From tattoo choker necklaces to denim overalls to mini backpacks, we can easily see that there is a wave of 90’s nostalgia in effect right now. Even Bath & Body Works is having a moment of 90’s nostalgia and has relaunched six “Flashback Fragrances”.
What’s funny is that I was never into Bath & Body Works fragrances back in the day because they were so “mall” and I was so anti-mall in my youth. I was more about wearing perfume oils or trying to get my hands on anything that you could not buy in Middle Tennessee (and granted, that was a lot and not as “niche” as it sounds). I did end up with a few scents as gifts from aunts or my friends that ended up working at the store during our high school and college days.
I just happened to be walking by a Bath & Body Works and noticed their “Flashback” display. And then I noticed that the store was completely packed and that the line was crazy long. And all of this, all together, made me decide that I not only needed to sniff these but I should BUY these too. It was the heat of the moment, OK. So many of the B&BW scents are imprinted into my brain even if I don’t know it. Well, with these six, I knew it. These were like the “number one hits” of the 90’s when it comes to fragrance. Is there a North American teen of the 90’s that hasn’t smelled these? How many of us have had bottles of these?
I made my way to the display which was being mobbed by women of my age range. To my surprise, a lot of these Flashbacks were already sold out, especially in the lotions. When I looked around, the mob of women were all carrying giant black mesh bags filled to the brim with these Flashback Fragrances. Note to any company reading this post, create demand for anything by discontinuing it – and then surprise bring it back.
Even I’m not immune to such tactics. I ended up buying:
Juniper Breeze Body Spray with notes of juniper leaves, pineapple nectar, mountain air accord, green apple, blue jasmine, ylang, fresh woods and dewy musk.
- Flashback – I remember liking this one. Someone had bought me the set (shower gel, lotion and body spray) and I liked it. I remember using and wearing it.
- Now – Well, I have a little saying, “Never trust blue juice”. And I should have taken my own advice. Juniper Breeze is a little cleaning product-ish, like a Fabuloso fragrance. It’s possible that it has been reformulated or GASP, my tastes are much more mature now! It’s like a really sharp fresh scent with a sharp, bitter green pineapple. As it wears, it becomes a sharp floral with a tart Granny Smith apple. It’s not terrible but I think I should have bought it as a shower gel. I’ll end up using it as a room spray.
White Tea & Ginger Body Spray with notes of white tea leaves, sparkling yuzu, lemon, fresh bergamot, nutmeg, tea rose, Earl Grey tea, geranium petals, ginger, white musk and woods.
- Flashback – Now this one was my jam back in the day and I’m surprised that I only bought a body spray. And I noticed it was the one that had the most bottles left.
- Now – Wow. I actually still really like this one. It’s a crisp citrus tea. And yes, the yuzu really does sparkle. It’s slightly spicy in that fresh ginger way and also a little floral, like “ginger lily”. It’s really pretty and I’m actually using this on my body, not as a room spray 🙂
Cucumber Melon Body Spray with notes of crisp cucumber, water honeydew, summer cantaloupe, sparkling grapefruit, muguet, sheer woods and soft musk.
- Flashback – I used to hate this stuff back in “tha day”. Before the term “basic bitch” existed, the concept was in existence. And that’s who I thought wore it. Yes, I was an asshole back then too. Cut me some slack, I was like 14.
- Now – I wanted to revisit this one since there has been “distance” between its popularity and now. So, I bought the body spray. And I hate it even more than I remember. It’s like Watermelon Wave Bubblicious gum. These days I don’t even notice the cucumber. All I really notice is the melon bubblegum sweetness. I do think this could benefit being layered with something really floral. It really needs something.
Plumeria Shower Gel with notes of pink plumeria, peach nectar, red apple, fresh cut rose, muguet, night-blooming jasmine and balsam fir.
- Flashback – This is one that I remember smelling like really glamorous hairspray.
- Now – Well, it appears that all the shoppers in NYC wanted this one because ALL of the body sprays and lotions were gone. I was able to snag one of the few bottles of shower gel. And it sucks because I did go there for a bottle of the body spray. It’s a sharp floral, like a fruity rose with heady non-descript “pink” florals. David said it smells like rotting fruit but really, I think that is why I like it. It’s just such a “ripe” fruity-floral. Is it amazing? No, but there’s something I like about it.
And I know what you’re saying. “Girl you are too old for body spray!”; I know, I know. You’re absolutely right. I’m not going to argue with you.
I didn’t buy:
Country Apple with notes McIntosh apple, clementine, apple leaf, apple blossom, fresh muguet, sheer sunlight (*eyeroll*), orchard woods, fruit musk and sandalwood.
A lot of these were on the display even though a lot of people were carrying them around. I was never a fan of this one because it reminded me of baby products but that isn’t a bad thing either. It’s just like a crisp apple and I guess it would layer nicely under certain more complex perfumes. A lady in front of me in the 35 minute line I waited in had 15 bottles of the body spray in this scent. So, somebody really likes it.
Pearberry with notes of Anjou pear, wild berries, apple blossom, golden freesia, muguet, blonde woods and sheer musk.
