Zoologist - Thoughts and Comments

Dec 16, 2018
Cow:
Ah, t’is a fourgere in first 10-15 minutes of ACs delivering a brisk, zingy, refreshening accord that begins sage/apple, and then it keeps on amping up the volume until it burns green. Later, it borders on smelling like a green-apple shampoo. The milky accord… hmm, if they have used sulfurol here, I wish they had made it more tangible than an afterthought. Don't care for either apple-shampoo or a sage-fourgere, and that’s my cow with this perfume.

Sacred Scarab:
Begins with a lemony incense, it is a chypre with retro 60-70s tone and mid notes are honeyed incense with a blast of juniper. It's progression from middle to dry down would be familiar to anyone who has used attars. So, this retro thing I’m referring to, you can access it in Grossmith perfumes like Shem-el-Nessim, Hasu-no-Hana. The dry down is a pleasant green-incense-woods.
There was a blurb about Kyphi-incense. This feels like a chypre centered around a kyphi-accord. Kyphi (Kapet~ means incense) was not just simply frankincense/myrrh, rather it was a pretty complicated formula for which there are recipes in Papyrus Egyptian archives. What is common to them all are these ingredients: mastic, pine resin, mint, sweet flag, cinnamon, camel grass, frankincense, wine and honey.

Now, do I like it—the incense/juniper scent is unusual—and no I don’t.
That mid-tier retro vibe kills my mood. A friend of mine found it ‘sensual’ and used the s-word; I was left wondering if I was lacking a sensuality gene.


Seaahorse:
Imagine the scent; musky, hay-seaweed (straw hay+ marine— hah), and that dusty aftertaste in fennel/clary sage. The musk is very much ambrette. Uff, the first 10 minutes is a weird, marine-ozonic, vegetal, musky left hook to the senses. Like a horse in a marine environment… of course, seahorse! This is just too funny, what a sense of humor. This smell which has so many facets of ocean/algae/seaweed is not unpleasant, but it is so vegetal-oceanic—not talking about beach scent, I'm talking sitting in the middle of an algae bloom, with coral reef underneath. This is cracking me up like Moth’s deliciously hilarious bug-spray-perfumed accord. Overall, it reminds me of Missoni’s Aqua, but this is a brighter, chirpier perfume.
God, can you wear it? I’m not so sure. If you can handle the first 15 minutes, the dry down is a quiet salty-skin scent.
 
Last edited:
Dec 16, 2018

TYRANNOSAURUS REX:

I don’t particularly care for leather scents, and that must be the reason I didn’t get to it but Victor sent me a sample, so here it is—fuff, out of the bottle, it has you. To say it is leathery… hmm. It is as if one’s nose is an inch from a heaving, warm-bodied animal skin and even if it is too much, t’s not bad. This phase doesn’t last long, I don’t like the vegetal effect of this musk in the middle but it is the dry-down you’re after—and what a glorious thing it is, it reminds of Mystere and somewhat Tribute’s dry-down. Just imagine a dinosaur-predator’s reptilian gaze, now make it sensual… yeah... that’s about right.

COCKATIEL:

Fruity-floral and bubbly rich, that is the beginning-- a fuzzy but pleasant sensation. The predominant scent in the middle is mimosa, powdery, balsamic, yellow-gold. The base is vanilla and woods but even this early they provide a backdrop. There is a warm (synthetic, medicinal ~ vanilla aftertaste) note that run through like a weaving thread. This is a gourmand with a capital G and it’s all about mimosa and vanilla. And it stays very close to skin.

I don’t know if Victor/perfumers are doing it deliberately or it is just turning out to be so, most of these scents stay close to the skin. One has to be in another’s personal space to fully smell them.

