Tubes of sunscreen and a perfume shot in front of palm leaf branches
Courtesy Vacation

This ’80s Summer–Inspired Fragrance Line Evokes the Era’s Popsicles, Pool Toys, and Speedos

Vacation’s new line of sun-care products and corresponding perfume are redolent of an endless summer.
By Cynthia Rosenfeld
July 10, 2021
2 minute read

The two-year-old experimental radio website Poolsuite deftly mixes AOL-era computer graphics with disco-driven beats, channeling the cool optimism of the 1980s. Now, just in time for the post-vaccine summer that seemingly everyone’s been waiting for, the site’s founder, Marty Bell, teamed up with Miami-based entrepreneurs Dakota Green and Lach Hall to expand its offering into the physical realm with Vacation, a new line of sun-care products and a corresponding perfume.

The trio took a fragrance-first approach to product development, eager to concoct a signature smell that evokes the era’s kaleidoscopic popsicles, pool toys, and Speedos. They recruited seasoned perfumers Carlos Huber, creator of the niche scent line Arquiste, and Rodrigo Flores-Roux, the nose behind Clinique’s Happy, who delivered a savor that manifests the collection’s endless summer vibe through notes of coconut milk, bergamot, pineapple, and sea salt. A single spritz of the fragrance can swiftly transport one to the beach.

Vacation’s suite of sunscreens conjures up no less nostalgia. Its Classic Lotion exudes a banana-esque tropical bouquet, while the lightweight Chardonnay Oil, a blend of marula, passion fruit, jojoba, shea, and Chardonnay grape-seed oils, creates a shimmering shade reminiscent of Hawaiian Tropic’s iconic bronze cream. There’s also a zinc-based Mineral Lotion, infused with cucumber extract and vitamin B3. The benefits of each SPF 30 salve extend beyond its sentimental aroma: Developed with dermatologist Dr. Elizabeth K. Hale, Vacation’s chief medical advisor and a clinical associate professor at N.Y.U.’s Langone Medical Center, the products meet the guidelines issued by both the Skin Cancer Foundation and the Food and Drug Administration, and are made without ingredients such as oxybenzone and octinoxate, which have long been used to protect people’s skin from UV radiation but can damage coral reefs.

Applied every 80 minutes, as directed on the old-school packaging, Vacation delivers. We tested the line during this summer’s first official weekend on the sand in Newport Beach, California, and reveled in an even, healthy glow, tinged with aromas that populate memories of warm-weather getaways past.