Earlier this year, my fabulous friend Vanessa of Bonkers About Perfume was quite rightly nominated for a Jasmine Award by The Fragrance Foundation.
She was shortlisted in the Blogger category for her fantastic post “Men and (Wet) Sheds: dipping into The Library of Fragrance in a focus group down the pub”. This covered a lively discussion about a selection of Demeter fragrances among Vanessa’s “civilian” friends. It’s highly entertaining and a must-read.
Here is my rather more prosaic take on some of the same scents.
This fragrance first of all conjures up the slightly metallic, electrified atmosphere just before the storm breaks, as well as a touch of ozone. Then as the heavens open, we get petrichor – that wonderful musty, earthy smell you encounter when rain first drenches the hot, dusty ground.
Thunderstorm is very much an aroma I recognise from a summer downpour in the city. Amazingly realistic, if not something I’d actually want to wear as a personal fragrance.
Sex on the Beach
I love the fact that Vanessa thought this captured the aroma of people having sex on a beach rather than the far less titillating tropical cocktail it’s actually named after.
I can appreciate her disappointment. Sex on the Beach is a facile fruity perfume which smells sweet and artificial. It’s largely strawberry flavoured syrup without any hint of booze whatsoever. Rather more cordial than cocktail.
Whoa! Yes, this is ginger all right. A bright opening which is a cross between the grated root and ginger biscuits, plus a dash of lemon.
Sadly it fades extremely quickly and you’re left with a barely there, gently spicy, skin scent.
Here comes the rain! Well, actually here comes the calone.
Rain basically smells of watery melon pulp. This accord often indicates the presence of calone; an aromachemical used in many aquatic perfumes such as L’Eau d’Issey.
It’s not my idea of a pleasant aroma but it gets a bit better as it becomes a little earthy in the dry down. It’s very light and not a patch on Thunderstorm.
I think Demeter are at their best when they capture novel aromas. As we all know, amber is a common fragrance accord and so this is rather uninspiring. It’s a vanillic amber with a rather unpleasant medicinal tinge in the opening stage.
For me, Amber was the least interesting of the bunch. However the fact that it is extremely light may make it good for layering with some of the others.
Like Amber, we are used to orange blossom perfumes. This one is sweet. sunny and easy to wear. It’s rather syrupy but it isn’t the shrill, soapy scent I expected it to be.
Overall, it’s not half bad for an inexpensive orange blossom fragrance with better lasting power than most of the others.
This is a fig cologne with surprising depth; refreshing, fruity and green.
It’s the one out of these seven that feels most like a “proper perfume”. Fig lovers may wish to check it out as a potential cheap thrill.
Fig Leaf could make a good casual option on warm weekends and days when you’re less bothered about longevity and complexity.
I was surprised at just how much I enjoyed testing out these Demeter fragrances. No doubt this was in large part because of the high novelty factor of the more abstract scents.
Generally, they don’t last long but treat them as fun, fleeting colognes and you need not be disappointed, especially considering the price-point. The quirky ones can also be great conversation starters, as Vanessa’s post proves.
Have you tried anything from The Fragrance Library? Please tell me your experience in the comments.