I spent a good chunk of the 1980s listening to Prince, Madonna, and Duran Duran, puffing up my bangs, feathering the sides of my hair, crushing on Tommy Howell, wearing leg warmers, reading Sweet Valley High books, and watching certain films—Flashdance, The Pirate Movie, Airplane!—over and over again. Omnipresent in my tween years was something else, not so much a sight as a collection of distinct scents, the clean note of lavender, the heady sweetness of rose, the spiciness of pine, orange peel, cinnamon sticks, and cloves: potpourri!
Potpourri had a moment in the ‘80s. You couldn’t walk through a living room without bumping into shriveled petals and crispy buds. Across the nation, bowls of dead flowers breathed scents over sofas and coffee tables, and when the potpourri snuck into sachets, those perfumes permeated our underwear drawers.
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