 

Proust_Madeleine

Basenotes Dependent
Apr 5, 2019

TYRANNOSAURUS REX:

I don’t particularly care for leather scents, and that must be the reason I didn’t get to it but Victor sent me a sample, so here it is—fuff, out of the bottle, it has you. To say it is leathery… hmm. It is as if one’s nose is an inch from a heaving, warm-bodied animal skin and even if it is too much, t’s not bad. This phase doesn’t last long, I don’t like the vegetal effect of this musk in the middle but it is the dry-down you’re after—and what a glorious thing it is, it reminds of Mystere and somewhat Tribute’s dry-down. Just imagine a dinosaur-predator’s reptilian gaze, now make it sensual… yeah... that’s about right.

COCKATIEL:

Fruity-floral and bubbly rich, that is the beginning-- a fuzzy but pleasant sensation. The predominant scent in the middle is mimosa, powdery, balsamic, yellow-gold. The base is vanilla and woods but even this early they provide a backdrop. There is a warm (synthetic, medicinal ~ vanilla aftertaste) note that run through like a weaving thread. This is a gourmand with a capital G and it’s all about mimosa and vanilla. And it stays very close to skin.

I don’t know if Victor/perfumers are doing it deliberately or it is just turning out to be so, most of these scents stay close to the skin. One has to be in another’s personal space to fully smell them.

I think you’re the first person I’ve ever heard say T Rex wore close to the skin! Very interesting.
 
Dec 16, 2018
I think you’re the first person I’ve ever heard say T Rex wore close to the skin! Very interesting.
It could be the way I spray perfumes.
2-3 sprays to the skin of wrist/forearm-- I never spray perfumes over my clothing-- and since I (nearly always) wear full sleeve shirts, folks can't tell.
I did do an unthinkable experiment, sprayed T-Rex on the arm, so only my cotton shirt and Lab coat was covering it. And no one in the hospital commented on it-- I even asked my ARNPs and they said, I smelled clean, faintly medicinal, rather of nothing really-- till I made them smell the arm and eye-brows went flying.
 

Proust_Madeleine

Basenotes Dependent
Apr 5, 2019
It could be the way I spray perfumes.
2-3 sprays to the skin of wrist/forearm-- I never spray perfumes over my clothing-- and since I (nearly always) wear full sleeve shirts, folks can't tell.
I did do an unthinkable experiment, sprayed T-Rex on the arm, so only my cotton shirt and Lab coat was covering it. And no one in the hospital commented on it-- I even asked my ARNPs and they said, I smelled clean, faintly medicinal, rather of nothing really-- till I made them smell the arm and eye-brows went flying.
Luckyscent and Bloom used to keep T Rex under a glass bell jar because the performance was so nuclear, that they couldn’t have people spray it in the store… they said no one could smell anything else for the rest of the day if it got sprayed inside. My girlfriend used to make me walk outside our apartment to apply it and then walk around for a bit before I came back in.

I wonder if zoologist toned it down?
 

lfc1892

Basenotes Junkie
Dec 12, 2021
T. rex is an enormous scent on me. I can’t see why they’d make a scent based on a T. rex a skin scent. Cockatiel perhaps, yes.
 

Dr B1414

Basenotes Junkie
Oct 21, 2019
Luckyscent and Bloom used to keep T Rex under a glass bell jar because the performance was so nuclear, that they couldn’t have people spray it in the store… they said no one could smell anything else for the rest of the day if it got sprayed inside. My girlfriend used to make me walk outside our apartment to apply it and then walk around for a bit before I came back in.

I wonder if zoologist toned it down?
That's insane. I don't find it that beefy. The most outrageously powerful perfume that I have ever tried would be Frederic's Malle Al Qamar (The Moon). It's insane. Fills rooms and lasts for a week. Oh, and Sultan's Pasha Aurum D'Angkhor. These 2, I have to be prepared to wear them. I love them, but I really need to be prepared for them. I came to appreciate more intimate perfumes.
 
