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  1. #1

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    Default Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Inspired by the new TS guide, I got samples of Laudamiel's The Zoo. I didn't see a thread on them, so I wanted to start one here. Has anybody tried any of them and wants to comment?

    I'll start with what I am wearing today, Everlasting. Modern spicy and slightly gourmand. There are warm mixed spices, a gourmand aspect (veering towards coffee and chocolate), a touch of sweetness, and a dash of the usual modern masculine synthetics (woody ambers, hedione, dihydromircenol). Described this way it could be one of the many, typically drab, ones that occupy mainstream shelves. But this is vastly better because the spices and the gourmand part smell slightly unusual, it is not too sweet, and the powerful synthetics are kept in check, a backbone to sustain the rest rather than the main character. I don't like this genre, but I like this one.

    Based on this, one would think that Laudamiel's line is safe and unadventurous. Most of the others I am smelling, however, are all but, including some that I would describe as "evil marine".

    cacio

  2. #2

    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Hi cacio,

    The two I've tried both impressed me with their novelty even if they weren't quite my cup of tea - in this age of copycat perfumery that's so welcome and refreshing.

    My reviews for the one's I've gotten around to below:

    Rhubarb My Love The Zoo
    A zinger that should put a smile on the face of rhubarb fans – this is such a garden fresh and just cut representation of the pink stalks, with the not-quite-fruit not-quite-vegetable acidity intact. It’s greenish, its watery (but almost in a bilge-water way), it has the tang without the pucker, it has sparkle, and it’s quite, quite novel. Christophe Laudamiel deposits me on the shaded banks of a pond in summer with this perfume and although rhubarb is not really a go-to fragrance note for me, this has the sure touch of a master. This is Laudamiel’s stab at unmediated rhubarb and he absolutely captured this plant’s yearning for a sprinkling of sugar.
    It holds this amazing rhubarb impression for a good two to three hours before revealing by degree some of the building blocks – touches of brambles and tomato leaves, some high pitched citrus and definitely a salty vetiver. The rhubarb may be crumbling but we are still in the summery outdoors and it’s a good place to be.

    Carre Blanc The Zoo
    A celebration of synthetic molecules, Carre Blanc should be indefinable abstraction. Instead the surprise of course is how refreshing and juicy it smells and how many referents there are to the natural world – particularly its green spaces. The brand acknowledges as much by saying in a take it or leave it fashion – ‘Whatever rocks your boat: green foliage, grapefruit, rhubarb, blond woods, hay, orris, tonka …’ But this is very much a take it rather than a leave it perfume – brisk, energetic, assured, and with an ozonic, hot iron otherness which keeps threatening to take large chunks of it into anosmia but never does. Let’s just say it keeps the wearer alert.
    Sadly it gets thin, shrill and unvarying in the later stages, an acidic archness that confirms some of one’s suspicions of all-synthetic scents.
    At worst, one is in motion; and at best,
    Reaching no absolute, in which to rest,
    One is always nearer by not keeping still.
    Thom Gunn 'On the Move'

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Thank you both for your impressions. But I wonder why Laudamiel calls this line The Zoo?

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Diamondflame
    From the website: Why THE ZOO®? We see each of our fragrances as animals. They compose a menagerie of colors and personalities, requiring exotic ingredients from around the world.

    gimmegreen
    I like your review of the rhubarb. This is indeed a realistic rhubarb. From afar, the fresh, citrus elements prevail. A bit greenish, a bit vegetal, a bit fruity, but mostly strange and unique. With the nose close to the skin, one gets also some of the background notes of cooked rhubarb and pie. Luckily, I don't get aquatic in this one (in the sense of calone), but perhaps there's something watery in the mix as well. Very unique and striking. May go on the full bottle list.

    cacio

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by gimmegreen View Post
    It holds this amazing rhubarb impression for a good two to three hours before revealing by degree some of the building blocks – touches of brambles and tomato leaves, some high pitched citrus and definitely a salty vetiver.
    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    May go on the full bottle list.
    Between the two of you I think you've just sold me on the rhubarb.

    And their discovery sets are 8ml bottles! Finally, someone gets it -- 2 or 3mls is never enough for a proper testing.

