: “Romantic Rose”

-“Romantic”, huh?  If I wore this one around Chad, would it be the key to his heart? Hmm…

I moved on to Teen Spirit #2: “California Breeze”

-This one smelled fresh, airy and full of possibilities.  I figured all the kids at Bayside High probably smelled similar to this, so I mentally marked “California Breeze” as a strong “maybe” and looked at the next stick.


Teen Spirit #3 was “Baby Powder Fresh”

-Smelling like my diaper was freshly changed seemed to conflict with the message Mennen was trying to evoke with their Teen Spirit line, so I walked by that one without lifting the cap.

The final fragrance…. Teen Spirit #4: “Caribbean Cool”

-I lifted the lid, took a big whiff…. and suddenly, images of oceans and beaches, sail boats and bikinis, and fun fruity drinks with tiny umbrellas sticking out of them EXPLODED all around me!

when harry met sally

No question about it!  This was the fragrance for me!  It smelled, simply, AWESOME.


Chad eventually noticed me…  who knows if it was because of my “Caribbean Cool” or not, but it was very exciting for me, so I giggled and ignored him.

teen spirit

Teen Spirit was my go-to deodorant for a few years until I reached high school and felt I was too old to be using the same brand as I did in middle school, so I sadly made the switch to something else.

Eventually, Teen Spirit dwindled in popularity… perhaps this is due to the dying of the “grunge” revolution with the extra-boost of popularity it received with Nirvana’s “Smells like Teen Spirit“.  Times were changing.

Nowadays, the Teen Spirit brand is still around– sort of— but hard to find.  It only has two fragrances: “Pink Crush” and “Sweet Strawberry”, and it appears to have a different marketing strategy.


A couple months ago, I was sampling some Perfectly Posh from my friend Sarah who is a company representative, when I caught a whiff of something extremely familiar.  I opened up one of the mini sample containers to discover that their Tree Hugger line’s fragrance is nearly an EXACT DUPE of the Teen Spirit “Caribbean Cool” scent!  I promptly ordered the Tree Hugger D.Tox Body Scrub.

Perfectly Posh Tree Hugger

YES!  After all these years… REUNITED!

Do you remember Teen Spirit?  What was your signature Teen Spirit fragrance?

*I don’t know where “Chad” is in the world or what he is up to nowadays, but to play it safe, I changed his name for the story.  The 6th grade “Chad” would be “too cool” to be associated with a post about women’s deodorant, and in my mind’s eye, he is forever a 6th grader.

†Procured from a sound effects site. I did not physically record this, no worries.
Teen Spirit Photo credit: Pinterest


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20 Responses to 90′s Beauty Nostalgia – Smells Like Teen Spirit (Deodorant) Edition

  1. Awesome list! Except wasn’t that Peaches and Herb song from the 80’s? :)

  2. I literally loled at “Chad eventually noticed me … but it was very exciting for me, so I giggled and ignored him.”

    I remember wearing the deodorant, but I don’t remember my fave scent.

  3. Lisa says:

    Haha! Ah deodorant – you know, I can’t even remember when I first started using it or what brand it was. I think I just used the same as mum cos she did the grocery shopping. It did smell like talc..

    I found you via your found me via Top Mommy Blog forums. I’m going through now to follow you on the facebook etc!

    • Celeste says:

      It’s probably not a bad thing that your memory is a bit foggy over it. The fine details of my deodorant recollection is probably crowding out something actually useful from my brain, lol.

      Thanks for following! :)

  4. OH MY GOODNESS!!! Teen Spirit is back. Yes!! BTW- I had those black army boots in your montage. Actually I think they are still in my closet… bringing those puppies out today :)

  5. Silvie Armas says:

    You had me laughing and reminiscing :)! I definitely remember wearing Teen Spirit but can’t remember which scent. Thanks for linking up with us on the TGIF hop!

  6. Lizzie Lau says:

    I made the mistake of buying those Doc Marten’s 2 days before a 5 month backpacking trip in Europe. I had to change the dressings on my blisters 2x a day! LOL

  7. Nicole says:

    OH EM GEEE….I had some Teen Spirit too! I think it was Carribean Cool:) And I also happen to have that Tree Hugger body scrub! Oh I love Perfectly Posh products. They’re just fabulous! Anyway, I really love your post. I’m like you and never pass up an opportunity to read a little ’90s nostalgia. I miss those days, man. Life was simple. Thanks for sharing this on the #ThrowbackThursdaylinkup!

    • Celeste says:

      Oh, aren’t Perfectly Posh products fabulous? I was embarrassingly thrilled when I discovered those two fragrances were nearly dupes of each other! Thanks for coming by, Nicole :)

  8. Carrie says:

    I loved Teen Spirit! When I was 12, it totally made me smell like I was 13. I believe I had the Caribbean Breeze fragrance. Thank you for the trip down memory lane. (found via the #throwbackthursdaylinkup)

    • Celeste says:

      Haha.. it was SO important to smell like we were 13 when we were 12. That made me laugh. Thanks for coming by, Carrie :)

  9. Tanya says:

    I grew up in the 80’s. I don’t remember if they had teen Spirit then. I love going down memory lane. Thanks for sharing on #throwbackthursday linkup!

  10. Erica says:

    I remember Teen Spirit! I think it’s less popular now because so many other brands make special sticks and scents for teens.
    I stole my mom’s deodorant because I was too embarrassed to ask her to get me my own. At least I recognized my need for it unlike boys! I can’t believe your teacher did that. LOL

  11. Rachel says:

    I wore Caribbean cool and the perfume that smelled just like it, Malibu Musk. (And it really smells exactly the same and if you like that scent, I found some on amazon)