Dec 16, 2018
Before I start writing on Dodo, a comment on T-Rex. It is by NO MEANS a skin scent, it is loud but not in context of having a huge silage (at least, for me). It is a mega-phone in how it impacts the olfactory sense, like a birch tar-musky civet-woody sucker punch.

DODO:
So, it smells pink-bergamot if you can imagine but add sage and black currant. The visual is of cutting into pink guava fruit, which smells exactly like this. I enjoy the beginning of all Zoologist perfumes; they throw you in for a loop. Juicy black-currant dominates the mid stage with an undernote which can only be described as Hawaiian-fruit punch aftertaste. Dry down is pleasant fruity-woody musk.

Now, bear with me Reader, we are off to a tangent but will come full circle.
I do not curse, not even under extreme provocation, unless calling the poor broken-up body of a trauma victim, a bloody mess... is deemed cursing. However, when faced with sheer incompetence during work, I do say this, "get this dodo-bird away from the patient.' I know... not fair to the poor Dodo.
And that guava-pink peppery-bergamot is just too psychedelic, too dodo (or Dada-ish if you must) for me.
 
Dec 16, 2018
RHINOCEROS:
Goodness, this is raw straight up whiskey/port, something in-between but limed in a note that is dark and sparkly. Being an absolute non-drinker, does not mean I haven’t smelled whiskey since a close friend of mine only drinks highest quality whisky—if he ever does. The bouquet of smells in Glenmorangie Signet, is unbelievable, and if soulful closing of eyes and sighs are any indication—imbibing it, is blissful. Notes of coffee/cinnamon with dry whiskey fumes is what this opening reminds me of. Come mid-tier, it becomes wet and earthy—incense, tobacco-leaf (exactly the kind Frapin uses) and turns a tad sweetish. And, dwindles down to, nah… rather plops down to some generic woody stuff; you try and tell me.

Gah, the restraint in this perfume, the restraint… why? Let it loose, boy…who is stopping who here?
It is as if we all jockeyed to see the best of Derby, but in the end were served rain, mud and a tainted horse.
 
Dec 16, 2018
ELEPHANT:
Green, leafy green and tea notes... it has the beautiful vapourish quality of incense.
Later on, it segues easily into scent of florals (? jasmine) and shrub-undergrowth, and it is a hum that is delightful to the senses. The dry-down has this simple woody-floral accord which maybe luxurious in its feel but has an ease about it. Like it a lot.

HYRAX:
It's a hit between saffron and elemi, and elemi's citrusy-pine scent loosing it to saffron's iodine-ink; it is unusual. What comes next is a smell between a faintly barnyard-Oudh and castoreum. I've smelled Hyraceum extract only once and it was a musky, fecal scent which very much resembled castoreum. Here it smells of all these notes mingled together; musk, faintly fecal, tobacco and tincture iodine.
And it is not bad.
But, these notes are stark and one can only handle such notes for so long. I wish they had cut the current of animalic-muskiness with more amber and benzoin, and alleviated the scent.

MACAQUE YUZU EDITION:
Yuzu is sparkling here, not crackling as it usually is to my nose and the key is possibly the mildness of hinoki wood scent. These notes are apparent and still blended into a very charming front.
A dance of light and shadows, sunlight filtering through the thick tree foliage midst a pleasant breeze, is my visual. This is a perfume you carry around and spray ever so often (does not have the longevity &very close to skin) and just enjoy. A carefree and whimsical scent... it really captures the feel of one watching covert antics of macaques high in the trees.

Elephant and Macaque are a surprise; I enjoyed both of them. I think I've 1 or 2 more scents left to sample from this House (to-date available).
Victor: thank you for all your work with these perfumers and for spreading such perfumed happiness. And when I get that hand-written note in the packages, eh... that always makes me smile.
 

Proust_Madeleine

Basenotes Dependent
Apr 5, 2019
ELEPHANT:
Green, leafy green and tea notes... it has the beautiful vapourish quality of incense.
Later on, it segues easily into scent of florals (? jasmine) and shrub-undergrowth, and it is a hum that is delightful to the senses. The dry-down has this simple woody-floral accord which maybe luxurious in its feel but has an ease about it. Like it a lot.

