Sali Loves: Cheap Smells

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The 12 unexpected scents I completely adore


I confess I can be such a snob about perfume (today I’m wearing a Frederic Malle Eau D’Hiver, yesterday, Tom Ford’s Rive D’Ambre), but however many luxury scents I amass, the bargain bucket smells of some every day beauty products still do remarkable things to me. Delicious, evocative fragrances that instantly transport me to happy times, comforting and soothing smells that remind me of a simpler age, or even just scents that cause a reaction in my sexual chemistry for reasons I may have long forgotten. Here are my all time favourites – all of them under a tenner, most of them much less. Let me know your own favourites in comments.




Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 19.08.40Yardley English Lavender, £7.49

My grandmother wore Yardley English Lavender every single day and probably for this reason alone, it remains the only lavender smell I love (I can’t bear it in almost everything else). It’s soft, warm, soothing almost to the point of soporific, and elegant. To me it is a fireside cuddle, my nose pressed into my nan’s apron, or a game of gin rummy, her scent wafting over the little card table.






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Apple shampoo
One of the most memorable scents of my childhood. Cheap apple shampoo bought in the sort of huge plastic bottles that normally contain turps or screen wash. The shampoo inside had a strong, crisp, artificial green apple scent that was absolutely delicious. Nowhere seems to sell it anymore – believe me, I’ve looked. The closest I’ve found is this more natural and middle class version, from Ocado, which I buy for my kids and find very hard to walk past without stopping to snatch a whiff.





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Pantene Shampoo & Conditioner, from £2.69

I get sent every conceivable luxury hair product, including shampoos costing upwards of £30, but nothing ever smells as good as this. Pantene isn’t my favourite shampoo (though it’s certainly fine), but the smell absolutely sums up ‘clean hair’ to me. I find it very attractive when I smell it on others. The overall fragrance changes ever so slightly from formula to formula, but whatever ingredient appeals to me most seems to carry through the entire range.



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Max Factor Creme Puff, £5.99

Creme Puff just smells of ‘make-up’, much as Christian Dior lipstick does, or Bourjois powder rouge. None of this sensitive skin molly-coddling, the Max Factor face powder hits you with a proper old fashioned dressing table scent and you’ll bloody well like it. Fortunately, I love it. If you ever hovered over your mum or gran’s open handbag, trying to breathe in the interior’s scent, then you’ll love this.


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Johnson’s Baby Lotion, £1.99

One of the loveliest smells of all time. One deep whiff is like been cosseted in a warm blanket and tucked cosily into a single bed. It’s a fragrance I always think of as smelling exactly how it looks – pink, mellow, delicate, old fashioned, soft and sweet. It’s no good on my dry skin but I love the smell so much that I’m never without a bottle in the house.




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Original Nivea Creme, £2.54

An iconic product with a very beautiful smell. This multi-purpose moisturiser feels and smells clean, velvety, slightly beeswaxy and feminine – very similar, in fact, to Nina Ricci’s L’Air du Temps, only for a tiny fraction of the cost.




Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 19.11.05Pears Transparent Soap, 79p

I adore Pears, but could just as easily have chosen Imperial Leather, Wright’s Coal Tar or Shield (does Shield even still exist?). Retro soaps are the most evocative of all to me – they’re the generic smell of my childhood – my stepfather coming in to wash his hands after fixing the car, my mother dropping a bar of Pears into a bowl of warm water to wash the baby’s bum, the smell of the flannels my grandmother pre-soaped for when I got up for school. Lovely, fatty, sweet, lanolin-rich bars of daily British life.



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Elnett Hairspray, from £2.39

I call it Posh-nan-in-a-can, because it smells exactly like the sort of well groomed older woman I aspired to be as a child (and probably still do). Elnett’s is a scent that polarises opinion – to some it’s too chemical, too gassy and strong. But to me it’s the smell of good grooming, of power, of getting ready to go out and have a brilliant time.




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Coty L’Aimant, £9.99

Created in 1927 by the great Francois Coty, L’Aimant is a warm, comforting aldehydic floral that’s not too sweet or overpowering. It’s absolutely bargainous for the quality, and yet still smells like a woman of means and elegance. If you like Chanel No5, you will probably like this. A classic.




