There are perfumes that smell like the perfume section of a department store. There are perfumes that smell like memories and places long passed by. And then, there are perfumes that are so utterly convincing that they trick your brain into recollecting something you’ve never actually smelled before.
Sloth fits into the final category. One of my clearest memories from elementary school was watching nature documentaries about the rainforest. The vibrant flora and fauna of the environment sparked in me a near-desperate passion for exploration. When I smelled Sloth, it was as if my brain retroactively attached a scent to that experience of tropical wonder.
It’s easier to describe Sloth with characteristics than notes. The first thing you’ll notice about the fragrance is that it’s green. This is a rich leafy greenness that comes alive due to its pairing with an array of other accords – wet soil, bitter wild herbs, and a strong base that grounds the brighter elements without demanding much spotlight. The whole construction is something of a miracle.
Enough time with Sloth does reveal a handful of notes behind the magic, namely the bitter chamomile flower, a burst of hay, and, bizarrely, vanilla and incense in the base. The last two become far more apparent hours into wearing, and it’s a revelation to pick them out and realize that they’ve been there all along. It’s to the credit of Sloth that dissecting this fragrance reveals craft but leaves the overall effect completely intact.
The one downside to Sloth is that it’s far more geared toward art than wearability. Most of the perfumes I love are labeled by others as unwearable art pieces, but this pushes even farther into that territory than I can imagine following. The rich herbal landscape of Sloth” is mesmerizing for the first six hours or so before it wears out its welcome even as it continues to change. This is a case where wearing the fragrance on your skin is essential before picking up a bottle.
Even though I personally will not be picking up a bottle of Sloth, the fragrance still serves as an example of everything great about the house of Zoologist. There are many reasons why Zoologist is one of my favorite houses right now, but some of them are foundational. Most importantly, the ‘gimmick’ of the house – naming and designing all perfumes after animals and their habitats – provides a launchpad for making bizarre perfumes that are simultaneously high quality and difficult to categorize. It’s hard to find a house that’s both as experimental and as appealing as Zoologist.
Perhaps just as important is the already-legendary Zoologist performance. Sloth, like most of its animal-themed brethren, will hang around all day, and there are very few perfumes in the line whose longevity falls below eight hours. The last thing you have to worry about when wearing a Zoologist fragrance is being abandoned by your perfume.
The final verdict on Sloth could be said about much of the Zoologist line. It’s a fantastic perfume that lives up to its description, and you should sample it here before buying a travel spray or bottle directly from the boutique. My advice? View Zoologist’s descriptions of their own fragrances and pick up any samples that seem appealing. Even if you end up in the wrong neck of the woods, you’re likely to have discovered a beast to remember.
Have strong thoughts about this piece you need to share? Or maybe there’s something else on your mind you’re wanting to talk about with fellow Fandomentals? Head on over to our Community server to join in the conversation!
The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.