Bath & Body Works is Bringing Back Cucumber Melon and Memories of Your Middle School Crush

Collage by Maria Jia Ling Pitt.

Big news for your nose: over the course of the month, Bath & Body Works will release a bunch of their throwback scents like Cucumber Melon, Country Apple and Sensual Amber, also known as early 2000s peak pubescent mating calls. B&BW calls this package their “Signature Body Care” as part of their semi-annual sale. I call it middle school, just in time for Last Chance Dance. I’m not sure there was a day in 7th grade that I didn’t smell like the chemical re-imagination of a sun-ripened raspberry, delivered by way of body splash: the training bra of perfume.

Remember middle school beauty products? Victoria’s Secret’s Love Spell body spray still haunts my nostrils — a memory of the most popular girls in school, a sickeningly-sweet fruity scent conjured just as easily by microwaving gummy bears. I wore whatever my mom bought at Target or aunt got me for Christmas, like Daily Defense Conditioner and Dr. Pepper Lipsmackers. I also recall a beloved roll-on glitter stick that I’d dap on my temples for an extra special sparkle. My temples were a real hot zone back then.

I started asking around the office to get people’s most nostalgic beauty products — those pre-“self care” artificial potions that gave us the false impression that we were growing up: Hard Candy nail polish. Clinique Happy, Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue and DKNY Be Delicious perfume. Pink Stila eyeshadow. Gap’s edible lip gloss. Lancome Juicy Tubes!!! Omg, once my aunt bought me a 12-pack of those and I thought I’d have a heart attack right then and there. Did we all just wake up one tween day and long for sticky stuff in rainbow bottles? Were we brainwashed during Lizzie McGuire commercial breaks? Or did it start even earlier, with produce-scented My Little Ponies and scratch-and-sniff stickers?

I’m racking my brain trying to think of more. I swear I had a whole Caboodle full of these things. I guarded them like they were my life’s savings. Back then, they were. What are your most nostalgic beauty products?

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman

Haley Nahman is the Features Director at Man Repeller.

More from Archive