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Hawaiian Tropic Tropical Tanning Oil, £6.14

Cor. I adore this sticky, sexy, sunny coconutty smell of hot skin. One smell and I’m instantly transported to my first parent-free holiday abroad, lying on the beach reading Sky magazine, sipping duty free vodka punch and gossiping with friends. Hawaiian Tropic suntan oil is the bottled smell of happy summers.




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Radox Original Bath Soak, £1.99

An instantly evocative bath gel smelling of thyme, pine and juniper. Only old school Radox and Badedas seem to give you that amazing, almost momentarily painful hit, as you submerge your cold aching body in a hot bubble bath for a long, relaxing muscle soak. Strong smelling and fresh almost to the point of toilet cleaner, but just managing to stay on the right side. Utterly blissful and cosying.




Screen Shot 2013-11-06 at 19.13.35Bargain Hair Gel, £1.29

Huge tubs of brightly coloured bargain hair gel truly were the smell of the eighties for me. We’d dip our combs and brushes directly into the tubs (or squeeze on ShockWaves Wet Look if we were feeling flush) and rake them through our terrible mullet haircuts, creating stiff stripes that flaked onto our school cardigans as the day wore on. Girls with highly coveted spiral perms drenched their wet curls with the stuff, thus preventing them from ever drying and fluffing. I can still just about smell the chemical, sticky aroma if I close my eyes – it was the smell of school discos, of wet, clumsy snogs with fit boys during She’s Like The Wind, of overcrowded dormitories in school holiday camps. I’ve just ordered a tub.


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  • MitziDelBra

    Coty L’Aimant was my first ever perfume. I can still smell it if I close my eyes. I was like a tiny nan, going to school drenched in it.

    • Debra Brock

      It was my Nanna’s fragrance too. When she passed away we found loads of the talc stacked up that we’d bought over countless Christmas and birthdays.

      • KatInEurope

        L’Aimant was a scent I sold in my first ever job working as a pharmacy assistant aged 15.
        Also from that sales era: Cabochard and Cabotine from Grès. Is a time warp in a bottle :)

  • mimi smith

    I totally get the memories that certain smells evoke. One of my strongest memory triggers is not beauty related but a whiff of Swarfega (hand wash thingy) is just a memory of my dad in a jar. I was in B&Q only last week and got quite excited to see it.

    • Sali Hughes

      Yes! Totally Swarfega!

      • Ali Nightingale

        Swarfega makes your diamonds sparkle. I was given this ‘Top Tip’ by a Copper who used to have to give a squirt of it to people when they had their fingerprints taken.

    • jen pobble

      Yes! I have this under my kitchen sink!

    • Suzanne

      Swarfega, god that brings back memories, my dad used it all the time!

    • LaurenGrace

      Love the smell of Swarfega! Reminds me of my granddad’s garage and the workshops at uni.

      • mikal


  • Reddest_Roar

    Retro soaps are a definite for me in making me think of my grandma. I think I’d add those Feu Orange traffic light air fresheners, too – reminds me of trips to the caravan in a battered old car, singing Charlie Chaplin songs and playing ‘I Spy’. As for my teenage years…it’d have to be Body Shop’s Dewberry range for fellow girls, and Lynx Africa for the boys I used to snog on the playing fields.

  • alex monteny

    L’Oreal Studio Line hairspray takes me right back to the eighties, it was how I cemented my wierd hairdo and because I kissed a lot of boys in those years, it always makes me a bit frisky when I accidentally smell it today.

    • Sali Hughes

      I love that too.

      • mikal

        I must agree..

    • Dolly Daydreem


  • jen pobble

    Pears is one of my all-time favourite smells, sadly I live with a boy who is allergic to soap. When my grandmother died I took an ancient bourjois pot rouge from her house – it smells amazing and always reminds me of her.

    • Ruby Scarlett

      Pears do a soap free handwash, the scent isn’t as strong but it is still Pears

  • Fi Nightingale

    Pears, Nivea, Radox, apple shampoo and hair gel all take me back to my childhood. Ditto the smell of Vosene and lily of the valley talc. Cor.

  • Fi Nightingale

    Also, very disappointed that Pears handwash smells nothing like the soap. Don’t they realise that’s the only reason people want to buy it?

  • Lindsey Muse

    I love the smell of those black cough sweets that my nan has always had and still does now!

  • Becky Mortimer

    This apple shampoo smells just like the old school stuff and it’s so cheap, my daughter’s boyfriend goes through gallons of the stuff. There’s even a matching conditioner.

