Ralph was the first fragrance I purchased with my own money. I was 13, and, when I picked up the blue bottle in the mall one Saturday, I thought immediately how it smelled just like candy. To me, the eau de toilette — which turns 15 this year — encapsulates something completely young and carefree; it’s unsophisticated and extremely sweet, like a green apple mixed with flowers. Ralph became my teenage scent of choice, and I was proud to wear it.
Now, when I smell it, I think of a time unhindered by bills, career decisions, and half-wit boyfriends. But just as a life unsullied by adult responsibilities is fleeting, so is Ralph, which dissipates within a few hours after application. Not everything can last forever, but a sprightly scent memory wrapped in a fruity bottle is close enough.