Originally published on http://www.cafleurebon.com 7 November, 2017
Perfumer Christophe Laudamiel’s new fragrance company THEZOO is sure to be one of the most talked about perfume launches of the year; lauded, misunderstood and adored. Christophe defies convention, and happily so. THEZOO is the line of fragrances that M. Laudamiel always dreamed of creating.
These are cerebral fragrances that push the boundaries of what scent should and could be and are bound only by M. Laudamiel’s seemingly unlimited imagination. You will know Christophe Laudamiel from his creations; Polo Blue for Ralph Lauren, Thierry Mugler Le Parfum Coffret (based on the smells from Perfume: The Story of A Murderer in collaboration with Christoph Hornetz), and numerous others for Nest, Strangelove, and Humiecki & Graef. Christophe is a world-class nose, a true renegade, and a one-off who is fearless in his desire to break the “fragrant ceiling”. He creates scents that immediately engage, disarm, and force you to consider and rethink your perceptions of perfume as a whole. He is the winner of Art and Olfaction’s 2017 Contribution to Scent Award and the only U.S. Osmotheque Osmocurator. Christophe is the author of “The Perfume Manifesto” (Liberté, Égalité, Fragrancité), one of my all-time favorite perfume essays and one of the smartest and most engaging treatises on the industry today. Starting a perfume company from scratch has not been an easy task. Says Christophe: “The Zoo is just one of the latest projects of DreamAir LLC, but the start-up has been a long hard road. This is a company the likes of which the industry has never seen in its history nor in its custom.”
Christophe explains what is REALLY in your perfume and who created it. No hype or marketing speak. His new scent creations for THEZOO are exactly what you would expect from M. Laudamiel; thoughtful, intriguing, off the charts and out of this world. Currently there are eight perfumes in four new classifications which are: FRESH: “An easy to wear fragrance, a breath of fresh air and good energy for you and the people around you.” SEXY: “Deep and sensual fragrances, full-bodied but not necessarily heavy, but sure to leave an impression. Watch people around you as you wear these fragrances.” RAW: “Blunt, straight forward and explicit fragrances. What you see on the fragrance label is what you get. Direct smells.” FORBIDDEN: “You and your fragrance like to go against accepted standards. You’re comfortable being a paradigm-breaker: wear FORBIDDEN in public or whispering behind closed doors.These smells are banned by experts or by countries where they won’t be shipped, due to their ingredient content, proportions or creation methods.”
The fragrances are unlike anything I’ve come across…ever. The range is an extraordinary exercise in observation, contrast, and contemplation. I was given five to try; Everlasting (Dark, Narcissus, Sensuous) Louis (Fresh, Positive, Sensuous with two different labels), Scent Tattoo (Sexy, Leather, Woody, Plush) and Spacewood and Rhubarb My Love, the latter two are the two I loved most of all:
Spacewood: (C. Laudamiel & C. Hornetz):“This world was too small for him and so he flew to space, where he found some out-of-this-world love. Scent Trampoline into the future. A scent can be abstract, helping you think into the future. Beside man-made molecules, some natural extracts can be used for that purpose. Spray, close your eyes, and think of nothing.” Although listed as a “Fresh” fragrance, I would place this in the “Forbidden” category. There’s something of the bad boy in this scent, yet at the same time Spacewood with its calming and out-of-body synthetics, is an exercise in scenting deep space. This smells like sex with Ziggy Stardust or The Man Who Fell to Earth in an airlock miles above the planet.
Opening with a whiff of acacia, mimosa, and the boozy acidic tang of white wine, the notes are quickly surrounded by something reminiscent snd redolent of overheating ozonic electrical wires and smoldering plastics or acrylics. I can’t exactly place my finger on it, and I can’t stop sniffing my wrist it’s that compelling. It is also deeply meditative and interstellar. And indescribably wonderful.
Rhubarb My Love: (C. Laudamiel): “Fresh rhubarb and patience can work wonders.” Get ready to start something new. Rhubarb My Love, a name that says it all. Nothing else.” Entrenched solidly in the “Raw” category, Rhubarb My Love is exactly that. And at the same time not. A vibrant and lovely gourmand, Rhubarb My Love will satisfy every sweet tooth, even those who loathe rhubarb the fruit. This is a bright and citrus heavy abstract of rhubarb, and will wear very well in this upcoming holiday season, or at the height of rhubarb spring/summer growing season. There’s also a touch of something like a crème brûlée burnt caramel, giving the impression of a warm crust rhubarb strawberry pie fresh from the oven. If Lancôme’s recent monster-hit-beast-mode jeunesse La Vie Est Belle makes your teeth ache (as it does mine) with it’s overwhelming candy store vibe, think of Rhubarb My Love as the adult version; a touch sweet, a touch bitter; a compote of smooth and tart rhubarb at the end of a very satisfying meal. Mouthwatering. Interestingly, my spouse who is allergic to anything scented proclaimed this one to be great. Shocked the hell out of me, as that is high praise indeed coming from him.
Disclosure: Thank you SO much to Christophe Laudamiel and THEZOO for supplying my samples. The opinions are my own.
–Robert Herrmann, Senior Editor
-Art Direction: Michelyn Camen, Editor-in-Chief
THEZOO can be purchased online at http://www.thezoonyc.com at Perfumarie in NYC and later this month at Maison Ten.
Thanks to the very generous Christophe Laudamiel and THEZOO we have a reader’s choice of any fragrance or a sample set of all eight for two registered reader anywhere in the world. So be sure to register if you have not done so. To be eligible please let us know what appeals to you about Robert’s review of Spacewood and Rhubarb My Love, which THE ZOO fragrance (or sample kit you choose should you win), if you are familiar with Christophe Laudamiel and if you think you would be a fan of Fresh, Sexy, Raw or Forbidden and where you live. Draw closes on 11/12/2017.
We announce the winners only on our website and on our Facebook page, so like Cafleurebon and use our RSS feed…or your dream prize will be just spilled perfume.