Enter the Demeter Fragrance Library

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 Demeter Fragrance Library photo: we heart this

While I have been obsessed with beauty products and make up since my teens, I must admit I am pretty much a perfume novice. Once things moved beyond the lemony, alcohol laden fragrances of junior high, my interest didn’t follow. I think the overbearing stench of perfume and aftershave in the halls of my high school (courtesy of heavy-handed teens), only pushed me further away from appreciating a great scent.

Once I moved on to higher end beauty products, the corresponding level of fragrances began to intimidate me. Top, middle and bottom notes? Suddenly, choosing a bottle of perfume was harder than ordering wine in a snooty restaurant. Paralyzed with indecision, I stuck to one, mainstream (albeit wonderfully scented) body oil discovered in college over 10 years ago! Then, one happy shopping day, I discovered the amazing Demeter Fragrance Library.

In the midst of a beauty shopping spree with my sister, Susan, the two of us stumbled upon a sparkling display of Demeter bottles. We stopped in out tracks, and spent the next hour (at least) sniffing and spraying every unique scent Demeter had to offer.

We were lured in by the elegant square bottles with a simple pop of color – a single stripe bisecting the label and uniquely shaded to match each scent. We stayed for the huge selection of scents in yummy, even quirky scents with names so basic (Gingerbread, Orange Juice, Clover) there was no guesswork involved.

The Demeter Fragrance Library is so far from intimidating, that it helped me discover the joy in buying and choosing perfume. How can you not have fun sniffing scents labeled Gin & Tonic, Christmas in New York and Chocolate Covered Cherries? I walked away with a few bottles that day and have continued to explore the world of fragrance – but I always head back to Demeter when I need a small bottle of pick me up!

Which all makes sense, as this company believes “fragrance should make you smile every time you smell it” and their mission is “to make the pleasure and luxury of fine fragrance … fun and easy to afford.” Mission definitely accomplished.

This straightforward approach can be seen in the Demeter collection of single-note and single-experience fragrances that are “inspired by real life everyday objects and experiences – scents that are drawn from memories.” A few of my nostalgia invoking Demeter favorites are Honeysuckle (warm summer evenings), Raspberry Jam (helping my Grandma make jellies with berries fresh from her yard) and Fireplace (late night campfire!).

Best of all, Demeter is not a company to rest on its laurels and continues to add new and unique scents to its library. Our lucky review team got their hands on a couple of Demeter’s most popular fragrances ($20 -1 oz spray), including Pink Grapefruit and Laundromat, as well as the latest Demeter must have; Baby Powder, promising to be “as clean and as fresh as it gets.” Make sure to check the comments for the teams thoughts.

As for me? I couldn’t be satisfied with just one scent, and since Demeter fragrances are made to be mixed and layered I went with two fantastic picks:

Dirt – Think rich, fertile, pristine soil – not “dirty” – and you’ll get the idea of this incredible scent. Sort of sweet, sort of earthy and completely intoxicating. One whiff and I was transported to days spent frolicking with my cousins on my Grandparents country land and evenings sprawled across the cool grass watching the sky. So I was tickled to read that this scent “was made to smell exactly like the dirt from the fields around the Pennsylvania family farm belonging to our founding perfumer” and as a PA girl, I can say this scent is spot on!

Pure Soap – I must have watched too many home improvement shows, because once I picked out Dirt, I felt compelled to go with a second scent on the opposite end of the color wheel (urm, scent wheel?) and went with Pure Soap, promising the clean smell of “freshly showered skin, with a trace of Ivory Soap.” Of course, it can be worn alone, and is nice for when you want to smell good, but not like you are wearing perfume. And if you are active in the dating pool, this “just naturally clean” scent would be perfect for all those non-date dates (going for a hike, meeting for coffee). It oozes natural beauty and confidence with a hint of girl next door – guys dig it.

Naturally, my Pure Soap and Dirt combo is a hit as well. Demeter scents are lighter and airier than many perfumes in this price range and are meant to mesh with one another. This new combo has been my go to daily scent so far this summer. It smells fresh, clean and youthful and just as Demeter intends, puts a smile on my face every morning.

we heartsters and testers – do you share my fondness for the Demeter Fragrance Library? What are your favorite scents?

Disclosure: This review includes products that were provided by the manufacturer/PR firm for our consideration. For more info, or any questions, please see our disclosure policy.

