I first learned about Demeter, the eclectic fragrance company, at a most interesting corner bookstore in New Hope, PA — if that isn’t an auspicious beginning! They recreate scents that grasp at remote and weird (in a fun way) corners of your memories. Demeter is the company that bottles scents like Kitten Fur, Crayon and Funeral Parlor. But of course, they have some fragrances that are just perfect for Christmas, for your home, your gift giving and for yourself. I was happy to be hosted to experience it!
All Demeter fragrances are single-note and “linear” — they don’t evolve into another fragrance as time goes by. Additionally, they are all available in a number of formats, including cologne, perfume, shower gel, massage oil and even home fragrance.
Diffuser oils (and their wood or bamboo sticks) are a fine gift for a number of folks on your list. You don’t want Grandma lighting candles. The RA at the college dorm probably feels the same way. You just stick the sticks in the oil and forget about it. Just enjoy the fragrance! These are also perfect gifts for someone you may not know well: they can always find a room to scent. So, when you need a little house gift for the boss’ spouse or your neighbor having a party, this will be appreciated.
Christmas Bouquet is — as they well describe — creamy and spicy all at once. I picked up the floral aspects and also, a touch of nuttiness. It’s a lovely scent that won’t clash with the holiday treats set out on trays. It’s also soothing enough to keep in the bedroom.
Gold is a new fragrance for Demeter. You can get gift sets that include the Biblical gifts Myrrh and Frankincense. Or, just on its own, it makes a great Hanukkah gift! I experienced masculine woods, and definitely the brisk “metallic tang” that they describe, kind of like when casino slot machines used to pour out coins into a bucket. There’s also a bit of spice. I feel like anyone glimpsing at a Gold home fragrance during the holidays would feel like they’re going to be blessed for the year.
Black Pepper smells like freshly ground Tellicherry pepper in an olive oil, warming its edges. I picked up a little menthol finish. I’d say this is a terrific masculine personal scent, just right for day or night. It doesn’t shout “perfume” on the skin, just deliciousness.
Russian Leather is one of their super popular fragrances, and rightly so. They describe it as “those wonderful old, old leather chairs in a Viennese library”. I’ve been in Vienna, but I must confess, not to one of those libraries. But the scent reminded me of the chairs in another library . . . when I was a law clerk for a petroleum company, there were a lot of old-school perks. One of the things they paid for was membership in my city’s private Bar library for research. When I would go there for an assignment, there were always other well-heeled law clerks and well-regarded old-timers. This library was the kind of place that kept 500 year old British legal opinions in a glass box. As for the clerks and old-timers, I quickly realized it was practically expected that you take a nap in the big, brown leather chairs with nailhead trim! It was considered the “gentlemanly” (or lady) thing to lightly tap a colleague’s shoulder as you walked out, to rouse them from too deep a sleep. The Demeter fragrance is a very sexy unisex scent! I noticed sweet whiskey notes and that envelope of scent that you experience when you sink into one of those fancy leather chairs. I also experienced a bit of vintage paper on the finish.