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FAQ

Why is the brand called The Library of Fragrance in Europe, and Demeter elsewhere in the world?

This is because we don’t hold the trademark for ‘Demeter’ in Europe, but both brand names are produced by the same company (Demeter Fragrance Library, USA). We rather like the European name and feel that it sums up what we do quite nicely – we literally do have a ‘library’ of scents to choose from.

What’s ‘cologne’? Isn’t that just what men wear?

Our products are described as Cologne Sprays. In perfumery terms, the word  ‘cologne’ is used as a way of describing fragrance concentration, so it has nothing to do with whether a product is designed to be worn by a man or a woman. Typically, the perfume oil in a cologne will make up between 2-8% of a fragrance’s composition once it is blended with alcohol. We only associate the word ‘cologne’ with men because historically, a lot of fragrances for men were formulated at this concentration and marketed as colognes.

The Library of Fragrance scents are described as ‘linear’ – what does this mean?

A linear fragrance is one that is constructed so that the way it smells does not change that much over time, on the skin. This is in contrast to many traditionally composed fragrances, which have ‘top’, ‘heart’ and ‘base’ notes that evaporate from the skin at different rates and interact with one another, to evolve the resulting scent over time. Our fragrances are linear because they are designed to directly represent an object or experience. For example, the scent of baby powder does not change over time, so our Baby Powder fragrance does not either; if it did, it wouldn’t smell like the real thing!

One of the benefits of linear fragrances is that it is quick and easy to identify the fragrances that you enjoy. If you like a product from The Library of Fragrance after 30 seconds of spraying it on (allow 30 seconds for the formula to settle), you can be sure that you will like it for its duration – it will not change over the course of the day or evening.

How long do your scents last on the skin?

This depends on a number of things including the ingredients that have been used to develop a particular scent, the molecular structure of those ingredients and the wearer's own skin type. Some ingredients are made up of odour molecules that are small and light and evaporate quickly from the skin, whereas some are large and heavy and will stay on the skin for a long time. Odour molecules evaporate faster on dry skin so one of the best ways to help a perfume to last longer is to moisturise your skin prior to application.

Typically our scents last between 2 and 6 hours. If you would like to check about the longevity of a scent before purchasing, please just drop us a line at hello@thelibraryoffragrance.com and we shall be happy to assist you! 

Why can’t I smell my own fragrance?

Many people feel that the fragrance they wear doesn’t last very long, but in reality this is just because they lose the ability to smell it after a short while. There is a very interesting reason behind this! Our brains are programmed to register and alert us to changes in the smells that surround us – otherwise our grey matter would be wasting a lot of energy and distracting us constantly, just to tell us that everything was the same. When we wear fragrance, it soon becomes part of our ‘constant environment’, so our brain stops registering its presence. Often, other people will be able to smell the fragrance you are wearing, when you can’t! This is particularly the case with our ‘linear’ style of colognes, because they don’t evolve and change like many traditional perfumes – they smell the same when you first spray them as they do some time later, so they very quickly become part of our ‘constant environment’. 

Are your scents strong, or subtle?

Some of our scents are quite subtle and fleeting, whilst some are extremely tenacious. This is due to the fact that we strive to be as ‘accurate’ as possible when capturing scents from the every day. When a smell is subtle in life, you will likely find that it is subtle in our fragrance form – it has to be, or else it wouldn’t actually smell like the object or experience that it is replicating! For example, the scent of rain in life is subtle, so The Library of Fragrance Rain fragrance is also quite a subtle scent that only the wearer, and those within a close proximity of the wearer, will be able to detect. If you are specifically looking for a very subtle or, conversely, a strong and impactful scent, please just drop us a line at hello@thelibraryoffragrance.com and we shall be happy to assist you in making a selection.  

How do you bottle such unusual smells, like ‘Dirt’?

We work with many very clever perfumers, who are trained to be able to recognise the combination of scent molecules in odours – whether that’s an odour given off from a flower growing in the garden, a tub of Play-Doh, or a fragrant experience, like a thunderstorm. Sometimes we use ‘headspace’ technology, which enables us to analyse the scent molecules that surround particular objects or experiences, so we can try to recreate that precise experience in the laboratory. It can take anything from a month, to several years, to recreate a ‘smell’ into a wearable fragrance form, and our perfumers will keep tweaking a formula until it directly replicates the scent of the object or experience from life that they set out to mirror.

How do you make your fragrances so affordable, when usually fragrance is expensive?

We are committed to expanding the everyday enjoyment of fragrance and in order to achieve this, we want our fragrances to be as affordable as possible for our customers. We do lots of things to help us to achieve this. For example, we keep our packaging to a minimum, which means that we don’t have to charge customers for a box that they are likely going to throw away once opened. Likewise, we don’t pay for advertising in the media or pass any of our marketing costs on to customers, because we prefer to let our products ‘do the talking’ so that people find out about us via great ‘word of mouth’. We also own our own factory in Pennsylvania, USA, which means that we save money by not having to outsource production.

Do you test on animals and are your products vegan-friendly?

We are absolutely 100% against animal testing. None of our products have been tested on animals by us, or by the suppliers of our raw materials. All of our products happen to be vegan friendly: none of them contain animal-derived ingredients (even those that sound like they might, like Beeswax and Honey!).

Why does the colour of the same fragrance sometimes vary?

All our products are either made entirely by hand, or semi-automatically, in small batches. Consequently, there can be variations in colour from time to time. Whatever colour the product displays, however, is imparted naturally from the fragrance oil. We do not add or use any artificial colours. Indeed, most Demeter colognes are clear.

Are your products ‘natural’?

Whilst it would be impossible to make the broad range of unusual fragrances that we provide without using some synthetic ingredients, we do try to make The Library of Fragrance as ‘natural’ as possible. Generally speaking, around 95% of our ingredients are derived from natural or renewable sources. We do not add artificial colours, binders or emulsifiers and all of our products are phthalate and paraben free. The alcohol we use to make our fragrances is naturally fermented from corn.

What’s ‘layering’ and how can I be more experimental with the scent I wear?

See here for more background about layering and how to get started!

Can I also layer with fragrances from other companies?

Absolutely! Be as experimental as you like. 

Where can I learn more about scent, our sense of smell and fragrance?

You can follow our blog and social media pages, where we will often be posting content about our sense of smell and the wonderful world of fragrance, as well as related sources of information that we enjoy using. We’re always looking for new information and resources to satisfy our curiosity, so if you find something interesting, please let us know! 

How do you ship your products?

We usually facilitate website orders via The Royal Mail in the UK, but we may also use additional services during busy times. Products will arrive in simple packaging with no external branding (which is useful if you’re buying someone you live with a surprise gift!). If you have further questions about how we ship our products, check out our delivery and returns page.

What’s your refund policy?

We offer a 100% no-questions-asked refund policy. If the fragrance that you have ordered is not quite what you were looking for, you can return it to us within 30 days to receive a full refund. Please click here for full details.