Bath & Body Works Is Bringing Back Some Classic Scents So We Ranked Them By Awfulness

The 90s nostalgia machine has sputtered and spoken again: Your favorite purveyors of fine fragrances everywhere, Bath & Body Works, is reviving some classics. In a move that demonstrates an alarming lack of respect for boundaries, they are bringing back some “nostalgic scents” originally sold in the early 90s, because apparently there are people who miss choking on apple-scented garbage water while their high school boyfriend feels them up.

Apparently the #flashbackfragrance marketing trend already proved itself successful last year when they briefly relaunched the horrifyingly popular scents:  Plumeria, Cucumber Melon, Country Apple, White Tea & Ginger, Juniper Breeze, and Pearberry (PEARBERRY?!). The smells included in this year’s crop of #flashbackfragrances unfortunately remain under wraps until their release on May 27th.

However, we don’t need them to reveal which early 90s scents they’re re-gifting us in order to remember some of the possibilities. In fact, the horrifyingly sugar-scented possibilities will forever live in my mind as a vivid memory, taking me back to the days of excessive body glitter and a Josie and the Pussycats haircut that didn’t fit my face shape.

For your consumption (and respectful disagreement), I have sorted five of the classic Bath & Bodyworks scents by their suffocating awfulness.

1. Crystal Blue Waters


This scent is perfect for all the occasions you want to smell like you’re wearing a bottle of Glacier Breeze Gatorade lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar you found on the kitchen floor. Its “fresh subtlety”  means this scent is too weak to mask a stink but still gives you the desperation vibes of a 15-year-old spraying Axe at the beach.

2. Green Clover & Aloe


First off, this one doesn’t even SOUND like it smells good! Aloe and Clover immediately triggers a memory of a younger version of myself applying gel to a very painful sunburn. The scent you get from this spray echoes the cognitive dissonance of the name. It’s a smell with an identity crisis. Is it supposed to be earthy or medicinal? Honestly, the spray is just as confused about its purpose as you are when you spray it on your body.

3. Juniper Breeze

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If you want to recreate the scene in The Notebook where a young Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling dash into the water to lovingly embrace, then by all means buy Juniper Breeze. It is guaranteed to make you smell like Rachel McAdams after she gets out of the water, slightly musty and dripping wet with a hint of sweet deodorant in the mix. I imagine this is what Bath & Body Work’s intention was when making this fragrance, because who the fuck wants to smell like a cypress?

4. Pearberry

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Straight out of the gate I hate this spray just because it’s named “Pearberry.” Is “Pearberry” supposed to be a cute nickname for the horribly conceived hybrid scent? The word Pearberry sounds like a fro-yo shop in Portland that would charge me $9 for a plain yogurt that an angry 19-year-old would scoop for me while Future blasts. I have nothing against fro-yo or Portland or 19-year-olds individually, but the cumulative feeling of being simultaneously ripped off and underwhelmed mirrors exactly how I feel when smelling or encountering “Pearberry.”

5. Plumeria

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First of all, can we all take a knee and appreciate the lavish eBay image setup for Plumeria? The care and decadence granted to such a perfume would be touching if it didn’t seduce you into buying such a subpar product. Plumeria is the girl in high school who everyone thought was smart because her parents flew her to France annually, but secretly cheated throughout her whole school career. If Plumeria was a college student it would be a kid who got into Harvard off a legacy scholarship and later disappointed you by attending a party in blackface. It is just so much floral hype for such a bad aftertaste. Wait, I wasn’t supposed to be drinking it?! Fuck that, it still sucks.