Cucumber Melon Has Always Been the Best Bath & Body Works Scent

published Jun 6, 2023
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bath and body works cucumber melon collection on graphic colored background with cucumber and cantaloupe photo elements
Credit: Bath & Body Works, Shutterstock

I can envision the Bath & Body Works in my hometown mall circa 2005 very clearly. Toward the back of the store, just to the left, was the display where I’d marvel at the selection of lip glosses and roll-on body glitter. Just beyond that was a lineup of some of my favorite hand lotions. And on the other side of the store was hand sanitizer galore.

My sharp recollection is partly thanks to my mum, who nurtured a love of sweet-smelling lotions, sprays, and candles, then passed it on to me. Whenever we’d go shopping together, we’d always make time to peruse the shelves of our favorite store, where swirling scents of sun-ripened raspberries and warm vanilla sugar wafted toward our noses before we’d even crossed the threshold.

Sometimes I’d bring my fellow middle school pals along, and we’d take turns sniffing our favorite flavors. My childhood best friend loved the light-pink Sweet Pea lotion, although Juniper Breeze was a close second. While I liked both of those just fine, there was only one scent that rose far above the rest in my eyes: Cucumber Melon.

Cucumber Melon has always been the best scent of any brand, anywhere. There is simply nothing better than a dab of (what was once) seafoam green-colored body lotion on the arms and neck — especially before a momentous occasion like a chorus concert or school dance. (I invite you to go down the rabbit hole of old Bath & Body Works products on eBay. Here’s some vintage Cucumber Melon hand lotion — just as I remember it.) The scent is cool and calming, to be sure. I’ve missed its fresh, clean, and slightly sweet aroma, which felt refreshing in all seasons.

When I saw that the defining perfume of my youth was back on shelves, I was transported to that Massachusetts Bath & Body Works store in the early aughts. Indeed, the company just re-launched the iconic scent in honor of its 25th anniversary, and nobody is more pleased than my mother and me.

According to Bath & Body Works, Cucumber Melon first hit the market in 1998. After it was phased out, it made occasional special appearances during the store’s famous semi-annual sales. But now, the blend of “crisp cucumber, watery honeydew, summer cantaloupe, sparkling grapefruit and sheer woods” is back, and with updated packaging to boot. In a press release, the company said the fragrance “has been an icon and throwback favorite of the ‘90s and Y2K nostalgia megatrend.” 

I don’t need a Y2K nostalgia megatrend to know that Cucumber Melon is the superior scent of all scents, although I’m still very glad it’s back in the form of body mist, body cream, body lotion, shower gel, hand soap, and candles. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some foaming hand soap to set out and a three-wick candle to light.

Buy: Bath & Body Works Cucumber Melon 3-Wick Candle, $16.95 (originally $26.95)