Zoologist - Thoughts and Comments

FlashingBlade

Well-known member
Sep 21, 2012
I've yet to try anything from Zoologist and was wondering a) what people thought of the house (gimmick or quality etc) and b) stand outs from the range?

Reading some of the descriptions and notes I'd consider some of them to be a little hard to wear but I appreciate the notes never really convey a full feel for the fragrance itself.
 

rynegne

Well-known member
Jul 25, 2012
I can see why people might find the brand gimmicky, however, I don't think the fragrances themselves are. I really enjoy Rhinoceros, it's a nice birchy leather fragrance.
 

mitchmurr62

Active member
Jun 8, 2018
Gimmicky but worthy of checking out. Sometimes gimmicky is necessary to break thru. Sometimes it just adds an element of fun. They certainly aren't the only niche fragrance being cute or interesting with their names (ie Imaginary Authors, for one). Don't pre-judge the fragrances by their animal names. Read reviews and notes on Fragrantica and elsewhere and try some. I like some (Camel, Beaver, Elephant) while others not so much (Bat, Rhino). Enjoy!
 

Scarce

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
Excellent house. First rate in all respects.

Creativity is paramount, so there are no boring scents in this line. Some are just flat-out brilliant, and some don't work for me, although "interesting".

People who think this brand is "gimmicky" probably don't know their ass from a hole in the ground as regards perfume anyway.
 

Oud Dude

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jun 22, 2018
Well, I have everything they've ever released so I guess I voted with my dollars... In my opinion, it's just an amazing house on every level and I really admire what Victor has accomplished in such a short amount of time. The way I understand it, he was combining two of his favorite hobbies with the branding of Zoologist; before he became deeply involved in collecting fragrances he was collecting animal figurines so putting the two together was a natural fit- not a gimmick that was hatched in some board room.

As far as the juice goes... well, everything they have released is of the utmost quality in terms of materials, construction, performance, etc. Whether or not an individual likes the end result is as subjective as any other house. Imo, some of the scents are stunningly beautiful while some are arresting and challenging. All are balanced and well-blended. Nothing coming out of there is by rote and the perfumers he has hired are all pretty renown for their creativity and technical excellence.

Some of favorites are Elephant, Civet, T-Rex, Rhino and Macaque. Viva Zoologist!
 

sobejjj

Well-known member
May 25, 2016
Sure some can view it as gimmicky, but I personally like a clear idea or a theme for perfume brands, too each his own. However, no one can reasonably deny that they have some great fragrances made by great perfumers. And a broad range so everyone can find something for themselves. My favourite are Rhinoceros, Bat, Hummingbird and Moth.
 

Buysblind

Well-known member
Jan 21, 2011
Not gimmicky at all, despite what one may think initially regarding the house's aesthetic. Their animal inspired fragrances and bottles are all very tastefully and well done.

They're for the niche fans, of course, but I think there's something for everyone within their increasingly large catalog. Their scents are generally creative, slightly daring, but ultimately pleasant for the most part.

Though I don't particularly wear anything from the house as my style doesn't always align, they're good for the niche industry and deserve to be thought of as a serious house.
 

CordonBeige

Well-known member
Oct 20, 2017
I liked Camel and Bat, but the line in general isn't my thing. I'd be interested in seeing what they could do maybe with an apex predators line.
 

CordonBeige

Well-known member
Oct 20, 2017
I smelled T-Rex today and beast isn't the word... it was a monster of an animalic opening. It's like a movie where all the main characters get killed in the intro and you spend the rest of the movie figuring out why. That's more what I was thinking as far as an aggressive scent apex predator line... but when push came to shove... I couldn't deal with it.
 

Buzzlepuff

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 27, 2005
What other perfume brand has introduced three pretty good fragrances so far this year - 2018 - Hyrax, Moth and Tyrannosaurus Rex!?? Zoologist is doing great work in my opinion. There are going to be preferences, but all of the fragrances I have tried consistently of good quality. Of course some I don't like - but on balance it is probably the better new fragrance brands there is. Bottles and artwork are great. Nice mix of artisanal perfumers who are doing the perfume work - some of the best new talent in perfumery! My preferences are: Nightingale, Rhinoceros, Macaque, Elephant, Moth, T-Rex and Camel.
 

