Time was, people didn’t pay much mind to sunblock. When I was a kid, it was more about tanning oil. I can still remember the older girls in the neighborhood, in cutoff jeans, bikini tops, and feather barrettes, slathering themselves with the shiny stuff (SPF? Zero!) and periodically rolling over, as if driven by some internal timer set to “golden brown.” The scent of coconut drifted on the breeze. Ah, those were the days.
Thankfully, we now know more about the harmful effects of the sun’s rays. This dispatch, however, is not about that. It’s about the amazing, summery scent of the sunscreen of my youth. I was reminded of it recently when Coppertone sent a vial of its signature fragrance, which is salty and floral and really quite nice. (Though it’s not for sale as a perfume, you find the same scent in high concentration in Coppertone Ultraguard Lotion SPF 30.)
And I’m not the only fan of sunscreen scent. As Michael Kors told our very own Patrick Rogers, a.k.a. Allure Man, his favorite is Bain de Soleil Orange Gelee sun lotion. “People yell at me all the time about wearing sunscreen. I actually do wear sunblock, then I put the Bain de Soleil on top, for the smell and the sheen,” said Kors. “It’s a childhood thing for me, it takes me to another place. It used to come in SPF 4, but now I think they’re making it in 8!”
Rogers told me that he has fond memories of the smell of Piz Buin, a Swiss sun-care brand found largely in Europe. “When I smell Piz Buin, I’m 12 again, on vacation with my family in Malaga, Spain. It reminds me of extremely tan tourists from Scandinavia, walking down the beach.” Not too long ago Rogers spotted it at the duty-free at Heathrow and snagged a two-pack.
What are some of your favorite sunscreen memories?
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