Perfume Pen Pals: A Lab on Fire / Made in Heaven



Dan,

Made in Heaven by A Lab on Fire smells like the classic Kmart smell, which is a warm, sweet, nutty smell.


I always loved that smell, the way it summed up the cheap but comforting claustrophobia of Kmart.


Does Kmart still exist?

Katie



Katie,

I know the smell! Though maybe only because you mentioned it. And not from Kmart, which I don’t think I’ve ever visited, but Woolworth's. Or parts of Woolworth's. It does smell foody, but also like vinyl or plastic, perhaps like those rotating chairs at the lunch counter.


It’s strange because my first scent memory of Woolworth's is of steamed hot dogs and popcorn, warm cashews, too, and while none of that is in Made in Heaven, the first moment I smelled it, I thought, “Woolworth's!”

Did Woolworth’s have candied nuts? Maybe it’s that combined with the floor wax they used? There’s something more than food, something institutional.

I still miss Woolworth's.

Dan



Dan,

Yeah, you're right — it's also the Woolworth's smell! I love that smell! A warm/plasticky popcorny/sweet nuts...not just smell, really more of an atmosphere. It's comforting and almost mouth-watering, which is weird because it doesn't really smell edible, owing to the warm plastic aspect.

Katie



Katie,

This was MY Woolworth’s!


The cable-car turnaround ran right alongside the store, on Powell St, and the lunch counter was along that wall inside.

I seem to remember it being slightly raised (black and white checkered floor perhaps?), the whole eating area was a few inches above the rest of the store. That’s how you knew you were eating and not shopping, I guess.

Dan

6 comments:

  1. Interesting reviews! I always wished someone would make a scent that smelled like the inside of Sears when I was little. If I was a good girl after shopping, my mom would take me to the candy counter where they had tons of candy in glass or plastic containers and hot popcorn always. I would always choose the malted milk balls for my treat. Now I’m wondering if this perfume could make me happy the way Sears did!

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    1. Amy, I really think Made in Heaven could be your Proustian madeleine, Sears-wise. It smells like that very still, unventilated, sweet popcorny air of those budget stores of our youth.

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  2. Sadly all the Kmarts have been gone from our area in Central Florida so I can't remember the smell at all. But the idea is interesting. Don't know if I'd want that though in a perfume, maybe an oil that I could smell just to bring back happy memories. Sadly our Sears now smells like the tool department.

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    1. Lara, that's a disappointment both about the end of Kmart and Sears' eau de tool.

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  3. Dan, that San Francisco location was MY Woolworth's, too. In my 2nd year of college I walked in there and the prettiest, most popular girl from my high school was waitressing at the lunch counter. I slunk away before she could see me; I guess I couldn't face the idea that she hadn't gone on to a more posh destiny than waitressing at Woolworth's.

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    1. It would be easy to assume the popular girl peaked in high school, Maggie, but I have such affection for that Woolworth’s lunch counter, I say waitressing there was a continuation of her peak. (Of course, I worked in a warehouse while in college.) We should look her up and see what she’s doing today. It may not be posh, but I bet it’s interesting.

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