HYRAX:
It's a hit between saffron and elemi, and elemi's citrusy-pine scent loosing it to saffron's iodine-ink; it is unusual. What comes next is a smell between a faintly barnyard-Oudh and castoreum. I've smelled Hyraceum extract only once and it was a musky, fecal scent which very much resembled castoreum. Here it smells of all these notes mingled together; musk, faintly fecal, tobacco and tincture iodine.
And it is not bad.
But, these notes are stark and one can only handle such notes for so long. I wish they had cut the current of animalic-muskiness with more amber and benzoin, and alleviated the scent.

MACAQUE YUZU EDITION:
Yuzu is sparkling here, not crackling as it usually is to my nose and the key is possibly the mildness of hinoki wood scent. These notes are apparent and still blended into a very charming front.
A dance of light and shadows, sunlight filtering through the thick tree foliage midst a pleasant breeze, is my visual. This is a perfume you carry around and spray ever so often (does not have the longevity &very close to skin) and just enjoy. A carefree and whimsical scent... it really captures the feel of one watching covert antics of macaques high in the trees.

Elephant and Macaque are a surprise; I enjoyed both of them. I think I've 1 or 2 more scents left to sample from this House (to-date available).
Victor: thank you for all your work with these perfumers and for spreading such perfumed happiness. And when I get that hand-written note in the packages, eh... that always makes me smile.
Pallas—- I’m not arguing with your impressions of Hyrax… but do you not get a super hardcore leather note as the overall effect of all these notes together?

Since leather is often a collection of scent associations I don’t necessarily think we all smell leather in the same perfumes but this is a huge leather scent for me and what my brain most associates with almost too aggressive leather. Hard to imagine this scent without it first and foremost registering as leather. Always so interesting to see how our brains put these together.
 
Dec 16, 2018
Pallas—- I’m not arguing with your impressions of Hyrax… but do you not get a super hardcore leather note as the overall effect of all these notes together?

Since leather is often a collection of scent associations I don’t necessarily think we all smell leather in the same perfumes but this is a huge leather scent for me and what my brain most associates with almost too aggressive leather. Hard to imagine this scent without it first and foremost registering as leather. Always so interesting to see how our brains put these together.
Proust_Madeleine: you can absolutely argue with me about my impressions, otherwise why are we here?
You are correct in how each of us interprets leather accord differently.
My dilemma is the minute I encounter fecal/animalic notes, I stop perceiving it as mere leather. A friend of mine called it "leather with clean-poop scent", and he is probably more accurate.
That's why I said to alleviate it with amber and benzoin, since styrax can give that true glove-like leather notes with more warmth.
As you are probably aware, leather accord can be made with multiple combinations, some examples I can recall are castoreum + ambergris, styrax + bir tar, cistus + saffron + incense + Artemisia, etc. Each one is perceived differently.
But the ones with over-ripe (indolic or animalic or fecal) notes, I perceive them as separate (not just leathery).
Now T-Rex is a hot breathing down your neck leather.
 

ultravisitor

Basenotes Dependent
Nov 4, 2014
Pallas—- I’m not arguing with your impressions of Hyrax… but do you not get a super hardcore leather note as the overall effect of all these notes together?

Since leather is often a collection of scent associations I don’t necessarily think we all smell leather in the same perfumes but this is a huge leather scent for me and what my brain most associates with almost too aggressive leather. Hard to imagine this scent without it first and foremost registering as leather. Always so interesting to see how our brains put these together.
Honestly, to me, Hyrax just smells like a take on Dior's Leather Oud.
 

