I was having a teleconference with an Italian perfume journalist. He asked me who I thought was doing the best creative direction in independent perfumery. I think there are two names which come right to the top of mind. One of them is Victor Wong of Zoologist. I have lauded Mr. Wong extensively but I will add this onto the pyramid. The biggest reason I think this, is he has remained true to his vision of creating different perfumes. The collection runs the gamut from crowd-pleasers to challenging. He has seemingly never compromised the creativity for commercial considerations. He has also managed to coax some of the best work from some of the best independent perfumers. It seems as if his reputation for this now has perfumers approaching him.
When Mr. Wong was in London for the 2018 Art and Olfaction Awards one of his fellow finalists approached him about a collaboration. The perfumer was Prin Lomros. They had corresponded previously when Mr. Lomros had described perfumes he had imagined paired to a specific animal. They decided now was the time to collaborate leading to Zoologist Sloth.
They decided they wanted to create a slowly unfurling perfume to mimic their totem animal. To achieve this they imagined their sloth hanging high in the trees safe from the predators below pillowed on a mossy branch. It forms a sleepy green perfume.
Mr. Lomros combines chamomile, lavender, marigold, and violet leaf. This is a cleverly different way of making a vegetal green accord. Chamomile and lavender have herbal facets which Mr. Lomros uses the violet leaf to accentuate and blend. The marigold has an astringent floral quality which provides a connection to the jasmine in the heart. This is what creates the tropical humidity of the rainforest. A very precise amount of cumin represents the sloth among the leaves and flowers. Beeswax adds in its gentle slowly oozing animalic character in sloth-like movement. The fecund scent of the forest comes in the base accord via tonka, myrrh, and oakmoss. Mr. Lomros uses enough of the oakmoss to notice. This is a classic velvety oakmoss effect. It feels just like the perfect place to lay a sloth’s head for a nap.
Sloth has 12-14 hour longevity and average sillage.
Within the spectrum of Zoologist perfumes Sloth is in the middle between crowd-pleaser and challenging. Although it has bits of both at different times. It speaks to all the things I think is great about Mr. Wong’s creative direction. It doesn’t smell like anything else in the collection. Mr. Lomros has made one of his best perfumes. Even when its sleepytime in the rainforest Sloth makes you take notice.
Disclosure: This review is based on a sample supplied by Zoologist.