Love's Baby Soft: Because innocence is sexier than you think? Eww. ('70s & '80s)

Love’s Baby Soft: Because innocence is sexier than you think? Eww. (’70s & ’80s)

If you want a three-minute lesson on how society has changed since the mid-1970s, take a look at these Love’s Baby Soft fragrance ads, starting with the top two from the mid-seventies. With a glance, you can tell they’re creepy and wrong — one with a Lolita-style girl, and the other with a “babyish” young woman licking a lollipop — both featuring the tagline, “Because innocence is sexier than you think.”

Newspapers from coast-to-coast were full of ads for the stuff, and weren’t shy about the slogan, or its meaning. For example, in 1975, one New Jersey paper ran a department store ad with the heading, “Love’s Baby Soft is a blend of innocence and sex.” A year later, newspapers in several different states — including Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Ohio, North Dakota, Texas and Utah — ran an ad for Love’s Baby Soft that called it “an almost grown-up scent that’s so pure, it’s sexy.”

Love's Baby Soft: Because innocence is sexier than you think? Eww. ('70s & '80s)

What is also telling about these ads is the lack of response to them. Few people at the time seemed to care about the message being delivered, because that sort of thing was pretty much expected and accepted.

It’s not like people didn’t notice — it seems like it just didn’t trigger any alarm bells. A columnist in The Berkshire Eagle (Pittsfield, Massachusetts) even wrote of the inexpensive new cosmetic line in April 1974: “Love Cosmetics has launched a new ‘baby soft’ fragrance for bath and body, claiming that ‘innocence is sexier than you think.’ Now, I’m a long way from the age of innocence, and cosmetic blurbs are usually so exaggerated that they are ridiculous, but Love sent samples which passed the scent-test of the office noses…” Apparently, little thought was given to the icky innocence = sexy motif.

The result? The original pink Love’s (and its lemon counterpart sold like crazy), because it turned out that some girls liked feeling grown up having their own practice perfume, while a lot of girls loved the scent. In fact, through much of the seventies and eighties, you couldn’t walk the halls in a junior high or high school without smelling the stuff.

Whether it was the result of quiet pushback on the “sexy” ad campaigns, or just a desire to do something new, the company moved on to other methods of persuasion after a couple of years. While none of Love’s later advertisements would have earned them any awards, most of them were at least a little less tacky and overt.

By the time the 1980s rolled around, the ads had a decidedly different tone, as the powers that be found better ways to market the drugstore line to teens — and their parents.

But don’t think that was the end of Baby Soft. Many years removed from Love’s questionable marketing tactics, and thanks to the brand riding high on the current wave of nostalgia, Love’s Baby Soft products are once again available.


Love’s Baby Soft. Because innocence is sexier than you think. (1974-1975)

Love’s Baby Soft is that irresistible, clean-baby smell, grown-up enough to be sexy. It’s soft-smelling. Pure and innocent. It may well be the sexiest fragrance around.

Love’s Baby Soft 1975 - Innocence is sexier than you think


Introducing Love’s Baby Soft. (1974-1975)

Because innocence is sexier than you think.

Love’s Baby Soft is that irresistible, clean-baby smell, grown-up enough to be sexy.

Introducing Love's Baby Soft 1974 1975

Love’s Baby Soft lollipop girl TV commercial (1975)


Love’s Baby Soft newspaper ads

Dates of publication, clockwise from upper left: 1976, 1974, 1975, 1979


On the theory that softness is what boys find most exciting about girls

Get a Baby Soft T-shirt and be Baby Soft. A $7.00 value for just $2.75. Go to any Love cosmetic counter for details.


A brief message from Love’s Baby Soft (1979)

2 pairs of incredibly soft “I’m Baby Soft” nylon bikinis for just $3.00 with any Love’s Baby Soft purchase. Available at participating Love cosmetic counters.

Love’s Baby Soft. The soft, fresh, slightly sexy scent.

Love's Baby Soft bikini underwear 1979


On the theory that boys go sweet on girls who go soft.

Love’s Baby Soft. The soft, fresh, slightly sexy scent from Love with Love.

Some of the nicest things happen in Love's Baby Soft (1981-1982)


Some of the nicest things happen in Love’s Baby Soft (1981-1982)

The soft, tender, totally feminine fragrance. It’s like a smile from deep inside. Feel how good you feel.

Because she's still your baby after all... give her Love's Baby Soft


Some of the nicest things happen in Love’s Baby Soft (1981-1982)

The soft, tender, totally feminine fragrance. It’s like a smile from deep inside. Feel how good you feel.

Some of the nicest things happen in Love's Baby Soft (1981-1982)


Because she’s still your baby after all… give her Love’s Baby Soft (1982-1983)

The affordable Christmas gift she’ll love

Give her Love's Baby Soft (1982-1983)


This Christmas, give someone you love lots of love (1983)

Everyone loves Love. Daughters. Granddaughters. Cousins. And, of course, teenage nieces.

Because Love’s Baby Soft is a very soft, delicate scent. As you can see, there are all kinds of Love to give. So feel free to choose as much as you want. Because you can never give anyone too much Love.

Love’s Baby Soft. Nothing feels as good as Love.

This Christmas, give someone you love lots of love (1983)


Underneath it all, she’s Baby Soft (1986, 1987, 1988)

Love’s Baby Soft for your soft side, and Love’s Baby Soft Musk for your more sensuous side.

Loves Baby Soft 1986 1987 1988

  1. I was young and extremely innocent in the ’70s; but, I remember distinctly finding something not right about these ads. I didn’t have the ability to put my finger on it, but I always felt it. Gross.

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