Disney Hannah Montana ~ fragrance review

Hannah Montana perfume

Wouldn’t it be great if this review started with “Disney Hannah Montana is a hidden gem! Its artful blend of fruit and flowers rivals the sinuous interplay of hyacinth and cassis in Guerlain Chamade. At six bucks a bottle, stock up now!” Yeah, it would be great all right. And a pack of lies. Except the part about the price.

The writers for the Hannah Montana television show were on to something. Back in 2007, “Smells Like Teen Sell Out” featured Hannah’s dilemma in publicizing her new — at that point fictional — fragrance line. In the show, her perfume smelled like raspberries and made her sick. She decided to go on television and tout the perfume anyway, but in the end she couldn’t lie to her fans.

Raspberries might have nauseated Hannah Montana, but by 2009 when her eponymous fragrance was released, the sticky combination of dewberry, peach, orange, passion fruit and grenadine (and jasmine, honeysuckle, blonde woods, vetiver and tonka bean) were all right with her. Frankly, Hawaiian Punch shows more restraint in the fruit department.

Hannah Montana smells like tropical fruit candy. You know how strawberry flavoring approximates strawberries without smelling like an actual garden strawberry? That’s what the fruity mix in Hannah Montana smells like. It references tropical fruit, but not real fruit with its skin and pith and hint of the orchard. No, it calls up fruit mixed into foul, disco-colored cocktails or chemically pasted in scratch-n-sniff coloring books.

What are we doing to our tweens? I understand that most 12-year old girls won’t appreciate Chanel No. 5 or Jean Patou Joy. It takes a while and a fair amount of sniffing to value the beauty of a sophisticated fragrance. But a soliflore — say a soft rose or a tender lily of the valley — might be a good introduction to fragrance for a girl. Bath & Body Works has some easy-to-appreciate body sprays that might appeal, too. Or, if the Hannah Montana team really wanted to stick with fruit, why not try a more balanced rendition, something sheer, sweet-tart, with a hint of green?

I will say this for the Hannah Montana fragrance: It’s cheap and it lasts the whole freaking day.

Parents, how did you introduce fragrance to your children?

Stay tuned the rest of this week for more drugstore celebrity perfumes!

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120 Comments

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  1. LOL, Hannah Montana! I see these perfumes marketed at tweens (and younger) at Perfumania and wonder who possibly is buying these things for these kids. I never had “starter” perfume although I guess I did have “starter” makeup and nail polish around age 6 or 7. I don’t know why perfume seems more risque for a young girl to me- maybe because it’s marketed as so sexual? It just weirds me out to see Dora the Explorer perfume and the ilk.

    My daughter is interested in my PAH-fume and likes to go scent shopping (mostly, sniffing Bath & Body Works candles with me). She has a collection of Bonne Belle Lip Smackers that she is obsessed with… honestly, I have mixed feelings about how much her three-and-a-half year old self is obsessed with lip balm, but it’s better than some of the alternatives.

    I’ll likely start her on perfume with a Bath & Body Works spray, but probably not until she’s 12 or 13 or so…

    • Angela says:

      That’s so funny about lip smackers! I wonder if Freud would point to an oral fixation? At her age, it makes sense, I guess.

      • It’s her little collection that she curates. Three of her lip balms came in a set – three tropical flavors in a little plastic case. She now puts every lip balm she gets in the case and carries it around – after an unfortunate experience where the dog ate one of her lip balms when she left it lying around the house. She’ll pull them all out and smell them over and over, and then put them back in the case.

        Precious. At least to mama. ;)

        • Angela says:

          That really is precious! She sounds adorable. And it’s kind of a funny story about the dog, too. I swear, dogs will eat anything.

    • FragrantWitch says:

      My 3 and 1/2 year old daughter is obsessed with lip balm as well and body lotion. She loves lotions and potions and my ‘furfumes. Much more than her sister did at that age or does even now at nearly 6.’

      • Angela says:

        Maybe it’s something you’re born with. I know some kids seem to be born loving animals, while others are indifferent. Could it be the same with perfume?

  2. Marjorie Rose says:

    I don’t have my own kids, but I smell them all day at work! Based on what I see, the girls are mostly drawn to the image projected rather than the particular scent. Cupcake hand lotion is as common as something from Victoria’s Secret. The boys split their interest between Axe and whatever “sport” scent is relatively inexpensive and findable at the time.

    Honestly, Hannah Montana seems a little out of date. I’d be surprised if this sold to anyone over the age of 11.

    • Angela says:

      Hmm. That might explain why it was on clearance at Rite Aid!

