My journey with Zoologist Perfumes started quite a while ago, I suppose around the time when their Civet won the Art and Olfaction Awards in 2017, and I got slightly deeper into browsing through online forums and perfume related groups on Facebook. The artwork back then fascinated me the most! Those beautifully drawn animals, so elegantly dressed in suits, and robes, and dresses – I’d never seen anything like that before! And one year in, I am finally able to try these beauties on my skin.
Mainly, I was curious to see what this relation of perfume and the animal itself was. This whole perfume line is an amazing idea, I feel very drawn to it, and at the same time wary of what it can make me smell like! I felt an instant liking to the birdies – the hummingbird and the nightingale. Also the camel and the dragonfly. Probably, because I do like them as creatures… But I could have never imagined what I would smell like, as a bat… 🙂
The pictures helped me cross this boundary. What a fantastic idea of animals dressed as humans! That way we can relate to them on the same level.. Also, if you could take into consideration a possibility that every human being has his / her own spirit animal, what do you think this animal would smell like? And further on, this brings to mind a lot of other stories, some related to children fairy tales, others – from fantasy movies.. The relation is there, but what is a fragrance behind this magic?…
Victor Wong is the owner and creative director of the Zoologist Perfumes, they are based in Canada. The first fragrances were released in 2014, and currently there are 13 animals in their Kingdom! 🙂
The very first fragrance I tried was Camel, and fell in love with it instantly! It is such perfect balsamic, fruity, warming amber scent. It is also light and gentle, developing quietly on my skin, though, lasts all day.. I find it very cozy, peaceful, calm, like a beautiful skin scent.
When I was a child, I used to love watching swallows dive around our apartment block balconies during hot summer evenings… I would just sit out and watch the sun set, listening to the cheerful sweet chirping of these birdies.. These are such happy memories, that every time, now living in Ireland, I am waiting for them to come back in spring… and chirp again…
No wonder I went straight for Nightingale next… you can guess – I love birds 🙂
Back in my childhood days, I remember hearing nightingales sing at night, just before the break of dawn, probably in July or August… It used to be very hot at nights, and we would always sleep with windows and the balcony open.. I think they would sit in the tall linden trees that were growing just outside our window.. The songs of nightingales were so loud they would wake me up 🙂 They were so versatile and unbelievably amazing that I would just lay there quietly, trying to not make a sound, and just listen in awe… And when I picked up the Zoologist’s Nightingale, I did’t know what to expect, but instantly knew I would like it 🙂 and I did 🙂
…This is a floral, powdery perfume.. I can distinguish hints of a classical fragrance, and I love it for that… It is so complex and so changing that I kept sniffing my wrists every few minutes 🙂 Rose, plum blossom, and violet, with a touch of lemon and a bit of saffron…eases off into sandalwood, patchouli, oud and moss… It lasts on my skin for a good 24 hrs, and for me to wear a perfume that long means I would have to really like it… And Nightingale – I love! 🙂
Hummingbird is another story. I never got to meet them in person, only on TV, but they would always fascinate me with their long beaks and nearly motionless bodies, yet super fast wings… Hummingbird is a wonderful fruity floral scent, where lilac and honey and vanilla-like sweetness take the lead. However, it is also refreshingly light, like the bird itself… I don’t know why, but I find it a very sophisticated perfume, with a distinctive aura around it 🙂
The day I wore Dragonfly was dull and damp, with rain constantly drizzling. And I was so glad I chose this perfume, because the insect itself brings me back memories from hot summer days, where my dad and I would go for a swim in a little pond after a long days work at a country farm…. 🙂 I remember the dragonflies buzzing around, their massive see-through wings glistening in the sun with all imaginable colours… For the perfume, it is very warming, floral, and fresh.. Aldehydic powdery iris, lightened up with rain and a touch of citrus. The dry down was so lovely that the whole experience brightened up the day straight away and I cannot wait to wear the Dragonfly again.. 🙂 ❤
Now what concerns the rest of the fellas… 😀 I didn’t feel brave enough to blindly try the perfumes on my skin 🙂 ..the buff Rhino? The majestic Elephant? Or Bat – the blood sucker?.. How can they all be also feminine?… Well, I have learnt that much – when Mr.Prejudice and Ms.Doubt creeps in, there is never room for neither joy nor satisfaction, however open minded one would be… So, I just closed my eyes, and listened to what my nose was saying…
