, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“Oh, the weather outside is frightful

But the fire is so delightful

And since we’ve no place to go

Let it Snow, Demeter Snow, Demeter Snow!”


I’m ashamed that Christmas is less than two weeks away and I haven’t posted anything holiday-ish.  The reason is because I can’t get into the Yuletide revelry.  I’m just not feeling it.  I think a big part of why I’m such a Scrooge is because it never feels like Christmas here in California.  Yes, you walk around Union Square you see the lights and everything is decked out for the holidays but there is something missing.  And that one thing missing is snow.  What’s Christmas without snow?  No snow = no Christmas.  Bing Crosby would agree with me…

Believe it or not! I have never seen or experienced snow.  Well, I did experience snow but I don’t remember.  The only evidence I have is from pictures. At the age of four, my parents drove up to the border of Oregon sometime in the late Fall or Winter.    I was dressed in a pink snow suit with a furry pink hoodie and I was playing in the snow. I made snow angels and helped my brother build a snowman. I ducked behind our Volkswagen camper to shield myself from hurling snowballs. It looked like I was having the time of my life!  During Christmas, I often stare at these pictures and wish I could transport myself back in time. I yearn for the impossible making myself even more depressed.  My Christmas blues stems from the classic case of wanting something you can’t have.  Snow in San Francisco? There’s a higher chance of seeing a million screaming monkeys fly across the sky than snowfall.

Anyhoo, time to turn my frown upside-down!  Here comes Demeter Snow to rescue! Demeter has a huge fragrance library of single note scents from nature or reality scents as I call them.  When you smell Demeter Dirt, you don’t get a loose interpretation of dirt, you actually smell authentic dirt.  The same goes for Snow.  The nose behind Snow is Christopher Brosius, the founder of Demeter.  He’s one of my favorite perfumers ever!  I like to think of him as a fragrance maverick who is always at the edge of the circle, and never inside the box.  He is unconventional to say the least. The name of his current perfumery says it all —  CB I Hate Perfume.  He doesn’t make perfume, he makes memories and puts them in a bottle.

Apparently, Demeter Snow is considered a respected piece of work.  It won two FiFi awards (FiFi Awards is the like the Oscars but for perfume), one of them being the Best Fragrance in America in 2000.


Remember what newly fallen snow smells like? Or a fresh snowball? This is it. And we worked on it for quite a while to get it right. Take note too southern Californians, Hawaiians, Floridians, Carlbbeans, and other denizens of warmer climes, this is lovely!

All precipitation (rain and snow) comes from water vapor in the air. If the air is warm, the frozen droplets melt and fall to the earth as rain. If the air is cold enough the water vapor crystallizes around a speck of ice or dust and falls to the earth as snow. If there is no dust for the water vapor to crystallize on, it will remain in the air as a cloud.

There are many different types of snow related to the many different shapes of snowflakes that exist. The Eskimos, or Inuits, who live in the north, have developed many words in their language to describe the different types of snow. Some of these are:
falling snow
ground snow
smoky, drifting snow
wind-beaten snow
snow drift
smooth snowy surface of fine particles
rough snowy surface of large particles

At Demeter, after years of effort, we were able to capture the essence of snow in a scent; chilling, cool, clean and fresh, with a touch of dust (necessary to form flakes) and earth (upon which to rest). There is literally nothing like it outside of the Demeter Fragrance Library. The Fragrance Foundation recognized this unique fragrance reproduction as the Best Fragrance in America in 2000, awarding Demeter’s Snow two FiFi Awards, the fragrance version of an Oscar.

Notes: dust, earth, water vapor, ice, ozone

Scent: This should be interesting since I don’t have a reference point or preconceived notions of what snow should smell like. I can only tell you my perceptions from the bottle and on the skin. First impression, it smells dusty and dry.  I smell stale, dirty water and ozone.  I was expecting something balsamic to chill my nostrils.  I don’t get a cold impression at all, it just smells very dry to me and stale.  The closest I can describe it is the smell of a defrosting refrigerator. I can also smell a hint of white floral which conjures up images of dewy white flowers sprouting through melting snow or a bouquet of white flowers in a defrosting refrigerator.  Is this what snow really smells like?

Sillage: None.  This is a wrist-to-your-nose fragrance.

Longevity: Demeter Snow lasts as long on the skin as snow in the Sahara Desert.  It completely disappears after 30 minutes.

Pricepoint: $  Cheap, cheap, cheap.

Would I Buy a Full Bottle?  I would buy a bottle as a collector’s item because it was created by a renowned perfumer, it won 2 FiFi Awards, and it smells nothing like any other perfume out there in the market. Plus it’s cheap.

Dupes: Demeter Snow smells almost identical to CB I Hate Perfume Winter 1972.  It makes sense since the nose behind both fragrances is Christopher Brosius.  The only differences I would say is that Demeter Snow smells more dirty and earthy, Winter 1972 lasts longer, and the big difference? The cost.  Retail price for 4oz. Demeter Snow is $39.50.  Retail price for 100ml CB I Hate Perfume Winter 1972 is $80.

Season and Occasion: I don’t smell this as a Winter fragrance.  It’s light and slightly floral.  Good for Spring and Summer.  I also don’t see myself wearing this as a perfume.  I smell this as a home fragrance.  It’s perfect as an atmospheric spray.

Final Verdict: Demeter Snow was not what I expected.  It didn’t remind me of my romantic version of a White Christmas. No sleigh rides, no snowflakes, no snowball fights, no red toboggans racing down snow-covered hills, no frosty snowmen.  It doesn’t even remind me of Christmas or Winter.  When I smell Demeter Snow, I picture the end of Winter and the brink of Spring.  Snow melting on concrete and soil, the flowers beginning to bloom.  Overall, this fragrance is unique.  I could understand why Demeter Snow won two FiFi awards.  I’m sure it would unleash anyone’s childhood memories of snow.  Unfortunately, not this California girl.

For those seeking something completely out of the ordinary…

Demeter Snow:  Available for purchase at Demeter Fragrance

Looking for Fume Dupes? Click to read my reviews here.

[Image 1] via demeter.com
[Image 2] Snow Angel by Chad Horwedel via Flickr