Zoologist - Thoughts and Comments

Wingie

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 2, 2009
Has anyone tried the new Dragonfly? It looks like samples are now available on the Zoologist website, though bottles and travel sprays won't be available until August.

I had high hopes for the first Dragonfly but was disappointed once I tried it, so would be interested in giving it a second chance.
 

Shadowartisttxl

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2016
Has anyone tried the new Dragonfly? It looks like samples are now available on the Zoologist website, though bottles and travel sprays won't be available until August.

I had high hopes for the first Dragonfly but was disappointed once I tried it, so would be interested in giving it a second chance.

I have.
It's amazing.
It has a beautiful starchy rice note up top that reminds me of Pure White Cologne by Creed. The florals are really painterly and remind one of standing before a Claude Monet - they are bright, but fuzzy, but huge, but soft.
I would say it's one of the most niche-quality crowd pleasers from the house without at all being boring or common in it's beauty.

EDIT: I was also not a huge fan of the original, so I feel your pain there.
Also the purple juice has been swapped out for a pastel green.
 

IsoESuperman

People of Zee Wurl, Relax
Basenotes Plus
Dec 30, 2015
I'm looking forward to trying Chipmunk when samples are restocked. I like smelling different takes on nutty accords in perfume, plus there is a chipmunk that lives in my yard. Anyone care to share detailed thoughts on it?

To date my favorite from the house is Elephant. At least it's the one I've worn most, with Camel in second. I love the kind of thin/mellow woodiness in tandem with a really dialed in green accord. I'm also curious to try the revamped versions of previous releases. I wasn't a fan of the original Dodo and the new one sounds like a total rework. Every work of DSH I've tried that she had done under the direction of someone else has proved a good experience, so Snowy Owl is on the list too.
 

Wingie

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 2, 2009
I have.
It's amazing.
It has a beautiful starchy rice note up top that reminds me of Pure White Cologne by Creed. The florals are really painterly and remind one of standing before a Claude Monet - they are bright, but fuzzy, but huge, but soft.
I would say it's one of the most niche-quality crowd pleasers from the house without at all being boring or common in it's beauty.

EDIT: I was also not a huge fan of the original, so I feel your pain there.
Also the purple juice has been swapped out for a pastel green.

Thanks for your impressions! I'll definitely sample the new release.
 

Shadowartisttxl

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2016
I'm looking forward to trying Chipmunk when samples are restocked. I like smelling different takes on nutty accords in perfume, plus there is a chipmunk that lives in my yard. Anyone care to share detailed thoughts on it?

I'll try my best - throughout all I say it's important to keep in mind - I've already set aside funds for a full bottle, so take that as you will.

To me, Chipmunk is probably one of the most evolving perfumes from Zoologist. It has 3-4 distinct stages for me.
The first one is relatively quick - you get a strong smell of hazelnut dusted with cardamom (smells like the same cardamom from Musk Deer) and nutmeg. There's also a very faint citrus note in the background here, but it's fairly challenging to make out any distinctiveness. The amyris comes through fairly strong at this point as well, with its gingery/peppery/vanillic overtones. This part on my skin lasts about 15-20 minutes.
Once most of the spices settle down, you are officially into the second stage of this perfume, which gets a tad more earthy and woody, while the quiet sweetness of the hazelnuts is now accentuated by warm benzoin and dry opoponax. Some of the herbal elements come through at this stage as well, like chamomile and a more tea-like Guaiac wood without ever straying too far from the very rich, autumnal character that the fragrance leads with. Imagine this is the more butch version of something like Dusita's Issara (although the two are really not very similar at all.) It's almost like an herbal/earthy powderiness hangs about at this stage.
This carries on for quite some time before drying down to a really rich assortment of vanillic, smoky, chewy resins supporting the initial hazelnut note. The nutmeg joins with a vague cedar note here to create a creamy woody-spicy base to contrast with these sweeter resinous notes to keep them from becoming full-on gourmand.

Overall I would put this alongside Camel and Bee as being one of the sweeter autumnal/winter fragrances from the house, although it never gets as sweet as Bee, and is a lot more playful than Camel.

Hope this helps!
 

Anamandy

Well-known member
Dec 27, 2018
Excellent quality house using top notch materials. I love some of their fragrances. Favorites are Hummingbird, Bee, Dragonfly, and Panda.
 
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jkonick

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2019
Thanks to Shadowartisttxl I am now the proud owner of Zoologist’s entire current lineup in sample form. Looking forward to working through them and posting my thoughts - any suggestions of where to start first? Here’s what I’ve smelled so far:

Dragonfly - Wearing this today, and I like it for what it is even if it’s not quite my style. Light citrusy florals with a kind of bright designer-ish feminine vibe. The rice note is clearly evident and makes it different from a more typical designer floral with steamy and nutty undertones.

