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Update #7

Nostalgia In a Tube

By Marie Lodi | Dec 5, 2023

Nostalgia is more than a warm, fuzzy feeling when you randomly come across an old toy you had as a kid or a movie you quoted all the lines from in high school. It’s a complex and nuanced phenomenon that has been the subject of countless studies. It’s also the basis for our project, Orange Gelée by Vacation®. Keep reading to learn more about the science of nostalgia and the memories it evokes for our Orange Gelée by Vacation® Advisory Board Members.

Nostalgia in a Tube

Believe it or not, nostalgia didn’t always refer to the fun-filled memories and retro toys and games from our childhood. In 1688, a Swiss medical student named Johannes Hofer coined nostalgia as an affliction after noticing that soldiers and other people living abroad sometimes experienced a deadly psychological burden. Thankfully, since then, it has experienced a complete rebrand. It turns out nostalgia can actually be a good thing—healthy, in fact. Studies have shown nostalgia to increase optimism, enhance well-being, help people feel hopeful and inspired about the future, be more connected to others, and even help them find the meaning of life. It’s powerful, to say the least. Take that, Mr. Hofer!

Of course, not just toys and TV shows act as vehicles for nostalgia. Many of us can point to some beauty or personal care product that stirs the same if not a more potent, sentimental effect. Opening a jar of a particular cream or using a specific type of hairspray is instant teleportation to the past. We’re reminded of our youth, our loved ones, and specific moments in time that we can still see in our minds as clearly as the present day. For many of our Advisory Board Members, the time machine to way back when is Orange Gelée.

Orange Gelée always reminds Board Member Deana Clement of spending time at the beach with her family. “I think about my father, who would literally be performing surgery until whatever time in the afternoon, and then drive two hours to the beach just for the extra time in the sun,” she says. “I think of my parents; I think of being on the beach with my cousins. I can smell it, and I'm transported back.” Deana's nostalgic connection with Orange Gelée is so strong she’s even incorporated it into her work. Inspired by her father’s tube of Orange Gelée, she created a collection of fine art prints depicting the iconic product.

Thalia Pappas remembers using Orange Gelée with her cousins, who were from Connecticut and “a little bit more sophisticated.” Back then, sunbathing was an entirely different concept than it is today. “It wasn't about protection,” she says. “It was the fact that [Orange Gelée] was slightly orange, and you would put it on your skin, and you would feel so elegant and sophisticated because of the smell.”

Growing up in places like Laguna Beach, Rodman Primack spent a lot of time on the sand, and remembers first learning about Orange Gelée in the late 1970s. Like our other Board Members, Orange Gelée brings back memories of hanging out with his family. “In the summer, my sister and I would go to the beach with our grandmother most days and picnic there. So, when I think of Orange Gelée, I’m immediately brought back to those moments,” he says. It also reminds him of being a teenager and “aggressively working” on his tan with his sister on spring break: “There's something about it that I immediately connect with. It felt like it was literally sun in a bottle.”

Next time, learn what went down during our hunt for existing tubes of the original Orange Gelée.

Nostalgia In a Tube

The Orange Gelèe Revival Project is a joint initiative between Vacation® and Orange Gelee fans to bring back the beloved product by Summer 2024.

a tube of orange vacation brand sunscreen gel

The Orange Gelée Revival Project is now complete.

Shop The Completed Orange Gelée


Vacation® is a “Leisure-Enhancing” Sunscreen Company








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