Subourbon Mom

Bath and Brothel Works

What is it about the Bath & Body Works store that attracts the pre-teen crowd like Christmas shopping attracts bad drivers? It can’t be their low prices—seriously, $10 for a candle that smells like ashes from my fireplace? Or, $3 hand disinfectant that leaves your steering wheel smelling like stale cookies? This summer, one of the girls even purchased a candle called Mahogany Teakwood that, I swear, smells like Drakkar Noir. Remember that? Or, for you youngsters who may not be familiar with that scent from the 1980’s, the candle smells like teenage boy who’s just discovered cologne. I think I might borrow it, just for the trip down memory lane. Maybe I’ll watch Top Gun while I burn it.

All of these things I can live with, because it’s a place where my kids can shop that doesn’t sell clothes for hookers in teen-age sizes, and doesn’t get them all hopped-up on caffeine. And, being a pre-school teacher, I’m all for the disinfectant. I just wish they sold Lysol in flavors like Warm Vanilla Sugar and Japanese Cherry Blossom.

HOWEVER…I have come to loathe the scents the teen girls seem drawn to…the cloying, heavy sprays and lotions so sweet and thick, they must have been inspired by a mortuary trying to cover up the scent of formaldehyde. Sleepovers are the worst. In the morning, the downstairs has a miasma of “Twilight Woods” drifting amid the sleeping bags and piles of clothes and hairbrushes. You can practically see the blue haze, like a layer of smoke from a speak-easy in the 1920’s. I can only imagine this must be what a brothel would have smelled like before the age of deodorant and sanitation.

But, I think we may have finally emerged from the darkness. This morning, Daughter #2 came up to me with a glass of milk and said, “Mom, this glass smells like Bar-B-Que.” Now, normally, I would say dump it out because it’s 7:30, we’re already running late, and no I don’t want to smell your sour milk; but, since we’ve begun buying organic milk, I wasn’t about to toss out $4 worth of white gold. So I sniffed it while she held the glass up.

It smelled like her Bath & Body Works perfume.

“It’s your perfume,” I said.

“No it’s not. It’s BBQ.”

I took the glass away and gave it to Hubby. “Does this smell like BBQ to you?”

“Nope,” Hubby answered.

“Now sniff her hand.”

He did. “It’s your perfume, Cutie,” he said.

Horrified, Daughter #2 looked at us and shrieked, “You mean I smell like pork loin?”

Sorry, Bath and Brothel Works, but I think it’s safe to say we might be moving on to the other teen scents, probably with catchy marketing names “I Can Drive,” or “SnapChat Me.”

But I might go get one of those Mahogany Teakwood candles and put it in my stocking.

5 Comments so far
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LOL ! so funny, Libby!!! Wishing you and yours all the joys of this beautiful Christmas season! Hugs


Comment by Katherine Payne

Hilarious! I share your pain. Fortunately, it’s been a long while and the scents have evaporated from our lives.

Mary Miley Theobald Writer and Historian


Comment by Mary Miley

OMG!!! This is so true and the perfect response that I would expect to come from daugher #2. Another great blog…..


Comment by stephaniehudnell

Oh, I laughed so hard. As someone who also had a bad run in with that infamous “Twilight Woods”, I have developed a healthy suspicion of the entire establishment. I smelled like despair and the tears of small children. Needless to say I have dumped all their products into a bin for visitors to take if they so want.

Perhaps one of the most recent and amusing Bath and Body fails was my coworker who bought a pumpkin something or other freshener for her car and ended up with eau de cat pee.


Comment by Katie Renee

I’m so glad you enjoyed it!


Comment by libbyhall

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