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  1. #1

    Question Demeter Thunderstorm drydown: WHAT IS IT? What is that stuff?

    Hi there,

    I'm pretty new, just discovering the avalanche of stuff online about perfumes. I have strong ideas about smells, so I'm really enjoying it. I started spending money ordering perfume samples not very long ago and now I'm hooked.

    I'm doing something I just found out is normal for newbies: layering things. After my recent sample-buying I splurged on three favorites: Satellite Padparadscha, Comme des Garçons Original, and Demeter Thunderstorm. Put those together and I can't stop sniffing my wrists for hours. This mix is probably perfect as far as my nose is concerned, exactly the right "shape" of smell, or the right texture, or balance of colors, or however you'd wrangle a metaphor to describe rightness in a smell . . . but maybe there's something even better out there!

    I can identify most of the notes I'm loving so much -- except one. Not knowing what it is is seriously cramping my style in figuring out what to try next. Can anyone help me? What IS it in Demeter Thunderstorm that you smell after the "wet" part is gone? I feel like I should recognize it, but I don't. Something green and earthy, a little bitter, maybe something used more in things marketed for men than for women?

    I read the descriptions of what vetiver smells like, and that sounds like it might be it, but my sample of plain vetiver oil from Eden Botanicals won't be here for another week. And I've read that every vetiver smells different anyway, depending on growing and harvest conditions etc. etc. -- I don't know how much hype that is or whether it matters here. I mean, different roses smell very different -- some more like citrus, some more like clove, some more heavy-sweet, some more light-green -- but you can still tell they're roses, right? You'd never mistake one for anything else.

    I am also aware that it might be something artificial, which would be fine if I can figure out either what it really is (it's nothing so easy as eugenol, though, I bet) or what perfume marketers like to say it is, so I can try other things that are described using the same words. I don't care if it's synthesized from baby poop and arsenic if it smells that good.

    Thank you!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Demeter Thunderstorm drydown: WHAT IS IT? What is that stuff?

    Here's my attempt to describe vetiver, perhaps this will help. Complex, sometimes grassy, sometimes earthy. Can have a certain comforting quality like a warm cushion. Somewhere between "green" and "brown" in tone. It can have a rootsy quality, with a hint of sweetness.
    Vetiver is used in many scents. If you smell Lalique's Encre Noir or Guerlain's Vetiver you will see examples. Jo Malone Vetiver is a good example of a basic vetiver smell. So too is Givenchy Vetiver but that is harder to find.
    Vetiver essential oil is very powerful and may not be particularly pleasant in and of itself. But a tiny bit in perfume can be marvelous.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  3. #3

    Default Re: Demeter Thunderstorm drydown: WHAT IS IT? What is that stuff?

    Much appreciated, odysseusm. Can you think of any super-common scents that smell of vetiver? Something I could go smell at the drugstore after work today? (Probably not, but it's worth asking!)

  4. #4

    Default Re: Demeter Thunderstorm drydown: WHAT IS IT? What is that stuff?

    Guerlain Vetiver is a fairly ubiquitous vetiver scent - very much smells of vetiver and it's fairly commonly found. It's in the Sephora's I frequent, although I don't know if you'd find it in a common drugstore. Also, you may be able to find Tom Ford's Grey Vetiver at a Sephora/Nordstroms near you, and it's also a very good representative of a fairly pure vetiver... If you swing by a Macy's-type place, the newish Bulgari Man has a fairly strong vetiver note that you can pick up on, but to be clear it's not the best example of a pure vetiver. Most of the newer mainstream men's scents don't feature it as a centerpiece...

  5. #5

    Default Re: Demeter Thunderstorm drydown: WHAT IS IT? What is that stuff?

    In addition to Al Gae's suggestions, another one is Thierry Mugler Cologne. That would not be found in a drugstore but a good department store might have it.
    The most commonly-found example, perhaps even in some (good) drugstores, is Burberry's The Beat. Peppery vetiver.
    The simplest and most straight-forward example is Jo Malone Vetiver, if you can find that.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  6. #6

    Default Re: Demeter Thunderstorm drydown: WHAT IS IT? What is that stuff?

    Sadly, there's no department store near me (at least, not near enough that I can get there this month). There's a couple of department overstock/discounter places like TJ Maxx, but they don't have much. Oh well. I am expecting that package from Eden Botanicals sometime next week, and if that doesn't do it, I'm working on filling up another cart at TPC. Maybe not Encre Noir, as I've read elsewhere here that it's heavy on the Iso E Super, which I think I recognize already; but I think I will get some Guerlain Vetiver and maybe The Different Co's Sel de Vetiver too. Also a semi-random bunch of other things, in case it's not even vetiver I'm looking for! Labdanum and galbanum are also on my suspect list.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Demeter Thunderstorm drydown: WHAT IS IT? What is that stuff?

    I'm thinking now it might be galbanum, though some variety of vetiver is still possible. I've smelled and worn dabs of Guerlain Vetiver and TDC's Sel de Vetiver, and they are definitely not what I'm smelling in Thunderstorm. Right now I'm wearing a sample of Frederic Malle Bois d'Orage/French Lover (and, sadly for my budget, falling in love with the damn stuff) and it smells a little Thunderstormy right at the first, with a suggestion that stays around the edges later. Nobody seems to agree on what Bois d'Orage's major top notes are, but galbanum seems to be a common choice.

    The samples I got from Eden Botanicals are not much help at all. The vetiver I got from them smells nothing at all like Guerlain's or TDC's, though those last two do very much smell like each other (in general though not in detail, if that makes sense).

  8. #8
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Demeter Thunderstorm drydown: WHAT IS IT? What is that stuff?

    Eugenia, I sympathize with you. Obviously you are one of "those types" that, like a bulldog, hang on to something that puzzles you until, by God, you get your answer! LOL. I wish you joy in your odyssey with the dry-down of Demeter's Thunderstorm!
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  9. #9

    Default Re: Demeter Thunderstorm drydown: WHAT IS IT? What is that stuff?

    It's more pricey than Eden botanicals, but the Perfumer's Apprentice has a training pack you can buy for about $100 to teach yourself to identify the most common notes. I saw one the other day that someone had with him, and found it quite intriguing. (He was passing around castoreum, or "beaver a*s" as he called it.)

  10. #10
    Saintpaulia's Avatar
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    Wink Re: Demeter Thunderstorm drydown: WHAT IS IT? What is that stuff?

    Ah yes, the old beaver's a*s essential oil. What would we do without it? Well we are finding out, aren't we. Banned, isn't it?
    So fortunate to have all those bureaucrats and "officials" looking out for our welfare (and, of course, the beaver's! )
    "Classics aren't classics because they seem old but because they seem always new". Tania Sanchez

  11. #11

    Default

    I believe it's a synthetic analogue.

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