Enter Civet. This perfume was created in collaboration with perfumer Shelley Waddington. She is also the nose behind the Hummingbird. As I mentioned at the start of this post, Civet was the finalist at the Art and Olfaction Awards in 2017. It is a true masterpiece, I do agree. It is a power bomb of pepper and spices; of balsams, resins and carnation; of tuberose, coffee, and leather. I love it! I can’t stand it! It is so everything, so love-hate! It was stuck to my skin for over 24hrs, and with just two spritzes on my wrist, the smell filled the whole room (nearly knocked my husband off his feet when he got back home 😀 )! Do be wary when spraying, I tell you that 🙂 Civet on first impression is a sweet, boozy, fruity, cinnamony perfume, very slightly and at the very beginning (…for the first 10mins) reminding me of Youth Dew Amber Nude by Estee Lauder… but for the next 23,5 hrs… I was utterly stunned and will definitely try it out again soon, just maybe on a night out, or during a cold cold winter 🙂 On the other hand, I also love the idea of creating a perfume dedicated to this beautiful animal. You see, as much as I love coffee… I could never get my head around the whole civet-coffee thing… To me, it is just that bit overboard.. Let’s just say, Zoologist’s Civet is a much safer and less harmful way to enjoy coffee… 😉
My next acquaintance was with Mr. Beaver 🙂 Now, I do not know much about the animal itself, maybe just that they build dams on rivers.. 🙂 I brought some of the samples with me to work the other day, just for a ‘social experiment’ – to see different people’s opinions and reactions. Beaver got the most cheers for its name, but none of the girls wanted to try it… 🙂 As for the fragrance itself, it is beautiful indeed. Cozy, as it says on the sample card. I love how differently woody it is – starting off light and sweet, with hints of damp air, linden blossoms, water, and light musk, it elegantly changes into light woody notes, and later on envelopes you in beautiful soapy leather, vanilla and amber mix…
Bat, the winner of the 2016 Art and Olfaction Awards, was way too powerful for us ‘white chicks’ to stomach… 🙂 It definitely left an impression, though! This boozy fruity punch with undertones of damp earth and light hints of banana definitely stands out on its own. It needs a strong, powerful owner, who’s skin would absorb it and let it evolve.. After 10minutes I could feel it change into spicy, fruity, boozy coctail. Also, as an extrait de parfum, Bat has a really good longevity, and makes you feel like you’re diving into the dark cave of leather, musks, sandalwood and vetiver… A real experience, I must say… But be prepared 🙂
Now, whatever it is about monkeys, they will always remind me of my mother.. She adores them! Especially macaques.. Ever since I was little, I can remember her watch the Sunday TV programs about nature, jungles, safari, and anything that could be related to monkeys… She had even brought a load of film-like photographs (that you’d need special binocular-like goggles to experience the old 3D-type vision) when she was visiting a health resort in Georgia, or someplace near the Black Sea. It was like a zoo of just monkeys, any kind you want! Cheeky, hairy, grumpy, or playful… Funny enough, those film-photographs would always cheer me up when I was a kid…
I love the Zoologist’s Macaque.. I calms me down and lifts me up at the same time… Cedar and slightly sweet citrus.. A touch of lightly medicinal frankincense, but at the same time airy, fresh, sweetened with white florals… Harmonious musky green, citrusy freshness.. There’s nothing hectic about them monkeys, they’re very peaceful with the help of Zoologist.
Rhinoceros left a rich and pleasant impression on me. He attacks in the first seconds with a punch of rum! But if you stay with him for a little longer, he turns into a sweet dusty oud, easing off through leathery tobacco and pines, into a smoky, ambery sandalwood, vetiver and leather… He’s like an old general, a war veteran, still standing there powerful and strong.
At my workplace, Rhinoceros went down very well among both women and men. It is a statement fragrance. Love it!
It was quite interesting to watch my workmates experimenting… Especially how nuts they all went when the Bat flew out of the cave… 🙂 and how some of them calmed down the instant the Panda rolled out on their skin… This fragrance is definitely for the lovers of green, fresh, light airy, and earthy scents. But you must love patchouli, too.. On my skin, the green leaves and bamboo took over, and for me personally they were too overpowering… So, the moment, I will have to put Panda aside until the summer kicks in. I love the notes of this fragrance, and I can’t wait to to try it out again. 🙂
I would say, the majestic Elephant is sharing the first place together with Rhinoceros, if judged according to my little social experiment. The fragrance has a slightly different kind of greenness than Panda… it is more like fresh and cool tree leaves, mixed with tea, and magnolia 🙂 with a touch of coconut and jasmine, it brings more sophistication … and is grounding and lifting at the same time… what a masterpiece! 🙂 this extrait de parfum will stay with you for quite a while and carry you through that jungle, out into the new beginning….
When I was in the middle of writing this post, the Art and Olfaction Awards have announced the Zoologist’s Elephant as one of the finalist this year, 2018. I congratulate Mr.Victor Wong and the perfumer Chris Bartlett for such a beautiful collaboration! The Zoologist team seem to be creating masterpieces every single year! What a lovely treat to our noses, this is!
With the gorgeous artwork, and the exclusive juices inside their bottles, Zoologist thoroughly blew my mind… And I am truly intrigued what their newest creations – Moth and Hyrax – will smell like… 🙂
The sample set for this blog post was kindly provided by Victor Wong / Zoologist Perfumes. Thank you kindly ❤