  3. solanace says:

    I’m pregnant, and I’ve just found out it’s a girl! My first thoughts were of taking her to Paris, to the Guerlain and Nicolai, to the Lutens and Rosine at the Palais Royal… I’m always offering my wrists for my 2 year old boy to smell, since I want to stimulate his nose as well, but a girl… So excited! I can only say she will not be wearing Hannah Montana, at least as far as I can prevent her!! I loved Joy and Jolie Madame as a kid, and I have high hopes I can find a Goutal she will enjoy…

    • Angela says:

      Congratulations! Field trips to Guerlain, the Palais Royal, etc.–how come you couldn’t have been MY mom?

    • FragrantWitch says:

      Congratulations! Girls are great fun!

    • lise says:

      Congratulations!

      • solanace says:

        Thank’s! I’m so excited about my little perfumista!

  4. ChocolatEyes613 says:

    Congratulations Angela, for reviewing this atrocity!

    Things like Hannah Montana and High School Musical have destroyed Disney, in my opinion. Though, to be fair every “perfume” Disney released was horrible. I really hope it is the tween girls buying this garbage with money they earned from babysitting and such, and not their parents.

    • Angela says:

      Until I picked up Hannah Montana, I didn’t even know Disney was in the perfume business! I shudder to think of other possible releases. The Little Mermaid perfume? I hope not!

      • ChocolatEyes613 says:

        Disney “perfumes” mostly smell like rubbing alcohol and Herbal Essences shampoo.

        Besides, everyone knows that the Disney Princesses have great taste in fragrance…. LOL!
        Snow White wears Hypnotic Poison
        Cinderella wears Chanel No. 5
        Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) wears Diorissimo
        Ariel wears L de Lolita Lempicka
        Belle wears Tresor
        Jasmine wears Shalimar

        • ggperfume says:

          I love your choices for the Disney princesses!

          • Angela says:

            I agree!

          • ChocolatEyes613 says:

            Thanks :)

            That gives me an idea for a Lazy Weekend Poll…. Which perfumes do you think fictional childhood characters would wear?

        • Angela says:

          Very nice princess-perfume pairings!

        • mutzi says:

          She wasn’t a princess; but what about Alice in Wonderland? She was my favorite Disney and childhood story character. (She didn’t need a man or a boy.) How about AG Eau de Charlotte for Alice?

          I do love your choices for the princesses.

          • Angela says:

            I like the Eau de Charlotte idea! It would work for her tea scene, too.

        • Merlin says:

          It would be interesting to perfume the characters from the original tales too. For instance I would put the ill-fated little mermaid in L’Heure Blue…

          • Angela says:

            Oh yes, or even perfume the heroines in Grimm’s fairy tales. I can see L’Heure Bleue for Sleeping Beauty, too.

      • Zubi says:

        I’d love it if someone started a project to make Disney fragrances to suit every Disney princess – but in an adult way (like these male characters gone adult (NSFW if you cant look at men in underwear, and some are over the top): http://acidcow.com/pics/4611-sexy-fairytale-male-characters-20-pics.html

        Disney does some awesome movies that dont just cater to children; I’d love it if they collaborated with proper perfumers to come out with special edition perfumes to match characters. They have done something similar with fashion, as they have a special edition collection in Paris, with gorgeous items.

        • ChocolatEyes613 says:

          Disney should partner with Lolita Lempicka for perfume. The original Lolita Lempicka perfume in the purple apple is the perfect fragrance for Disney. I would love Disney versions of that bottle!

          • Angela says:

            I agree–Lolita Lempicka has such good perfume, and I adore the bottles!

          • Zubi says:

            Unfortunately I smell nothing but playdo with Lolita, unfortunately. I do agree about the bottle though; it would suit Disney to a T!

            Crossing my fingers – it would make them some good money, and I’d be ALL over that! :P

          • Zubi says:

            Apparently, I found it so unfortunate that I had to write “unfortunately” twice.

        • Angela says:

          It does seem like they could make some good money that way.

        • Marjorie Rose says:

          Zubi, those pictures are hilarious! I’m seeing Aladdin in a whole new light!

  5. ChocolatEyes613 says:

    I was introduced to perfume through my mother’s wonderful collection. Some of the perfumes she wore were Lancome Tresor, Chanel Coco, Cacharel Anais Anais, Estee Lauder Beautiful, and Shiseido Feminite Du Bois. Oddly, the “starter” perfume she bought me was Tommy Hilfiger True Star at 16. I think that was because it was the only “age-apropriate” scent that did not give me an allergic reaction. Now, at 24, some of the perfumes I wear are So Pretty de Cartier, Bvlgari Jasmin Noir, Estee Lauder Sensuous, Theirry Mugler Alien, and Stella ScCartney Stella.

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like you had a very nice introduction to perfume, and your interest just keeps growing!

  6. missie sue says:

    My very first perfume was a little enameled bottle of some gentle, powdery scent from Crabtree and Evelyn, and even at age six, I was hooked. My parents gave me a drugstore spray of Windsong after that, and then when I hit adolescence, my mother would buy me little minis of Oscar de la Renta and various Givenchy scents, which always made me feel glamorously grownup. Her favorite fragrance was Olive Leaf by the Thymes company, and I always associate that fresh greenness with her.