  • Sabine

    Ach, the apple shampoo. Crisp memories.

  • Jackie Jormpjormp

    It’s not Christmas ’til you’ve unwrapped the Imperial Leather ready for guests.

    • Debbie Elzing

      It always reminds me of Butlins in Bognor Regis. In a good way.

  • Mai Mac

    My Grandpa was obsessed with spearmint polos and now whenever I smell anything spearmint it reminds me of him immediately. I highly doubt there’s a spearmint polo perfume, but if there was, I’d wear it.

  • Emma Carey

    Lovely article – wouldn’t wear it now, but ck one mixed with the smell of slightly stale cigarette smoke brings the nineties / my twenties back to me in a heady rush…

  • Lottie

    I adore the smell of Camay soap; I remember being about 4 or 5 and convincing my father to buy some, because to me, having it meant being grown up and elegant.

  • Beklet

    I love cheap smells. Pears soap, Vosene shampoo, Johnson’s Baby Powder, Yardley’s Sandalwood was my Nan’s soap of choice, baby sister’s cheap hair gel for her buzzcut (age 5). Summer was all about Nivea suntan lotion and aftersun. Fabulous! I always enjoy these nostalgic posts

  • Fiona

    The smell of Dove Fine Silk handwash is addictive, it makes me sniff my hands like a teenage boy sniffing his fingers after an ummm, assigantion.

  • Fiona

    The Body Shop’s Kiwi lip balm tastes like teenage discos.

    • Sali Hughes

      Yes! And morello cherry.

      • Kerstin

        I discovered morello cherry lip balm when on an English language course in Eastbourne at the age of 14. There were no Body Shops in Austria, so it was extra special. I now have a PhD in English Literature, I’m sure these two things are related.

        • TechieBird

          I don’t think I’ve used morello cherry since I was about 16. Might have to go and buy some now…

  • DollyBarton

    Oil of Ulay is a real comforting scent along with Imperial Leather hand soap which reminds me of my grandparents. When a group of boys dashes past me and the smell (stench?) of Lynx chokes me I am always taken straight back to senior school – it’s quite sweet that teenagers still douse themselves in the cheap stuff. I imagine if I got a waft of Impulse Vanilla Kisses it would take me right back again!

    There are so many scents that just catch you unawares and send you to a particular point in your life – they have deLorean capabilities. I have to say, my absolute favourite smell is horses. If I could bottle it and keep it in my handbag to sniff like Bach Rescue Remedy I would!

  • Gillybobs

    Nice article Sali, Alberto Balsam still make cheap apple shampoo! Yum

  • ttilley

    Woodleigh Green Apple Shampoo! That was the creme de la creme. I loved the almondy Vidal Sassoon shampoo too. Pears soap had a reformulation & is nowhere near as lovely as it used to be. They said they’d bring back the old formulation though… And who didn’t love Body Shop White Musk?! It’s 1980 in a bottle for me.

    • Karen French

      I adored the almond scented Vidal Sasoon range, was gutted when they changed it.

      • Sally Bowles

        Ditto, Aveda Blue Malva shampoo has something of the same marzipan note. My daily indulgence!

  • Autumn Winter

    Sali you need to try Alberto Balsam Juicy Green Apple Shampoo!! I takes me right back whenever I smell it :-)

  • KatInEurope

    You can get that tanning oil in SPF 30, btw. It is still fabulous.
    Wish Clarins handcream smell perfume existed. I also have a strange love for all pine bath products. #childofthe70s

  • Paula Freeman-Bown

    My childhood best friend was given a bottle of 4711 cologne and we used to splash it on feeling so sophisticated. European! Unisex! Lemony!

  • betsymartian

    I miss the smell of Linco Beer shampoo.

  • Michelle Ross

    Body Shop White Musk was the height of sophistication in my teenage years.

  • Guest

    I love love love the smell of Coal Tar soap & Vosene!

  • Sam W

    Anything Dewberry reminds me of weekends spent hanging around the Natural Collection counter in Boots.

  • Bekahbea

    Lovely nostalgic piece. For me it’s Imperial Leather and Badedas, definitely. The smell of teenage years. (I’m choosing to block out the Old Spice that my Dad insisted on wearing.) Shield soap is the only thing I’ve ever been allergic to – brought me out in an angry red rash.

