Perfume Pen Pals: Demeter Fragrance Library Rubber


Have you ever had a problem with a vacuum cleaner, maybe something got stuck inside and suddenly everything was revving and rumbling and not working? And before you even realized you had sucked up a sock or that missing felt cat your mom sent you six years ago, you popped open the shell and were hit with the ominous smell of a burning vacuum belt, that hot, dusty, electrical smell and, oh, there's the felt cat, you must've misplaced it under the bed. Anyway, that's the smell of Demeter Rubber. And because I'd bought a Dyson I thought I'd never have to experience it again. So the joke's on me.



Remember the old 60s song "In the Year 2525"? It used to really spook me as a kid:

"You ain't gonna need your teeth, won't need your eyes. You won't find a thing to chew, nobody's gonna look at you."

It predicted a dystopian world where our legs shriveled to nubs from disuse and babies came out of tubes. It was a far cry from The Jetsons' more optimistic view of the future, with their jet packs and robot maids.

It does seem that Demeter, with its olfactory holograms of quotidian events and household humdrummery, is quite futuristic with its "nostalgia for now" housed in a bottle. But I'm not which side of the dystopia/utopia line your burning vacuum Rubber falls. Katie
Katie, First, I don't think The Jetsons was necessarily incompatible with "In The Year 2525", having taken place in the year 2062. America's insatiable appetite for convenience in the form of pricy little gadgets, as illustrated in The Jetsons, could easily have led to "Your legs got nothin' to do, some machine's doin' that for you." (Which, according to the song, doesn't happen until the year 5555.) The song is simply saying, "It'll be fun and games for awhile, but if our brainpower is only used to invent Rosie the Robot Maid so we don't have to vacuum, we'll all eventually be in big trouble."
But where does Demeter fall on this timeline? Are its mundane "olfactory holograms" a glimpse into a future when our only experience of rubber or dirt or grass will come from a bottle? Or are they a sentimental celebration of these last generations on earth as we know it? Today Dyson, tomorrow Rosie, and the day after that, we have no teeth. I should send you my bottle of Rubber, sell off the Dyson, buy an antique Hoover, and put an end to this madness. Dan


  1. I think the future should have Dysons which steamclean the scent of your choice into your rugs, carpeting, and missing felt cats.

    That my friends, is Progress!

    Also, if my entire floor smelled like Jo Malone, Judy Jetson would love me more. Not that I'm bitter.

  2. So I'm not the only one who was traumatized by that song? My childhood self couldn't interpret the lyrics, but just being reminded of it made little goosebumps break out on my arms. High creepiness factor. Dan, you're being generous. I think the song is saying far worse than that. And I like my teeth!

  3. Dan researched Zager & Evans and discovered that their follow-up, "Mr. Turnkey", was even more disturbing. You can hear the song here:

  4. To riff on Stefush's idea - what about a Dyson vacuum that cleans impeccably while simultaneously spritzing the air with the smell of Demeter Rubber?....that way it "feels/smells" as if you've worked harder then you actually have.....

  5. Hah! I dutifully copied and pasted the link to the song into my browser and clicked. (Pause) Music started (I think). Then I remembered I unplugged my speakers because they were reverberating in a "that shouldn't sound like that" way. So I will listen to it another time. But, I don't know, I always liked that song. It reminds me of the '60's. And I guess I took it as a solemn tale of what we have to look forward to. (A-men!) I was waaay too serious in those days.

  6. and with that, happy to be able to post again!

  7. Welcome back, ScentsofSmell! That's a funny idea, that as a kid you were hearing the song as literal news report from the future. I think that's probably how I understood it, too.

  8. I was just sitting here thinking " who wants to smell like rubber? Well maybe if you layered it with a nice vanilla..."