    • Angela says:

      It doesn’t sound like you would have been the target customer for Hannah Montana (thank goodness). I used to love those bottles of Windsong shaped like crowns.

  7. 50_Roses says:

    I also was introduced to perfume through my mother’s rather large collection. I loved to sniff them and compare, and by the time I was 8 or 9 I was able to identify that no. 5 and Arpege had a common thread, although I didn’t learn until many years later that the common thread was aldehydes. Those 2 were probably my favorites of my mother’s perfumes. She also had Blue Grass, Roger & Gallet Blue Carnation, Coty l’Origan, D’Orsay Divine, and several others I can’t remember. Strangely, although my mother had so much perfume, she seldom wore it, and she never bought it for me (although she didn’t seem to mind that I occasionally dabbed on a little of hers). The first bottle of my own that I ever had was Coty Muguet des Bois, a Christmas gift from my great-aunt when I was about 9 or 10. I think in retrospect that was an eminently suitable first perfume for a young girl; there is nothing sexual about it, but it is (or was–this was back in the early 70’s, before so many classic perfumes got cheapened and reformulated to death) a “real” perfume. I still wear it from time to time when I want something simple, pretty, and fresh that doesn’t smell like Kool-Aid or laundry detergent.

    • Angela says:

      Muguet des Bois is a great choice for a girl! It’s nice, too, that you had your mother’s collection to help start educate your nose.

  8. mutzi says:

    I don’t have children, but my first fragrance was Tinker Belle. So, apparently Disney has been in the fragrance business for sometime. (No, I am not going to say exactly how long ago.) My first real fragrance was Avon Unforgettable cream sachet and I recall it as beautiful. Something in current Avon offerings irritates my skin, but I did love Unforgettable.

    • Angela says:

      I had a Tinkerbell powder mitt once, a gift from my Aunt Bea. I patted a lot of powder around in those days, I guess. I can’t remember at all what it smelled like.

      • KateReed says:

        when I got it (er…early 80’s?) Tinkerbell smelled mainly like powder-dusted plastic, candy floss, and vaguely fruity bubblegum breath. Putting that all together I suppose the best reference description would be a little bit of Johnson & Johnson’s baby powder spilled on a plastic tea tray that had a slightly damp candy necklace and some Necco wafers on it.

        • mutzi says:

          Okay, I’ll be honest. I received my Tinker Belle in the 50s. I am old or ancient, but I generally smell damn good.

          • Angela says:

            So, that makes you near the age of the gloriously attractive and talented Helen Mirren. Nice!

        • Angela says:

          With that description, no wonder I loved my Tinkerbell powder mitt so much!

    • Lucy says:

      Tinkerbell was my first too. I think I was three. I remember the scent and the bottle vividly, but couldn’t recall the name until last year when I asked my mom what it was. She was quite certain that Tinkerbell came from Avon back then because she remembers ordering it during a “party.” More recently it has been been for sale in Disney stores, but I have no idea if it’s the same juice. Oh yeah, I almost forgot…I had the matching lip balm too. That was some awesome cherry wax.

      • Angela says:

        Tinkerbell must have been one of the first celebrity scents, come to think of it!

  9. lise says:

    My son is 5 years old, and not a perfume user yet. But he is very aware of scents and smells, just like I was as a kid. And I do let him smell my perfumes, and we talk about the impressions he gets. He enjoys that, and I hope smelling things of quality is a “vaccine” against Hanna Montana et al.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, I think you have a great plan in place! Hopefully Axe won’t be calling his name any time soon.

      • lise says:

        No Axe for this little guy! He likes Timbuktu, Byredo Pulp and Musk Ravageur (he loves it on his toy dog). I find that quite promising.

        • Angela says:

          Wow! I’d say you’re safely out of Axe territory. I love it that he dabs his puppy with scent.

          • Lise says:

            Haha, I guess that Frederic Malle- spritzed toy is the best smelling dog in town.

          • Angela says:

            I’m sure you’re right!

  10. Absolute Scentualist says:

    My children (10 year old b/g twins and a 6 year old son) got an early start to perfume. I couldn’t wear it while pregnant due to all day, all gestation sickness, but when we found out we were having twins, I bought bottles of Versace Baby Rose/Blue Jeans for them to wear at around two or three for parties and special occasions. Just a small spritz on the collar of their outfits. With my youngest, I found some lovely Burberry Baby Touch massage oil for after baths. But usually, babies and little kids smell so great to me, especially after bath time, that soap and baby lotion was all they wore.

