My Zoologist impressions (10+ fragrances)

gewoonBB

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2019
I've been going through the easy-going discovery set + Civet and I'll do more in the future and add to this thread.


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• ZOOLOGIST CIVET •

First thought: 'Not nearly as animalic as I thought it would be'. Civet opens with a slightly skanky, animalic, musky note and it has a bit of a bug spray harshness. Purely smelling this, I think the scent could throw a lot of people who aren't too fond of animalics off instantly. However, within literally five minutes, it becomes much milder and an extremely soft balsamic accord starts to take center stage next to the civet. It's very warm and silky smooth, with touches of herbal, floral, earthy and spicy notes that I'm not even going to try to distinguish. Coincidentally, I tried Xerjoff's More Than Words earlier this week and Civet shares the sort of fizzy, cola type of scent to me. Maybe even more so a cola connection than I had with More Than Words, as Civet really reminded me of cola lollypops with bubblegum in them that I used to have growing up. I started to think I was going to love this fragrance.

The drydown threw a bit of a curveball, as it reels back the florals a bit and a different kind of sweetness emerges. Coffee is a note a lot of people pick up on here, but I can't say that I do. There's a hint of something after a while, but I get more of vanilla or maybe caramel. If it's coffee, it's definitely not a bitter, roasted, coffeebean type of scent, but coffee with a ton of sugar and milk and it's faintly in the back. Now, I said that the florals are toned down in the drydown, but they are still present. It's all blended so harmoniously that it's hard to even categorize Civet. To me, it's definitely not an animalic; aside from the first minutes and some skanky wafts in the late drydown, animalic notes are bystanders in this fragrance. Mainly, this is an almost exotic, tropical floral and balsamic fragrance, that at some points during the wear reminded me of a slightly less feminine (still very much unisex) flanker of Zoologist's Hummingbird.

If you want a strong animalic civet fragrance, I think you don't even have to look at this one. For me however, this was a welcome surprise. The only thing keeping me from fully loving this fragrance is the bit of skank or muskiness that rears it's head later in the drydown •

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• ZOOLOGIST PANDA •

This impression is for the Extrait de Parfum that was released in 2017; I haven't tried the original Eau de Parfum, but from what I've heard they are quite different. The first thing that hit me when I sprayed Panda on my skin was the musk. Yes, it is fresh, fruity and green, but it's also very bitter. I doubt the bitterness is really noticable from a distance and it does fade after a while, but when smelled up close, there's an earthy, dirty scent underneath the freshness, that might put some people off. The civet note probably has some say in this as well. Aside from that, this should actually be a crowd pleasing fragrance. Apple is the main note here for me in the first hour, combined with some light florals that I wouldn't be able to distinguish. There's a hint of sweetness to the fruitiness as well, that reminded me of the sweetness that you can get from pineapple. I honestly don't get the tea note at all, which was a bit disappointing. Longevity is good, but projection is really impressive, especially since the scent overall is light and ozonic.

I enjoy the opening, but I'm not completely sold yet on drydown. The freshness of the fruits fades away and it leaves a (still relatively fresh) vegetal, floral and slightly earthy scent, with a healthy dose of sweetness. At the same time seems very aquatic or just plainly 'wet'. One thing I will say; this smells exactly how I would imagine (a panda eating) fruits in a sunny, damp tropical forest would smell. Now if you have a garden or a little greenhouse that smells like this, that would be awesome. It smells great, but I don't know if I like it as a perfume as much. In the drydown I oscillated between getting pleasant wafts and not being sure how I felt. When I woke up the next morning, the scent was still clearly present on my arm and I think I enjoyed the more subdued fragrance a bit more •

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• ZOOLOGIST HUMMINGBIRD •

The honor of my second trying of the house of Zoologist went to Hummingbird. This is an Extrait de Parfum that opens really strong, but also instantly clearly feminine to me.

The lilac flower is the star of the show here, giving the opening an overall floral and slightly sweet scent. Now as a guy with a balcony and strictly articial flowers in his house (partially due to my cats eating flowers, partially due to my gift to let even cactuses die within a week), I'm not able to distinguish most florals. My initial connection with Hummingbird was the smell of orchids. The second main note here is honey, but in the opening I only got the sweetness and not so much the creamy or smooth texture that sometimes comes with a honey accord. Most surprisingly, when looking at the listed notes, is that I barely got any of the fruits in the opening. Pear, apple, cherry and plum are listed, but I wouldn't say this has a fruity opening at all. It's not until the drydown, where fruits become a more prominent player, turning into a sweet pear fragrance to my nose. Whereas the first hours have a slight musky and powdery undertone, the drydown also becomes much more creamier, which I really enjoyed. Overall, this is a beautiful, smooth fragrance, but it leans overly feminine for my personal taste. Obviously everyone should be able to wear any kind of fragrance, but as long as we're using gender to label fragrances, I would be hard pressed to label this one as unisex. The drydown is more unisex to me, but the opening reminded me of female hair shampoos, however beautiful the scent may be.

