It’s funny how quickly one whiff of a certain scent can bring you back. Maybe it’s an aroma of cinnamon that makes you think of Christmas at grandma’s house, or maybe the sugary smell of cotton candy instantly transports you to that one time you and Jimmy made out while on a class trip to the local amusement park. When you reached those peak high-school years, having a signature scent was SUPER important (how will boys ever remember you if you don’t smell fantastic?!), and whatever that perfume was said a lot about your personality. Here’s a list of some of the most popular scents of our teenage youth accompanied by a scientific personality analysis. Okay fine, that last part is not true at all. No scientists were consulted during the making of this article.
1. Vera Wang Princess: Even before you spritz this lavender-colored eau de toilette, you just know it’s going to smell like the class valedictorian who you wanted to hate because she had perfect hair and flawless skin. But as much as you tried, you couldn’t hate her, because she was genuinely a super nice person. If this was you, we’re guessing you hung out with football players and nerds alike and you were probably seen at all the cool parties but never without your composure, because even though you could get down on Saturday night, Sundays mornings were for volunteering at the local old folks’ home and researching colleges.
2. Harajuku Girls: After you discovered bands like Good Charlotte and No Doubt, things really changed for you. Long gone was the girl who wore Limited Too and butterfly clips. But unlike Avril Lavigne, you couldn’t exactly say sayonara to high school to pursue your rock star music career (because mom definitely wouldn’t be having that). Even though mother dearest didn’t let you dye your hair pink like Gwen, you still found a way to embrace your inner rebellious side with a squirt of Stefani’s quirky perfume.
3. Clinique Happy: This clean and classic scent was a solid choice for a teenager. We’re guessing you and your grandma decided on it together while you two were both at the mall picking out your Christmas present. As you and granny window shopped with Auntie Anne’s pretzels in hand, you didn’t care about the popular girls who were coming out of Nordstrom staring. You were a goody two shoes and you knew it. Always in bed by nine and never one to sneak out after curfew (even though Timmy tried really hard to convince you), you probably graduated high school a year early and went on to research how exactly we can end the polar bear’s plight once and for all.
4. Britney Spears Curious: If you wore this sweet and subtle scent, we’re guessing you may have been the artsy girl with pop culture tendencies. Sure, you and your crew spent lunch discussing what foreign film you were going to see on Friday night, but then you went home and jammed out to Christina Aguilera under the veil of noise-canceling headphones. You probably longed to escape your boring, cookie-cutter suburban town for a more urban landscape and jumped for joy when you received that acceptance letter to NYU. Now you’re working in some sort of creative field and have regular conversations about art in the modern era. BUT sometimes you still go home to your studio apartment and blast “Genie in a Bottle.”
5. Viva La Juicy: Ah, the enigma that is Juicy Couture. If you had the sweatsuit and the terry cloth handbag, this was only a natural addition. You were the cool girl at school who was maybe (hopefully) a much nicer version of Regina George. You were definitely the Queen Bee of your squad, but wouldn’t toss them aside for an opportunity to make out with Aaron Samuels. Instead, you and your gaggle of BFFs probably spent your Friday nights having sleepovers filled with giggly Cosmo readings and Jersey Shore marathoning.
6. Ralph by Ralph Lauren: If you wore this, you probably secretly wanted Clinique’s Happy but also wanted something with a little more edge. Because you can’t go using the same beauty brand as your grandma, can you?! Since you were probably from the east coast and had a least one J.Crew item in your closet, you didn’t stray too far. While it’s not exactly something you’d find in the deep, dark cave that was Hot Topic, this pick was a solid choice. Fresh, clean and totally cool for the summer (before Demi Lovato), this perfume is one we’d still totally wear today.
7. Victoria’s Secret Love Spell: Consider this pungent, fruity scent the female equivalent of Axe Body Spray. One spritz and we’re instantly transported back to the post-gym class locker room when there wasn’t enough time to shower, but you had to find some way to freshen up before sitting next to Johnny at lunch. Applied liberally, this affordable fragrance was probably (okay, definitely) layered on a bit too thick. If you wore this, we’re guessing you were the girl who always spoke her mind no matter what the cost. Were you the president of the debate team? Probably. Were you also that girl who accidentally crushed Johnny’s attempt at asking you to winter formal by interrupting his speech to tell him his fly was down? Probably.
What perfume did you wear as a teenager? Share with us in the comments below.