What Scents Remind You of the ’90s?

Published in: Just For Fun

What scents remind you of the '90s?

I’ve been riding a major wave of ’90s fragrance nostalgia as of late, mostly because of the new-ish retro Clairol Herbal Essences Shine Collection Shampoo and Conditioner ($4.50 each).


Remember those?! Herbal Essences recently relaunched them and another old-school ’90s Herbal Essences Line, the Smooth Collection.


My college roommates and I always stocked our showers with Herbal Essence. Their scents remind me of waking up just before class, hopping in the shower, and sitting on the bus with wet hair…

Nivea lotion is another scent that reminds me of the ’90s and my college years. When I had a little extra pocket change, it was my big body care indulgence. So, to go with the retro Herbal Essences, I’ve been using the new Nivea Smooth Sensation Lotion ($6.99).

It absorbs quickly, without leaving my skin feeling greasy, and has that classic Nivea scent. 🙂

What scents remind you of the ’90s?

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



Like this post? Tell your friends!

So far, 72 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. MiMi says:

    Navy and Charlie!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mimi,

      Navy is one of my ’90s scents, too. It’s more of an early ’90s/high school fragrance for me. 🙂 I wore it all the time! I think there’s still a bottle sitting in my parents’ bathroom, LOL!

    • Maria says:

      OMG, I was wondering if anyone would say Charlie! I couldn’t remember if it was a 90s hit or 80s.

  2. Rebecca says:

    Everyone is my high school (1990-94) wore either Liz Claiborne or Calvine Klein Eternity (or, more likely, the Designer Imposters Eternity, which was SO noxious). For me, the 90s smell like Obsession and BBW PearBerry and Salon Selectives Shampoo & Conditioner.

    • Elizabeth says:

      This made me think of the scene from Clueless:

      Amber – Hello?? Was I the only one listening? I thought it reeked!
      Cher – I believe that was your Designer Imposters perfume.

  3. Chris25 says:

    Bonne Bell had these mini perfumes back in 1998. I was obsessed with collecting them: http://thatleanne.blogspot.com/2011/06/bottled-emotion-nail-art-flying-kites.html

    I also loved the smell of L.A Looks hair gel. I used the blue one.

  4. Georgina says:

    It HAS to be CK One! Every time! Whenever I smell it, I’m immediately transported back to the 90s when Nirvana’s “Nevermind” was on stereos EVERYWHERE and I was a size 4! Happy days

  5. Jennifer says:

    Jean Nate! OMG… Flashback!

  6. The kids L’Oreal Cherry and Almond shampoo smell reminds me of my childhood- don’t know if it is just an English thing, but all of my friends love this scent!
    Jennifer xx

  7. Johanna says:

    Salon Selectives, Bonnie Bell Skin Perfume, CK One

  8. rose says:

    Ditto on Herbal Essences. I’d also add CK One, Fahrenheit 451, Obsession

  9. Jill says:

    Clinique Happy – reminds me of my best friend from middle school. And any of the old Bath and Body works scents, especially Pearberry and Plumeria.

  10. Katherine G says:

    Hmmmm…I was a kid in the 90’s so I would say Herbal Essences in the rose scented Smooth collection, and Bath and Body Works Sweet Pea was a fave of mine and many classmates in the late 90’s/early 2000’s, when we were all in high school. Chanel No. 5 is a classic that reminds me of my grandmother – she wore that and Shalimar.

  11. Deb says:

    Fruit Punch Lipsmackers, because I went through tube after tube right until college! Also, Vanilla Fields. I was so excited when I got it for Christmas as it was my first real perfume.

  12. Lisa says:

    CK One, for sure. Clinique Happy screams 1999 for me. Also, so many guys were wearing Joop. My boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, teachers, stepdad…it was a very confusing time for my olfactory system.

  13. KK says:

    Gap Dream!

    • Jessica says:

      I second Gap Dream!!!! Still love to wear it actually. Also any of the older BBW scents (pear berry, country apple, plumeria, flowering herbs, juniper breeze….

  14. Definitely Herbal Essences, Bath & Body Works body sprays (and Victoria’s Secret body sprays), Cool Water for Men, CK One…
    Becca @ The Beauty Sample recently posted … The Sample: Pixi Fairy Light Solo Eye Shadows in French Lace, Nude Nouveaux, Boho Bronze and Warm Autumn Review & Swatches

  15. Camille Domingo says:

    the 90’s were fun. ck ONE and “sunflowers” by elizabeth arden were the scents i LOVED.

  16. Bristol says:

    ckone for sure! And Jean Paul Gautier.

  17. Kristi says:

    I wore Prescriptives Color Sense White like it was going out of style. I loved it!!


    I was also a Pearberry fan, and Victoria’s Secret Vanilla Lace. And Bath and Body Works Gingham!!

