August 5th, 2018

kusanagi: puerile

Day 217/365: Stripper juice

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Me holding an empty bottle of Warm Vanilla Sugar body lotion by Bath & Body Works.

(susandennis, how’s that for a clickbait title?)

One day over a decade ago, I had a conversation with the bloke. We were in the early stages of our relationship. He asked me about my preference in scents, and I thought perhaps he was angling for gifting tips. Probably he was.

Anyway, I started telling him how much I liked the smell of cocoa butter, and was just about to grab the bottle pictured above (they’ve changed the label in the interim, but it’s the same stuff) to show him. Before I could, he blurted, “Cocoa butter always makes me think of strippers.”

I’d been just about to tell him how cocoa butter took me back to my childhood in Honolulu: the smell of the buses and the changing rooms at the beach. So it rather threw me suddenly to be told it reminded him of something, er, quite so adult in nature. I was grumpy for about a week. Then I decided, what the hell, let’s roll with it. And thus the term “stripper juice” was born, to describe the scent I like best.

My favourite incarnation of this scent is Bath & Body Works’ Warm Vanilla Sugar body lotion. The problem with this: There are no Bath & Body Works in the UK. Sure, you can buy other cocoa butter-style lotions here. The Body Shop sells an acceptable body butter. But it pales in comparison to Warm Vanilla Sugar, which makes me smell like a cookie all day long.

For the past fourteen years, I have managed always to plan my trips back to the USA sufficiently close together to replenish my supply of Warm Vanilla Sugar. There is always a place in my suitcase for three to six bottles of it, depending on how far into the future I estimate my next trip will be.

I bought three bottles on my most recent trip to the States, late last year, in the belief that I would be returning this summer. That trip got cancelled, and I now have no trip to the USA planned for the rest of 2018, and indeed, am unsure about 2019 as my parents have said they’re coming here.

So it was with great sadness that I extracted the last drops from my ultimate bottle of Warm Vanilla Sugar this morning. There are not very many things I’ve clung to from the land of my birth, and deliberately bring to the UK even though I know it’s pure sentiment driving me to it. (Double Stuf Oreos. Industrial-sized bottles of painkillers. Victoria’s Secret bras - although I can get those here now.) This is one of the last to go. No longer will I be able to say, "Honey, did you pack my stripper juice?" when heading off on a trip (not to the USA).

Stripper juice, I bid you adieu. You will be missed.

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