'Inner Child Scents' Are Trending - The Best Perfumes To Try Based On User Reviews

There are some smells that take us back to our childhood — coconut-scented sunscreen, strawberry-flavored candy, fresh-cut grass, and the scent of old library books are just embedded into our memories like a cozy throw blanket. Smells have a powerful way of bringing a feeling of nostalgia, and fragrance makers are creating perfumes that invoke just that. "If perfumes are liquid emotion, childhood memories are a well of inspiration," perfume evaluator Clayton Ilolahia told Grazia. "Perfume, in particular niche perfume, is about authentic storytelling. Naturally, many creators have perfumes directly inspired by personal childhood stories, stories we can all relate to since so many of us have shared experiences from this time in life," the scent expert continued.


While as adults, we gravitate toward more sophisticated fragrances with wood or floral notes, it's okay to tap into our inner children once in a while. There's a reason we embraced Barbiecore fashion and brought back the jelly shoes we wore as kids. Sometimes, we just want to kick adulting to the side for a bit and go back to when we had no cares in the world. We rounded up five brands that will have your inner child doing cartwheels by searching for nostalgic scents and handpicking the ones that got rave reviews, which we break down further below. So spritz some smells from your childhood onto your wrists and slide down memory lane with our fave fragrance finds.

Floral Marshmallow by Dossier

If there's one smell that is reminiscent of our youth, it's the caramel, sugary scent of marshmallows. Whether we recall making s'mores by a campfire or tossing a couple of pieces into our hot chocolates, the cloudlike candy brings up plenty of "warm and fuzzies." Sadly, rubbing marshmallows on our pulse points won't leave us smelling like one, but Dossier created a perfume aptly named Floral Marshmallow that will. The scent is a combination of marshmallows and orange blossoms with notes of vanilla and honeysuckle.


It's important to note that Floral Marshmallow is a dupe of Kilian's Love, Don't Be Shy perfume, which retails at $295 for a 1.7-ounce bottle. However, Dossier's version only runs from $40 for around the same size to $59 for the next size up, at the time of writing. With a 4.3-star rating with over 5,000 reviews, Floral Marshmallow is a hit with buyers. "When I say that this fragrance smells IDENTICAL to the real thing. This is fantastic. It smells so good. Smell is very long-lasting and not too over-powerful. I'm about to order another one to stock up," one reviewer wrote. Another raved, "Smells sooooo good I get a lot of compliments on it," adding that it's a "great dupe for Kilian's Love, Don't Be Shy." If you want a marshmallow in a bottle, this one is for you.


Purchase Floral Marshmallow from Dossier for $40.

Boardwalk Delight by Skylar

Memories of happy summers on the boardwalk invoke the sweet smells of cotton candy, and you can get this dopamine rush with Skylar's Boardwalk Delight Eau de Parfum. Just the bottle itself will make you want to grab one ASAP, with its pastel blue-and-pink shade that looks just like our childhood sugar rush. As described on Sephora, the main notes that will waft into your olfactory glands upon first spritz are vanilla, cotton candy, and coconut milk. If that doesn't sound tempting enough for Boardwalk Delight to be your next signature fragrance, we don't know what will.


Priced at $90 for a 1.7-ounce bottle, this perfume is on the steep side, but the 4.3-star reviews look promising. "Oh my goodness. This is divine! I thought it was going to be super sweet, and it is sweet there is no doubt about that, but it also has a freshness to it. Definitely going to be my summer go-to! I wish I would have purchased the full size!" a fan wrote. Many others gave the perfume five stars but some complained that the scent didn't last as long as they would have liked. Those who want their perfumes to stay fresh all day are probably missing the most important place to use them, which you may be surprised to learn is the belly button.

Purchase Boardwalk Delight by Skylar from Sephora for $90.


Dirty Coconut by Heretic Parfum

We were all slathered with sunscreen by our parents when we were kids, and they all smelled the same no matter which brand was used — like the ripe, fruity smell of coconuts. Dirty Coconut by Heretic Parfum will bring you back to spending days on the beach getting freckled skin and eating ice pops with just a spritz of its coconut-vanilla scent. The perfume also has woody notes of cedar and sandalwood, along with ambrettolide, which gives it a musky base. The best part about Dirty Coconut is that it's made of 98% naturally derived ingredients, so clean-living folks will love this product.


Dirty Coconut's prices start at $65 for around .5 ounces and go up to $275 for the largest size, which is an investment but one that will last you a while. If you're unswayed so far, there are repeat customers, including one who wrote in the reviews section, "This is my second purchase of this scent. I love it." Another shared, "I got a sample through scent bird and it's been the only one that I ran out of!! So I had to order more. I love it [it's] like a coconut cocktail. Not too warm, but perfect for summer." Although coconut is indeed a warm-weather scent, we're all for spritzing ourselves with the fragrance in the wintertime to battle the winter blahs.

Purchase Dirty Coconut from Heretic Parfum for $65.


Sweet Grass by Libertine Fragrance

Inner child scents aren't all about satisfying your sweet tooth. If you're not into overly cloying perfumes, the smell of fresh grass is bound to bring you back in time. Libertine Fragrance has just the one for you, with rosemary, lavender, tobacco, hay, and oakmoss as part of Sweet Grass' notes. The unisex fragrance will make you feel as if you're sitting in a field of grass that has been baking under the sun on a warm summer's day. "Virgo season in a bottle. Fall is just around the corner, but the sun still sits heavy and golden in the sky. This fragrance wraps you up in a shifting spell of golds and greens and invites you to lay down in a field to while away the late afternoon," was one poetic description by a purchaser.


The packaging itself is simple with a clear cylinder bottle and a gorgeous wooden stopper. It's priced at $162 for a 1.7-ounce size and $238 for double the amount, which is only available to purchase on Libertine Fragrance's website. While this earthy scent is great all year round, we think this is the perfect perfume for a tomato girl summer.

Purchase Sweet Grass from Libertine Fragrance for $162.

Twisted Peppermint by Bath & Body Works

Chestnuts roasting on an open fire and peppermint sticks swirling in your cup of hot cocoa are sweet holiday memories from the past. You don't have to wait until Christmas to recreate your favorite scent as long as you have the Twisted Peppermint Mist by Bath & Body Works. As a fine spray, it's not going to be as strong as perfume, but it's buildable and great for those who just want a light smell. Whether you want to get into the festive spirit come winter or recreate visions of sugar plum fairies dancing in your head, this sweet scent will do that for you.


One shopper wrote, "This is one of my favorite scents. It's a sweet peppermint that isn't overpowering. It's strong enough to last a few hours but you'll still need to respray yourself a couple times." Another stated, "I love the tingle of excitement my nose enjoys when I use Twisted Peppermint body mist." 

Purchase Twisted Peppermint Fine Fragrance Mist from Bath & Body Works for $17.95.

How we chose our favorite inner child scents

When envisioning fragrances that invoke our inner child, candy flavors and beachy smells popped into our minds. We searched for perfumes that described these scents and chose ones that had four stars and higher while reading the customers' honest impressions. As we weren't able to personally try these fragrances, we relied on the reviews of buyers who actually tried them. The perfumes that were sold on multiple online sites had about the same ratings, so we determined that the public's opinions were accurate.


Of course, none of the products received a perfect score, but we took into consideration the negative reviews that focused more on faulty packaging or other less-impactful errors rather than the quality of the perfume itself. Naturally, scents are very personal and won't be suited for everyone, but the general consensus of the fragrances we picked were favorable.