One Thousand Scents

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Halo: Demeter Amber

Demeter scents don't usually take that long to talk about. They're uncomplicated things that usually smell pretty much like their namesake: no layers or depth or development, and that's fine. You don't always want an entire symphony: sometimes you just want a three-minute pop song.

Amber is a slight exception to the rule, but not much. It doesn't smell like ambergris or mineral amber, of course, but like a composed "amber" scent, the far end of a sweet oriental fragrance, with such warm things as opoponax and labdanum. It has a powdery, almost baby-powder, quality heightened by a drop of vanilla, and, the big surprise, a dose of incense which is similar to their Incense scent. It is simple but very well constructed, and since it consists essentially of base notes, Amber lasts longer than most Demeters, a few hours, at the end of which it is a cozy, close-to-the-skin scent, very pleasant and comforting.

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Despite my attempted embargo on new scents in 2012, I did get a few new Demeters last week.

A friend at work was thinking about placing an order, so I said I'd have a look at the website and see if anything appealed to me, and we'd split the shipping. She understandably didn't want to pay $12 or so to ship three or four little bottles, but dividing it between two people made it more palatable. I combed through the list and picked six I was pretty sure I'd enjoy, five new ones and Raspberry Jam, which I really missed.

The first one I tried was the jam, and I was hugely disappointed, because they've gone and changed it. The things I specifically noted and loved about it, its cooked-fruit quality and its avoidance of fresh or juicy notes, have been altered, possibly to make it more in line with what people seem to expect things to smell like these days. The scent starts out very bright and fresh, like a cold bottle of Snapple or Fruitopia. After a little while, this does fade, and the cooked-jam aroma presents itself. The thing isn't terrible, but it is changed, and not for the better.

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