    As far as fragrances they enjoy, they love to smell and get a dab/squirt of whatever I get through the mail like samples and decants, and we infrequently visit our local Macy’s perfume counter to see what’s new. At 7, my daughter fell in love with Guerlain Insolence, so I got her a mini of the edp as a holiday gift. She and I also share some body splashes and I got her a bottle of MJ Ivy last year for the holidays as it’s her namesake. Her twin has to learn a bit more restraint with fragrance so we often have to supervise, but the 6 year old has his own bottle of Baby Touch (alcohol free) he likes to put on after baths and before pajamas, and Mr. Ab. Scent loves the slight hint of Angel the youngest’s hair occcasionally has at bedtime after I’ve put some on earlier that day and they’ve been snuggling up with a story so now that perfume reminds me of my little one as well.

    The kids don’t watch television save for old Scooby Doo, nature documentaries and the odd movie now and then, so if my daughter liked something and showed restraint, I’d probably not mind her wearing a Hannah Montana or Selena Gomez because we all have to start somewhere and she only knows of them in a vague sense from her peers which is impossible to avoid. I didn’t come from a fragrance loving family and have evolved a lot in the last few years, and I don’t think we’ll be able to take a trip to Guerlain or Serge Lutens, so must find gems here in our little town and wait to see what they’ll like when they’re older and give them as many choices as I’m able. I got a chuckle when the youngest picked out Boudoir for me to wear one morning and fully expected him to change his mind after he took off that elaborate cap, but he smelled it then promptly sprayed some on himself before spraying me. And then the next day he picked Danielle, waving away the Eau Premiere I’d tempted him with first. It is fun to watch them grow and develop their own interests, and we live by the motto that almost everything in restraint is all right and to always try a no thank you bite (or spray in my case) because you never know what you might miss ;)

    • Angela says:

      I love your stories about your children and perfume! And, wow! Boudoir for the day–that kid has quite a sophisticated nose!

  11. Aparatchick says:

    “Stay tuned the rest of this week for more drugstore celebrity perfumes!” Talk about taking one for the team! (Although if you can get your hands on Queen, it’s not bad.)

    My mother had a small but excellent collection of perfume: Chanel No 5 (I think that was mandatory – everyone’s mom had some), Shalimar, Mitsouko, L’Heure Bleu, Diorissimo, a couple of Carons, a couple of Patous – all of which explain why I was wearing Diorella at 14. Of course, I also wore some less-than-fabled stuff: Coty Rare Earth solids were a favorite as was Love’s Fresh Lemon and Love’s Baby Soft. All of which sound better than Hannah Montana!

    • Angela says:

      All of those are VASTLY better than Hannah Montana! I admire you for Diorella at 14. That should go on your resume.

  12. ladymurasaki says:

    Good god, another fruity floral. Thanks, Angela, for the review. I am all for introducing children to quality from infancy and agree with you, Angela, about introducing girls to a soliflore as a way of enabling them to appreciate fine fragrance. You don’t have to spend loads of money to get quality and although I don’t know much about Bath & Body Works, I’m sure there are many other inexpensive brands that offer quality fragrance.

    My daughter is nearly 20 and in college. She’s been sniffing my fumes since she was handed over to me by the midwife. She used to play with my empty perfume bottles as a small child and I introduced her to Guerlain on her 11th birthday. We were in Paris and she chose a bottle of Precious Heart. Afterwards, we dined on a good old fashon French meal at our favourite restaurant, both of us smelling fab. Good times.

    • Angela says:

      What a wonderful memory! It almost sounds like a movie–something terrific to remember the rest of your life.

    • Aparatchick says:

      Good times, indeed, ladymurasaki! What a wonderful experience.

  13. FragrantWitch says:

    Thanks for your sacrifice, Angela! This sounds appalling. I don’t think Tweens have to wear fruit -at 14, I was wearing Emeraude (and still do) and at 15 fell in love with Shalimar. My daughters love to sniff my ‘furfumes’ as the little one puts it. And they could spend ages in the shampoo/body wash/lotions aisle uncapping things and huffing away. Hopefully, their noses will be educated through my collection, as mine was through my mom’s and grandmother’s, and they will completely skip the fruity phase. If they really want something before they are old enough to be judicious in their application then I am sure I can find them an equivalent of the Avon Sweet Honesty Powder Perfume Stick I was the proud owner of at age 7. It smelled gently floral and powdery and appropriate for a young girl without smelling tees or sickly. Currently, the youngest (3 1/2) favours Copper Skies from Kerosene and the oldest (just shy of 6) likes Chamade. So, I have hope!

    • FragrantWitch says:

      ‘smells twee’ darn auto-correct!

      • Angela says:

        At least it didn’t correct it to “smelling toes”!

    • Angela says:

      Oh yes! It sounds like these girls are solidly on the track to wear the good stuff.

