Hello, everyone! It’s December, apparently – lots of snow here. Today’s post is about a little fragrance adventure I’ve been on. I’m pretty sure I mentioned recently that I love the smell of greenhouses; they’re especially appealing in winter (I wish we had an arboretum to visit.) I make do with wandering around our local plant-nursery greenhouses; I had a sweet conversation with an employee and I am not the only person doing this.
I try to pay my way by buying things occasionally. Over the past few months, I’ve been adding some indoor plants. I sent all my regular plants to Maine with the kids and have kept succulents here, which are easy – I can leave for a week or two and they’re fine. But I missed having more variety, so I set about figuring out how to make that work given my less-than-optimal interior light levels. Old adobes generally don’t include massive windows. I got some gro-lights and rearranged a few things. And it’s going pretty well! We’ll see if I can keep my calathea alive; I felt vaguely guilty buying it (they want much higher levels of humidity) but since it was already here in the desert, I’ll probably have as much of a shot of success as anyone else. The bonus (bringing us to today’s topic, finally) is a few times I’ve gotten a faint whiff of that greenhouse smell in my home, probably due to all the new plants and my constantly running humidifier.
I went online and looked for “greenhouse” fragrances in candles, etc. and there are plenty of them … but they all sounded vaguely “inspired by” rather than trying for a true greenhouse smell. Then it occurred to me to look on the Demeter website – their niche is trying to capture (with varying degrees of success) the smell of a place or a thing.
Sure enough, they had a “greenhouse” scent – along with a few others I thought might be likely contenders, either on their own or combined. They’re also cheap as chips – I spent $6 for the 15ml bottles and $12 for the purse spray.
Wet Garden: “Our Wet Garden takes place at Easter, in an English Garden full of early spring flowers, including young shoots and buds, after a hard April rain. It is the combination of those flowers, the rain and the oils from the rich spring soil that comprise this fragrance.”
Ugh, no. Not enough shoots and buds or rich spring soil, too much flowers, and the “wet” is that melon-cucumber miasma. It reminds me of the budget version of … some loathsome watery scent I’ve blocked from memory. Hard pass.
Geranium: “This is the scent of the leaves of the Geranium Bourbon, a sometimes hard-to-get oil that comes mostly from Reunion Island via Cairo.”
I love the smell of geranium leaves. I didn’t think this would be a shoo-in for my greenhouse scent, and it’s not, but I bought it anyway. It’s nice! It’s a tad too floral to be (just) geranium leaf, but it’s herbaceous and woody and green. I’ll probably wear this in the summer.
Greenhouse: “Leaves, blooms, and the wonderful smell of humidity. Yes, humidity has a smell component – think about it. We wanted to combine those three odors in one bottle, and we did it!”
I mean … it’s literally called greenhouse, how could I not? I had high hopes, and this is a step in the right direction – green and loamy and wet – but it’s still a little floral-forward for what I wanted. When I think of “my” greenhouse smell it’s rich-smelling dirt in a high-humidity space.
Earthworm: “a deeper, darker, richer version of Dirt, reflecting not the worm itself, but where it lives, deep in moist soil, on the floor of a forest covered with decomposing leaves.”
Ding ding ding, we have a winner! I waffled between this and Dirt (I thought maybe I’d be adding Dirt or Earthworm to Greenhouse) but this is perfect on its own. It’s got that rich, humid greenhouse vibe, full of damp soil and green growing things. I’m going to decant it into a spray bottle and enjoy it as a room spray this winter.
Have you tried or do you like any of the Demeter scents?
cover image via Pexels; the rest are mine