Author

  • tyna

    Tyna is a former editor of we heart this that worries about becoming a crazy cat lady, reads at least a book a week, checks in at a Flyers fan forum every morning and is forever organizing her closets and drawers. skin tone: NW 20/25 skin type: combination favorite beauty product: eye shadows and lip balms

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21 Comments

  1. I can’t tell you how many of these scents I have worn over the years! Sometimes Demeter is spot on, sometimes they’re not. I do love their whimsy, though. I remember Laundromat smelling like Bounce (love that) “Ginger Ale” was a favorite of mine (because it really did smell like my favorite soda). I was less impressed with their cocktail scents. I remember “Dirty Martini” smelling more like cloves than olives, and “Cosmopolitan” not reminding me of the vodka-lime-cranberry concoction. “Gin and Tonic” is pretty close to the real deal, though (the juniper translates this drink to perfume well). In fact, once when I wore “Gin and Tonic” my brother asked me what it was, then told me to be careful not to wear it to work or they’d think I was dipping in the booze.
    I haven’t used any of these in a long time, but I’m waxing nostalgic. I really love the idea of “Pure Soap” since the smell of Ivory soap always = clean. Guess I know what my grown-up self will have to try…

  2. I too have been a Demeter fan as well- love the packaging!
    I have owned a few, but my favorite is Laundromat. I even spray it on my sheets to give them some extra oumph!
    I received a bottle of Demeter Baby Powder. It was so spot on, that I was immediately taken back to the times spent with my grandma – I would snuggle with her and she always smelled of fresh baby powder. That’s what fragrances should do, right? Transport you to a time and place which is special to you? Well, job well done Demeter!

  3. Oh I so remember when we discovered this line. It was at least an hour of spraying and smelling. I love how unique Demeter is with the scents they come up with. You wouldn’t think you’d be fond of dirt, but they make those comfy scents that remind you of something special. The rain scent makes me think of how it smelled at my grandparents house when I was a kid when it rained. They have a candies inspired collection from Hershey, Jelly Belly and even Hello Kitty line. The room sprays are great too! I wish Demeter would have more of the scents in candle form. I’ve seen Demeter products at TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Ross at great prices. These aren’t even over-priced to begin with.

  4. Oh, these are very intriguing. I’ve never tried the line but I really like the idea of a single scent that isn’t mixed already. They have a peach on their site that I’d love to try. It’s hard to get straight peach scents! And I already mix and match my scents, so this is a easier way to do it. A cleaner palette since each scent is so simple.

  5. This brand has always been one of my favorites. I recall smelling “Grass” once in a store and was shocked at how much it smelled like grass! It smelled exactly like a freshly mowed lawn and it immediately made me nostalgic for summer days as a kid, running around the yard barefoot. :)

  6. I have to find out if Demeter’s Christmas in New York matches my own NY winter memories. What a great name for a scent! And I know I’d love Pure Soap– Ivory Soap smells like “clean” to me.

  7. I’ve not tried theses before…although now I want to. I must admit, now I’m really curious about what “dirt” smells like. ;)
    XO Piper

  8. Great review, @tyna!

    I am a HUGE Demeter fan. I’ve been rocking their fragrances for over a decade now, and some of my favorites include Madeleine (smells JUST like a fresh madeleine!), Pruning Shears, and Snow (Snow smells exactly as you would wish snow to smell–slightly minty, refreshing and clean). I posted a pic a while back of part of my collection if you’d like to see:

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_XNY_fgTdS9k/Sq_ywoffWZI/AAAAAAAACDg/AjWXL9EaVzE/s1600-h/003.JPG

    My most coveted Demeter is definitely my Special Edition scent “Paperback” which smells exactly like a paperback book. Love it. :)

  9. I have so many Demeter fragrances it’s unreal! When I opened my last test package and saw Demeter’s “Laundromat” I became nearly giddy. My husband looked over and said “They make a fragrance called Laundromat?” Then he smelled it and said “Wow, those girls really know you!” LOL

    I’m that girl who walks up and down the cleaning/laundry supplies aisle at the supermarket just to smell the air. I love it when my neighbors do laundry, I love burying my face into clean towels, and nothing smells better than freshly washed sheets on the bed. The folks at Demeter manage to round up the best parts of all these scents, feelings, and memories and bottle it in a fresh, clean (no pun intended) scent. It’s not overpowering, it lasts all day, and it’s great to mix with other scents. I like mixing it with “Grass” – it reminds me of the scent of a baby’s hair in the sun and innocent summers.
    Demeter can not possibly get any less than 5 stars from me. Love it!

  10. Dirt sounds fantastic – like potting soil, yum.

    I’m a fan of Demeter as well – lots of fun choices and not too pricey. I guess I haven’t checked them out lately because I never saw the “herbology” line before – I totally want to sniff the Green Tea and the Fresh Ginger. Has anyone tried anything from this collection?

    http://www.demeterfragrance.com/Collection.aspx?CollectionID=2

  11. OMG – I am totally coveting Paperback. I wonder what it goes for on ebay? What’s the other Special Edition at the bottom right?

    Yay – I’m glad you all love Demeter as much as I do! Of course, I had to give Dirt and Pure Soap 5 stars. They are both classic Demeter perfumes – soft, airy, true to their name/source in scent and very fun. The pretty, simple packaging is a big old bonus.

    Also, how have I never smelled “grass”? I am always, constantly searching for candles that smell like a freshly mowed lawn and they are always too sweet. Can’t wait to see Demeters version. i bet they got it right.

