There’s a discussion on a forum I visit about the smellies and cosmetics that defined our teenage years. At my school, the crazes were bath pearls and Rimmel’s ‘Black Cherries’ lipstick – much too dark for a blonde, but I wore it nonetheless. The only deodorant to be seen with was Natrel (with the green lid) and at every birthday we’d buy our cards in Athena and presents from Boots’ Natural Collection.
But it’s the smells that are really evoking memories. I think everyone remembers the scent they wore as a teenager. Most girls at my school wore Body Shop White Musk. I had a little bottle of Body Shop Ananya, and then moved on to Cacherel’s Anais Anais. When I was 16, I was given a bottle of Lou Lou. I can’t remember who gave it to me – the bottle is pretty hideous, actually, blue frosted glass with a red lid – but Lou Lou is the scent that makes me feel like a teenager again – I was in the Lou Lou phase when I discovered boys. Then my dad went to the States on business and came back with a bottle of Calvin Klein’s Eternity. I still have it and if I want to go back to 1994 I can close my eyes and breathe it in.
My first boyfriend used a Body Shop aftershave (called ‘Activist’ which is a stupid name but it does smell nice) and even now if I smell it, it makes me go a bit weak at the knees. I haven’t seen the boy in question for nearly 15 years but to me that smell is teenage lust, bottled.