Scarce

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
What other perfume brand has introduced three pretty good fragrances so far this year - 2018 - Hyrax, Moth and Tyrannosaurus Rex!?? Zoologist is doing great work in my opinion. There are going to be preferences, but all of the fragrances I have tried consistently of good quality. Of course some I don't like - but on balance it is probably the better new fragrance brands there is. Bottles and artwork are great. Nice mix of artisanal perfumers who are doing the perfume work - some of the best new talent in perfumery! My preferences are: Nightingale, Rhinoceros, Macaque, Elephant, Moth, T-Rex and Camel.

Agreed.

Amazing what can be done when commercial calculations don't stomp all over the creative aspects, for a change.

giphy.gif
 

Shadowartisttxl

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2016
Conceptual art doesn't equal gimmicky art.
Zoologist is a conceptual driven brand, just as a vast majority of perfumes are conceptually driven - Mitsouko for example isn't a story to accompany the smell, it's a concept that the smell is a part of - Zoologist isn't worse off for unifying this series of concepts under a totalizing concept.
Zoologist has a great variety of fragrances, and I can't imagine folks smelling through the line and actually thinking the quality and composition isn't there.
Civet, Nightingale, Hummingbird, Beaver, and Bat are without a doubt masterpieces whose character is rarely seen or heard outside of the brand.
God bless Victor and his lovely brand.
I bought T-Rex blindly minutes after it was available to pre-order on luckyscent, as Antonio is one of the greatest perfumers alive today in my estimation, and Victor as a CD has been consistently amazing with the variety, quality, and thoughtful releases.
I don't quite think it's fair to judge the brand just because Victor is exceptional at marketing. :p
 

grayspoole

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Feb 4, 2014
In my opinion, Zoologist Perfumes is one of the best niche brands around, with respect to creativity, quality, and value. I appreciate how Victor Wong curates the line while creating a platform for showcasing the work of talented indie perfumers (Shelley Waddington, Antonio Gardoni, Ellen Covey, Tomoo Inaba, et. al.). The compositions are sophisticated and seem to rely on the intelligent use of up to date aromachemicals and naturals. The concepts and execution are always interesting and unusual, and none of them seem to contain large, unmodified glugs of ambroxan, Iso E Super, Timbersilk, et. al. Some time ago, I rambled on (and on) about Rhinoceros here:

http://fragrancedaily.com/warm-leatherette/

I feel that Zoologist perfumers are allowed to design compositions that are not brutally “value engineered” down to lowest possible cost per kilo. The perfumes do not feel watered down, and they wear with the longevity and sillage of vintage perfumes.

All that said, this vintage geek is still looking for the Zoologist composition that really feels like “me.” I have tested everything so far except Moth, Elephant, Hyrax, and T. Rex, and I have samples of the last two on their way. Civet comes pretty close.
 

Scarce

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
In my opinion, Zoologist Perfumes is one of the best niche brands around, with respect to creativity, quality, and value. I appreciate how Victor Wong curates the line while creating a platform for showcasing the work of talented indie perfumers (Shelley Waddington, Antonio Gardoni, Ellen Covey, Tomoo Inaba, et. al.). The compositions are sophisticated and seem to rely on the intelligent use of up to date aromachemicals and naturals. The concepts and execution are always interesting and unusual, and none of them seem to contain large, unmodified glugs of ambroxan, Iso E Super, Timbersilk, et. al. Some time ago, I rambled on (and on) about Rhinoceros here:

http://fragrancedaily.com/warm-leatherette/

I feel that Zoologist perfumers are allowed to design compositions that are not brutally “value engineered” down to lowest possible cost per kilo. The perfumes do not feel watered down, and they wear with the longevity and sillage of vintage perfumes.

All that said, this vintage geek is still looking for the Zoologist composition that really feels like “me.” I have tested everything so far except Moth, Elephant, Hyrax, and T. Rex, and I have samples of the last two on their way. Civet comes pretty close.

Well stated.

I'm very much in the same boat, too. I admire the brand and what they're attempting to do, establishing their own little niche of creative quality in a sea of overpriced mediocrity. But I have yet to find something I'd want a full bottle of, something that speaks to me.
 

DEdestroyer77

Well-known member
Feb 25, 2017
From my sampling they make quality scents and it can be detected. I've sampled about half of them and while they weren't for me they are well crafted. I did like Camel and will revisit it sooner or later
 

Diamondflame

Frag Bomber 1st Squadron
Basenotes Plus
Jun 28, 2009
I'm very much in the same boat, too. I admire the brand and what they're attempting to do, establishing their own little niche of creative quality in a sea of overpriced mediocrity. But I have yet to find something I'd want a full bottle of, something that speaks to me.