  14. mals86 says:

    My first perfume was a solid in a worm-in-apple compact from Avon. Cute, but I can’t remember the smell. The next one was Sweet Honesty, also from Avon. My grandmother (who lived with us) was addicted to kitsch of all kinds, including all the Avon figural bottles she could get her hands on (and owl figurines, bird figurines, Harlequin novels by the hundreds, etc, etc) – and was happy to shower me with inexpensive smellies. She wore Blue Grass and Cotillion, herself.

    My mother had a small bottle of Chanel No. 5 for dressing-up days, and one of Jovan Musk for Women, for everyday. She’d wear the Jovan while, say, taking me to the library or shopping for groceries, and the Chanel for church or her rare dates with my dad. So I did grow up with the lovely idea that one isn’t quite ready to leave the house without smelling nice. (Mom wasn’t big on makeup – a little powder, a little lipstick.)

    • Angela says:

      I really do like Jovan Musk for Women, I must admit. Jovan did a good job of it back in the day.

  15. Lucy says:

    As much as I want to bash this, I firmly believe those who live in glass perfume bottles shouldn’t throw minerals…and I thought Debbie Gibson’s Electric Youth was hot stuff when I was 11. So yeah, I get why young girls would be all over this (back when Miley was still Hannah).

    However, to redeem myself from shame…last year when I was visiting my mom she gave me an old mini of Dune she had found while cleaning out the house. It had been a gift with purchase back in 1993. As she handed it to me she said how funny it was that it was less than half full because she doesn’t ever remember opening it. She quickly realized that she never had because I am the world’s worst poker player and couldn’t wipe the devious grin off of my face. I had helped myself all through 10th grade. I don’t have kids of my own yet, but based on my behavior as a child…If you want your children to try the good stuff, put it where they can see it or get into it, but don’t give it to them. They are curious and will eventually try it on when they think you aren’t looking. And if you want to make absolutely certain that they try it, tell them it’s off limits. :)

    • Angela says:

      That’s so funny! Yet you’re right. Instead of force-feeding kids perfume, just leave it temptingly about and let them sample at will.

      Don’t feel bad about the Debbie Gibson perfume. I had a whole Marie Osmond face cleaning kit from Kmart. I even asked for it for Christmas.

    • mals86 says:

      I think that only works with same-gender kids… I mean, my boys are definitely not going to pick up my Chamade, for example.

      Although, you know, I never stole my mom’s perfume. I stole her eyeshadow, YES, but not her perfume. Didn’t want to smell like mom-smell. Sure, it was a great smell, but for her, not for me.

      Might it depend on the parent-kid relationship?

      • Angela says:

        I bet it depends a lot on the kid, too. I probably would have snuck dabs of perfume, but I’m not sure my sister would have, for instance (and definitely not my brothers, but some boys might!).

    • Dilana says:

      I agree the best way to introduce children to perfume is to take a bottle out once a year, and tell them, that this only for adults, on very special occasions, and they can sniff, but DO NOT TOUCH MOM’S sacred stuff. I still do not have the nerve to open my mom’s largely untouched Shalimar Perfume, which is now very vintage.
      (Of course the kid has to be old enough not to try to drink the juice. Come to think of it, until the kid’s of a rational age, one probably should not refer to the frangrance as “juice”/

      • Angela says:

        That’s so funny about “juice”! Yes, you’re right. Make it forbidden, and they’ll want it. But be sure to call it plain old perfume.

  16. poodle says:

    Why I am totally thrilled at another trip to the drugstore perfume aisle? I generally won’t wear many if any of them but I love the reviews and the comments on these cheap celeb fragrances. I always keep hoping we’ll discover a hidden gem in there somewhere. This Hannah Montana one is obviously not it though.
    I don’t have kids but have been known to spritz the dogs once in a while. When I was little I think I had the Tinkerbell stuff too but I also remember having some Holly Hobbie perfume too. I also had Avon Sweet Honesty in a deer bottle and a turtle one too. I don’t remember any screechy fruity florals. I do remember wanting to smell like my aunt who wore Shalimar though.

    • Angela says:

      Avon had some nice fragrances, really (probably still does, but I don’t know them). Unforgettable, Cotillion, Bird of Paradise–pretty respectable.

      It looks like drugstore week has turned into drugstore celebrity vocalist week. Tomorrow we’re getting Faith Hill.

  17. ladymurasaki says:

    I am enjoying reading the experiences of others. I can’t remember the first time I was introduced to perfume. It had always been in my life, as my grandmothers and mother all wore perfume and had their steady favourites. My first perfume was Bal a Versailles, aged 10 (perhaps younger). My father brought it back from Paris. Until then, I had only smelled Chanel No.5, Patou Joy, Shiseido Zen and a few others. It made me feel so grown-up and pretty. It smells rather old fashion to my nose now, but in a good way.

    • Angela says:

      Oh my gosh! Bal a Versailles for a 10 year old! You were a precocious perfume lover indeed.