Snowy Owl - Sadly I didn’t like this at all, at least not until the dry down. The opening had a really strongly synthetic note that reminds me of Sixteen92’s house DNA. I’m glad this doesn’t seem to be popping up elsewhere. S92 refers to it as a fresh-baked bread note, but here I think it’s supposed to be snow. Maybe it’s just my nose, because to me it’s a big glaring chemical standing right in the middle of an otherwise nice floral composition. I will say after about 4-5 hours into the deep dry down, the chemical fog lifted and I was left with a very nice cyclamen-white musk type skin scent.

Dodo - Celery and jalapeño fougere! Seriously, this has a very distinct and bitter herbal/vegetal note that is amplified by the medicinal lavender. I wore this to a baseball game last night and it melded perfectly with the scent of my hot dog. Starts acting like a bit more of a traditional green fougere after an hour or two. I like that it leans toward the medicinal/herbal/green side of fougere, rather than the warm, sweet vanillic side, which often comes off as cloying and powdery to me.
 

jkonick

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2019
Tried Koala yesterday and I think it may be my favorite so far. Very green with a nice eucalyptus note that gestures toward cough drops without actually smelling like one. Actually, the most prominent accord I get from this is Morningstar Pine incense:

9F673E3B-28D8-4447-801E-6895317514B2.jpg

If you’ve ever smelled it, this is the exact same scent profile. Sweet, resinous, super-green and woody with a bit of unlit incense. A very nice green scent built around eucalyptus and woods and a departure from the more to-be-expected citrus or floral notes. I would also say the ingredients and blending in this one are the best so far, very relieved to have not encountered the cloying rice/bread/pastry note in Snowy Owl and, to a lesser degree, Dragonfly.
 

jkonick

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2019
TrIed two more: Hyrax and Bat

Bat - I wish I’d gotten a chance to try the original formulation that I’ve heard so much about, but the newer version is quite nice as well. Fruity in a kind of overripe banana and papaya kind of way, an interesting fruit accord that is more creamy and funky than bright or juicy. The funk is definitely amplified by the animalic and earthy base notes, and the overripe fruit combined with the animalic notes works really well.

Hyrax - I think this is hands down my favorite so far, and it’ll be hard to top. This is the only one that has an actual animal ingredient I believe (hyraceum) and the quality of the blend just seems a cut above some of the other ones. This could very well have been called Leather Oud, in that it has the funkiness and rich, warm texture of those ingredients, but also a - let’s be frank here, it is poop after all - extremely dirty, funky, but entrancingly alluring smell. Very powerful as well! Reminds me a lot of Le Labo Oud 27 or Montale Aoud Cuir d’Arabie. It has the same cheesy animal funk. That said, I wouldn’t buy a bottle - it’s a bit too much for me and I don’t know when/where I’d wear it. But the sample is so powerful and the opportunities to wear it so rare, my 1.5 ml will probably be perfectly fine.
 

LinePlaneVolume

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
TrIed two more: Hyrax and Bat

Bat - I wish I’d gotten a chance to try the original formulation that I’ve heard so much about, but the newer version is quite nice as well. Fruity in a kind of overripe banana and papaya kind of way, an interesting fruit accord that is more creamy and funky than bright or juicy. The funk is definitely amplified by the animalic and earthy base notes, and the overripe fruit combined with the animalic notes works really well.

Hyrax - I think this is hands down my favorite so far, and it’ll be hard to top. This is the only one that has an actual animal ingredient I believe (hyraceum) and the quality of the blend just seems a cut above some of the other ones. This could very well have been called Leather Oud, in that it has the funkiness and rich, warm texture of those ingredients, but also a - let’s be frank here, it is poop after all - extremely dirty, funky, but entrancingly alluring smell. Very powerful as well! Reminds me a lot of Le Labo Oud 27 or Montale Aoud Cuir d’Arabie. It has the same cheesy animal funk. That said, I wouldn’t buy a bottle - it’s a bit too much for me and I don’t know when/where I’d wear it. But the sample is so powerful and the opportunities to wear it so rare, my 1.5 ml will probably be perfectly fine.

You may know this already, but you can still get the original Bat formulation through Olympic Orchids. Ellen Covey (the owner and perfumer of Olympic Orchids) created the original formulation for Zoologist and when it was reformulated she started producing it as "Night Flyer" for her own brand. Funny enough, Olympic Orchids has a 20% off coupon (ELEVEN20) that ends today, if you want to try it out. And, you'd be supporting a local (to Seattle) artisan. ;)
 

jkonick

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2019
You may know this already, but you can still get the original Bat formulation through Olympic Orchids. Ellen Covey (the owner and perfumer of Olympic Orchids) created the original formulation for Zoologist and when it was reformulated she started producing it as "Night Flyer" for her own brand. Funny enough, Olympic Orchids has a 20% off coupon (ELEVEN20) that ends today, if you want to try it out. And, you'd be supporting a local (to Seattle) artisan. ;)

Oh thanks, I did not know that! And always nice to support a fellow Seattllite!
 