I really, really hated this one back in the day too and since I was already buying something that I knew I didn’t like, I left this one for others to enjoy. It’s still as a I remember it. It’s just like the name – pear and berries. Looking back this is “Bath & Body Works” to me. This sort of style is what they did best. This is like their Chanel No. 5 or something. From name to scent to marketing, it’s one that really epitomizes the brand. Tons were left on the display. I was slightly surprised by this.
Out of all the scents, the most “dated” to me where Cucumber Melon and Pearberry. However, these ones are the ones that are so “B&BW” as well. Sniffing these were uncomfortably nostalgic for me – too much of a reminder of the girl’s freshman locker room. Ugh. As an adult, I honestly do like White Tea & Ginger and Plumeria. But, really, all of these smell rather “dated”. The define an era for a lot of people and it’s up to you to decide if that is an era you’d like to revisit or not.
What’s so weird about all of this is that I ended up being convinced that I needed to buy a lot of cheap, $3.50 scents¹ that I really didn’t even like when they were out the first time around. Oh, nostalgia. It’s so complicated. Who knows, maybe next I’ll be sporting butterfly hair clips and body glitter…
These Flashback Fragrances are available for a limited time at Bath and Body Works. The body lotions, body creams and shower gels retail for $12.50 and body sprays retail for $14.
So, which ones of these have you picked up or want to pick up? Are they as good as you remember?
¹They were on sale. How could I resist?
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*Products purchased by me. Crappy pic is also mine. The other one is from GoodHousekeeping.com.
15 thoughts on “Bath & Body Works Flashback Fragrances – Thoughts & Mini Reviews”
Aw, I liked White Tea & Ginger! I had friends who wore it (back in the day) so I never bought it for myself (though I admit that teenage me had tons of other BBW sprays), but it has 100% good associations for me. I wonder if I’d still like it as much now.
As for butterfly hairclips… well, I’m sure they’re still in the attic somewhere.
If you have good associations, it’s worth re-trying 🙂 I think I may go back and get the other products in that scent.
Haha, well go drag them out. We can be cool again. I actually found those headbands that were like a bra strap. I still have those. After all the purging I’ve done over the years, how do I still have those???
I lost the battle and ordered a bunch online then regretted it because I’m trying to get rid of clutter and I ended up buying like six scents. They were all on sale so I don’t feel too bad. Actually I have a teen niece who I can give them to so like the tattoo says “no ragrets” here. For whatever reason white tea and ginger completely missed my school since I have no recollection of what that smells like. Also, no judgement here I hope, but I totally wanted country apple and plumeria but they were sold out online 🙁 I hope they have more at the store.
I was in store and I couldn’t help to notice how different their “now” stuff is from the “then” stuff. I was with my sister, who is 10 years younger than me. It’s funny because she had no stereotype of the Flashbacks but did of some of the other stuff that I was never exposed to in school (the new stuff). It’s funny.
I wish I could have snagged a Plumeria body spray…even though, girl is too old for body spray, lol.
Also cucumber melon would be a basic bitch scent now but back then it was basic in that if you were a teen girl you were expected to have it. The most basic level of toiletries- Cucumber melon, wet and wild 666 liner, some sort of concealer for your pimples, and cover girl pressed powder. Eventually someone would class it up with Clinique and that lovely marbled green compact. Oh how times have changed 🙂
Dang, I just remembered that Wet n Wild 666 lip liner, which I did have back in the day because it was 666. And I wore it overlined with my pale ass Covergirl concealer. And I used those Maybelline Twin Brow & Line pencils in dark brown as lip liner with the concealer. I may have to bring that look back, lol.
Not going to lie, I was so jelly of the gals that could have that little jade marbled compact. They were CLASSY.
How could I forget maybelline’s twin brow pencils! I once had to explain the whole dark lip liner / nude lips to my cousin’s foreign girlfrind. She asked why we did that and I really couldn’t think of an answer, lol! I do remember using the maybelline pencils as actual brow pencils (after the skinny eyebrow of the 90’s had run its course) and realizing that ok, I need an upgrade. When I was younger I used to think it was so dumb to pay for more expensive brow pencils but I had to learn the hard way. It’s not cool to notice smeared eyebrows at the end of the day!
Sadly, those pencils really sucked but I was buying that ish with my own money.
That trend, don’t really know the origins. A little bit of drag. I just liked it because it made my lips look huge. This was all pre-Kylie Jenner.
I also had originally bought that liner because of its number! Goths unite!
Scooped up a bunch of White Tea and Ginger. It’s long been a favorite…and who knows when they’ll bring it back again. The others, I can leave there (I used to like Juniper Berry, but didn’t care for the others too much.)
I need to go back and get a lotion and shower gel in White Tea & Ginger. I really like it. And like you said, who knows when it’ll be back!
LOL!!!! You are tooooo good at the humor! 🙂 I always walked by/visited this store daily on my way to my employer`s store for all of the 90`s – and only bought requested gifts there for reasons like yours 🙂 I too did not mind the White Tea/Ginger – now maybe we should buy a lotion for memory`s sake!
You should 🙂 That is if your local B&BW still has them available. I’m actually surprised by how much I like it. It’s a very refreshing scent for the summer.
[…] as I do. We ended up doing a lot of makeup shopping. I ended up buying those Bath & Body Works Flashback Fragrances, some Kiko Milano makeup, a few Korean eyeshadows, Korean skincare, various greige-ish lipsticks […]
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