Each time I smell noxema or ten-o-six cleanser, I'm immediately taken back to junior high. Bonnie Bell, Love's Baby Soft, and Coty provided a scented soundtrack to those years wedged between being a kid and a full fledged teen. The word tween did not exist when I entered grade seven at the unripe age of twelve.
Each August, Shoppers would put out a teen pack full of all the things one needed to go back to school. Full size bottles of Gee, your hair smells terrific shampoo, Listerine mouth wash, Close-up toothpaste - always in cinnamon - plus some other stuff all for five bucks. Armed with that and an at-least-thrice-read copy of latest Seventeen magazine, I knew I was ready to face the school halls in September. And the locker rooms. At least I didn't have to go to school with stinky boys, but girls - girls can be the worst critics and one would not want to be labelled grungy.
They say that the sense of smell is the strongest trigger between your brain and memories. Makes me wish I could have somehow rigged up my studying to scratch and sniff stickers back in school. Who knows, I may have done a bit better. Dealing with locker room critics coupled with not exactly stellar grades made for interesting times.
Noxema and all that other stuff, scented the period before the teenage years exploded into a massacre of black nail polish, hair dye, and Anais-Anais.
I love the smell of Noxema in the morning.