Performance is good to great. It's slightly less present during the day than Zoologist's Panda was, but it opens pretty loud and as a skin scent it will last all day or into the next morning. I could highly recommend this to female readers, for the guys I'd suggest getting your hands on a sample (the discovery sets are gorgeous and Zoologist is one of the few brands that provide affordable worldwide shipping) •

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• ZOOLOGIST BEE •

Bee was the most anticipated fragrance out of the Zoologist discovery set that I acquired, and it met my expectations. This is a stunning fragrance from start to finish, albeit somewhat for an 'appreciation of the art', rather than being the perfect scent to wear.

The opening is a floral, honey accord, that's extremely natural smelling. There's a hint of orange, but only faintly. It's slightly powdery and the opening is reminiscent of pollen and flowers at a sunny dawn. It quickly becomes sweeter, as the orange and flowers fade even more and the honey really takes the lead. There's a touch of nuttiness from the heliotrope. The honey accord is sweetened by vanilla and tonka and there's a good balance of powdery and syrupy texture.

The drydown is very similar as this is a linear scent to my nose. It leans a bit feminine and the powdery quality has a classic perfume connotation. Men can definitely pull this one off though. It's a bit sweet for my taste, but this fragrance sits pretty close to the skin, so the sweetness isn't in your face all the time. Longevity seems fine, but this one isn't as strong as Zoologist's Panda or Hummingbird on my first wear. As more of a skin scent, it's gorgeous. I kept smelling it up close and everytime I'm surprised at how true to life this honey smells •

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• ZOOLOGIST DRAGONFLY •

Dragonfly has one of the weirder notes lists that I've seen, with rice and 'rain notes' topping the Fragrantica votes. It's mainly floral however, with a slightly green and almost sharp floral accord. Lotus, iris, clover, peony, cherry blossom and more are listed, but the one that pops out is the heliotrope. The heliotrope adds a nutty, almond or hazelnut touch to the bright florals. There's a hint of citrus as well. I have to say, from the first moment I smelled this, I knew what kind of fragrance it would be, and it's clearly a feminine leaning, soapy or rather, shampoo like fragrance (not unlike Hummingbird, but much lighter). Some wafts really remind me of a certain smell, but I can't put my finger on it. It's very familiar and I'm pretty sure it's something that my mother used to use, along the lines of a suntan lotion, hand moisturizer or maybe even a laundry softener. It's a bit powdery, but not overly so and it's more ozonic than aquatic in my opinion. I honestly have no idea why rice is the most voted note, because I get none of it. I guess that's why I have this username.

Dragonfly takes you on a journey. It does change up on you several times, starting sharp and green, maybe a bit aquatic/'rainy', followed by a more powdery and airy texture. The almond like heliotrope is the saving grace for my personal taste, because otherwise, despite the non-linearity, it is a feminine soapy scent in all stages. Unfortunately, I don't pick up on many of the notes that could've changed that and are in fact listed (oakmoss, musk, sandalwood & amber). It's interesting on paper and quite a ride on skin, but I can't recommend it easily to men and I prefer Hummingbird over Dragonfly for women •

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• ZOOLOGIST SQUID •

First of all...the color of that juice! This was an interesting one from Zoologist (which is pretty much a pleonasm). Putting this in the 'easy-loving' discovery set might be a bit of stretch, because it's far from conventional, although it is wearable for sure.

For me, this fragrance is clearly divided into two sides. On one hand, I get the inky, ambergris, aquatic scent. On the other hand, I get a peppery, spicey, warmer benzoin accord, that somehow almost reminds me of warm gingerbread or something in the direction of a spiced bread. The sides are tied together with smokiness from the incense and the opoponax. I feel like the aquatic or 'blue' notes are amplified by the color of the fragrance and the marketing, but it's not a typical marine aquatic scent at all. Salt is listed as the main note on Fragrantica for example, but in my opinion it's the pepper that clearly overpowers it in the composition.