  18. Alissa Cady says:

    I definitely agree with the Herbal Essences for a 90s reminder. I also loved the Naturistics Strawberry lipgloss in a pot. I used to practically eat that stuff. I also hosed myself down with Tommy Girl and Iced Pineapple from Bath and Body works lol

  19. Diana says:

    Charlie White, CK One, and some perfumes by Benetton.

  20. Maria says:

    Design and White Diamonds totally remind me of working at the EL counter in 1995. We had this AMAZING male fragrance model who always came in with Gendarme – I will never forget that smell. It’s still available on line but I’ll only buy it if I can find that eye-candy to go with it!!!

  21. Hmm there’s not a particular scent that reminds me of the nineties, really… I only remember visual thing 🙂
    Kiss & Make-up recently posted … Nail polish spotlight: 5 good reasons to try a Dior Vernis nail lacquer

  22. Chelsea says:

    I’m so happy that the old Herbal Essences formulas are back, I’m not a fan at all of the P&G formulas.

  23. Kelly says:

    Sunflowers perfume and Victorias Secret pear lotion and spray.

  24. Casey says:

    Sun Ripened Raspberry from Bath and Body Works.

  25. Kim says:

    Sunflowers by Elizabeth Arden, Calyx by Prescriptives and the individual perfume oils at Body Shop.

  26. Isolde says:

    Ah, it’s a bit older than that, but when I was a kid in the 80s, my dad used Herbal Essences. Back then it was green with a lady with flowing hair on the bottle. It wasn’t until those orgasm ads that I saw Herbal Essences in a different light and thought my dad was a bit funny for using that shampoo! Does bring up fond memories for me!
    Isolde recently posted … Pantone colour of the year: Emerald Shoes

  27. Jennifer L says:

    herbal essences and CK one!

  28. Shelly says:

    My best friend used Rave hairspray for her curled and way up in the air bangs LOL

  29. Jasmine says:

    L’Oreal Kids shampoo!
    Yeah I’m a 90s kid. <3
    Jasmine recently posted … Addicting Tags!

  30. Anything from Bath & Body Works, but especially Sun Ripened Raspberry and Juniper Breeze.
    Leah @ Mile High Beauty Blog recently posted … A “Small” Announcement

  31. Kate Williamson says:

    There was a Bare Escentuals perfume that I loved called Showers. I am not sure if they even do scented stuff anymore, but I loved how clean it smelled.

  32. Ondina says:

    My list includes Gap Dream, original BBW Freesia, VS Halo, Jhirmack haircare, and Aussie 3 minute miracle or scrunch spray.

  33. Paige says:

    I agree with a few of the other commenters–Clinique Happy definitely brings me back to the ’90s! But my I rocked Tommy Girl in middle school. In fact, I still have this enormous (and hideous) Tommy Hilfiger duffle bag that came with a Tommy Girl gift set I got one year for Chrismas!

  34. Katherine says:

    Gap Heaven, CK one, tommy girl, BBw cucumber melon and gardenia, Paloma Picasso in the early 90s, my moms Chanel no 5 for special occasions,, and patchouli oil in my college hippie days :).

  35. Holy cow, this post has been a blast from the past! oh my gosh, I used to LOVE LOVE Herbal Esences shampoo. Another 90s scent was Polo cologne, all the guys at my school used to wear that. CK1 was really popular, too.
    Sharon J. Gilman recently posted … The safe way to double your money is to fold it over and put it in your pocket ~Frank Hubbard

  36. niche says:

    Gap Dream and Grass, Clinique Happy, Escada summer scents like Ibiza Party(?) or Island Kiss(?) and Calgon body sprays. The late 90s was not a high point for scents for me. Luckily, I can use the “I was 13” excuse.

    And yeah for hair care, definitely Herbal Essences. And my sister is a lot younger so I remember using her L’oreal Kids shampoo (I am singing the song from their commercials in my head).

  37. Brooke says:

    I saw the Herbal Essence bottles while at Target the other day and HAD to pick up a bottle of shampoo and conditioner! At first I was confused because I thought “did they randomly find some old product in the back”? lol. I forgot how much I love and missed them! 🙂 Definitely picking up more when I’m out!

  38. Julie Greenwood says:

    Tresor, Guerlain’s epic failure that I loved-Champs-Élysées , and that heinous apple scent that everyone wore circa 1997.

  39. Kim says:

    Estee Lauder’s Pleasures and Tommy Girl!

  40. Stephanie Smith says:

    Pumping Curls hair stuff, was it made by L’Oreal? I can’t remember. But I used the heck out of that stuff, and when I smell it, it’s 1992 again!

  41. Julia says:

    CK One ist also the scent that most reminds me of the 90s. I got it as a Christmas present together with Nirvana´s Nevermind.

