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 me, fragrance has always been a great way to time travel. Catching a whiff of a scent I used to extensively wear during a specific time brings back memories. For this post, I’m highlighting Bath & Body Works‘ Body Splashes (or “Fragrance Mists”, as they’re named nowadays). I spent a LOT of babysitting money buying up those suckers in the 90’s and I thought I’d share one of my favorite memories attached to them.
I’ve never met anybody who remembers this, but Bath & Body Works used to sell their fragrances in glass bottles. In 1992 when I was in 7th grade, my aunt gave my mother one called “Flowing Herbs”. It looked similar to this photo, but the bottle was larger (this is the only image I could find online). It may have been a cologne or perfume (if anybody has a clearer memory of this time-period, let me know!).
Up until that point, my only introduction to fragrances were stuffy-old lady smelling perfumes, fragrances that attempted to have you smell like your sexy diaper was freshly changed (Love’s Baby Soft), or fragrances you sprayed out of an aerosol can (Malibu Musk and the Designer Imposter series). Body splashes like the Bath & Body Works line we’ve all come to know and see hundreds of imposters for over the years (even at the dollar store!) were pretty unheard of in those days.
I fell head over heals in LOVE with “Flowering Herbs”. It was so light, fresh, airy, and clean smelling. It came in a delicate pretty bottle. I felt beautiful wearing it. Like I said, I believe it was a bit heavier than a body splash, but I would TREAT it like a body splash and DOUSE myself in it.
This was in 7th grade around the time my friend Jane* and I both got the two lead roles for our spring school play. We were both nervous wrecks opening night because we had quite a few lines, so beforehand, I did a little EXTRA dousing of “Flowering Herbs” for some extra special luck.
Miraculously, I managed to get through all my lines, but near the end of the show, Jane froze and had to be prompted by the director on one of hers in front of the whole audience. After the show, she said her mind was nearly blank and the only thing she could concentrate on was my lingering fragrance because I was standing just a few feet away and was practically swimming in it. Jane told me she NEVER wanted to smell that horrible fragrance again, so with her wishes I abstained from wearing it which turned out to be easy to do as Bath & Body Works discontinues their fragrances frequently and my mom ran out of her bottle (mostly thanks to me).
HOWEVER… when we became young adults I noticed Bath & Body Works re-released “Flowering Herbs” as part of their “Classics Collection”. Being the mean friend I am, and knowing Jane has a wicked sense of humor, too, I promptly purchased a bottle and brought it with me on a trip to visit her across the country where she now lived.
Before we met up, I DOUSED myself with it just like in the olden days and after her initial pleasantries of: “Omg! It’s good to see you!” (Hugs)… there was, “Oh. My. God!!! Ahhhh!!! It’s the 7th Grade Spring Play perfume!!!! NOOOOO!” And laughing, of course, because Jane’s cool like that.
So, it’s become a tradition to torture her every time we visit one another every few years. I have a small bottle of it left in my linen closet that I don’t touch until it’s “Jane” time.
*Jane’s real name has been changed for this post because I’m a mean enough friend as it is, and although I received her blessing to release this story, I’m not about to publicly shame her.
What is/was your favorite Bath & Body Works fragrance?