I had to get used to it for a bit, but I didn't mind it at all later in the wear, although it's not for me. I think this would suit an older gentleman very well as far as the scent goes. The projection however, limits the wearability severely. It's an extrait de parfum, it's long lasting, but also projecting loudly for quite a while, which is something that this scent doesn't benefit from in my opinion •
 

gewoonBB

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2019
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• ZOOLOGIST CHAMELEON •

This might be the (more) masculine answer to Hummingbird or Dragonfly, but is it good?

Because yes, Chameleon is another sun tan lotion-esque Zoologist offering with a lot of tropical floral elements. I kind of hoped this would be a bit more different, perhaps more fruity. Up top you get some fruitiness, but I mainly get citrus and load of ylang ylang (and probably frangpani, but I have no clue what that smells like). The fruits listed are mango and star fruit, which sounds very interesting, but I wish they were more prominent and longer lasting. The effervescent (© Steven from Redolessence) quality fades away quickly and it becomes a pleasant, albeit familiar, exotic scent. I keep getting a lot of ylang ylang, florals and after a while coconut becomes one of the main players, alongside more typical aquatic touches. There's a bit of saltiness, but I never got that full 'at the beach' type vibe, because it also becomes sweeter as it dries down. That sweetness, unfortunately, feels like a generic vanilla and it doesn't add much to the experience for me. The same goes for a pretty standard sandalwood base, with some more of the musk coming through, ending up smelling a bit like mud to my nose.

Overall, I was not all that impressed with the composition and I found it less interesting on skin than it sounded on paper. Don't get me wrong, it is still a good tropical scent and I really enjoy the coconut in the middle of the wear, as well as the opening, but it lacks in certain aspects to blow me away (especially at the Zoologist pricepoint). I think Hummingbird is a more interesting take on this style, albeit a more feminine release. With the ylang ylang and some of the other florals, Chameleon is definitely not all masculine, but I feel it's perfectly unisex. Maybe this is worth it for those that really love these tropical sun tan lotion style fragrances, but for me Chameleon was middle of the road •
 

24 Faubourg

Well-known member
Aug 19, 2015
Great impressions! My favorite from the line is Moth, followed by Nightingale, Bee, and Camel, but really I love the majority of what I’ve tried from the house and own quite a few. Dragonfly will be a staple of mine this summer. I keep going back and forth on Hummingbird. Perhaps I will one day pull the trigger.
 

gewoonBB

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2019
Great impressions! My favorite from the line is Moth, followed by Nightingale, Bee, and Camel, but really I love the majority of what I’ve tried from the house. Dragonfly will be a staple of mine this summer. I keep going back and forth on Hummingbird. Perhaps I will one day pull the trigger.

I've heard great things about Moth. After I've done Nightingale, I'll get more of their 'challenging' ones. So far this has been one of my favorite houses to sample, altough some of the latter ones aren't all that great to me & Civet is the only one so far I'd consider buying. More of a try and appreciate house than something I would wear often
 

24 Faubourg

Well-known member
Aug 19, 2015
I've heard great things about Moth. After I've done Nightingale, I'll get more of their 'challenging' ones. So far this has been one of my favorite houses to sample, altough some of the latter ones aren't all that great to me & Civet is the only one so far I'd consider buying. More of a try and appreciate house than something I would wear often

I find the majority of Zoologist fragrances a lot more wearable than most, it seems! The only one I've tried that I dislike a lot and find unwerable is T-Rex, and that seems to be a fan favorite. Civet is gorgeous (really need to make this my SOTD soon!). I only smelled Chameleon briefly, but it wasn't really my kind of thing from what I remember. Will have to revisit someday.

Interestingly enough, Hummingbird and Panda are rather light (for Zoologists) on my skin, whereas Bee projects quite heavily!
 

gewoonBB

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2019
I find the majority of Zoologist fragrances a lot more wearable than most, it seems! The only one I've tried that I dislike a lot and find unwerable is T-Rex, and that seems to be a fan favorite. Civet is gorgeous (really need to make this my SOTD soon!). I only smelled Chameleon briefly, but it wasn't really my kind of thing from what I remember. Will have to revisit someday.

