Gone But Not Forgotten

My birthday is next week, which got me thinking about a present I received a long time ago that I really loved, but sadly, is no longer available.

The year was 1986. Ronald Regan was President. Madonna had a string of hits from her third album, “True Blue,” like “Open Your Heart” and “Like a Prayer” before embarking on her “Blonde Ambition” tour. The Golden Girls was a hit show, proving to America that seniors can be sassy and fiercely independent. And Revlon introduced their “Charlie Naturals” trio of perfumes: Fresh Flowers, Rare Musk, and Forest Herbal.

My cousin had given me a bottle of Forest Herbal for my birthday. I liked Charlie but I was more of a Jontue girl. But I loved Forest Herbal as soon as I received it. It was green and herbal, so different from the original Charlie, or Jontue, or Love’s Baby Soft (the three fragrances I was most familiar with). I wore Forest Herbal constantly during my junior year of college. It was one of the few bottles of perfume that I completely used up. And when I wanted to buy some more, it was gone.

Sadly, the Charlie Forest Herbals collection was short-lived. But over 25 years later, I still think about it. I tried eBay, where the few bottles offered are going for more money than I want to pay. I even contacted Revlon, through their website. I received a short, impersonal reply that stated that the perfume was no longer available. (I can imagine the Revlon interns manning the Questions email account and sending the same reply to everyone).

I won’t give up on my quest to find a bottle of Forest Herbal. Maybe I’ll stumble upon it in a thrift store, a garage sale, or online. I know once I get a whiff of it again, it will remind me of college and it will immediately transport me back to a time of my life that I look back on with great fondness, a little embarrassment, and a lot of wistfulness.

What perfume did you really love that has since been discontinued?

Madonna, 1986 Blone Ambition tour.


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