    • birdsoffortuity

      Shield soap! Oh my goodness. I hate the smell, but my dad has used it forever and is the only person I know to have used it. There are always at least four unopened bars in my parents house. Even a little whiff reminds me of him :)

    • Dolly Daydreem

      Oh man – shield soap! My dad used this for his wash after work. Used to leave green soap-skidmarks in the corner of the sink next to the tap!

  • Sandy Marks

    I still recall the scent of Boots cold cream, it will always remind me of my mum.

  • Linda.Belinda

    I love the smell of Guerlain powder/Meteorites. Also, of Nivea body lotion and hand cream, and Moroccan oil. Nuxe lipbalm – so yummi. I hate most hairsprays though and hold my breath when using Elnet.

  • Hilary Murray Hill

    Yardley Sea Jade, Cedar Wood talc, Old Spice in the china bottle with the silver cap and Blue Grass – which you can still get for under a tenner in Superdrug. Your post has given me a blissful five minutes, Sali. Thank you.

    • Margaret Doherty

      Old Spice!!! The mark of a man and the best ad ever. And Bay Rum men’s hair dressing.

  • Rooty Tooty

    Such strong scent memories, I love it. Lux soap flakes for hand washing clothes was always the loveliest smell and softest feeling stuff. Horse’s tack and all the stuff for cleaning and oiling also makes me incredibly nostalgic.

    • Lisette

      Lux flakes reminds me so much of washing baby woollies. My mum used to make some strange concoction for washing jumpers that had Lux flakes, eucalyptus and something else in it – it sat in a big coffee jar in the laundry. She also used to grate yellow soap into the copper when she was boiling up the sheets. I was NOT born in the 19th century btw but we did live in an old house with few mod cons!

    • Dolly Daydreem

      My grandad used Lux flakes in the baths for my brother and I as children. He used to swoosh it up into mountains and mountains of bubbles for us. And we used to sneak little handfuls out of the cupboard when he went back downstairs; it was so lovely to touch and sqwoosh in wet hands!

  • wine&crisps&writing

    How I loved apple shampoo, a bath with hair washed in apple shampoo and my Mum scented with Anais Anais ready to go out is the Saturday night of my childhood 😀

  • wine&crisps&writing

    Impulse body sprays (especially the Spice Girls one) were verrrry cool when I was a teen in the nineties! I’m often tempted to buy one when I see them in Boots

  • betsymartian

    I like it when a smell is absolutely free because I’m smelling it on someone else. I love the smell of someone smoking Marlboro Reds because that always takes me back to a sunny day sitting on the kerb waiting for the bus to work with my friend who smoked them. There’s a perfume my sister used to wear, I can’t remember the name of it but whenever I smell it I feel like I’m in the same room with her, which is very comforting.

    The flipside to this coin is that I love the smell of my hair after I’ve been to the hairdresser, I don’t know how their potions add up to the same warm, luxurious smell, no matter which hairdresser you go to. The closest I’ve ever come at home is from Bumble and Bumble Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner.

  • AC

    Anais Anais for me…

  • Alyson

    I always buy my sister Fengel bath oil as it reminds us of our grandmother.

    • Alyson


  • Alyson

    Exclamation body spray!! Anyone remember that??

    • lovestruck


    • Anna

      Make a statement… without saying a word

    • Dolly Daydreem

      Tribe perfume also had a very short lived popularity at our school

  • Buffy

    Lovely article and I really relate to this.

  • Lucille Bluth

    My niece came to visit us at the weekend and she was drenched in just-discovered vanilla Impulse, took me straight back to my school days when every girl had a can in her bag. I wouldn’t ever buy such a smell as a perfume, but as a can of cheap body spray it really works.

  • Karen French

    Astral cream & Fenjal bath oil reminds me of each of my grans

  • Karen French

    Black & White hair wax – I once stood at a bus stop whilst wearing it & a small child looked at me suspiciously & said to his mum ” I can smell play doh” :)

  • Nicola Rossall

    I adore the smell of Hawaiian Tropic; I have to buy it if I’m on holiday just because the smell makes me happy. The smell of Aussie Mega Shampoo reminds me of my mum as she used to use it when we lived in the States when I was a kid.

    The smell of proper traditional pubs and cigars reminds me of my dad.

  • Jane Porter

    Sunblock, it smells of the promise of holidays!

