One Thousand Scents

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

30 Demeters in 30 Days: Day 10, Fuzzy Navel

"Hey, barkeep. I'll have a Fuzzy Navel and she'll have the girliest drink in the house."
"Two fuzzy navels coming up!"

That's from Futurama, a lamentably cancelled show that lasted five seasons and is still on the air in a lot of places.

A Fuzzy Navel, a cocktail made of vodka, peach schnapps, and orange juice, might be girly, but it isn't the girliest drink in the house, not by a long shot. What about the Pink Flamingo (vanilla schnapps, grenadine, orange juice, and cream)? What about anything served in a coconut shell? Anything with a tiny paper umbrella? The rule seems to be that anything that tastes pleasant or sweet, that doesn't require a breaking-in period (does anybody like their first taste of beer or whiskey?), is a girl drink. Frankly, I don't much care what people drink, as long as they don't get sloppy-drunk and obnoxious.

Although I'm a gin-and-tonic drinker (when I drink, which is really rarely), I actually have tasted a Fuzzy Navel, because I like peaches so much. However, probably the first thing that you're going to notice about Demeter Fuzzy Navel is that it doesn't smell like fresh peach juice. The peach in peach schnapps doesn't smell quite real, either: not a cheap peach-candy smell, but not like peach nectar or the freshly peeled fruit, either.

Peaches smell fantastic on the skin; two of the great classics of perfumery, Rochas Femme and Mitsouko by Guerlain, have a dominant peach note, as well as Comptoir Sud Pacifique's Vanille Peach and the long-gone Gem by Van Cleef and Arpels, and many other scents have used it more subtly. (Joy by Patou supposedly has peach in the top, but I've never noticed it.)

Fuzzy Navel smells good on the skin, too. There's no alcohol smell (except for the carrier, obviously, which burns away in seconds), just the smell of oranges and peaches, both a little, predictably, synthetic. (There's no such thing as a natural peach essential oil; pulpy fruits do not give up their scents to the artifices of perfumery.) The orange, as we might expect, is gone in a matter of minutes, five or ten at the most. The surprise is that the peach component of the scent is reasonably durable for a Demeter, at least an hour, and more if you apply the scent with a generous touch. It is also unexpectedly intense: while managing to avoid being overwhelming or cloying (it's not too sweet), the peach note is rich and strong.

But most of all, Fuzzy Navel is very silly and very fun, the whole point of a Demeter scent.



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