It never occurred to me that I wanted to smell like a zombie until I read the description of Elvira’s Zombie by Demeter Fragrance Library. “The sexy center of this fragrance revolves around ylang ylang and red poppies, grounded with tobacco leaves and black vanilla bean, while taking flights of fancy with a frosty methadone accord and powdery coca petals,” it read and immediately I pictured a pack of zombies trudging toward prey in a damp, lush forest.
I’ve purchased about a dozen Demeter fragrances and each one conjures a specific image in my head. Mark Crames, CEO and one of the noses of the company, explained that scent imprints on our memory more so than any other sense, which is why the scents by Demeter Fragrance Library, many inspired by everyday experiences and objects, build a bond between scent and memory for the wearer.
“When I do a flower I want to capture the sense of the living flower, not some reduced or redacted perfumed version,” said Crames. “I want you to experience standing in a field of flowers.” The company does this by creating their products out of mostly naturally derived ingredients, using synthetics only when they are important to the accuracy of the scent. Crames said, “if something didn’t add to the scent, like artificial color, to us it simply made sense to leave it out.”
With over 250 fragrances to choose from and new ones coming out almost monthly, varying from Funeral Home to Grass, selecting one can be overwhelming. Those with a darker sense of humor will enjoy the Elvira collections, Riding Crop, or even Holy Water, which smells like a rainy day spent in a church full of oak pews.
Crames suggests Jasmine, Blueberry, Patchouli, and Vanilla Cake Batter. He said “I think each is emblematic of our approach in important fragrance categories: floral, fruit, wood, and vanilla.”
Those who want a scent unique to them can buy a blending took kit to create their own. Each kit comes with refillable spray bottle, a funnel, blending strips, and some droppers. Any fragrances can be combined, but there is also an option to buy a “foolproof” blending duo or trio. As I was combining my fragrances, it was hard not to feel like a witch brewing a potion! Most of the scents are very subtle, perfect for layering or even spritzing on bedding for a soothing night’s rest.
Part of the mission statement of the company is to make great scents available every day. And while the fragrances are expertly made, researched so well that odd fragrances like Dirt and Glue smell almost exactly like the objects they’re named after, the products remain affordable. A 1oz bottle costs around twenty dollars.
“Every time we smell something we love , we smile; yet how often do we stop to breathe that moment in, or luxuriate in it? How many of us literally stop to smell the Rose? Or the baking bread from the bakery? Or the freshly mowed lawn? Or deep, rich, wet earth? Not too many,” said Crames. “We try to bring those experiences to the forefront.”