  12. I love Demeter! I was lucky enough to find two of their scents on clearance this year. I had never before had the opportunity to try them before. All that I can say is wow!! I bought Baby Powder and Laundromat. And they are just so refreshing and cleaning. The 1 oz bottles fit great in my purse. So whenever I am out and need a pick me up these are just the ticket. They make me feel a little more put together after being out all day. They take away the stank and grime of the day! haha I was so excited to get the opportunity to test Fireplace recently. I was a little skeptical at first. Who wants to smell like a fireplace, right? Well, after testing it apparently I do!! It is such a delightfully complex scent. It is subtle, smoky, comforting, and relaxing. I really, really like it!! The one I really want to try now is Play-Doh. I love that smell!!

  13. Forgot to say that I give Demeter an overwhelmingly huge 5 stars!! I have enjoyed all three scents that I have had the pleasure of trying. Additionally, I should mention that they seem to be long lasting. The scent lingers in a good way and my bottles seem to last a long time as well-despite spraying them way too much!!

  14. I had no idea Demeter had so many exciting scents! I received Rain and love the light and refreshing quality. I had a heavier go-to scent that I used most of the time but I’ve been using this as my everyday scent. It is perfect for summer! I’m giving it four stars though because I don’t feel like it captures the essence of rain…it almost reminds me more of gumdrops rather than raindrops. There is a sweetness to it that is more candy than rain. I love it though and now I want to pair it with Laundromat, Soap, Fireplace…something! All of them! And for the price I can. I’m impressed with the packaging and the longevity of the scent – especially for the price.

  15. @tyna: the other Special Edition is “Pink Grapefruit” which is so old that it actually may be part of the core collection at this point. Haha! Not sure.

    Also, the CEO of Demeter is on twitter (his handle is (at)DemeterCEO) and I’m sure he could tell you if “Paperback” is still in production if you wanted a bottle. I’ve chatted with him a few times over twitter and he’s super nice. :)

  16. I’ve been wearing Demeter as part of my regular fragrance rotation for years now. I first heard about the brand when I read that Cortney Cox wore their Tomato scent and I remember being like, “Tomato??? Huh. I’ll need to check that out”
    While Tomato isn’t my cup of tea, I can’t help but love how these items smell exactly what they say they do and I love how the fragrances are usually basic, everyday things.
    I will say, my least favorite, based on creepiness factor is the Funeral Home. I’ve never wanted to smell like a funeral home…ever.
    I think my favorite is Sex on the Beach–it smells clean and fruity and reminds me of something from my childhood, but I can’t place it (no, my parents weren’t big drinkers :) )
    My hubby’s favorite on me is the Orange Cream Pop, which smells exactly like a creamsicle w/ a perfect blend of sweet orange and vanilla.
    Honorable mention goes to their Kahala line, which is based on the scents of Hawaii–perfect summer scents. Especially the Kahala Blue Hawaiian, which smells like fresh pineapple…*sigh*
    I received the Pink Grapefruit to try out and being a fruity fragrance lover, this was right up my alley. This smelled exactly like a pink grapefruit. I mean, EXACTLY. Like, cut open a pink grapefruit, and huff, and that is what this smells like. This is a really great, clean scent that I think those of you who don’t usually gravitate towards fruity fragrances would like b/c this is more of a fresh, clean smell. Definitely a winner! 5 stars from me!
    Keep ’em coming, Demeter!

  17. @nouveaucheap – I’ve got a bunch of stuff to say to you!
    1. what is a Madeleine? Am I right in thinking it’s a cookie?
    2. thanks for sharing your pic. You are indeed a super fan.
    3. You’re right, DemeterCEO on twitter is awesome. Talks with everyone, always asks interesting poll type questions. It’s nice when a “big wig” is individually involved with customers.

    I love Demeter, the amount of scents and the inventiveness is amazing! But sadly, they disappear on me. I’d love if they did oils too, so I could layer them.

  18. Oh good suggestions @krista – I want I want I want the Orange Cream Pop and the whole Kahala line BAD now!

  19. I’m a long time Demeter Fragrance fan. I can’t believe how true to the real thing they get. They perfect the “clean” scents that I adore, like Grass, Pink Grapefruit and Laundromat. (I could write a WHOLE post about how much I love the smell of a washed clothes especially in the winter time.) Also, they’re incredibly affordable. If I could, I’d have the whole fragrance library in my fridge.

  20. Gadget Girl says:

    I’ve been wearing Demeter Fragtances for almost 7 years. I found a small sampling at a little boutique and fell in love with Ginger Ale. I swear you can smell the fizz! I went home and began to search for more online. All I could find was a dealer on Ebay and I am so thankful for finding Willow! I discovered the joys of Dirt and Waffle Cone and Cinnamon Bun. I also found Angel Food Cake and Sugar Cookie, Graham Cracker and Dulce de Leche. I reveled in Devil’s Food and Brownie until my daughter discovered them and spirited them off to her own developing world of fragrance.

    Then I found Vanilla Cake Batter. One whiff and I was instantly 4 years old and standing on the kitchen stool while my beloved Grandmother cracked eggs and added vanilla extract to one of her fabulous from scratch cakes. I have people stop me every now and then and ask if I just baked a cake. It makes me smile, knowing that my favourite scent has triggered a reaction from someone else and when they walk away with a smile on their face, I know that the hunt for that perfect scent was worth it.

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