One Thousand Scents

Monday, June 02, 2008

30 Demeters in 30 Days: Day 2, Grass

Once upon a time, a clothing company called The Gap bought some fragrances. That is, they licensed four existing fragrances from a smaller company called Mottura: Grass, Earth, Day, and Heaven (a green scent, a dark dry earthy scent, a brilliant citrus, and an ucky floral, respectively).

They were discontinued, of course, in favour of many, many other Gap scents. Grass, however, became legendary: it still has a cult of adoration, and was apparently re-launched last year, although in limited availability, and now I think it's been discontinued a second time, so I never got to buy another bottle of the stuff, and I'm not going the eBay route; I have trust issues. (My first bottle turned, and as literally as possible: it turned a brownish, murky colour. You can just imagine how it smelled. It spoiled: rotted, almost.) Gap Grass was a wonderful thing; green and fresh, grasslike but not a slavish imitation, with a zingy, almost citrusy overtone.

Demeter Grass promises to have "captured the freshness and sweetness of a lush green grass pasture," and I wish I could say they succeeded, but while many Demeters are charmingly accurate reproductions of their namesakes, this one misses the mark; not completely, but enough. It's a pleasant sort of scent, not terrible, but it's not Gap Grass, and it's not grass grass either.

It doesn't smell as much like grass as I think it ought to. It does smell green and leafy, but not quite like any leaves I've ever smelled face-on, and it has a sort of a gimlet overtone, the smell of gin and lime juice and sugar, because this version of grass is sweeter than anything I've experienced in nature. In fact, yesterday--it was sort of hot--I drank a lemon-lime slush, and the smell of it, of artificial lime flavouring, was more than a little like Grass.

What I really wanted it to smell like was that quintessence of the smell of summer, that scent that hangs in the air after someone has just finished mowing the lawn; fresh and green with the smell of butchered chlorophyll, just a whiff of gasoline exhaust, maybe a barbecue in the distance but mostly just huge quantities of fresh moist grass. I am telling you, if Demeter, or anybody else, ever perfects and properly markets "Freshly Mown Lawn", they are going to make a lot of money.



  • To me, Grass smells of freshly mown country ditch, sometime in July, sans diesel fumes and humidity. Not too far from pasture, but miles from surburban lawn.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:33 AM  

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