  • Georgie71

    Estée Lauder Youth Dew, I rarely see it anymore but it’s just my Nan in a bottle, I remember begging her to spray some on me and coveting the turquoise box & gold bottle on her dresser, happy days. Imperial leather soap is a little time machine in a bar too. Wonderful :)

  • bora44

    Lovely nostalgic piece. Loved Pears soap and does anyone remember Cuticura Mildly Medicated Talcum Powder? Always had it in my PE kit at school. Just love the smell.

  • Delilah

    Revlon Flex shampoo. Aqua Manda. Mary Quant make-up. Can smell them still. Oh, and my mum’s Amami Setting Lotion!

    • annewareham

      O, yes, Aqua Manda….

  • wiiaholic

    This is such a lovely piece. I love Pears and Imperial leather soaps, and definitely remember the apple shampoo, whatever happened to it? Radox is another favourite too. White Musk from Body shop is one of my old favourites, and Cremolia cream (think that’s what it was called) which my mum used to use.

  • Sally Bowles

    Every Xmas from my pocket money I used to buy my granny Cyclax facial soap. It had a fabulous smell, wood, leather and lavender. Discontinued since she died in the early 80’s but if anyone could get me an old bar of this, I would kiss their feet.

    Classic Nivea also a massive fave, as is 4711, again, my Granny.

  • K

    What is interesting is losing a smell that you adore – and then stumbling upon it later. Mine however are not so cheap and cheerful, or perhaps they are cheap, but not wearable.

    My mum smells like arpege – and now that I am a long, long way from her when I pick up the smell somewhere I have to stop to see where she is. And my grandparent’s house (now both long deceased) is brought back to me this time of year, as people pull coats out of storage and the (to me very comforting) smell of mothballs wafts about.

    • TechieBird

      My grandma used arpege – very rarely smell it on anyone, but the odd occasion I do it’s an instant flashback.

  • Lisette

    Oh yes to Pears soap, gran powder, Pantene and Johnsons baby lotion. Also baby powder, pipe tobacco (my grandfather always smelled of pipe smoke), Kielh’s body creme smells just like the swimming baths of my childhood and Rive Gauche is just my mum – goes straight to my heart

  • joeggles

    Imperial leather soap will always smell of my mum. I moved to london in early 20s and whenever i was feeling a bit homesick I used to immediately seek out a bar of the stuff – boots, superdrug. Supermarkets didn’t matter where – and stand there sniffing it till I felt better. 25 years later I’m back in my hometown and get to feel comforted by hugging my mum in real life (and still smelling imperial leather).

  • Sam Mason

    Coal tar soap – found a couple of bars when clearing out my dear uncle’s house. Kept it in our bathroom for ages, not to be used you understand, just so you could smell it when you walked in.

  • JustPaloma

    The original Timotei, Impulse Chic, Immac hair removing cream (puberty!), brothers Hai Karate soap on a rope and last but not least the original Ambre Solaire is the smell of holiday.

    • Dolly Daydreem

      Mmm Timotei Blue minerals.

  • Beckyboo

    Does anyone remember salon selectives shampoo? It was in a pink bottle and I used to love the smell. Also Belles de Ricci perfume, I don’t think they make it now, it was in a garish green and pink bottle. My roommate at Uni used to douse herself in it and if I ever smelled it again I know it would take me straight back to freshers week!

    • Beklet

      I loved Belles de Ricci, one of my first perfumes.

      • mikal

        IT is Best perfumes..

    • Dolly Daydreem

      God yeah, we loved Salon Selectives when it came out. My mum bought massive bottles of the shampoo and conditioner, so it was all I used from about 13 to 15. And you have to sing the jingle everytime too; “like you just stepped out of a saaaalllOn”

      • powkin

        My sister and I STILL sing the song regularly. Bloody loved them! It was so SCIENTIFIC.

    • Dolly Daydreem

      Disquss hates me today

  • mssusiehill

    Oh, so many memories. I used to think the smell of Silk Cut mixed with Opium was the most sophisticated a grown up could smell!

  • Pimlicat

    Malibu sun cream = instant beach side memories
    Coal Tar soap = Hiding in the loo during hide n seek at my Grandparents’ house
    Super sticky, super sweet tooty frooty scented rollerball lip glosses = school discos

  • Glamburglar

    Flex shampoo/conditioner, Bristows or Insette Spikey hairspray – my 80s hair smelled lush

  • Ali

    Body Shop Dewberry EVERYTHING!!

