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If you have followed my blog at all, you know that one of the things I have been committed to doing now that my daughter is away at college is trying new things. And I have been doing that regularly. But I have also come across some products from the past that I am so happy are back! In this blog post, I’m going to tell you about them and why you need these retro products.
First up, shampoo. We all had a lot of hair back in the 70’s, which created a need for a LOT of shampoo choices. One of my favorites from back in the day is Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific! If you want a good laugh just check out YouTube for old commercials advertising this shampoo. They are full of bouncy-haired girls being followed around by boys who were mesmerized by the scent of their hair, declaring, “Gee! Your hair smells terrific!” Who didn’t want that in junior high? 🙂 I loved this shampoo when it was around and was so excited to find out it is back and available at Vermont Country Store. They sell both the shampoo and conditioner.
It’s a funny thing how a scent can conjure up a memory. If you used this shampoo when you were younger, you will instantly remember the scent the first time you use it, and likely what you were doing in life when you used it. It’s like I’m in 7th grade again every time I wash my hair. 🙂 It has a lovely floral scent that is fairly strong when you are shampooing, and it dissipates a bit as your hair dries, leaving a lovely waft of fragrance behind you all day long. If you haven’t tried it, you might want to and see what hair care smelled like back in the day. 🙂
Another favorite shampoo of mine from the 70’s was Body on Tap. This shampoo’s list of ingredients featured actual beer. The tagline from the commercials was “brewed with 1/3 real beer, but don’t drink it!” This line was delivered by a very young Kim Basinger. The “science” behind this shampoo made sense to me since I think we’ve all heard that rinsing your hair with stale beer will make it shiny. This shampoo is also available from Vermont Country Store. Again, the first time I used it, I instantly was transported by the scent. It dries to a mild smell that I guess does smell like beer, but I like it. Give this one a try if you haven’t.
Another shampoo from that era that was popular with those with oily hair is Lemon Up. Again with the memory of a scent, if you read reviews of this product, nearly everyone mentions their recollection of how it made their hair smell and that using it again was a trip down memory lane. Lemon Up’s claim to fame was “every bottle contains the juice of one whole lemon!” Like the others, it is available at Vermont Country Store.
It seems Vermont really knows how to bring back all that good 70’s hair mojo. 🙂
One thing I have noticed is these shampoos from back in the day are really THICK. Thicker than today’s shampoos. And the conditioner, or “cream rinse” as we called it back then, is much thinner than conditioners we use today. Not sure if any of that means anything, but there you have it. 🙂
On to hand cream. Have you ever heard of or tried Lotil ? This cream is a real old-timer, having been around for over a hundred years. It has antibacterial properties in addition to smoothing skin. My hands get really dry in the winter. When we lived in Virginia my hands were really suffering. It is much less humid there than in Texas and I was on a quest to find a cream that worked. I tried everything that even one person had raved about and only found a couple that worked for me, including Lotil. Unlike the lovely shampoos I mentioned, this one does not smell great, so be forewarned. It has a funky smell that I can only liken to maybe the soap you might wash your hands with in the restroom at the doctor’s office. Kind of clinical. I don’t like the smell but I do like that it really works on dry skin. There is also a foot cream that smells a little better and works nicely on dry feet. You can purchase Lotil from Vermont Country Store, as well as from Amazon.
Moving on from beauty products, another retro product to share with you is Jubilee Kitchen Cleaning Wax. This stuff has been around for a long time. It is a furniture cleaning and polishing cream. I recently got my hands on this again and used it on my furniture. It also has a memorable smell that might remind you of your mom’s house cleaning day. The thing about Jubilee is that it cleans as well as polishes, so you might be surprised to see dirt on your cleaning cloth. It is recommended that you apply the cream and rub it in with one cloth, then polish with another. You really have to buff it out or it leaves kind of a smeary haze. But if you buff long enough, it leaves your furniture with its signature “hard shine” that protects between cleanings. It claims to remove dirt and grease, soot, lipstick and food stains. It can be used on wood, ceramic tile, leather, vinyl, plastic, and chrome. I have a lot of wood pieces in my house so I did a lot of polishing in recent weeks. If you haven’t ever used it or it’s been a long time, give it a try!
And finally, percolators! I drive my husband crazy with my coffee experimentation. We have a Bosch Tassimo, a Nespresso Espresso Machine, a regular drip coffee programmable coffeemaker, and a milk frother. All of them are great for different reasons. We use the Tassimo and Nespresso machines for a quick one cup fix. The drip coffee maker is good for making coffee for a group. And the milk frother is good for everything. 🙂 But around Christmas time I decided to try out an electric percolator.
Percolators make me think of grandmas, church socials or my DAR luncheons. 🙂 I like to drink coffee throughout the day, and the thing I like about percolators is that they keep the coffee hot as long as they are plugged in. Even though a drip coffee maker has a heating unit under the carafe, I still find that the coffee cools down a bit the longer it sits. With a percolator, the coffee is hot all day if you leave it plugged in. The other nice thing about percolators is their large capacity, which makes them nice for entertaining.
Full disclosure, percolators are a bit labor intensive compared to popping in an espresso capsule or just filling the water in a drip coffee maker. You have some assembly work to do on a percolator. First, you have to fill it with water. You have to use cold water or it won’t perk. Then you assemble the core stainless pieces and fill the basket with coffee. I’ve read that ground coffee today is more fine than ground coffee in the past. This increases the possibility that grounds will slip through and get into the brewed coffee. The solution is to grind your own and keep the ground course, or there are nifty little disc filters that fit perfectly into the percolator to catch the grounds.
After you put the filter and grounds in, you reattach the top of the percolator and plug it in. One drawback of using a percolator is that you have to wait until the percolating process is complete before you can drink a cup. So if you’re like me who sticks your cup under a drip coffee maker the minute the coffee starts to flow, you’re out of luck here. 🙂 But the coffee is delicious and stays warm as long as you want. Our grandmas may have been on to a good thing. Try one out and see what you think!
New products are great and exciting, and I am a sucker when it comes to trying them out. But I also love time-tested things that I already know. Especially when memories are attached. If you are too young to have used these goodies when they first came out, or if you are of a certain age like I am and thought these were gone forever, they aren’t! They’re back and you need these retro products. Happy time traveling. 🙂
Share your favorite retro products in the comment section. And I’d love to have you follow me on Pinterest!