As we all know, it’s cool to be cool. And a lot of being cool relies on being different. (For those of you wondering, yes, I am the ultimate authority on being cool.) In aesthetic, unusual-ness is usually highly praised: be it ugly trousers, strange lipstick or giant hair. This is all well and good, but you internet-cool-choosers need to look up from the screen and start utilising your other senses, ok?? Wake up, people! Smelling weird is the new looking weird.
The problem with a lot of perfume is that, to me (both someone who knows almost nothing about perfume, and a brat who always wants to somehow be a bit different from everyone else) they are often samey and boring. To get something unusual it is usually required to go ultra-luxe: Byredo or Maison Martin Margiela have fragrances called things like Mister Marvellous and At the Barber’s. These sound so cool, and so like what I would want to smell of, but I can’t go throwing money around just so I smell unconventional right now. Enter the Demeter scents. One can actually smell like wet concrete and leaves without a terrifying monetary commitment, and who wouldn’t want that?
I have three of these and already see a collection problem forming. They are a bit of a pain in the arse to get hold of in the UK (standard) but can be tracked down on the internet. I also believe they might be repackaged as the Library of Fragrance collection, available at Boots, but only in smaller sizes for more money (annoying). I got mine from FrangranceX.com with no problems, but with a customs charge. They still work out astoundingly cheap though, especially if you order in bulk and get the big 120ml size.
The three I chose were called Dandelion, Paperback and Thunderstorm. Not only are these perfect celebrity baby names, but I find them to be interesting twists on typical fragrances which don’t cost a lot of money. Dandelion is Chanel Chance’s weird younger cousin who collects dead bees, let’s say. Paperback smells like someone else’s grandad mixed with own-brand vanilla ice cream. Thunderstorm literally smells like pavements after a storm, and is my absolute favourite thing to wear ever. It sort of fades to just a fresh, slightly jarring, metallic scent. In fact they are all just about normal enough to be perfume, while still being weird enough to be weird.
As high-fashion and more “editorial” makeup looks become more the norm, there should be some sort of equivalent movement in the cheap-perfume market. And here is the answer to that very specific prayer. For girls who like to eschew the basic and find sensory pleasure in more acquired tastes, Demeter offers a way to smell as unusual and original as we all (probably) aspire to be.