    • wideleggedtrouser

      Absolutely. xx

    • Louise Richmond

      Oh my goodness. Had forgotten it ever existed.

  • Ali Nightingale

    I still adore Coty L’Aimant although not purchased it in donkeys years. I might buy some for Mum at Christmas so I can pinch it.

  • Claire Foggo

    I too love the scent of baby lotion. Someone once complimented me on L’eau d’hiver (my all time favourite fragrance), saying that it reminded them of baby lotion, so there must be a link there – heliotrope? Play doh also has a heliotrope note I think, so no surprise that I adore it. Also, fructis conditioner, although I never use it..smells so clean and fresh and reminds me of being a student. Maybe I will buy it and use it on my kids’ hair!

    • TechieBird

      L’Occitane used to do an almond firming spray that smells just like play doh – can’t say I ever noticed any firming effect but it smells gorgeous.

  • Suanne

    Calamine lotion!

  • Velocity Girl

    Keep coming back to this, lovely article. The Max Factor Creme Puff (along with EL Youth Dew) are the scents of my Nana. Thank you for this Sali x

  • Margaret Doherty

    Blue Grass, Elnett, Germolene, Vosene… Like Proust’s madeleines.

  • Dolly Daydreem

    Love love love this article :) I’ve just added a comment on the forum thread, with a photo if a bottle of proper Oil of Ulay that I happened to acquire today. Smells like being a kid again, watching my lovely auntie Elieen apply it with cotton wool, and being allowed a little drop myself. The smell of Insette hairspray takes me straight back to high school and lacquering my ginormo quiff into shape! And blue setting lotion is my Nana, with her curlers and pins on a Friday evening, getting ready to go dancing with her friend Joan. (I’ve known Joan my whole life, but nana still says “my friend Joan” every time. Bless!)

  • Beth Anderson

    Totally with you on the Yardley perfume, and the apple shampoo. Smells of my old family bathroom. I buy Nivea just for that homely smell, too. Can’t stand Elnett though.

  • Pamela

    If you like the smell of Johnson’s body lotion try the Lanolips Rose Hand Balm Intense. It is the exact colour and smell of Johnson’s, and is a lovely cream for dry hands.

  • Uma

    That’s such a sweet post! Loved walking down memory lane with you

  • Heidi

    Oh I enjoyed this post immensely. Quite interested to try out the English lavender.

  • mikal

    This site explain to many products.and thanks to information in these products.

  • Beverley D

    I loved the body shop white musk perfume, think I still have a stale bottle at the back of my bathroom cabinet! You’ve reminded me of the wet look hair gel, at one point I had just my fringe permed & used to slather this stuff on resulted in a very stiff crinkly fringe!! Loved the smell, I might buy a pot just for the scent & memories. Dove classic is another scent I love & vosene shampoo:-)

  • Fashion Limbo

    Oh that Nivea cream…and the Hawaian Tropic oil just takes me back to my aunts and my mum covering themselves in that stuff in the 80s, holidays in Benalmadena…the memories!

  • Louise Richmond

    But didn’t you burn your nose on the Gower on your first holiday because you didn’t wear sunscreen? OH GOD. I spend too much time reading Sali and am a stalker.

  • eadie

    i used to love the smell of Tweed which my gran used to wear. It was very heavy and I’m sure she had the matching talc. I find myself having to add “By Lentheric” of course.

  • Mercy Breheny

    Pears was bought by another company some time ago. It’s now made in India. Where it used to contain but a few ingredients and smelt of Rosemary, now it contains a load of nonsense and smells totally different. I mourn it. Pears used to be great.

  • Emily Catchpole

    Revlon Flex shampoo; looked like custard but smelt deliciously of sandalwood, almost a little like CK Obsession.

  • Ms Molko

    Badedas shower gel. Smells heavenly and it lingers throughout the house. I seem to remember the adverts in the 70’s, something about horse chestnuts smelling of gentlemen’s baby gravy or something. Dunno about that. Anyway, it’s no better than any other shower gel I suppose but I buy it just for the smell alone

  • annewareham

    Thought I was the only person in my world to love Coty L’Aimant. A secret vice!

  • Debbie Elzing

    The smell of Brut still makes me weak at the knees.

