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The Library of Fragrance


I don’t like buying perfumes, partly out of pikiness but partly because I get sick of them so quickly. Of the four ones I use at the moment, one was a present (Clarins Eau Dynamisante), one is a cast-off from a friend who didn’t like it (Coco Mademoiselle), one was free in a goody bag at London Fashion Weekend (Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy – actually very nice) and one I got half-full on eBay (MOR Marshmallow – adorable but only in small doses).

However, I love trying perfumes, and am a total snob about them (which is probably another reason why I don’t buy them much as my tastes are too expensive). In my first job, when I worked in a little literary agency in Soho, I used to go to Liberty’s during my lunch break and drift around smelling all the perfumes. They must have loved me in there. I was (and still am) very into Serge Lutens and L’Artisan Parfumeur (Tea for Two is gorgeous) and Diptyque – though my boss at the time wore L’Ombre dans L’eau which sort of ruled it out.  But Liberty’s had a more affordable and very cool range called Demeter Fragrance Library – little 30ml bottles of weird scents like Dirt, Gin and Tonic, Baby Powder and Holy Water as well as limited editions like PlayDoh (wish I had bought that one). The one I really loved was Rain. When I first tried it I literally swooned and I wore it loads until someone said something very uncomplimentary about it (she thought it smelled too, shall we say, earthy) and I stopped. Then Liberty’s stopped stocking Demeter and I stopped wearing Rain. The End. Sad face.

But! Boots have recently started stocking Demeter – they’ve called it The Library of Fragrance but it has to be the same thing, otherwise a major law suit is pending. The great thing about this range is that they’re all small and they’re all about £15, so it’s a good way to experiment, especially if you get sick of perfumes easily, like me. I also love the packaging, it’s so clean and sort of intellectual – the kind of perfume you could slip into a Marc Jacobs handbag along with a Penguin Classic. Here’s the link to the full range:

The other perfume I really miss is Mac MV2: a sort of vanilla/leather/butter scent, which Mac cruelly discontinued though you can sometimes find it for big bucks on eBay.

Anyone else out there have a favourite perfume that no longer exists? There’s a romantic topic …

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