Demeter Fragrance Library: How to Celebrate Your Olfactory System

There’s nothing quite like the smell of tomatoes, and patchouli, and … leather and …mildew. Mildew?!?! If you want to win a wager with someone, lay down 100-1 odds that there’s a company that makes fragrances with names like Funeral Home, Glue and Holy Water. Demeter Fragrance Library creates insanely original and downright weirdly scented products that are NOT tested on animals and are cruelty-free. In addition to fragrances, they also produce soaps, lotions, gels and oils. I, being Artichoke, found out about Demeter from Dan Hanley (one-half of The Gay Vegans) when he told me that there was a spray that smelled like leather. This New York-based company sells their products in select stores (like Duane Reade and Walgreens in NYC). There is also the company’s e-commerce site at They even haev a cult-like following, to the point where people post their “Demeter Scores” on Youtube. We’ve recently tested 8 of the hundreds of scents they produce:

Demeter Fragrances, Photo by TheFoodDuo
Source: The Food Duo
  • Tomato: This lightly scented pick-me-up spray initially smells like ripe red peppers and then shift into tomato mode. Smells good enough to eat!
  • Patchouli: Initially it doesn’t smell like patchouli oil, but after a few minutes it does
  • Dirt: I ABSOLUTELY LOVE this scent. It really smells like dirt or potting soil, which ranks highly on my list of pleasurable aromas
  • Thunderstorm: Slightly musty, smells like wet sidewalks, which also ranks highly on my aroma top 10. This one comes highly recommended
  • Peony: Light and flowery, like a floral bouquet, but not over-the-top
  • Leather: Actually smells just like leather. Albeit I won’t purchase leather products, I do like the smell of it. I admit it! This is an exact reproduction. Guilt-free shopping, baby!
  • Mildew: Another musty scent. Smells a tad like a dentist’s office. This one is oddly enjoyable
  • Sawdust: Has a wonderful lumber yard scent. You can save a trip to Dykes Lumber and spray this woody/cindery scent on your person. That sounded awkward
  • Dust: A nose-tickling scent that smells a tad like a freshly cleaned office. Weird but cool
  • Funeral Home: No, it doesn’t smell like a dead person. Yes, it does smell like the flowers you would find at many funeral homes (i.e. lilies, carnations, gladiolus and chrysanthemums). Yes, I LOVE it and highly recommend it!

Some of their other scents I’ve tried: Smoke, Dots, Vinyl, Stable, Humidor, Earthworm, Crayon, Dots, Fireplace, Ginger Ale, Frozen Pond, and Play-Doh. Demeter Fragrance Library‘s scents are versatile, as you can use them as a personal fragrance or to freshen up a room. There’s even an actual “Home” line of products. We sometimes combine scents to see what fun scents materialize. This madly original company will take suggestions for future scents to consider. Hmmm, should I ask them to make French fries?

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