Oud Dude

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jun 22, 2018
Hyrax - I think this is hands down my favorite so far, and it’ll be hard to top. This is the only one that has an actual animal ingredient I believe (hyraceum) and the quality of the blend just seems a cut above some of the other ones. This could very well have been called Leather Oud, in that it has the funkiness and rich, warm texture of those ingredients, but also a - let’s be frank here, it is poop after all - extremely dirty, funky, but entrancingly alluring smell. Very powerful as well! Reminds me a lot of Le Labo Oud 27 or Montale Aoud Cuir d’Arabie. It has the same cheesy animal funk. That said, I wouldn’t buy a bottle - it’s a bit too much for me and I don’t know when/where I’d wear it. But the sample is so powerful and the opportunities to wear it so rare, my 1.5 ml will probably be perfectly fine.

Hyrax is such a sleeper but of course we know why... it's an over-the-top funk machine however once you acclimate to the animalic onslaught it becomes quite clear how beautiful a perfume and blend it really is. One of the better releases in the line for sure. I own a travel spray and that'll do me for life. Glad to have it!
 

jkonick

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2019
Latest two samples:

Squid - I was expecting this to be more fresh and aquatic based on the color of the juice, but it’s much more resinous and incense-forward, with a kind of purplish-black inky ocean-depths feel to it. 500daysofsemmler’s remark in their review about the “dark blue resins” is pretty spot on. This was less weird than I was expecting, and I’m not sure I would’ve made the squid connection if I didn’t know the name - somehow I don’t associate incense with a substance that would render it unusable but I can see how there is a certain distinct impression it’s supposed to leave.

Beaver - This is another favorite so far. Much cleaner than I was expecting with the floral and white musk opening. You can tell there’s something dirty underneath though, and the leather/castoreum does come out after a while. In a way it reminds me of Fahrenheit with its clean florals and dirty leather/musk. A less appealing but apt comparison would be to a daycare diaper room - clean white laundry musk over something slightly poopy. It’s definitely original though, and the ingredients are high quality and don’t seem synthetic even as it also has a clearly synthetic “fresh air” accord. Some of the others I’ve tried have had a nagging note that takes me out of the scene because it’s too glaringly synthetic, but that’s not a problem here.
 

jkonick

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2019
Tried a couple more:

Panda - Sharp, green, a little bitter, a little warm - a kind of non-descript greenness that just didn’t really wow me. It feels like it contains similar things to other fragrances but maybe a bit less developed. I usually like green fragrances a lot, but I’m finding that Zoologist’s fresher fragrances aren’t always my style.

Macaque Yuzu Edition - I really love the opening of this, with bitter but juicy citrus and juniper berries, coming together for a nice citrus-pine accord. The opening is very coniferous, more than I expected, and the citrus is brisk and refreshing. After about 15-20 minutes the exciting opening seems to settle down into something more pedestrian with green notes and white musk. Not bad, just not as exciting as the opening. I ended up just spraying my hand every 20 minutes to get a new burst of the top notes rather than spraying all over for a “full” wearing.
 

Shadowartisttxl

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2016
Loving hearing your thoughts, jkonick!
Maybe try giving Macaque another wearing closer to fall - the yuzu note hangs around longer and marries with the sandalwood to create a really beautiful aged sandlewood accord, where it's sour, dry and creamy all at once.
Thanks again for the thoughts, jkonick!
 

jkonick

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2019
Loving hearing your thoughts, jkonick!
Maybe try giving Macaque another wearing closer to fall - the yuzu note hangs around longer and marries with the sandalwood to create a really beautiful aged sandlewood accord, where it's sour, dry and creamy all at once.
Thanks again for the thoughts, jkonick!

Thanks, it’s been fun going through these! I’ll have to give macaque another go in cooler weather - Seattle is currently 80 and uncharacteristically humid so I can see how the musk might overpower the sandalwood base or otherwise render it more powdery.
 

mikeperez23

Be Here. Now.
Basenotes Plus
Dec 31, 2006
TrIed two more: Hyrax and Bat

Bat - I wish I’d gotten a chance to try the original formulation that I’ve heard so much about, but the newer version is quite nice as well. Fruity in a kind of overripe banana and papaya kind of way, an interesting fruit accord that is more creamy and funky than bright or juicy. The funk is definitely amplified by the animalic and earthy base notes, and the overripe fruit combined with the animalic notes works really well.

