One Thousand Scents

Friday, July 13, 2012

Pie-Eyed: Demeter Apple Pie

I think if you were willing to put in some time and energy, which unfortunately I am not (at least not right at the moment), you could make up a scatter plot graph of all Demeter scents on two axes, the X axis running from Accurate to Not Even Close and the Y axis going from This Is A Great Thing To Smell Like to WHAT THE HELL SERIOUSLY? Somewhere up at the top of the graph would be such oddities as Sushi and Lobster (which I have not smelled, so I can't judge their accuracy, but they are unquestionably what-the-hell scents), and over on the left would be amazingly precise and evocative things like Sticky Toffee Pudding. I think most of the desserts would be clustered down near the bottom, with varying degrees of accuracy, but I just cannot make up my mind about Apple Pie.

It's reasonably accurate: it doesn't smell like you have a hot fresh pie under your nose, because it smells more like a collection of parts than a single unified whole. An apple pie smells like a thing of itself, but Apple Pie smells mostly of tart, slightly undercooked apples and cinnamon: there isn't much sugar in evidence, and I figure the pastry ought to make up at least a quarter of the scent but it doesn't really stand out. Still, even if this is mostly just a crisp apple-cinnamon scent, as sick as I am of the apple note that's appearing in every other scent to hit the market these days, I have to admit that it's kind of nice.

Maybe it's just as well that Apple Pie doesn't smell especially accurate and pie-like, because I can't decide whether if apple pie is a genuinely strange thing to smell like, or if it's perfectly normal, no weirder than croquembouche, say, or a Creamsicle.

But of course we might say that smelling like either of those things is odd, too. It's just that vanilla has been used in perfumery for a very long time, and since the explosion of the caramel-vanilla-honey-chocolate sugar bomb Angel onto the scene twenty years ago (twenty years ago!), we have come to accept that very sweet, desserty things have their place in perfumery, so when Demeter sells Vanilla Ice Cream, Marshmallow, or Sugar Cookie, most of us don't even bat an eye. And yet I can't help thinking that a pie (they also do Pumpkin Pie) is somehow a whole different beast, and I can't even quite say why. It seems normal for me to wear a scent that smells of, say, ginger ale, but to wear one that smells like apple pie is not that far removed from wearing one that smells like a ham sandwich. I am aware that this doesn't make a lot of sense, that pie is just as much a dessert as brownies, and that my distinction is no distinction at all. But there you have it. Human beings are full of contradictions.

If you want to smell like mom's apple pie, or even a McDonald's apple pielet, then you are not going to get it out of this bottle, unfortunately. But if you want to smell crisp and fresh and apple-y, then this is a pretty good way to do it.



  • and they're so inexpensive and fun to wear (sometimes). I just got their Jelly Bell Mango Pineapple Salsa and it's a hoot.

    By Blogger Carol, at 2:40 PM  

  • They are fun: in fact, that's pretty much their main reason for existing. I have tons of them and I never get tired of them: a lot of the time you want the real deal, of course, a classically constructed scent, but sometimes you just want something ridiculous and fun like Bubble Gum or Fuzzy Navel or Sawdust.

    By Blogger pyramus, at 3:12 PM  

  • I do wish they still sold them at the local Sephora - I suspect I'd be all over Eggnog, Gingerale and Rain - and I'm very interested in smelling Dirt.

    By Blogger Dionne, at 5:50 PM  

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