If you’ve ever done any snow shoeing or cross-country skiing you’ve probably noticed something. The way the snow adds a sonic damper to the world. When you’re out trekking through a wintry landscape there is a quietness to things. Whenever I stop for a drink of water that quiet never fails to soothe me. it is part of the reason I’m out moving through the cold. To find a world where things are reduced to a few elements. Zoologist Snowy Owl celebrates this.
I have been excited about this before I heard the name of the animal because two of my favorite people in independent perfumery were teaming up. Zoologist founder-creative director Victor Wong and perfumer Dawn Spencer Hurwitz are my idea of a dream team. I have given both my year-end awards multiple times. They exhibit everything I think is right about this sector. They are passionate perfume lovers who make perfume it is as simple as that.
I was curious to see what animal they would work together on. The Snowy Owl seemed perfect for a fragrance meant to capture that quiet of snow I spoke of. Ms. Hurwitz is based in Boulder, Colorado in the Rocky Mountains. This experience can be found just outside her front door. Together they create a beautiful contemplative winter inspired perfume.
I wondered what the snow accord would be made of. When I first smelled it on receiving my sample, I thought it was perfect at capturing the watery nature of snow melting in winter sunshine. When I turned my focus on what made this up, I found two ingredients that are not on my favorites list. Ms. Hurwitz uses Calone and mint with an assist from muguet and coconut water. The first two ingredients I mentioned are part of so many pedestrian fragrances I am amazed at their use here. The watery melon-like quality of the Calone is given lift through the mint. The muguet adds a soft floral verdancy while the coconut water adds the dampness. It is a compelling opening.
It gets better as galbanum gives the green of the muguet a boost. Orris adds an earthy piece while an austere frankincense recapitulates the cold air. It ends up coalescing around a musky base built around ambrette and civet. The woods are represented via cedar and oakmoss. Once it is all in place a soft scent of silence appears.
Snowy Owl has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Snowy Owl feels like a partner to last year’s Musk Deer in the way they project a softness. This has more of a wintry bite, but I would still describe it as soft. There was a point in every day I was out in the winter woods where the sun informed me it was time to turn for home. Most of the time I did that with the desire for more time to spend outside in the stillness. Now Snowy Owl brings the quiet of snow home to me.
Disclosure: this review is based on a sample supplied by Zoologist Perfumes.