Isn’t this the primary reason many of us have such oversized wardrobes? That endless search for personal holy grails. But I know where you’re coming from. I too am looking for my first Zoologist full bottle as I’ve come to appreciate their artistry and point of view. I fear I’m in danger of becoming a collector.
 

Tonyprince

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2007
I've sampled the entire line and I'm of the opinion that Zoologist is doing a great job. I love their concept and the look of the bottles. I also think the perfumes are consistently interesting, although the only full bottle I have at this point is Rhinoceros. I have a sample of T-Rex on right now. The opening is extremely aggressive, and to me unpleasant. It has since toned down a bit into a strange smell. I read that the perfumer started off thinking about plastic dinosaur toys from his childhood as an inspiration and then scrapped that idea. However, from what I'm smelling I suspect that isn't entirely true. It smells to me like those toys smelled if they came to life. There's definitely an animalic aspect in there but also like that really hard plastic they used to make those toys with. There's also some cade in there which gives a slight suggestion of Jeke, which Is a perfume I much prefer to this one. I guess it's conceptually interesting, and I can respect it but I'm not finding it particularly appealing as a perfume, especially in its first 30 mins. Two Zoologists that I'm currently considering as maybe FBW for me are Camel and Moth. Camel appealed to me immediately, but Moth is growing on me. I also return to Civet every once in a while.
 

thebeck

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2007
Wait ‘til you smell it! It’s bombastic fightin’ juice yet really well balanced and very interesting throughout it’s entire development. I love it.

T Rex is very nice. One spray - Two tops. Spray at least 30 minutes before you leave your house, otherwise you'll be knocking people down.
 

L'Aventurier

Well-known member
May 8, 2008
I like this line, and admire what they are releasing - very unique fragrances, all by different and talented perfumers. What I have tried so far (Bat, Hummingbird and Rhino) have been fun and refreshing, but ultimately not purchase-worthy. I find their catalog of scents a bit exhausting and wish they had released far less fragrances and focused on quality over quantity.
 

tinfoilhat

Member
Aug 30, 2018
Only creation I've sampled is Civet and it was just this week. Out of the 15 samples I received it is on the top of the to buy list. The bottle size and price point is really nice for niche imho. Looks like everything they've made got a mention in this thread which makes me think I'm going to need to sample everything,happily.
 

Scarce

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
Only creation I've sampled is Civet and it was just this week. Out of the 15 samples I received it is on the top of the to buy list. The bottle size and price point is really nice for niche imho. Looks like everything they've made got a mention in this thread which makes me think I'm going to need to sample everything ,happily.

I agree, Civet is very good. I think some people have the mistaken idea that it's some kind of animalic monster though when it's anything but. What civet (civetone) there is in it is very subdued, but conceptually and what is produced is very strong. A ton of notes which seem to come and go throughout. First-rate execution by the perfumer Shelley Waddington, someone whose work I'm not familiar with. She also did Hummingbird.
 

U2u

Well-known member
Jul 26, 2014
I like this line, and admire what they are releasing - very unique fragrances, all by different and talented perfumers. What I have tried so far (Bat, Hummingbird and Rhino) have been fun and refreshing, but ultimately not purchase-worthy. I find their catalog of scents a bit exhausting and wish they had released far less fragrances and focused on quality over quantity.
I am a big fan of Zoologist and own many of their scents. Love the pace of new releases at some three a year - always something to look forward to and at price points my wallet can survive. There are 14 scents plus 2 reformulations over about five years as I understand it. Hope you find the opportunity to try more than three of the product line. They aren't mainstream and it is possible none may be to your tastes. I would not be able to subscribe to the notion of Victor focusing on quantity over quality. His entire business model and product line speaks to the opposite. 2018 was a brilliant year with Moth, Hyrax, and T-Rex. Waiting impatiently for 2019 and Chameleon...
 

surge

Well-known member
Nov 25, 2010
I got T-Rex from the lucky scent sample pack...It's probably the worst one of the bunch.
Normally I don't like the fact that lucky scent doesn't send samples in spray vials but in dabber vials, but with this one, it actually makes a lot of sense.
Just my personal opinion, but it smells like the back of my grandmother's car after she has dropped all of her friends off from Bingo.
Just an incense and cigarette smoke bomb...
Add some depends and fart notes to complete the aroma, lol, maybe some coffee and donut burps as well.
Not something I would ever wear in a million years.
I do think the house has some nice ideas and presentations though, but at the end of the day, I really don't care what the bottles or labels look like, I care about what the juice smells like...and this one in particular is pretty offensive to me :O
 