Interestingly enough, Hummingbird and Panda are rather light (for Zoologists) on my skin, whereas Bee projects quite heavily!

oh I agree, Hummingbird is my favorite though, but only for women. Bee is really strong, too strong for how bareboned it is actually, that's what makes it not really wearable for me. It's too much of the same smell all day long imo. I went and bought HIram Green Slowdive instead, very similar honey accord to Bee
 

24 Faubourg

Well-known member
Aug 19, 2015
oh I agree, Hummingbird is my favorite though, but only for women. Bee is really strong, too strong for how bareboned it is actually, that's what makes it not really wearable for me. It's too much of the same smell all day long imo. I went and bought HIram Green Slowdive instead, very similar honey accord to Bee

I've been considering buying Slowdive but already own (and love) Bee. Not sure if they are too similar to justify both.
 

gewoonBB

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2019
I've been considering buying Slowdive but already own (and love) Bee. Not sure if they are too similar to justify both.

hmm yeah I can see that. Imo they are very similar in essence. I personally don't think I'd need two honey centered fragrances. Then again, owning Hiram Green's is never a bad thing
 

Proust_Madeleine

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2019
I've heard great things about Moth. After I've done Nightingale, I'll get more of their 'challenging' ones. So far this has been one of my favorite houses to sample, altough some of the latter ones aren't all that great to me & Civet is the only one so far I'd consider buying. More of a try and appreciate house than something I would wear often

Hey GewoonBB-- great impressions. Civet is my only love of the ones you mentioned and I MUCH prefer their "challenging scents" --- way more interesting: Camel, Nightingale, Moth, (original) Bat, HYRAX, Rhino and, for me, ESPECIALLY T.Rex.
 

jal123

Active member
Apr 9, 2020
I have the full sample collection including the latest SLOTH. Blind bought a full bottle of camel. I find longevity on this house really top notch, and love the art work and bottle design. My humble opinion is.... SQUID,CAMEL and PANDA the best. HYRAX, the most challenging I also think HUMMINGBIRD,DRAGONFLY,and NIGHTINGALE the most feminine.
 

gewoonBB

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2019
Hey GewoonBB-- great impressions. Civet is my only love of the ones you mentioned and I MUCH prefer their "challenging scents" --- way more interesting: Camel, Nightingale, Moth, (original) Bat, HYRAX, Rhino and, for me, ESPECIALLY T.Rex.

I need to get a more challenging set though. Unfortunately it looks like the changed up their discovery sets though...they used to have easy going, connoisseur and challening (or something), but now they seem to have smaller sets and I can't get them all without spending more/getting doubles. I'll probably get the 'daring' set (Dodo, Hyrax, Moth, Rhinoceros, T-Rex) next and I guess get Camel, Sloth & Bat seperately
 

gewoonBB

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2019
I have the full sample collection including the latest SLOTH. Blind bought a full bottle of camel. I find longevity on this house really top notch, and love the art work and bottle design. My humble opinion is.... SQUID,CAMEL and PANDA the best. HYRAX, the most challenging I also think HUMMINGBIRD,DRAGONFLY,and NIGHTINGALE the most feminine.

interesting, our tastes definitely vary. I was not a fan of Squid and Panda isn't for me.
 

gewoonBB

Well-known member
Dec 6, 2019
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• ZOOLOGIST MACAQUE •

My second to last sample from my Zoologist 'easy-loving' discovery set is Macaque and it's unexpectedly one my favorites.

Macaque packs a punch in the opening, with a bright, sour, almost tart apple. It's a bit green as well, but a lively, tropical, fresh green. It's a dichotomy of juicy tropical fruit with some aquatic touches (liquid) and a earthy, hay like scent (dry). It has that damp forest vibe that I also found in Panda, but it doesn't smell like mud or wet grass to me, rather like damp flowers and fresh fruit on dry earth, at least at first. It's slightly fizzy and it made me think of hair spray at times.

The sourness from the opening goes away, but you still get a nice fruitiness, with more of a floral and tropical combination as it starts to dry down. It becomes a bit sweeter, with a honey accord. I was kind of surprised how long that juicy aspect was present in Macaque and it was kind of what I hoped Chameleon would be. The one thing I really don't seem to get, looking at the listed notes, is tea. This is supposed to have jasmine tea and green tea, but I don't get any connection to tea here. The musks definitely come forward in the drydown and it becomes a bit more woody. At that stage the dry earthiness does start to become more like (damp) soil and it's not up my alley.

Overall, this was a very pleasant surprise to me. I don't think that it's something that I would wear often, but it was interesting and unique, which is what I expect from Zoologist. Macaque might be one of my favorite greener fragrances so far. Last up from the house (out of those I currently have) is Nightingale •
 

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