Proust_Madeleine

Basenotes Dependent
Apr 5, 2019
Proust_Madeleine: you can absolutely argue with me about my impressions, otherwise why are we here?
You are correct in how each of us interprets leather accord differently.
My dilemma is the minute I encounter fecal/animalic notes, I stop perceiving it as mere leather. A friend of mine called it "leather with clean-poop scent", and he is probably more accurate.
That's why I said to alleviate it with amber and benzoin, since styrax can give that true glove-like leather notes with more warmth.
As you are probably aware, leather accord can be made with multiple combinations, some examples I can recall are castoreum + ambergris, styrax + bir tar, cistus + saffron + incense + Artemisia, etc. Each one is perceived differently.
But the ones with over-ripe (indolic or animalic or fecal) notes, I perceive them as separate (not just leathery).
Now T-Rex is a hot breathing down your neck leather.
I think your description “poop leather” is pretty much what I get. But I love it :ROFLMAO:
 
Mar 15, 2012
Spotted a new release at Ministry of Scent (a ka Tigerlily Perfumery) in San Francisco today - Harvest Mouse. This is apparently an exclusive to this store and the Zoologist website.

The people at the store didn’t know the notes, and apparently the founder of Zoologist just sent them this bottle with their latest shipment, without any other information like the perfumer or notes. It’s a delicious gourmand - very redolent of Chipmunk, but with a dash of Bee. Think the honey notes of Bee but toned down several notches, with the woody/sweet notes of Chipmunk. I can smell cherry, honey and tonka bean, but I’m not good with notes, so I could be off.

It’s definitely one of the most wearable Zoologist fragrances, absolutely perfect for fall, but those looking for something more daring or subversive would be disappointed. To me, it was a delicious scent with gourmand notes, and I can’t wait to know the actual notes in here.

Sadly, they aren’t as yet selling samples, and I had tested a bunch of other stuff on my wrists, so I spritzed this on my denim jacket, which isn’t quite the same as testing on skin. I hope they start selling samples soon, so I can give it a proper test on my skin.
 

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LadyDragonFire

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jul 21, 2011
You know a while back I wrote these pots here raving about some of the Zoologist scents, right?
What I recently realized is that some of those are basically just "copies" or "dupes" of other perfumes!
Like..I bought "Ciara" by Revlon a while back, and I realized it smells pretty much identical to Zoologist "civet"
(And yet I almost never wear it! It's way too strong!)
And.."Nightingale" probably is pretty much like Chanel No. 5..I have the Chanel No. 5 splash cologne and I think it's close.
 

Dr B1414

Basenotes Junkie
Oct 21, 2019
You know a while back I wrote these pots here raving about some of the Zoologist scents, right?
What I recently realized is that some of those are basically just "copies" or "dupes" of other perfumes!
Like..I bought "Ciara" by Revlon a while back, and I realized it smells pretty much identical to Zoologist "civet"
(And yet I almost never wear it! It's way too strong!)
And.."Nightingale" probably is pretty much like Chanel No. 5..I have the Chanel No. 5 splash cologne and I think it's close.
They are definitely not intended to be "copies" of anything, a word that is being thrown around in this community way too often, alongside my other favorite, "masterpiece".
It is very difficult to create something entirely unique in today's perfume game, however, I think that Zoologist does it pretty well overall. That being said, I agree with you that both Civet and Nightingale are two that hint at other past perfumes, so your association is justified, but calling them clones, common.
 
Dec 16, 2018
Hmm, didn't see any Harvest Mouse on Zoologist site.
Victor, will you kindly let us know?
Considering how much I like Chipmunk and Bee, would be looking forward to it.

As someone said, copies or dupes... well, every perfumer takes inspiration from every other well-done perfume out there. Most of the time, a perfumer has an idea or even a formulation early in its inception, and another perfumer creates something similar but with additional scent-notes which makes it better, improving upon it. That right there is the source, aha... this is what is needed to tweak the formula. It is just like science where multiple scientists have been known to do the same experiment at the same time, or artists copying another famous painter or sculptor's technique to better their own.
Unless you downright copy it all, no one will call it plagiarism.
Guerlain classics have inspired so many other perfumes. And some of them, on par with Guerlains.
Arpege (1927) actually took inspiration from floral-aldehydic formula of Chanel No. 5 (1921) (which I have never liked), and came out so much better. Another good example is Amouage Gold.

