Nostalgic '90s Scents

Every '90s fragrance we could remember: The provocatively androgynous, the cloyingly fruity and every high and low note in-between.

Tweens and teens of the '90s reminisce on the scents they grew-up with: The provocatively androgynous, the cloyingly fruity, the blithely optimistic and every high and low note between. Stream "Jagged Little Pill," uncap a Snapple and settle in for an olfactory stroll down memory lane. Bonus: We include men's cologne, too.


Something still smells like Teen Spirit in here... After our, we realized that a few staples were left out. Who could forget the original Rush, Happy, or Bath and Body Works' impressive fragrance lineup? Originally, we were drawn to Gucci Rush by its uncanny resemblance to those orange Nickelodeon VHS tapes, but the sultry blend of peach, vanilla, and patchouli tapped into our teenage desire to live a little more like Cher Horowitz. Clinique's Happy was introduced to us in a miniature form—the tiny bottles included in the gifts with purchase finally convinced us to save our allowance for the full-size bottle, and the extensive library of scents offered up at Bath and Body Works could match our temper more accurately than a color-changing mood ring. But the options don't stop there! We added even more '90s fragrances to our growing lineup of perfumes that adorned our vanity back in the day.

Clinique Happy

About 15 years before Pharrell's "Happy" hit the airwaves (We were still listening to Hanson back then...), Clinique's Happy fragrance ($52;) arrived on store shelves in '97. The energetic mandarin, grapefruit, lily, and freesia notes acted as an instant pick-me-up-which was much-needed after our first viewing of Titanic.

Gucci Rush

Seriously, could this bottle get any cooler? Gucci Rush ($60; ) was housed in a box-shaped flacon, and was streamlined enough to fit in the pocket of our Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper. Plus, we just couldn't resist the sexy gardenia, freesia, and vanilla blend.

Demeter Dirt

This no-nonsense fragrance ($20; ) smells exactly like wet soil after the rain, and serves as the perfect grunge-inspired touch to an oversized flannel.

Vanilla Fields

When we felt like classing it up, we'd reach for Coty's Vanilla Fields ($25; ) which tempered the dominant vanilla note with musk, amber, and a slight jasmine twist.

Dune by Christian Dior

Before Dior launched J'Adore in 1999, the summery amber, peony, and sandalwood notes in Dune ($78; ) earned the fragrance a permanent spot on our vanities during the earlier part of the decade.


Our mothers were fans of this floriental ($72; ) which combined yellow flowers like mimosa, narcissus, and freesia, with vanilla and amber elements.

The Body Shop

Next to the iconic spritzers by Gap and Bath and Body Works, The Body Shop's White Musk ($18; ) was a sure staple among '90s mall mavens for its heady musk elements, which were combined with floral notes like jasmine, lily, iris, and rose.

Davidoff Cool Water Women

This aquatic blend ($13; ) launched back in '96, and is as refreshing as a dip in the pool with its notes of pineapple, lotus, and ocean air.

ck one

It's impossible to talk about '90s fragrances without mentioning this unisex staple ($51; ), which features one-size-fits-all notes of bergamot, violet, nutmeg, and musk-a perfect complement to the ads featuring Kate Moss that we once had taped onto our walls.

Tommy Girl

A must-have spritzer for cool girls everywhere, Tommy Girl ($57; ) mixes notes of lemon, honeysuckle, and lily with a heady sandalwood base.

Curve by Liz Clayborne

We've been spraying on Curve ($18; ) since '96 and haven't looked back since! The floral mix of peony, yellow freesia, and lily of the valley is so sparkling, it almost challenges our roll-on body glitter.

Angel by Thierry Mugler

Thierry Mugler's Angel ($82; ) is one of those scents you can call out just by catching a passing whiff, thanks to its prominent gourmand notes like honey, vanilla, caramel, and chocolate.

Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers

Confession time: We've taken this energetic floral ($11; ) from our mother's vanities more often than she realized. After all, it was the perfect complement to the printed sunflower dress we'd pair with combat boots!

Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique

Weeks of saving up our allowance finally paid off when Jean Paul Gaultier's Classique ($100; ) officially became our first "big girl" fragrance with its classy vanilla, rose, and tonka bean elements.



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