10 Scents Every Millennial Will Recognize Instantly from Childhood
Nothing brings up feelings of nostalgia quite like the smell of something comforting from years past. These ten scents are sure to transport any millennial right back to the days of Boy Meets World and NKOTB!
Grape Bubble Yum
If you wanted to blow the biggest bubble out of all your friends, you no doubt popped a piece of Bubble Yum gum into your mouth, and the grape flavor was especially a classic. That sweet smell of sugar and artificial flavor came through just after a few chews, and although you may not have been allowed to have it on the schoolyard, grape Bubble Yum was a staple at birthday parties, play dates, and when you were forced to watch your brother’s soccer games. And it turns out, all that candy was better for you than you thought.
Even if your lips weren’t chapped, there was nothing more satisfying than lathering on a layer of Lip Smackers for a fruity pucker. Whether you were a fan of Watermelon or opted for something a little more funky like Dr. Pepper, that waxy, fragrant lip balm conjures up images of sleepovers where you’d be playing Pretty Pretty Princess or showing off your latest Beanie Baby. (Here’s why you probably have chapped lips.)
Mr. Sketch Scented Markers
Coloring was brought to a whole new level with Mr. Sketch Scented Markers. It wasn’t uncommon to run out of cherry or orange first (they were the best flavors, after all), but there was always ink left in the black licorice by the time it came to get a new pack. Let’s also not forget the competition to get that coveted brown marker. It may have been ugly, but it smelled like soda heaven. (But this is why you should probably stay away from soda—even diet.)
It was your first babysitting job, and Play-Doh was your savior when it came to keeping the kids occupied. That sweet-and-salty dough-like smell conjures up images of summer days, sitting on the concrete molding together miniature people and fantasy castles. Did you know that Play-Doh was never meant to be a toy?
Cucumber Melon From Bath & Body Works
Every girl’s trip to the mall culminated in a stop at Bath & Body Works, and it wasn’t complete without the purchase of a Cucumber Melon body mist or lotion. It was the perfect combination of sweet and refreshing, the smell of melon so good you wanted to taste it, but not too overwhelming that your Mom thought you smelled like a piece of candy.
Field trips were the perfect time to convince your parents to pack you a Lunchable for the day. Between the juicy scent of a Capri Sun and the intense smell of the turkey lunch meat, the smell of a freshly-opened Lunchable brings back memories of piling off the bus with excitement, devouring food at a picnic table with all your friends, happy to be escaping class.
These fruit snacks were more candy than snack, but their intense fruit smell came from both their gelatinous exterior and their sugary, syrupy filling. Gone are the days when we can take a snack break before recess time to enjoy one of these fruity treats, but it’s nice to remember a time when you would trade flavors with your classmate and feel the sweet liquid spill down your tongue.
No childhood was complete without a box of Crayola crayons, and one whiff of those waxy crayons, and you’re transported right back to play dates of days yonder. It was hard not to envy those kids with the big multi-colored boxes, but let’s be real: They all ended up mixed and scattered anyway, so you likely went home with a few extra colors. (Parents, here’s how you can clean crayon off your walls.)
Back when shopping was super boring and tagging along with your parents to the mall seemed like a chore, Cinnabon was a saving grace. Even before you could see the storefront, the rich smell of sugary cinnamon would hit your nose with such an intensity, those warm buns became irresistible. Going to the mall with Mom no longer seemed like the worst thing in the world when you had that doughy dessert in your hands. (Did you know about these nine uses for cinnamon?)
It may not have had the most pleasant smell, but there was no mistaking the rubbery, chemical scent of a Koosh Ball, a precursor to Fidget Spinners. Thankfully, at that age we didn’t care about the bitter smell of rubber, and playing with a Koosh Ball at lunchtime or at home watching Nickelodeon was the best way to occupy our time—those little strings just felt so good, even if they made our hands smell funky later!