  18. Marjorie Rose says:

    Thought I’d mention that while many of these ladies were introduced to scent through their mothers, it was my father who was the well-scented parent in my home. Dad always has smelled good and always encouraged an awareness of fragrance in us kids (although my brothers were less enthusiastic). Being an old hippie, the preference was for some mixture of Old Spice, real shaving cream (applied with a boar’s bristle brush), and essential oils–usually patchouli, but not always. Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea, but honestly, absent the stink of BO (which I swear my father is incapable of having), old hippie really can be a lovely scent!

    Dad also bought my step-mother’s perfume–Chanel something (I remember it wasn’t no. 5, but not which one it was) and White Diamonds.

    • Angela says:

      Nice! I love the custom blending of Old Spice and patchouli oil especially.

    • ChocolatEyes613 says:

      I love that you associate your father with fragrance.

      While I did mention my mother’s perfume collection earlier, it was my father who bought the fragrances for her. He does not wear cologne himself, he has very sensitive skin, he has the most fantastic taste in women’s perfume. I always ask for his opinion when trying out new perfumes.

      • mutzi says:

        With your post, I must further age myself and tell a slightly off-topic story that was a family favorite. My mother always wore perfume, but my father had great taste and frequently picked out scents for her as gifts. Coming home from WWII, he brought her the parfum version of Arpege as a special treat (I was not around until years later, but loved this story.) I guess she really appreciated it, but the color changed from light amber to deepest brown. So, she threw it out. From that day forward, whenever my father bought my mother fragrance, he attached a hand-printed note that said: “Color change does not mean spoiled. Don’t throw this one out.”

        • Angela says:

          Oh, it brings me pain to think of a bottle of vintage Arpege in the garbage! Kudos to your dad for labeling future perfume gifts.

      • Angela says:

        I love it that your father buys fragrance for your mother! That’s so sweet.

  19. juicejones says:

    I received a set of Little Lady cologne and talc as a welcome gift when visiting my relatives when was four. I loved it! At seven, a little glass puppy from Manon Freres that smelled of carnations was a birthday gift. My friend came with a peace offering for stealing my first crush with a Christmas sock filled with various forms of Evening in Paris. A fair trade. When other pre-teens dabbled in Chantilly and Heaven Scent, I opted for a small solid of Night in Shanghai, hoping someone would ask about my intoxicating scent. Fragrance is such a wonderful path to finding out about emotions, the world, and yourself. Children should be taugh to make sophisticated decisio

    • Angela says:

      I love that name “Night in Shanghai”! I wish I could smell it. It sounds very exotic.

      • juicejones says:

        Angela, it smelled like a mixture of the original Zen and Carmex.
        A camphorental?

        • Angela says:

          Oh, there’s something kind of nice sounding about that camphorental…

          • I would call Andy Tauer’s new Loretta for Tableau de Parfums a camphoriental! :)

          • Angela says:

            Now I really want to try that one. It sounds intriguing.

  20. juicejones says:

    Anyway…old fat thumbs will wrap it up by saying you can also meet the smartest, funniest, most passionate folks when you love fragrance. Yes, you lot!

    • Angela says:

      I know–aren’t perfume people great?

  21. annemarie says:

    I attempt to introduce my son and daughter (14 and 9) to good perfume the way I do good food, good books, good music etc. By just having them in the house as a natural thing wherever possible. That does not mean we can’t enjoy a bit (or indeed plenty) of trashy TV or whatever. I don’t want them to be snobs! But I try and attach value to good stuff in the hope they will take it for granted eventually, which was more or less what my parents did too.

    So far my daughter has only a passing interest in perfume, and that is fine. There’s plenty of time. But she loves my Acqua Allegoria Flora Nymphea, and her own Body Shop mango body butter.

    A lot of young people seem attracted to sweet fruity smells. Is it a natural thing I wonder? I’ve never really liked sweet fruity stuff, even as a child.

    • Angela says:

      I guess fruit is easy to appreciate. Probably one of the easiest things after plain old sugar water, I’d guess. But I never wanted to smell particularly fruity, either.

  22. I am absolutely going to give a middle-aged, you-kids-get-off-my-lawn response:
    How many of us were introduced to scents by a sophisticated mother, grandmother, aunt? I know I loved smelling my grandmother’s Chanel No. 5. She didn’t buy it for me, of course, because she wouldn’t put that on a 14-year-old (she used to buy all my school clothes around that time) but she did buy me Avon perfumes and guided my selection.
    Isn’t it the case that nowadays, since we’ve thrown out all ideas of what’s appropriate for a “lady”, we have a generation of kids/tweens/teens who don’t get any guidance on how to grow up and don’t want any? And they are naturally attracted to sweet smells, so that’s what they spray themselves with. And no one stops them, because it isn’t somehow “age inappropriate” (the way a teenager in Bal a Versailles would be, for instance). So they just persist with no taste.