I don't have an encyclopedic knowledge of perfumes, so I don't know if there are perfumes (already published) identical to what Zoologist is creating. But, perfumers would be the first ones to notice and comment. It's a small and insular community, and word gets out.
 

Windblownhair

Basenotes Member
May 9, 2012
Today’s experiment is Seahorse. The opening was a strong blast of neroli and tuberose, with a small accompaniment of fennel and cardamom. I got busy and forgot to smell again until a few hours later. The neroli was still lightly present, alongside ambergris, barely a skin scent. I’m now applying a second spritz and paying more attention to the dry down this time. One spray is definitely quiet enough for office wear.
 

lfc1892

Basenotes Junkie
Dec 12, 2021
Today’s scent is Panda. Ozone, tea, bamboo, and magnolia are the distinct notes that stand out to my nose. I’m quite enjoying the combo (and craving a cuppa!).
I wore this yesterday and love it. It often, sadly, gets frowned upon as it’s labelled as being one of the more lass appealing zoologist scents. Does that make it any less a scent? Nope.
 

Dr B1414

Basenotes Junkie
Oct 21, 2019
I've been going back to my Squid sample and I am steadily loosing my initial love for it. The more I wear it the more I find it to be quite boring somehow. I realised that the beautiful burst of pepper, salt, and ink that you get in the opening doesn't last for long enough, and then it goes into this generic balsamic and powdery dry down and just stays that way. It's nice but I feel that it's not as good as the few first times that I've tried it.
On the other hand, I like T Rex more now. I do find a slight connection to MAAI, the smokiness and something else, almost like a meaty leathery quality that they both share.
 

heavy black heart

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Mar 20, 2022
I find no smoke in t rex which makes me think my nose is broken or something bc everyone seems to get insane smoke from it : (

I do think it’s fantastic tho & purchased the travel spray
 

lfc1892

Basenotes Junkie
Dec 12, 2021
I've been going back to my Squid sample and I am steadily loosing my initial love for it. The more I wear it the more I find it to be quite boring somehow. I realised that the beautiful burst of pepper, salt, and ink that you get in the opening doesn't last for long enough, and then it goes into this generic balsamic and powdery dry down and just stays that way. It's nice but I feel that it's not as good as the few first times that I've tried it.
On the other hand, I like T Rex more now. I do find a slight connection to MAAI, the smokiness and something else, almost like a meaty leathery quality that they both share.
Squid is pretty linear on me and keeps wafting at me all day
 
Oct 21, 2021
I only tried Bee, still have that decant somewhere. Smells like an old dusty candle in a church. Not my kind of scent.
Find it hard to overcome the ridiculous animals in human costumes design to sample anything else.
And I do love kawaii funny stuff, just not that.
 

Proust_Madeleine

Basenotes Dependent
Apr 5, 2019
I only tried Bee, still have that decant somewhere. Smells like an old dusty candle in a church. Not my kind of scent.
Find it hard to overcome the ridiculous animals in human costumes design to sample anything else.
And I do love kawaii funny stuff, just not that.
Bee is definitely not the scent to judge the line by… BUT I disagree so hard on the drawings. Love the animal portraits.
 

Dr B1414

Basenotes Junkie
Oct 21, 2019
Haven't sampled Bee yet. Now that I see who the perfumer is, I think I should. I think Cristiano Canalli is extremely talented. I absolutely love what he did with Romanza for Masque Milano. For such a young perfumer to create such a complex perfume, that's something. He's definitely one of the younger noses in the game that I am keeping a nose on.
 
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