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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Thanks @cacio. Seems arbitrary to me. Unlike Zoologists, seems to me these fragrance compositions have nothing to do with animals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot View Post
    And their discovery sets are 8ml bottles! Finally, someone gets it -- 2 or 3mls is never enough for a proper testing.
    Practically a travel set. At $49 for a variety of scents with total volume of 48 ml, it’s a steal! My question is: just how quirky or wearable are these?

  7. #7

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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    At $50 for 6 perfumes, the sample set is not cheap, but the samples are very large as you point out-good enough if you like the perfume a lot but it's not quite full bottle worthy. And so far the perfumes have been very interesting and worth smelling many times.

    cacio

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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by cacio View Post
    At $50 for 6 perfumes, the sample set is not cheap, but the samples are very large as you point out-good enough if you like the perfume a lot but it's not quite full bottle worthy. And so far the perfumes have been very interesting and worth smelling many times.

    cacio
    As aficionados I guess it’s fun to spend time enjoying creative scents, isn’t it? Don’t even have to wear them out. At $1/ml it is cheap with most going for $2-4 /ml. I wish more houses would offer similarly generous sample sets. Way to go, Laudamiel!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Based on the new Guide and this thread I ordered discovery set #1 which includes several reviewed fragrances but not Rhubarb My Love, unfortunately. So set #2 may be in my future,
    “The unnatural and the strange have a perfume of their own”
    ― Fernando Pessoa

  10. #10

    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Hilarious - I was just now going through The Guide and then exploring The Zoo’s website based on the reviews, feeling completely out of touch for not knowing of this line’s existence, and going on here to see if there was chatter in The Guide thread about this line only to see this thread. Perfect timing. I’m very intrigued about Everlasting because there is narcissus in it, and I’m a big fan of this. The narcissus is described as coming from the Aubrac region in France. I gotta get the sampler.

  11. #11

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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    The narcissus in everlasting is not front and center. It gives a sort of tobacco-dry-vegetal note that's quite masculine in style. There used to be a special edition expensive Artisan Parfumeur, forget the name-the note is something like what was in that perfume.

    Le carre' blanc (whose name is actually written not with letters but with a drawing of a carre blanc = white square). The beginning is like those weird CDG materials perfume, something between rubber, vinyl, and other synthetics. As it settled, one gets further strange notes like glue, insulation, and the like, a bit like those in CDG EDP 2011. Underneath, there is some powerful masculine synthetic material, something marine, which helps give power to the whole concoction. So far, wonderful, and better than the CDGs, since it's much more complex. However, in the drydown, I agree with gimmegreen that it becomes a bit too simple, most notes go away and we're left with the shrill, not so pleasant marine-woody note. So not sure I'll really want to wear this, but a lot of fun to smell the beginning.

    cacio

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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Vetyver Rain Skin.
    Not exactly a vetiver. The opening is primarily a zingy violet leaf and citrus, unusual and very energizing. Soon though the violet leaf mostly goes away and we're left with a soft woody vetiver. Skin as in skinlike, soft. As it goes, it's clear that there is a marine note (of which laudamiel seems to be very fond). This note is subdued, nothing to do with the marine from hell of many mainstream perfumes. But still I don't like marine. I like my vetivers vetiver-centered and more assertive, so this one is not for me after the first 15 minutes. But it should appeal to those who prefer softer vetivers (eg Vetiver tonka, fat electrician) and like marine notes.

    cacio

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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Two not-so-exciting ones:

    Amber Classico Modern: not sure what the modern part is, this is a nice but uninspiring soft vanillic amber. Nice but simple. It is in the sample set, but not as a bottle for purchase. Perhaps it is an oriental base, on which other stuff needs to be added.

    Spacewood: I pretty much get an anisic licorice note, over some soft powdery background. Again, nice, but just so. the description makes it seem something completely crazy.

  14. #14

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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Louis: it starts as an aromatic fougere. But in Laudamiel's fashion, with slightly unusual aromatics (cardamom apparently, and other slightly strange things). Then instead of moving into fougere territory, it moves into a very powdery, chalky iris type of material, and a white musk. A nice play on modern forms, and probably something that could appeal to a broader mainstream audience (like Everlasting).

