Malls The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall  

Jacob Shelton
8.1k votes 795 voters 11.1k views 25 items

List Rules Vote up the scents you most remember smelling during the '90s as you cruised the mall with your pals.

Scientists say smell is the most important sense linked to memory, and it’s not uncommon for scents to unlock long forgotten memories, bringing a tear of nostalgia to your eye. And there's probably nothing that makes you more nostalgic than catching a whiff of our favorite '90s mall smells. Whether it’s the overpowering wall of Abercrombie & Fitch cologne or movie theater popcorn, these are the smells from the mall that make you wish you could turn back time and waste a Saturday hanging out with your friends. Sniff out these memorable smells from the mall and try not to get too misty eyed.

If you’re too young to remember what the mall smelled like, then you’re in for a special treat. Collected on this list you’ll find a bevy of stores and smells that totally encompass the world of a true mallrat. Believe it or not, there was a generation of teenagers who looked forward to carousing through their local mall and munching on kiosk food, totally unsupervised by their parents. The nineties truly were a blissful time to be alive. If you were around for those good old days, check out these memorable scents from the mall and see how many are still secretly floating around inside your nose.

list ordered by

1
427 79
Cinnabon is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
Oh, those heavenly ovens.

2
423 88
Bath & Body Works is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
Cucumbers and vanilla and sweet pea soap, oh my!

3
363 96
The Pretzel Kiosk is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
The Pretzel Kiosk
Doughy, salty goodness.

4
353 92
Movie Theater Popcorn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
Movie Theater Popcorn
An undead, fake butter smell.

5
325 89
The Food Court is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
The Food Court
A true cacophony of fast food smells to delight your olfactory system.

6
276 131
Yankee Candle is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
What's that scent? Some call it "the three wick surprise."

7
225 147
Sbarro is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
Sbarro
Distinctive and totally 100% for sure definitely Italian.

8
213 179
Abercrombie & Fitch is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
AKA: The Unescapable Wall of Cologne

9
186 165
The Mall Fountain is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
The Mall Fountain
Mmmm... chlorine!

10
164 165
The Christmas Store is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
The Christmas Store
Pine and cinnamon isn't just for December anymore!

11
166 170
Chick-fil-A is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
The original chicken scent.

12
155 157
Panda Express is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
The orange chicken odor sticks to your hair and will be with you all day!

13
141 144
Payless is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
Payless
Let fake leather dazzle your nose!

14
133 145
Sweet Factory is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
Sweet Factory
You can almost smell the diabetes!

15
123 162
Claire's is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
A mix of clinical odors and rhinestones.

16
123 163
KB Toys is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
Home of a strange mixture of plastic and sweat.

17
113 152
J. C. Penney is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
There's nothing like the old lady smell of the makeup counter!

18
98 161
Arcade Tokens is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
Arcade Tokens
Metallic and almost like real money!

19
87 160
The Parking Lot is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
The Parking Lot
Asphalt in summer: it's what childhood dreams are made of.

20
84 162
Regis Salon is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
Regis Salon
A mysterious mix of hairspray and desperation.

21
82 161
Corn Dog 7 is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
Corn Dog 7
Let the fry oil waft over you.

22
83 166
B. Dalton is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
B. Dalton
Is there anything that smells better than a new book?

23
74 151
The Freshly Waxed Tile Floor is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
The Freshly Waxed Tile Floor
Ain't nothin' like fresh wax!

24
73 157
The Mall Massage Chairs is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
The Mall Massage Chairs

When faux-leather meets all the local dads waiting for moms to finish up in Sephora.

25
72 158
Gap Inc. is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Most Memorable Smells from the Mall
The grown-up scent of wardrobe basics.