MrPod

Well-known member
Jan 10, 2018
T-Rex really needs a little time. Yes, the first hour or so is very strong, and may be too much for some people, but it develops beautifully and calms down considerably.
Antonio Gardoni creates great movement in his perfumes, and while I don't think this is as good as MEM or MAAI, it's certainly my favourite from Zoologist.
Civet is great too,
 

surge

Well-known member
Nov 25, 2010
T-Rex really needs a little time. Yes, the first hour or so is very strong, and may be too much for some people, but it develops beautifully and calms down considerably.
Antonio Gardoni creates great movement in his perfumes, and while I don't think this is as good as MEM or MAAI, it's certainly my favourite from Zoologist.
Civet is great too,

You know, I suppose it's better than the litany of watered down scents that go for hundreds of dollars yet barely last an hour (cough BY KILIAN cough cough) :p
 

Bangkok Hound

User of Toilet Water
Basenotes Plus
Nov 4, 2015
Just my personal opinion, but it smells like the back of my grandmother's car after she has dropped all of her friends off from Bingo.
Just an incense and cigarette smoke bomb...
Add some depends and fart notes to complete the aroma, lol, maybe some coffee and donut burps as well.

I think you've convinced me to blind buy T-Rex!!!
 

Scarce

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
I got T-Rex from the lucky scent sample pack...It's probably the worst one of the bunch.
Normally I don't like the fact that lucky scent doesn't send samples in spray vials but in dabber vials, but with this one, it actually makes a lot of sense.
Just my personal opinion, but it smells like the back of my grandmother's car after she has dropped all of her friends off from Bingo.
Just an incense and cigarette smoke bomb...
Add some depends and fart notes to complete the aroma, lol, maybe some coffee and donut burps as well.
Not something I would ever wear in a million years.

The sort of "review" I'd expect to see at that other site, not here at Basenotes.

signed,
A. Fragrance Snob
 

HouseOfPhlegethon

be huffin' parfums
Basenotes Plus
Jan 3, 2017
Wow! How did I miss this thread [she asked herself out loud]? Zoologist is probably my favorite house. I have nearly all them - 3 to go. I've been collecting the travel sized bottles, as they'll last a long time for my needs. The only one that I'd give three stars to is Beaver. I love L♥ve them all. The creativity, bold use of numerous notes, and their longevity is mightily impressive. I can hardly wait, for another new, crazy 'fume to be released.
 

Scarce

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2014
Wow! How did I miss this thread [she asked herself out loud]? Zoologist is probably my favorite house. I have nearly all them - 3 to go. I've been collecting the travel sized bottles, as they'll last a long time for my needs. The only one that I'd give three stars to is Beaver. I love L♥ve them all. The creativity, bold use of numerous notes, and their longevity is mightily impressive. I can hardly wait, for another new, crazy 'fume to be released.

I much preferred the original version of Beaver, but I may be in the minority on that. The current version is more floral, less smoky/ashy, and also less animalic, which strikes me as weird, considering the name. It's good, just a lot more conventional that one would expect from this brand.

I'll be interested to check out Chameleon when it's released in a few weeks.

48945353_10155597483726256_8545504460992937984_o.jpg
 

U2u

Well-known member
Jul 26, 2014
Zoologist DODO A Peculiar Fougere was posted on Instagram yesterday.
Perfumer: Joseph DeLapp
Billed as "The ideal fougere for those with an eclectic sensibility who crave a life of leisure and contentment".
Fern, Lime, Lychee, Raspberry
Ambergris, Fir Balsam, Geranium, Rose
Amber, Feathery Musk, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Sandalwood
Attractive artwork and presentation in keeping with the rest of the line.
 

LiveJazz

Funky fresh
Basenotes Plus
Mar 16, 2006
T Rex is a complete blockbuster, absolutely outstanding. It's an fascinating olfactory rendition of complete devastation; the Armageddon. One of the blogs has a review along these lines, and I thought it was hyperbole, but no, it's high fragrant art. The best way I can describe the effect is "incinerated dirt and rock". I've never been to a volcano, but I imagine it must smell something like this when one goes off and destroys everything around it, and the ash is falling.

The only other I've sniffed is Civet. It was OK, a little thick and jammy, and not really all that civetty to my nose. I should give it another go. It may have been too warm when I last tried it.

Really want to try Beaver, Bat and Hyrax. And Rhino and Elephant. I have a sample of Panda. It was a freebie and didn't seem as exciting, and but based on T-Rex alone, my expectations are high, and I'd like to sample them all, really.
 

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