    It comes in a white and a black bottle, but, as far as I can see, it smells the same.

    cacio

  15. #15

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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Community: this is a new take on a citrus aquatic. the top has some strange, inedible citrus. As it goes, a woody marine base comes out. Luckily, the base is more well behaved than in regular marine. In a way, this does what Bulgari Aqua Amara was traying to do, ie pair a standard marine with an interesting twist on citrus. But to my nose this is much more interesting and balanced. As most marines, this is very powerful on me. I don't like the genre, so I doubt I'll be buying this, but if I was forced to buy one citrus marine, I'd go for this.

    Interestingly, Laudamiel has posted the formula for this perfume on his website.

    cacio

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    I have Discovery set 1, sprayed once each if anyone would like to swap for them.
    Quick impressions from sprays on paper. Please understand that my nose is not calibrated to synthetics as I tend to stick with more natural fragrances. I'm not trying to diss these fragrances just give my impression for anyone who may find it helpful (probably old fuddy duddies like me). I listed them in order from most enjoyed to least:
    1. Fig My Love - This smells like the dry, vegetal smell of fig stems when you break them off, but chemical. Underneath that is a sort of gentle fruitiness. Liberated the strip from the bathroom where I had corralled the others so I guess that makes it my favorite. It's definitely quieter than the rest. The drydown was a hyperrealistic petrichor. The only one I would consider actually wearing.
    2. Club Design smells strongly of tires. Interesting. As it dried down it developed a kind of fresh masculine thing under the smell of rubber which relented a bit. It became strangely appealing with this push pull effect between the rubber and the fresh, pleasant part. Luca Turin described this as Bulgari Black without the floral part. I don't think that captures how overwhelming the tire smell is here. To me it's more similar to the kind of super strong synthetic oud fragrances that head towards burning rubber. Think Gucci Guilty or Black Afgano but with the burning tires aspect amped up to suffocating levels.
    3. Community - Declaration without cardamon and a flatter citrus. The drydown is that melon-y marine thing.
    4. Spacewood - piercing synthetic wood. Faded to nothing after a few hours or I stopped being able to smell it.
    5. Louis is a fougere for sure. Very strong. I hate fougeres so I quickly sequestered this smelling strip in the trash encased in plastic.
    6. The one without a name I can't smell at all which is weirdly appropriate. I thought I detected some orris when I first sprayed it. There's something unpleasant about this even though I can't smell anything, like the smell of bad juju. Weird. 20 hours in it smells like chlorine and something metallic. Eventually I realized it was the reason the entire room smelled of chlorine and chucked the strip. This is some kind of evil aromachemical I've not encountered before. Gets me thinking of my mortality and how I won't be sad to leave this earth if this is where we're heading.
    Currently wearing: Iris by Odori

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Quote Originally Posted by scentmagpie View Post

    6. The one without a name I can't smell at all which is weirdly appropriate.

    Gets me thinking of my mortality and how I won't be sad to leave this earth if this is where we're heading.
    So I guess one interpretation of that white square might be a tombstone, eh?


  18. #18

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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Well, it's a white square (carre blanc), not so much a tombstone as a void. Which seems to correspond to scentmagpie's initial impression. Scentmagpie must be anosmic to the vinyl synthetics in the top (which are nowhere near as strong as in other perfumes of the line anyway). As I mentioned i my review above, I agree that the drydown is too aquatic for my taste.

    Clearly, the line is not for those who don't like the smell of plastic. Apart from the fig one, the other that may be ok then is rhubarb my love. Although rhubarb smell does have something synthetic in it. So who knows.

    I must resmell declaration...

    cacio

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    I just got my sample set (no. 1) and tried the Carre Blanc. Initially I get a buttery coconut, which is not at all what the notes (green foliage, grapefruit, rhubarb, blond woods, hay, orris, tonka) should have me smelling! I think the orris and vinyl (now that's an interesting combo!) are both contributing to the coconut impression. I get very little sour (citrus or rhubarb)--just a hint at the edges of the fragrance. So far I like this a lot. Will see how it develops....