  42. Heidi says:

    BBW’s Plumeria, ck One, and Herbal Essence are scents that always take me RIGHT BACK to my teenage years in the 90s.

  43. Kate says:

    noxema! is it even around anymore??

  44. Cloudburst says:

    CK One and Thierry Mugler Angel.

  45. Nicole says:

    I second CK One, Bath and Body Work’s sun ripened raspberry and Clinique Happy! Even Obsession, Tommy Girl and Cool Water.

  46. Twyla says:

    Neutrogena Anti-Residue Shampoo takes me back to my parents house every time I use it (always have a bottle at home to strip my hair of products)… and I still use Bonne Bell ‘SKIN’ musk perfume – this perfume gets more compliments from strangers than any of my CK’s, Ralph Lauren’s, Issey’s, etc.. Its my signature scent.

  47. Keyana says:

    When I was in middle/high school Victoria’s Secret body sprays were all the rage! Pear Glace in particular – I had a guy friend that used to wear it and he smelled so good!
    Keyana recently posted … Rimmel Kate #4 and #15 Swatches and Review

  48. Monica P says:

    I remember Calvin Klein (CK One) as being this new scent that could be worn by a man or woman – gasp! I don’t want to smell too masculine! I don’t want my man smelling too feminine! I never bought the fragrance even though years later I rather like CK One on either gender 😉

    Monica P recently posted … Lace front sweatshirt

  49. R says:

    Juniper Breeze
    Davidoff Cool Water Woman
    Vanilla Fields
    Oscar de la Renta
    Extra stinky deodorant (like Teen Spirit)
    Coconut shampoo (suave etc)

  50. Valarie says:

    Loves’s baby soft
    Love’s Soft jasmine
    Coty’s Exclamation perfume
    Coty’s Tribe perfume

  51. Miranda says:

    WOW~~~ Bonnie Bell Lip smacker in DR PEPPER!! LOL

  52. Lorraine says:

    Will always remember my aunt’s Jovan Musk and my mother’s Poison. My cousin was going through bottles of CK one and all the guys at my school loved Cool Water(s?) There was a year of vanilla musk from the Body Shop. I liked the mini GAP scents and Dream and Grass were my fave! And for special occasions I used Anais-Anais, which I only bought coz I liked the name lol.

  53. Kellie says:

    CK one, herbal essences, thermasilk shampoo and conditioner, Clinique Happy and Victoria’s Secret strawberries and champagne! I miss that one!

  54. nicole says:

    definitely herbal essences hair spray line from that era, bonne bell lip smackers, bbw vanilla sugar for me! i didn’t really use BBW till later… and wish i stocked up on the old scents from then!

  55. KSlone says:

    Liz Claiborne. Red triangle bottle!

  56. Elizabeth says:

    Definitely the Herbal Essence in the scent from your picture! Also, my boyfriend in high school always wore Cool Water, so that reminds me of the 90s too.

  57. JB says:

    I loved the ’90’s, especially the late. Fendi Classic, Eternity Classic, Amarige, Red Door, Dolce & Gabbana Red Cap, Sung Pure and Hypnotic Poison all hold the best memories for me. I also loved the Herbal Essence shampoo.

  58. dee says:

    can someone help me I am trying to remember a perfume that Macy’s use to have in the 90’s and late 90’s too a watermelon perfume so good to smell but I don’t know the name I want to find it again can anyone help me I looked it up but not much help was found thank you .

  59. Maria says:

    Omg im loving reading these so how about exclamation, electric youth, def all the old BBW,salon selectives I just found at big lots I was so excited it doesn’t work for anything but it still smells like the 90’s lol I also remember a V.S scent I swear it was called romantic rose I loved loved loved that scent does anyone else remember that scent ? I can’t find any info on it anywhere:( this is great reading<3

    • ASHLEY says:


      I soooooooo remember VS Romantic Rose! I loved it!
      I wish i could find it again.
      Biosilk hair silk smells so much like it.

  60. Sara says:

    Does anyone remember the drug store perfumes that came in a tube? It had a spray top with a big clear cap. There were also lotions and shower gels. I had a scent that was red and my best friend had a purple one. I can’t remember who made them or what they were called. But they were awesome! The shower gels had little floating moisture beads in them. Did anyone else have those?

  61. susan says:

    Fetish. It was in like a clear tube with red and blue cap. Anyone member it?

  62. Rusty22 says:

    Those Herbal Essences shampoos; The Body Shop’s Grapefruit shampoo, White Musk Oil & Dewberry Oil, Coty Vanilla Fields; Bath & Body Works Vanilla Bean, Peach Nectar, White Gardenia, Peaberry & Sun Ripened Raspberry, Pert shampoo, Speed Stick fresh scent

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge