Elephant 
Zoologist Perfumes (2017)

Average Rating:  8 User Reviews

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Elephant by Zoologist Perfumes

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About Elephant by Zoologist Perfumes

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Zoologist Perfumes
Fragrance House
Chris Bartlett
Perfumer

Art and Olfaction Awards finalist, 2018.  The company says: 

From beneath a canopy of lush, damp foliage, the complex aromas of Zoologist Elephant emerge. Into a mixture of invigorating Darjeeling and incense, swirl hints of coconut and cocoa. With the patience of a foraging herd stripping the bark from a thicket of trees, the fragrance dissipates gradually. What is revealed is the core of the perfume – a beautiful and satisfying blend of woody notes, which dry down to an elegant, natural sandalwood scent.

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  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Reviews of Elephant by Zoologist Perfumes

There are 8 reviews of Elephant by Zoologist Perfumes.


Yes! It’s definitely an elephant! This one is absolutely amazing insofar as putting you in mind of the spirit animal.

But that’s just it—it’s an elephant. You probably don’t wish to smell of elephant. I’m almost 127% positive I don’t. So I’m torn as to how to rate such an animal, as it were.

Of course you could wear it at home only. But are we really sure it’s not still there, somewhere, lingering? Power lunches are all too often interrupted by wafts of elephantine essence. And there’s honestly no recovering from that.

I suppose that exactly this is what Neutral was created for.


I'm beginning to wonder if there's something wrong with me because I seem to smell entirely different things to the reviews posted on various fragrance sites, which mostly seem to wax lyrical about how they can smell all the listed ingredients in exactly the way the copy says.

My latest bout of olfactory dissonance was with Elephant by Zoologist. Apparently, I should be able to detect the light nights of tea, green leaves and magnolia before it goes all coconut and ends up in a sandalwood and amber drydown. Reviews have described it as 'light and airy.' Here's what I get: there are no topnotes. No tea, no green leaves. This goes straight into what smells like a raw and rancid cumin / dirt smell which stay with you for quite a long time (well, I had to wash it off my hands because it was so foul). It's like that unidentifiable but over-intrusive perfume that once assailed you on the bus or train that turned out to be being worn by some eccentric person, apparently with no sense of smell. Eventually it does ease into that quite sweet and pleasant chocalate-sandalwood dry-down, that I will agree with. But this it not 'light' or 'airy', it doesn't conjure images of tropical forests or anything like that. That's the copy speaking. This is unbalanced, harsh and bad for too much of the time until it's finally, blessedly, gone.


Green flowers, coconut and vanilla. How original and gorgeous. Fresh and yummy. It makes me think a bit of Mugler's Aura but it's unlike anything else.


When I first tried this one, I thought oh, coconut, I don't much like coconut, and set it on one side. That just shows you how perceptions can change over time, as your nose educates itself to any new fragrance presented to it.

If you thought this would be a heavy, lumbering composition, you are in for a big surprise. It is light and airy, almost delicate. There is a green, sappy background. Maybe fig, I thought to myself, and I don't like fig. But I do like this one, so maybe it isn't fig. No point in speculating, because with any well blended perfume you can't pick out the component elements, it is a total gestalt.

Probably my perception of coconut was conditioned by the over-sweet processed variety in confectionery bars. Drinking the milk from a freshly cracked fruit is totally different, and that refreshing milky quality is nearer to what you get here, alongside the lush greenery which is definitely not fig.

The elephant is a lovely animal, which has suffered terribly at the hands of humans, so a tribute to it is long overdue. And Chris Bartlett's creation does the ancient species proud, as well as educating me that I do like coconut after all. At least, this leafy green variety. Elephant is a masterpiece, which richly deserves its place at the top of the art and olfaction awards


I have to give props to Zoologist for their creativity and ability to recreate imagery with fragrance, that to me is often forgotten. I give this a neutral rating because it's not necessarily something I love smelling like, but that doesn't make it any less awesome how this smells exaclty like it sounds.

It really smells like you're an elephant wading through a humid forest, brushing aside dense greenery, and kicking up dust along the way. It's very green, sharply so at the beginning which is a bit too much for me. It also has a little bit of an earthy vibe, reminiscent of Terre d'Hermes, however without the same sweetness. I do think that sweetness is what it needs to make it a bit more wearable. I get very little of the coconut milk, and that could have been emphasized more. Still very cool to try tough, definitely worth a sample.


Green-bamboo cedar opening, somewhat similar to Macaque but without the creaminess or balance. More sharp and woody than Macaque as well, light almost like rainwater. Jasmine and magnolia also give Elephant a light, floral backdrop throughout. The incense adds dustiness, but doesn't round out the edge or give it gravity or weight. I'm not sure these scents work in conjunction. Despite the rawness of this scent, I find this scent to be the safest of the fragrances that I have smelled by Zoologist, and I don't mean that in a good way. It's...too inoffensive for an elephant? This smells like a much smaller animal.

The cocoa comes through and adds some darkness and depth, but this feels a bit linear for the line. It doesn't evolve past being a raw, aquatic-green-wood scent. Projection is arm's length and longevity is 5-6. Likely my least favorite from this house so far: it isn't bad but it doesn't have the artistic innovation that some of the other scents have.

6/10

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