    In other news I do second Dilana’s thought above: tell them the good stuff is not for them, ever.

    • Angela says:

      I wonder if there’s more of a focus on youth and wanting to be young now than there used to be? It used to be cool to think of dressing like a grown up. Now–unless “grown up” equals “sexy”–it’s not such a big deal. I can see in a youth culture where fruity fragrances might be more popular than something sophisticated. (Now I’m the old lady telling the kids to get off the lawn!)

  23. sinnerman says:

    All the girls at my school wore Impulse body spray! i always loved the one in the jade green can! i saved my pocket money up and bought myself a can (so nervous, as i didnt want to the cashier to think it was for me) i hid it in my school bag! oh the joy of being a adult where u can pick and choose and buy whatever u please! if i had children of my own i would give me a great excuse to buy them fragrances and educate them on the smells and fragrances. My own mother was not into perfume untill i had a job and lavished her with all the big brand blockbusters! she loved wearing Tweed Talcum powder! oh …. that little wooden cap, so cute…..!

    • Angela says:

      I like your attitude!

      I believe I actually have some Tweed talcum powder and EdC that I found at Goodwill. I’ll have to put it at the top of the pile.

    • Merlin says:

      Sinnerman! Impulse is the only thing I used as a tween. I liked the one in the light blue can. I cant remember how it smelled – only the metallic butterflies!

      • sinnerman says:

        Yep !!!! That’s the one, great taste we have !!!! Ha ha ;) lucky girls got all the fun!

        • Merlin says:

          I wasn’t really into this stuff. I wasn’t a very girly girl but after PE it seemed mandatory to douse oneself in this stuff. Mainly I remember coughing from it in the changing room where everyone sprayed themselves silly. Light blue impulse was probably a little ‘fresher’ than the others!

  24. wendy05 says:

    While i do not have kids myself, and my two nephews live too far away for me to make an impression on them scent-wise, i have been working on, ahem, re-educating my colleagues at work. And since we are discussing the scent-education of children here, I would like to tell you about my boss’ daughter, who is now 12. A couple of weeks ago me and a colleague happened to be in a department store (long story) with her. Although we were on a different mission, I could not resist a quick tour of the perfume section. Where my colleague and I were sniffing and admiring the likes of Chanel Coco, she went on to sniff what I call Ralph Lauren’s Pink Pony (well, you know which one), which smelled like übersweet strawberries to us . Maybe the wrong reaction, but we went on to say, how could you possibly like that vile, sweet and boring stuff? [no disrespect to anyone out there loving this, byw!] Here, smell this instead…. She did not seem convinced, but the other day her mom told me that her daughter was now not only contemplating getting her parents to take her to Paris (“you know, to sniff perfumes”) , but she also loves to sniff her dad’s M7 (yep, my doing) and her mom’s Tea for Two (another one of my proud successes).. So hey, i must have done something right, right???

    • Angela says:

      You are definitely doing something right if you can get a kid to sniff and appreciate M7! But with M7 and Tea for Two in her gene pool, she has good material to start with. Nice work!

  25. olenska says:

    When I was a kid, my first perfume was one that my aunt picked out for me as a gift– Avon’s Hawai’ian White Ginger. It was light, pretty, and floral– and didn’t reflect my tastes at all. Only when I got to high school and started earning my own money did I have the freedom to establish my own scent profile (resins, woods, and spices).

    I don’t have kids, but I do have a niece who was given that very freedom– and she chose TABU as her adolescent signature scent! It wasn’t necessarily what my sister-in-law would have chosen for her daughter, but she allowed her the liberty to express herself through scent…. and now my niece’s tastes impress even me. At age 16, she’s a true perfumista.

    • Angela says:

      It sounds like your niece is following in your footsteps. She must adore her auntie. Tabu as a 16 year old’s signature scent? She’s going to have some good stories to tell by the time she hits her twenties!

  26. Rappleyea says:

    “Frankly, Hawaiian Punch shows more restraint in the fruit department…”

    ROTFL!! :-D Oh, Angela. This review is priceless.

    Like several of my fellow perfumistas here, I was wearing a pretty sophisticated scent at 13 – Je Reviens parfum. Favorites in junior high (Not middle school -see, I’m dating myself. ) were Ambush (which I later thought Obsession copied), Tabu, Youth Dew and White Shoulders. I also loved Woodhue and My Sin.

    But I agree with your point above that it is no longer “in” to smell sophisticated – the younger the better!

    • Angela says:

      I found a bottle of the old Ambush at Goodwill, and it’s pretty great! You’re reminding me I need to move it to the front of the perfume cabinet so it gets more love. In fact, after the odors I’ve suffered during these celebrity drugstore reviews, I just might go get some right now.

