Bath & Body Works is Bringing Back Cucumber Melon and Memories of Your Middle School Crush

What’s your favorite throwback beauty product?

Collage by Maria Jia Ling Pitt.

Big news for your nose: over the course of the month, Bath & Body Works will release a bunch of their throwback scents like Cucumber Melon, Country Apple and Sensual Amber, also known as early 2000s peak pubescent mating calls. B&BW calls this package their “Signature Body Care” as part of their semi-annual sale. I call it middle school, just in time for Last Chance Dance. I’m not sure there was a day in 7th grade that I didn’t smell like the chemical re-imagination of a sun-ripened raspberry, delivered by way of body splash: the training bra of perfume.

Remember middle school beauty products? Victoria’s Secret’s Love Spell body spray still haunts my nostrils — a memory of the most popular girls in school, a sickeningly-sweet fruity scent conjured just as easily by microwaving gummy bears. I wore whatever my mom bought at Target or aunt got me for Christmas, like Daily Defense Conditioner and Dr. Pepper Lipsmackers. I also recall a beloved roll-on glitter stick that I’d dap on my temples for an extra special sparkle. My temples were a real hot zone back then.

I started asking around the office to get people’s most nostalgic beauty products — those pre-“self care” artificial potions that gave us the false impression that we were growing up: Hard Candy nail polish. Clinique Happy, Dolce & Gabanna Light Blue and DKNY Be Delicious perfume. Pink Stila eyeshadow. Gap’s edible lip gloss. Lancome Juicy Tubes!!! Omg, once my aunt bought me a 12-pack of those and I thought I’d have a heart attack right then and there. Did we all just wake up one tween day and long for sticky stuff in rainbow bottles? Were we brainwashed during Lizzie McGuire commercial breaks? Or did it start even earlier, with produce-scented My Little Ponies and scratch-and-sniff stickers?

I’m racking my brain trying to think of more. I swear I had a whole Caboodle full of these things. I guarded them like they were my life’s savings. Back then, they were. What are your most nostalgic beauty products?

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  • Danielle Cardona Graff

    Every single original Hard Candy color.

  • Mary Kate Kloeblen

    Does anyone remember “Lip Venom”?? It was that lip gloss that stung a little bit that was supposed to help “plump” your lips (as though I really needed that in the 7th grade…).

    • I definitely bought that! Hahah!

    • Abby

      I put a ton of this on right before a date with a new boyfriend and proceeded to really freak him out when his lips started stinging…

  • Libby Webb

    Art Stuff by B&BW! I still have the roll-on glitter I used to put on my temples. My friends and I have used it for various theme parties and everytime I shocked at how bad it burns my skin (could be that the product is like 15 years old)- but hey! Guess that’s the price of looking good

    • Andrea Raymer

      Yes! I remember feeling so awesome with my entire body covered in that mint-chocolate scented roll on glitter.

  • Stephanie

    This is pre-pre-pubescent, but Disney had a line of princess-themed mini body washes, lotions, and bubble baths. I carried around those lil minis like they were my prized possessions. Snow White apple scent was my signature.

    • Kattigans

      I had these! Also remember the L’Oreal kids shampoos shaped like fish?

      • Stephanie

        Yes! I always wanted them! For some reason my mom never let us buy them…?

  • Julia

    “Body splash: the training bra of perfume.” Amazing

  • Sheila T.

    Victoria’s Secret lip gloss that was so, so sticky and made my lips hair-magnets.

  • Bonne Bell Lip Smackers! I had upwards of 30 at one point.
    It was a fun game where I grew up to try to guess the flavor with your eyes shut! We called it the Smelltest and dreaded having to sniff the infamous Buttered Popcorn.

  • Never had any but… Dessert Treats by Jessica Simpson anyone??

    • Stephanie

      Omg. Thank you. My cousin had the weird whipped cream body lotion…and the sprinkles!

    • ihaveacooch

      i wasn’t allowed to buy any of these, lol!

  • Cristina

    Dr. Pepper Lipsmackers WAS great. BUT WHO REMEMBERS LIP LIX?! It was like lipstick before you were old enough to wear lipstick. ipsmackers

  • Kattigans

    I still have a Lancome Juicy Tubes in Spring Fling. It smells like sugar and pure nostalgia. Also, all my mom wore for perfume while I was growing up was Clinique Happy. Smelling her shirt at the end of the day when she picked me up from school is one of my favorite memories

  • Imaiya Ravichandran

    dream matte mousse foundation!!! it was my first foundation and was 12 shades too light for me. i looked like an ashy drag queen. it was glorious.

    • Lindsey

      OMG the day I discovered that!!! Heaven.

    • Jolie

      Hahaha my mom used it as her foundation and for some reason, I used it as mine from the ages of like 16-22……and yes, I looked dusty as hell.

  • Pearberry or GTFO.

  • I used to use this hand lotion from Bath & Body Works that was something like “smooth as silk” or something and had a sent called Freesia. I was OBSESSED.

    • charlottewillner

      Yes!! I had completely forgotten about the Freesia Silk thing! Total must have in middle school!

  • Noelle Vainikka

    A whole Caboodle lolllllll yesss to all of this. rofl Haley! xx

  • Lindsey

    Bonne Belle lip smackers! Had them all. Glitter ones included. Also there was a body splash from my local drugstore called something like Hawaiian Bliss…it was HEAVEN. Also the Gap Body perfumes…I actually forget the names of them now, but I adored the one in the blue bottle. Also Abercrombie 8 (I know, terrible), and Tommy Girl were my first perfumes. Elizabeth Arden Sunflowers was eeeeverywhere but it felt too old lady to me then. For the record, VS body splashes always made me feel like the outsider I was. Every popular girl had it, and I never liked it, and that only made me want to like it more because maybe then I would be popular…? IDK.