  • feathers

    L’Aimant was the first grown up perfume I ever had. Haven’t smelt it in decades but my favourite now is Chanel No 5. Must seek it out as Chanel is expensive for daily wear.

    A bar of Yardley Lavender soap will perfume the whole house.

  • Manon

    Here are mine:

    Hei Poa Pure Tahiti Monoï Oil Tiare- this oil is manna from heaven for dry skins, sun battered skins, annoint yourself with it liberally and smell as if you’ve been cavorting in a Tahitian flower bed. Use it as a hair pack (will need two lathers to get it out), slick it onto hair before sunbathing, use as a body oil after a bath (wear an old terrycloth dressing gown afterwards) or as a highlighter on cheek and brow bones.

    Neutrogena is a bit of a go to brand in my house to be honest, especially after reading that one of my all time favourite models, Helena Christansen uses ‘Rainbath’, a curiously scented bath gel (curious in a good way with its spices, herbs and flowers). Now when you recall that Michael Hutchence once said that La Christansen’s skin was ‘like a percale sheet, satiny, stretched very tight with no imperfections’, it is perfectly rational to assume that emulating her body washing regime might help in the attainment of skin like an Yves Delorme sheet. Not the most romantic of swain-like declarations about his loved one to fall from the lips of a celeb but ho hum, I’m sure she greatly appreciated it. Rainbath is sold online and I have also seen it in quite a few independent chemists- another great reason to support them.

    My teenage brand of choice was also Hawaiian Tropic (and still is to be honest) because that smell of coconut, salty hot skin, tiare and other exotic flowers is super intoxicating and instantly transporting. So much so that I retain out of date sun creams for use as a general moisturiser. Oh that smell…. Anyway, they have a rather lovely after sun body butter (a term I hate- who wants to imagine butter all over their skin, slowly turning rancid?) out which is only five quid from supermarkets and chemists, has aloe and is even more effective if you keep it in the fridge. There is also an ‘exotic’ coconut one too.

    Aramis made a scent called New Skinscent West for Her which has been sadly discontinued. Imagine if you stuck a melon on top of a car, drove it around a tropical island in the sea breeze then distilled all of that into a bottle? Well, a large part of my adulthood has been spent on a quest to find something similar since the bastards stopped making it.

    Bonnie Bell cleanser and Loves Baby Soft are both alluringly chemical but definitely qualify as remembrances of scents past as does Eau Jeune Senteurs Fraiche which I bought whenever I went on a holiday to Brittany. It’s still sold in Monoprix and many pharmacies but when I was a tween that perfect green glass bottle seemed the height of sophistication, so smooth and weighty in the hand that it looked like it had been hand formed from sea glass. The scent is citrus/green, pure lime, lemon and mandarin, is fleeting on the skin and best sprayed from a bottle which has been kept in the fridge. Wear it after a day on a planche a voile off the Breton coast, sitting with an Orangina in one hand and a hot French boyfriend in the other….

    Jovan Musk Oil….I so believed the publicity for this scent that I was convinced my bottle of it must be ‘broken’ when the boys in my class didn’t fall over themselves in spaffing, drooling conclusion whenever I walked by. I still adore this scent and layered with Felanilla it smells very naughty.

  • Lauren Rose

    The O2 one just reminds of the mid ’90s, and going around to my friends house for tea.

  • ?Everything

    Over here…stateside…as a kid I loved: Ivory Snow laundry detergent, Avon “Cotillion” body powder, a freshly mowed lawn, Coppertone tanning lotion, gasoline being pumped, “Old Spice” men’s aftershave, Breck shampoo, taking-a-new-doll-out-of-the-package-scent…Christmas lights warming a tree (THAT couldn’t have been a good sign!)

  • FemaleAdda

    pears and nivea are my favorite too :)

  • Anara Medspa & Cosmetic Laser

    Johnson’s Baby Lotion and Original Nivea Creme top my Fav list !

  • Bernie

    My auntie pat eau de cologne think it was called 9711 …. a number anyway ! She used to dab it on us girls when we used to go to social club with her and uncle Ron … as well as giving us drop of port and lemonade (lots of lemonade) when she had one at night watching telly….

  • Janie

    revlon flex it was orgasmic

  • Janie

    and 70’s/80’s perfume Babe in the round golden bottle

Cuir Fellow

A unisex Givenchy fragrance gets Daniel Maier all in a leather.

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