      • Rappleyea says:

        I recently received a sample of Guerlain’s Cologne du 68 and it reminded me of Ambush (not necessarily smelled like, but reminded me).

        I can’t even imagine what you’ve suffered for our entertainment/enlightenment! I could have sprayed the HM on paper or fabric, but no way it touches my skin!

        • Angela says:

          You are a smart woman! I’m not sure what I’m going to do with the bottle I bought for this review. I’d donate to a pantry for low-income people living with HIV/AIDS like I usually do, but I’m not sure I want to do that to any of them.

  27. sweetgrass says:

    I don’t have kids, but the first perfumes I remember having were Heaven Sent and I think maybe White Shoulders.. or maybe it was Love’s Baby Soft. I barely remember what either of them smell like. I think I was probably around 8 or 9. I just remember a huge bottle of Heaven Sent my uncle gave me as a gift.. I think for Christmas. I remember wearing it, but no way was I going to use up a bottle that big. I probably don’t still have it, but it would be pretty cool if it were still in my parents’ house somewhere.. would be interesting to see how it’s held up over 20-25 years…heh. I remember wearing Exclamation in junior high.

    I didn’t have any perfumistas in the family, so I didn’t get a lot of exposure to the good stuff. My mom wore Oscar de la Renta when I was a kid (I’ve been kind of wanting to find a sample lately because I have absolutely no memory of what it smelled like), and I remember a brief period of Chanel No. 5, but she has always been more of a pick-one-scent-and-stick-with-it kind of person. So I’m kind of making up for lost time now, I guess. :)

    • Angela says:

      I remember Heaven Sent! I’d love to smell that one again. I should go to Walgreens and see if I can find it. Toujours Moi was super popular, too.

      You should definitely stop by a department store and smell Oscar de la Renta again. It’s such a distinct fragrance, I bet it brings back lots of memories.

      • sweetgrass says:

        My curiosity about Oscar has been piqued lately, partially because of all the posts I see from others remembering what their mothers and grandmothers wore (neither of my grandmas wore perfume as far as I remember), and because in a conversation about something I was wearing, my mom recently told me why she stopped wearing Oscar. Apparently one of her sisters started wearing it too, and she didn’t like how it smelled on her sister, so that kind of ruined it for her. She never wore it again after that.

        • Angela says:

          She was scentjacked!

  28. bluegardenia says:

    My guess is that this is aimed at girls who are 5 and 6, not 12. I know my 6 year old twin cousins would love to smell like fruit candy.
    When I was 12 we wore stuff from Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren, or sometimes the Body Shop. I hope 12 year olds haven’t regressed this much!

    • Angela says:

      I bet you’re right. Hannah Montana is ridiculously sweet for a 12-year old. Maybe the show’s audience used to be younger, too. I’m out of touch with the tween set.

  29. eminere says:

    Isn’t it always the case where the worst fragrances stays on your skin forever? C’est la vie.

    • Angela says:

      Yes, the Murphy’s Law of Perfume is that scrubbers last forever.

  30. Mrs.Scents says:

    Wow. I’ll be making sure to keep the nieces away from this one! But you do pose a great question – how to introduce kids to fragrance. I think I would start by introducing them to the notes found in everyday life – juicy green cucumber, pungent smell of cut grass, the smell of vanilla through fresh vanilla pods. Once they get the ‘real smell’ of things then, like you recommend, I would probably let them loose in Bath and Body Works and have them chose something from their range!

    • Angela says:

      That sounds like a great plan. I bet even if they noticed you appreciating all these wonderful smells they’d start to value them more highly, too.

  31. Tama says:

    lol, I am working backwards through your week. This really WAS taking one for the team. Sounds pretty horrifying.

    • Angela says:

      I rewarded myself today with a purchase of the Baiser Vole EdT…

      • Tama says:

        Oooh, I have the edp but haven’t tried the edt or parfum. Congrats!

  32. Wordbird says:

    My daughter is now 7 (almost 8) and went through several bottles of drugstore cartoon character perfumes when we lived in Switzerland and had better access to weird and wonderful kids stuff. Her favourites were Kung Fu Panda and Arthur and the Invisibles. I worked on the principle that I’d prefer her to spritz her own perfumes instead of pinching Mummy’s. (She has a great fondness for Hypnotic Poison and L de Lolita Lempicka, to the point where I had to hide the bottles.)

    But she’s now graduated to Hello Kitty eat, which is a fruity but has a little tartness to it and isn’t gag-inducing. And this week she finally whooped over a scent just for the smell alone: Hermes Eau d’Orange Vert, which she has adopted as her signature scent. I am both proud and penniless.

    • Angela says:

      I had to laugh at “proud and penniless”! I love it, though, that she’s an Hermes fan, even at her tender age. Gosh, but I know how good she smells!

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