Perfume Directory

Club Design (2016)
by The Zoo

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Club Design information

Year of Launch2016
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 10 votes)

People and companies

HouseThe Zoo
PerfumerChristophe Laudamiel

About Club Design

Club Design is a shared / unisex perfume by The Zoo. The scent was launched in 2016 and the fragrance was created by perfumer Christophe Laudamiel

Club Design fragrance notes

Reviews of Club Design

The leather is immediately obvious, along with a vague fruity note. From across the room, Mr teardrop remarks that it smells like Cif lemon cleaning liquid, & I kind of get that. Clearly no problem with the sillage! The fuzzy floral note of mimosa quickly appears, & the fragrance begins to veer back & forth between powdery, musky florals & an accord of plastic, rubber, engine oil & perhaps WD40. Five hours in, it's all settled into a base of woods along with a metallic note, still with a faint hum of leather. It's still going strong after eight hours when I go for a shower, & several days later I can still clearly smell it on the sleeve of my robe. Apparently it's marketed as a "garment perfume", so that works.
I can see the associations with that "new car" smell that others have commented on; a smell that has always made me nauseous since childhood. Hence my ambivalent reaction to this one: by turns I strongly dislike it, & then something about it intrigues me into thinking hey, I smell pretty good. It's probably not something I'd reach for, but it's certainly interesting & unique.
04th December, 2019
Club Design opens with a fizzy, petrichor-like humid earthy smell, as well as a pungently marine, almost fishy saltiness. The humid earthiness reminds me of the opening of Thierry Blondeau Narcisse Emoi, while the brash fishy note smells like a relative of Calone to me. Because of the pungency of the opening, and my struggle with most synthetic fishy marine notes, Club Design can be quite nauseating to me, unless on a hot day when the opening evaporates much more quickly.

The soft suede leather reveals itself on my skin usually around 2 hours in, and doesn't completely shake off the fizzy humid earthy aspect and pervasive fishy marine note until after about 5 hours. I can see the rubber/new car interior comparison, as the fragrance is indeed quite artifical-smelling for a leather-themed perfume, but more on an overall, abstract level. On a more specific detail level, I'd agree more with the comparison to Hermès Galop, as the suede in both perfumes shares this chewy texture similar to turkish delight to me, as well as an abstract musky fruity undertone. However, the fruity syrup in Galop is replace by fake petrichor and artificial marine notes here at first, and then by a more heightened medicinal bitterness of saffron later on.

When those artifical-smelling opening notes completely disappear in the late dry down, Club Design is indeed quite comfortable as a sleek suede skin scent, flankered by a discreet musky fruity woody cedar to my nose. The sillage is usually moderate on my skin, while the longevity is often 8-9 hours with one good spray.

My opinions on Club Design have been constantly swinging left and right during those a few weeks when I wore it. At first I was instantly repulsed by the difficult opening notes, then I began to doubt whether its artificality is actually a masterstroke, and again I question myself if I'd given Club Design a second thought if it had come out from a brand with a much lower profile than the Zoo, and again and again. But then, when I compare it to other perfumes that play around the idea of artificiality, such as Vaporocindro and Dinudisit by January Scent Project, Womanity by Thierry Mugler, La Fin du Monde by Etat Libre d'Orange, Club Design doesn't feel as compelling as them to me.

While I was initially taken aback by most of them, the dissonance between unabashedly synthetic elements and more natural-smelling elements soon evolves into an unexpected harmony as well as a fascinating, complex puzzle that draws me in. But Club Design just feels like layering an elegant suede perfume with openly synthetic elements to make it more "edgy". The suede skin scent is proper, the synthetic petrichor and marine notes are provocative, and a salty suede leather skin scent has great potential, but the end result in Club Design doesn't seem to elevate the idea beyond individual elements.

As a side note, I only tested Club Design on my skin, but haven't yet tried it as a fabric scent as it's intended (apparently its coumarin and safranal exceeds the upper limit for a skin perfume according to the official website). It's possible that it might work better on fabric, but as a personal perfume, I would only recommend Club Design if you're looking for a scent reminiscent of "new car interior" with an unapologetically synthetic vibe.
11th August, 2019
Hyper-realistic new shoe leather – it takes me straight back to childhood trips to the shoe shop with my mother in India. Back in the day they were brightly lit places of order and seduction, where assistants would crack open box upon box of shoes, flexing them back and forth before actually placing them on your foot and this is really how they smelled. Leather, but clean, a bit industrial and modulated by light and wheezy air-conditioning. I find the subtle aquatics used here are a master stroke, making the whole thing transparent but without succumbing to the waterboarding tendency.
I find it a fun, sparkling thing, which is rarely my reaction to leathers. It revels in artifice and pulls off the factory-fresh impression with great aplomb. Come to think of it, there’s also a whiff of yarns of new fabric being unravelled for the shopper’s inspection (also a childhood memory). Its straightforward but vague floral notes dance about in the mix without breaking the overall impression of manufactured goods.
It’s quite a linear perfume, only losing a bit of the freshness in the wearer’s perception over time. So even though I feel the trick it pulls off is brilliant, I actually quite like that it dies down after about 3-4 hours enabling me to wear something else, because fresh leather all day is not my idea of fun.
10th June, 2019
New leather. Ever-so-slightly skanky musk. A bright incense-y cedar & sandalwood. I smell a bit of sweet, fruit... Then, I get a lot of dusty, powderiness; perhaps from the flowers. To be honest, it sort of reminds me of Louis, by the same house, in some ways.

The styrax here is good. I like how it mixes with the leather, cedar, and mimosa. It somehow, they somehow, enhance the leather. For me, the leather is the star here... This eventually seems to grow a little sweeter after time. I enjoy this one, a lot. I feel the leather is great here... Lasts about seven hours.
14th May, 2019
Scent Tattoo.
The Grapefruit, Currant opening set against the Smoke and Floral whine of Peau d'Espagne is novel and presents a striking picture. For me,though, this sets off a Smoke of Electrical Carbon Resistor burn. Top it off with a dollop of relentless Marine Note and you have a scent, that does, do better on your clothing than skin.
Ultimately,this dries down Ugly.
Perhaps that's the point.
For this kind of thing, Beautiful, I reach for Blackbird's Taiga with it's Incense and Green Peppercorn and J. Hannah Co.'s Sloloo Silkiness.
11th August, 2018
Novel idea, hindered by the fact that it badly needs dilution. Otherwise a lovely honeyed leather accord. The drydown (that never goes away) smells like straight-up coumarin. Not terrible, but also not wearable.
02nd August, 2018

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