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Gels Like Teen Spirit
Demeter Fragrances

By Daryn Guarino

My bottles of Demeter Fragrances’ Dirt and Grass (two different scents), arrived in common plastic bottles that respected shower shelf space and were shower-dropping safe.

A quick inspection revealed a clear, thinner than dish detergent liquid that smelled faintly of soap. I fired up my shower and slid into work. The lather was full of big, light bubbles that gave off clouds of amazing smells.

Dirt managed to capture the aromas of varying types of soil with astounding accuracy. I could smell mossy peat, rich loam, wet clay, fresh sod, and a variety of others in the pervasive and expanding aroma.

I summoned my wife to the shower to smell me, but she refused (she rarely agrees to demeter dirtsmell me these days). Grass smelled like soapy grass. When I closed my eyes, I could swear that I was standing naked and wet in a field of fresh cut grass. The scent sent me on a run through the grassy fields of my youth as waves of nostalgia swept over me.

I remembered being thirteen years old and holding my sister down as I packed her mouth with as much dirt and grass as I could fit. Or when I was seventeen and my Father dumped a half-acre of grass clippings into my Ford Pinto (the rotting grass smell really made my senior prom extra-special)!

Or when I was twenty-two and I woke up injured and upside-down in a mound of hotly decomposing, bug-infested, grass-based compost after my drunken friends rolled my unconscious body into a drainage culvert as a joke (ha, ha, ha, it was a very funny joke, so funny that I spent three days in the hospital recovering from it, ha, ha, ha. Ahhh, such good times with former friends that I eventually tracked down and destroyed).

The big bubbles were really mild and only did a so-so job of cleaning me up. The lather weakened very quickly and I was forced to reapply the wimpy stuff to my "SkrubMaster of Manly Destruction". Reapply? I had to reapply?! A required reapplication is a major failure in my book and earns serious demerits. Bad soap, no biscuit, bad soap!

Despite its billowing and nigh-intoxicating scent, little of it remained on me after the shower. My skin was not dried, but I can’t say that it was any moister. The boring labels promised nothing and listed no ingredients worth mentioning.

They turned out to be merely fabulously scented, generic soaps in generic bottles with generic labels (a couple of generic, greeting card sentiments adorn the very plain labels), but none of this generic action translated to a lower price!

The scents are really terrific and maybe they are worth buying, once, just to smell them in action. They would make much better gifts because, other than the interesting scents, they are too expensive for so average a product ($14.50 for 8oz).

Wisely, Demeter Fragrances offers more than twenty-four scents, including Angel Food, Bamboo, Coriander Tea, Crème Brulee, Dandelion, Dirt, Earl Grey Tea, Fig Leaf, Gin & Tonic, Gingerale, Golden Delicious, Grapefruit Tea, Grass, Holy Smoke, Holy Water, Honey, Honeysuckle, Leather, Orange Juice, Pruning Shears, Rain, Snow, Steam Room, Sugar Cookie, and Tomato.

I am sure that they all work as well and smell as fantastic. A smart holiday shopper will recognize this as two-dozen easy, but still unique and personal, gifts. Find Demeter at


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