The Scent of a Girl
December 3, 2012 11:13 AM Subscribe
Why did girls used to smell like girls?
posted by user c to human relations (35 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
When I was a boy, I would notice that sometimes certain girls smelled like, well, girls. There was a very specific scent, sweet and earthy and clean and animal, that my young brain identified as being uniquely female. I could notice it just standing next to a girl, no intimacy required.
I can't remember when I started noticing it. Certainly by junior high school, maybe even earlier. I seem to remember the occurrences fading as my coterie emerged from puberty, and by college I think I smelled it very rarely, if ever.
Once every few years I get a whiff of something similar that brings up a sense-memory, and I end up wondering what it was I was smelling, and why I stopped smelling it. Was it pheromones, or was there some perfume popular with girls in the early '80s, or was it something else? Has the scent gone away, or have I just lost the ability to perceive it? And, perhaps most importantly, did anyone else have this experience?
A few additional observations: I wondered if it might have something to do with menses, but I'm not sure the girls in question were always old enough to menstruate, and besides it didn't have any metallic aspect to the scent. And I've been around menstruating women as an adult and not picked up the scent.
I don't smell it on adult women. I haven't picked it up from a young girl since I became an adult, but I spend vanishingly little time around young girls.
It's one of the weirdest memories of a weird childhood, and I'm hoping someone out there can provide an explanation.