    • Lindsey

      I said “also” a lot in this post….

    • Cait

      I think the blue GAP one was called Dream and everyone wore that or Clinique Happy… the rebel that I was, I preferred CK One.

      • Lindsey

        Yes! Dream! Good memory. Totally had CK One too. I was smell obsessed apparently. I think that was a 00s thing.

  • BarbieBush

    Omgggg I wore “Strawberries and champagne” from VS exclusively. My boyfriend at the time (14 yrs old and V V V serious) and I decided I would only wear it when I was going to see him so we would both associate the smell with each other ONLY.

    Yeah so 3 months later I stopped wearing that scent.

  • Amanda Orlando

    Sparkly hair gel!

    • Chrs

      On your zigzag part!

  • Melissa Fisch

    Pink Sugar perfume at all times. My mom once came up the stairs after I had all but bathed in it and asked why I smelled like burnt cotton candy.

  • SUN. RIPENED. RAZZY?!?!?!?!?!?

    <3 <3

  • Jolie

    Curious perfume by Britney Spears. I had like a shelf full of bottles of it and thought I was very sophisticated because one of the bottles had a rubbery ball that you squeezed to release the perfume, like an old-fashioned one (I’m sure there’s a name for that).

    I wore LoveSpell even though I never bought anything at VS (because I had big boobs and they big-boob-shamed me whenever I walked in), and for some reason I wore it even though the smell made me feel nauseous.

    • ihaveacooch

      this is what i came here to say!!!! loved curious so much, made me feel so sophisticated.

    • T-Fierce

      I had Fantasy. Thought it smelled so good. Dear god. It didn’t.

  • Isabella

    I used to wear Fancy by Jessica Simpson RELIGIOUSLY

  • D&G Light Blue and Lancome Juicy Tubes were literally my #GOALS in middle school. What a life

  • Tracy

    Electric Youth perfume, anyone??

  • Amelia Brandt

    Omg, I still have a Gap tub of passion fruit lip gloss in my old bathroom at my parents’… Put it on and I literally feel like a seventh graders again!

  • Tracy

    Electric Youth perfume, anyone??

  • This is hilarious and amazing! I heard that they said they were going to discontinue cucumber melon, and everyone (including myself), was kinda sad about it!
    For me, it was the my little ponies that smelled like strawberries or something, and every single flavour and colour of chapstick! #BornInThe90s

  • Julieta Volujewicz

    Revlon’s Natural Honey body lotion was one of them and a lot of fruity VS splashes!

  • Jackie

    Freesia from B&BW was the bomb

  • the scent of jlo glow brings me right back to my best friend’s bedroom chugging vodka out of Gatorade bottles. fun! oh and abercrombie fierce, that fucking scent.

  • NeeNee Dill

    Loves baby soft
    Heaven Scent
    Roll on lip gloss
    Lee press on nails


    They need to bring back SEA SPRAY !!!!!

  • alien princess~

    Sun In

  • jukeboxxrequiem

    Not a beauty product per say, but my first flat iron was a Remington Wet 2 straight, and the smell of hot freshly straightened hair combined with a spritz of BBW Black Amber takes me right back to 9th grade lol.

  • Mya Patel

    rimmel kohl eyliner pencil that within 3 seconds ended up on my eyes and into panda town. and everything hollister in the changing rooms !!

    • lol that Rimmel eyeliner in green is my perfect summer smudgy liner. I stocked up on several pencils in case they decide to stop making it.

  • chouette

    White Rain White Orchid shampoo. I noticed a bottle of White Rain in the outdoor shower at my parent’s house last time I was home.. it was from 1998. It’s the wrong fragrance, though 😐

  • T-Fierce

    Okay…. the MARY KATE AND ASHLEY OLSEN BRAND MAKEUP. That was the best. I had like purple powder eyeshadow in a tube. Also, this lip balm that came in a tube and you sort of flicked it open like a cigarette lighter, which mom disapproved of.

  • lillian c.

    there was this betsy johnson perfume from urban outfitters with a fancy pink plastic lid that I wore all throughout highschool, anyone else remember this?

    • lillian c.

      also, anyone remember the bath and bodyworks “sprays” that every girl had in their bag that they thought covered up the smell of cigarettes but likely just amplified them. If I could smell that smell again… wow

  • Camille Chordas

    Just one whiff of Daisy by Marc Jacobs sends me in a straight up time machine back to 7th grade

  • Caitie
  • Jennifer

    i might be a bit older, but the smell of salon selectives hairspray brings me right back to high school gym class!

  • Ida

    I wouldnt know how many windex-like bottles of cucumber melon I emptied. And the b&bw raspberry body lotion and hand sanitizers (Yes, really!). I also recall a b&bw blueberry flavored lip balm as big as a stick of glue being a favorite of mine. Also worth a mention is VS pear glace body spray/perfume, which was the school uniform at my high school.

  • Barbara Jordan

    PLEASE bring back Honey Ginger & Lime. This fragrance is the BEST if your working out. It lasts and lasts. I got it in 2001. If you bring it back, you have a steady customer. Some of the new fragrances don’t work well for me.