Features

Fragrance Here, There and Everywhere

November 14, 2005

Demeter ignites memories and bring fragrance home with its new collection of room sprays, candles and soaps.

With new room sprays and candles, Demeter Fragrance Library’s scents are here, there and everywhere. Just one year after its acquisition by Great Neck, NY-based Freedom Marketing Group Inc., Demeter has filled its product pipeline and expanded internationally.

“Demeter was looking to expand, but its resources were limited,” explained Debra Janke, president, Freedom Marketing Group.

The room sprays are available in Demeter’s more than 150 single-note fragrances, ranging from Ginger Ale to Snow. The most recent additions were Apple Pie and Sex on the Beach, the latter of which, in a Pick-Me-Up cologne spray form, broke all previous Demeter first week sales at Sephora. Executives have speculated for some time that colognes would not be enough to satisfy consumers’ everyday needs. In fact, consumers asked for different product forms.

“Before we developed the room sprays, consumers told us they used the fragrances on their curtains and pillows to make rooms smell fresh,” said Ms. Janke.

The revamped line has extended with home fragrance products and updated lotions and gels.

The 8-oz. candles are available in six scents: Dirt, Grass, Angel Food, Gin & Tonic, Sugar Cookie and Thunderstorm. Demeter’s most popular scent, Dirt, is available in a 1.2-oz. candle as a gift-with-purchase.

Delighting the Senses
Many of the fragrances have surprising effects. Tomato, for example, was found to be an odor absorber. Some of the edible fragrances are said to help curb cravings. And though the company has yet to perform psychological tests, researchers said the Dirt fragrance made Alzheimer patients more lucid.

“Scent has a huge psychological impact,” observed founder and vice president, creative director Christopher Brosius. He works carefully to develop fragrances, some of which have taken five years to create and others only a week. Mr. Brosius draws mainly on his relationship with scents and memories. For example the recent Firefly fragrance was inspired by Mr. Brosius’ childhood summers on a farm in Pennsylvania. A signature “Lord of the Rings” New Zealand-like fragrance was developed in just a few short weeks for the film’s premier in New York.

The true-to-life scents connect with consumers, and the non-complex notes make it hard for consumers be selective. Sometimes they even layer the fragrances. “The average sale is two and a half pieces; consumers can’t choose just one,” insisted Ms. Janke.

A Sudsing Experience
In addition to the new room sprays and candles, Demeter now offers new soaps and updated lotions and shower gels. The 7-oz., triple-milled soaps are processed in Italy using olive oil. They are available in Dirt, Gin & Tonic, Angel Food, Laundromat, Rain and Wet Garden fragrances.

The revamped 3.4-oz. Concentrated Calming lotions and Lots-of-Uses Bath & Shower gels are offered in the entire fragrance library. “The non-greasy lotions and shower gels were newly reformulated, from their texture and feel to their depth,” Ms. Janke said.

Both feature vacuum-less pumps and multiple uses. Executives said the shower gel can be used for hand-washable clothing, and the lotion can lightly scent the hair as a leave-in conditioner.

Movin’ On Up
Due to the events of Sept. 11, Demeter’s flagship New York store is in the process of relocating from downtown Manhattan to midtown.

The move has made it more difficult for local die-hard fans to buy their favorite fragrances. However, in the past year, Demeter has forged relationships with several global retailers. Demeter is now sold in 450 doors including museum shops, Sephora, Anthropologie and Fashion-Planet. com. Prices range from $10.50-39.50.

Demeter may be on its way up, but never takes its foundation for granted. “There is a memory behind it all; that’s why we create so many fragrances,” Ms. Janke asserted.

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