Get A Whiff of This: Scents of the 80s

Wellness  / 

Sometimes, as I drench my daughters hair in her berry flavored detangler, I wonder if one day she’ll catch a whiff of that spray and it will remind her of being a kid.  We all know that smells have the power to transport you back in time, and nothing makes me smile more than when something takes me back to being a kid in the 80’s.  Here are 20 smells that every mama who was a kid in the 80’s will remember…

1.  The smell of Finesse shampoo

2.  The awesome yet sickening sweetness of Debbie Gibson’s “Electric Youth” perfume (that you poured on before the coed parties in middle school)

3.  The unmistakable scent of Aqua Net for sculpting monstrosities on your head

4.  The stench of Sun-In, which never made your hair the color you thought it would

5.  The baby powdered warmth of your Cabbage Patch dolls

6.  The eggy chemical odor of your new perm, that you couldn’t wash for a few days

7.  And the delicious sweetness of Pantene for permed hair when you finally could (Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful)

8.  The mash up of “Designer Imposters” sprays you tried on at the drugstore, that lingered on your clothes for days (and had the cheesiest slogans!)

9.  Your mother’s Opium (or Poison) when she went out on a Saturday night

10.  Your dad’s Brut when he was taking her out

11.  The sweet plastic smell of your “My Little Pony”

12.  The waft of the scented sizzle when you crimped hair that had Dep mousse already in it

13.  The fresh fragrance of the Jean Nate aftersplash you actually splashed onto yourself after a shower (would you ever now??)

14.  The unbearably hot scent of the guy who wore Drakkar Noir (in his Z. Cavaricci’s of course)

15.  The chemical waft of the ditto papers your teacher handed out, that immediately went up to your face

16.  The overwhelming odor of PVC and plastic from your jelly shoes

17.  The smell of hot dust when you blew into your Nintendo cartridges to get them to work

18.  The gross scent of the slime in a plastic pod you got for a quarter leaving the supermarket

19.  The artificially fruity/stale smell of a big bowl of SmurfBerry Crunch cereal

20.  The smell of those plastic coated erasers that smudged more than erased – but smelled so good doing it


And as our thoughts and noses return to 2015, I only hope that one day our babies can smell their way back to their childhood with as many fun memories as we can.  Now, I’ll leave you with the words of 80’s icon The Fresh Prince of Bel Air…    Yo homes, smell ya later.

Jacqueline Goldschneider is a freelance writer and a mother of four living in Bergen County

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