    Unfortunately this morphed into pure benzene ring + vinyl. And stayed that way for hours. Not for me. The longevity was impressive. 12 hours.
    Last edited by Hazel5; 18th July 2018 at 12:51 AM.
    “The unnatural and the strange have a perfume of their own”
    ― Fernando Pessoa

  20. #20

    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Hi guys, I really enjoyed reading your reviews. I've been a fan of Laudamiel's work ever since I discovered S-ex by S-Perfumes. I really enjoyed his new line, especially Club Design/Scent Tattoo, Louis and Rhubarb. The other fragrances were enjoyable and well-made (as I would expect from Laudamiel) but didn't really blow my mind as much as the three I mentioned above. I liked Carre Blanc a LOT (it reminded me of a stronger and more complex version of L'antimatiere, with touches of rhubarb, glue, iris, and a heavy dose of ambrox) but found it too strong, and the longevity on clothes lasted about a week, and even through a washing! I got tired of smelling it.

    Club Design is probably my favorite leather fragrance of all time, and the coumarin overdose in the base is so satisfying. There's nothing like this on the market right now! I'll probably be purchasing a bottle soon. It smells to me like a spiced black leather jacket, but it's never heavy, too musky or scratchy. Just ultra-smooth, and it's one of those fragrances where all the notes combine to create something that is more than the sum of their parts. There is a lot going on here, but it's all perfectly calibrated.

    Louis is like a guilty pleasure for me - it smells like a pop song that's been done before, but it's SO well-made and the myriad array of textures is very satisfying: there's powdery iris, piercing spices, smooth florals, musks, and a huge blast of synthetic ambery woods. In terms of vibe, it's one of the most uplifting fragrances I've smelled in a long time. It's one of those fragrances that just hits all the right spots for me.

    Rhubarb is another favorite of mine because of how weird yet comfortable it is, and how easy it is to wear. As Turin notes in his 2018 guide, rhubarb can sometimes smell like hot electrical circuits (or something along those lines) and I fully agree. What I like most about this is that it smells somewhat natural, just like rhubarb, but it also has that weird electrical twist, something I would expect from Comme des Garcons. It's also incredibly charming, and even though it doesn't feel that complex, there is nothing that needs to be added or taken away - it just smells like the most perfect rhubarb. There is nothing perfumey about it at all, making it easy to wear in any situation, even in an airplane or with people who usually scrunch their noses up at fragrance.

    *******************

    Short reviews of his other fragrances:

    Community: If this was released in the 90s, it would have been as successful as Aqua di Gio and Cool Water. This fragrance would be perfect for someone in their late teens or early twenties. Just as 90s fashion is coming back but with a twist, this fits right with current trends I've noticed in younger generations. My favorite thing about this fragrance is the green apple note.

    Sailors: Cartier's Declaration, but without the screeching woods in the base. A smoother remix, with the same heart and soul, but different timber. Nice.

    Spacewood: Anisic woods, with a futuristic vibe. If this had a color, it would be stainless steel or silver. The perfect fragrance to wear with a space suit. At first I thought it was missing something, but then realized that's probably the "space".

    Fig My Love: Milky fig, but synthetic, like you photocopied a fig or printed it with a 3-D printer. The drydown is an amazing petrichor, but without any calone (to my nose). Weird and wonderful, but I prefer Rhubarb.

    Vetiver Rain Skin: Shares some DNA with Abercrombie's Fierce (another of Laudamiel's creations), but it's less screetchy and more calone focused. One of the best oceanic/rain notes I've ever smelled.

    Everlasting: One of the most unique ambers I've ever smelled. At times it smelled of forest soil, other times it was pure resins and labdanum/leather.
    Currently wearing: Black by Bulgari

  21. #21

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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Your descriptions are spot on, and I agree with them. My faves are club design and rhubarb too, plus fig. I was never big into 80s fougere, so perhaps Louis resonates a bit less for me, but I agree it's still fun.

    cacio

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    The only one I have worn on skin is Rhubarb and I loved it. I can't wait to sample it again.
    "When you become comfortable with uncertainty. infinite possibilities open up in your life"

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  23. #23

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    Default Re: Laudamiel's The Zoo

    Resurrecting this because I noticed one thing I had missed. Scent tattoo/Club design is a "garment fragrance", ie supposed to be worn on clothes (that's written on the bottle-other bottles have fine fragrance on them). The reason of course is IFRA. By doing so, Laudamiel did not have to submit to IFRA's wrath.

    This makes me like the perfume even more. Definitely buying this soon.




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