Laundromat (Demeter Fragrance Library)

Conceptual perfumery is often the opposite of scented literalness; complex ideas are given a face. The danger for the Demeter Fragrance line is that most of their fragrances are supposed to be olfactory representations of a single everyday thing, and are therefore the stuff of novelty, not fine perfumery. Novelty always wears off.

There are, however, a few colognes in their range that attempt to convey a theoretical essence: Christmas In New York, Clean Skin, Clean Windows, Flower Show, Frozen Pond, Funeral Home, Greenhouse, Holy Smoke, Holy Water, Moonbeam, Ocean, Paperback, Pure Soap, Rain, Salt Air, Snow, Spring Break, Stable, Suntan Lotion, This Is Not A Pipe, Thunderstorm, Wet Garden, and Laundromat should have their own section on the Demeter website, labelled Abstract Colognes. The rest are simply linear one-note interpretations of food, plants, synthetic materials. I've had my eye on Play-Doh, but as long as I continue working in a school, it's superfluous for me to wear it.

Laundromat is conceptual, but only barely. Whoever formulated this was called into the lab on their day off, because it's the laziest execution I've sniffed in a while. I won't mince words - the in-house brief probably read, "Go to T.J. Maxx and spend twenty minutes sniffing discounted feminines from the Clean line, all the Cabotine flankers, and anything by Liz Claiborne. Then, stop by Walmart on the way back and buy a bottle of Tide. Come home and hit the lab, going by memory with the cheapies, while occasionally sniffing the detergent. Start mixing, and stop when you have a match."

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