Hyrax - I think this is hands down my favorite so far, and it’ll be hard to top. This is the only one that has an actual animal ingredient I believe (hyraceum) and the quality of the blend just seems a cut above some of the other ones. This could very well have been called Leather Oud, in that it has the funkiness and rich, warm texture of those ingredients, but also a - let’s be frank here, it is poop after all - extremely dirty, funky, but entrancingly alluring smell. Very powerful as well! Reminds me a lot of Le Labo Oud 27 or Montale Aoud Cuir d’Arabie. It has the same cheesy animal funk. That said, I wouldn’t buy a bottle - it’s a bit too much for me and I don’t know when/where I’d wear it. But the sample is so powerful and the opportunities to wear it so rare, my 1.5 ml will probably be perfectly fine.

Two of my favorites. Although I prefer the original Bat.
 

jkonick

Well-known member
Feb 16, 2019
Had to take a bit of a breather to clear my palate, but I’m back with some more samples!

Musk Deer - Wow! This is one of my favorites so far, partly because it’s a medicinal and dry woody scent, which I love, and also because the blend and quality of ingredients strike me as among the best from the house (so far). This has a slightly dark and sweet (but not cloying - just a hint) element from the rose and cardamom, balanced with some really nice dry, medicinal woods and, of course, musk. This almost reminds me of something from one of those fancy artisanal oud houses like ALD or Ensar - it has the same richness of ingredients and lets them shine.

Civet - A very nice, grand, classic feeling chypre. Not my style per se, but good at what it does. Reminds me of some things I’ve sampled from Rogue, but over all this is a style I recognize but am not that familiar with/interested in. Really good for what it is though, very complex blend, and like Musk Deer, the animalic element is supporting but not overpowering.

Rhinoceros - Oooh, this is in my top three now with Hyrax and Musk Deer. It reminds me a bit of Hyrax, with the animalic leather and oud vibe, but this also has a kind of smoky tea/tobacco that’s really nice. Smells like a room full of tobacco leaves at various stages of curing - some green and fresh, others a dank and musty brown. The overall effect calls to mind Yerba mate. Up close I get an animal cage full of smoky dried grass, and from afar I get whiffs of something more sharp and woodsy/leathery, but not as animalic. This seems like a more wearable version of some of the things I like about Hyrax, with a kaleidoscope of tobacco leaves added to it. Reminds me of Byredo Mixed Emotions without the astringent fruit, or Frassai Cuir Pampas, both of which contain Yerba mate as a note, but neither of which are as funky-animalic as this.
 

Paddington

Well-known member
Jun 17, 2021
am i the only one who thinks that zoologist being "challenging" is vastly overstated... moving on I quite enjoyed sloth from the ones I've tried so far , seahorse was very boring to me when I tried it
 

LinePlaneVolume

Well-known member
May 31, 2020
I'm very curious about Camel, it sounds like something I'd love. What are the opinions on that one?
Camel is a soft, dried-fruit, ambery composition that shies away from the more spice-bazaar (cumin) angle that one might assume would be a player here. I don't find it animalic or dirty, with the sweetness of the dried-fruit accord being prominent and just at the borderline of being overly sweet. To me, it's somewhat novel in the category amongst what I'm familiar with, and I do enjoy it for colder nights.

It fits into a niche-y sweet spot for me along with Papillon's Anubis and Fort & Manle's 40 Thieves. Anubis is on the austere end of the spectrum, 40 Thieves falls into the middle ground, and Camel is on the more playful end. I enjoy all of them quite a bit, but would rank them Anubis -> 40 Thieves -> Camel.
 
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Oct 12, 2021
Camel is a soft, dried-fruit, ambery composition that shies away from the more spice-bazaar (cumin) angle that one might assume would be a player here. I don't find it animalic or dirty, with the sweetness of the dried-fruit accord being prominent and just at the borderline of being overly sweet. To me, it's somewhat novel in the category amongst what I'm familiar with, and I do enjoy it for colder nights.

It fits into a niche-y sweet spot for me along with Papillon's Anubis and Fort & Manle's 40 Thieves. Anubis is on the austere end of the spectrum, 40 Thieves falls into the middle ground, and Camel is on the more playful end. I enjoy all of them quite a bit, but would rank them Anubis -> 40 Thieves -> Camel.
Thanks for taking the time to write this down, I appreciate it! You just saved me some money, I was looking at something animalic to add to the collection, seems this is not it
 

Shadowartisttxl

Well-known member
Mar 25, 2016
am i the only one who thinks that zoologist being "challenging" is vastly overstated... moving on I quite enjoyed sloth from the ones I've tried so far , seahorse was very boring to me when I tried it
Well, it depends I guess.
I think OG Bat, both version of Beaver, OG Dodo, Hyrax, OG Rhino and T-rex are all pretty challenging in their own ways.
Victor talks about how some of his earlier scents he did away with because he was displeased with them, and some of those were challenging in different ways, but overall I think it's around a third of their scents that are challenging to me particularly.
 

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