2 Reasons Why Your Vintage Scented Doll Still Smells

The doll manufacturers Kenner, Matel and other makers use several techniques to keep the scent fresh over a long period: 

  1. The perfume is baked into the mold: I know that Mattel baked patchouli oil into their Stinkor Doll molds. The perfume is specifically designed to resist at high temperature and poured into the hot plastic prior being moulded into the shape of the doll.
  2. Doll hair is composed of fragrant plastic pellets: Doll hair is usually melted plastic pellets that are infused with any plastic-compatible fragrance.

There are lots of technical terms in here but the point is that it produces a long-lasting effect that doesn’t fade with time! 

The Strawberry Shortcake dolls are famous for their perfumes as much as their personalities. There are different scents for each of the Strawberry Shortcake characters, usually named after desserts, and they all have a long-lasting scent.

This marketing technique has worked successfully for Kenner as enthusiasts and doll collectors recall the smell whenever they see a picture of their favourite doll. From 1980-1985, Kenner Products had sold more than 45 million scented Strawberry Shortcake dolls! Kenner then went on to create the Rose Petal Place dolls, which smelled like flowers. Although they were not as successful as Strawberry Shortcake! Companies such as International Flavors and Fragrances, Naarden International and Takasago produce scents for the plastic market. These techniques are still used today in plastic doll manufacturing, however they now offer a timed release of scents from the plastic to ensure the perfume stays fresh!

My Strawberry Shortcake doll still smells delicious after all these years. When you close your eyes and inhale deeply the strawberry shortcake scent is so sweet that it almost makes me want another one! I don’t have a Stinkor Doll but have read about people burying them in a cupboard for decades and the smell still lasts.

One note for people with sensitive skin and allergies! It is possible to have an allergic reaction from playing with scented dolls. If this is a possibility for you or your child, then the doll needs to be treated with caution and should kept away from children and substituted for another doll – the warning signs are headaches, nausea or unaccountable skin reactions.

For those people interested in experimentation, you can make scented polymer jewellery by using undiluted fragrance mixed in the clay. There are plenty of online tutorials with tips of which oils are stable, long-lasting and resistant to high temperatures.