Zoologist - Thoughts and Comments

Aug 29, 2019
Kinda gimmicky I thought at first and the packaging is a bit tacky but the scents can be interesting. I mean, they are all made by different perfumers so it's very hit and miss. Most of them I don't find that long lasting (I remember sampling dragon fly and thinking "okay what on earth is this even supposed to be?"). Rhinoceros and the original Bat are interesting. I recently smelled Bee that everyone is raving about and it honestly just smells like a standard honey base from Givaudan or something. (This is just a speculative guess, sorry! I experiment with materials in my spare time for the sake of education. But Bee really smelled soooo simplistic? I was kind of disappointed. )
I mean interesting idea, but hit and miss as I said.
 

Fugufish

Well-known member
May 30, 2020
Glad to have found this thread. I absolutely love the concept of Zoologist and to me it’s really one of the most niche houses; they even run out of batches at times.

I own samples of about half of their collection. I have bought Hummingbird for my wife and I like Squid quite a bit.

That said, I must admit that I find the remaining scents I have tested “difficult” to say the least. I so wanna like them, but some actually evoke a repulsive reaction from me [emoji22]

The good part is, I still have the other half to sample.

Maybe someone has a few pointers on the “easier” juices from Zoologist?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Apr 2, 2020
Worth a try but out of the ones I smelled like Hummingbird, original Bat, Panda (?), Elephant, Monkey, they all come across as really amateurish and childish. Like, you apply them... but then they just fall flat on the skin within half an hour. It's like the perfumes were put together by accident.
The most recent one - Bee, I really wanted to like it (it sounded so appealing), but it smells literally identical to my Givaudan "Honey" base which I have in my raw materials collection. No complexity.
But maybe I'm being too harsh. I like the idea though.
 

thrilledchilled

All Is Beautiful
Basenotes Plus
Nov 17, 2018
Worth a try but out of the ones I smelled like Hummingbird, original Bat, Panda (?), Elephant, Monkey, they all come across as really amateurish and childish. Like, you apply them... but then they just fall flat on the skin within half an hour. It's like the perfumes were put together by accident.
The most recent one - Bee, I really wanted to like it (it sounded so appealing), but it smells literally identical to my Givaudan "Honey" base which I have in my raw materials collection. No complexity.
But maybe I'm being too harsh. I like the idea though.

I hate Bee. Can't use a weaker word for it. But I enjoy Slowdive from Hiram Green. Bee seems cloying and one dimensional. Slowdive seems marvelous. I don't understand why there is such a difference. Bee is the only Zoologist I don't like that I've tried so far.
 

Buzzlepuff

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 27, 2005
Yes it is gimmicky but when you think about it every fragrance brand creates some sort of logic between the name and the fragrance and Zoologist's animal connection is as good as any naming logic I've seen. The bottle graphics are interesting and the entire presentation makes a nice story around the fragrance. Good marketing.

My favorites are: Nightingale, Moth, Squid, Hyrax, Camel, Rhinoceros. I don't wear any of them often.
 

Starblind

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Oct 2, 2013
Kinda gimmicky I thought at first and the packaging is a bit tacky but the scents can be interesting. I mean, they are all made by different perfumers so it's very hit and miss. Most of them I don't find that long lasting (I remember sampling dragon fly and thinking "okay what on earth is this even supposed to be?"). Rhinoceros and the original Bat are interesting. I recently smelled Bee that everyone is raving about and it honestly just smells like a standard honey base from Givaudan or something. (This is just a speculative guess, sorry! I experiment with materials in my spare time for the sake of education. But Bee really smelled soooo simplistic? I was kind of disappointed. )
I mean interesting idea, but hit and miss as I said.

I've sampled nearly all of this line in hope of finding one I could like/love, but so far, nada.
 

LiveJazz

Funky fresh
Basenotes Plus
Mar 16, 2006
I hate Bee. Can't use a weaker word for it. But I enjoy Slowdive from Hiram Green. Bee seems cloying and one dimensional. Slowdive seems marvelous. I don't understand why there is such a difference. Bee is the only Zoologist I don't like that I've tried so far.

Agree about Bee compared to Slowdrive.

The most recent one - Bee, I really wanted to like it (it sounded so appealing), but it smells literally identical to my Givaudan "Honey" base which I have in my raw materials collection. No complexity.

And this sounds about right as to the reason. I wore it once and have not felt remotely compelled to revisit. It doesn't smell bad...just not much to it.



I remain a fan of Squid and T-Rex and would like to sample Moth, Rhino, Beaver and Hyrax in particular.
 

StylinLA

Well-known member
Aug 9, 2009
I appreciate what they are doing and clearly there is a place for them. But they are just too avant grade for my more or less main stream tastes.

For what it's worth, I was once in Scent Bar and asked to smell RHINOSEROS. The bartender sort of rolled their eyes, grabbed the bottle and went outside to spray it on card. They found it so potent and noxious, they didn't want the scent floating through the air in store.

Admittedly, this may be one person's bias, but these folks are spraying scents on cards all day long everyday. Never saw them do that before.
 
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Proust_Madeleine

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2019
I've tried Hummingbird, Nightingale and Bee. Hummingbird I liked best but not enough to buy a full bottle. The others don't really appeal to me based on their descriptions.

From your wardrobe, I could imagine you might like civet and camel for different reasons. Civet is an incredible modern chypre... something not entirely removed from Hiram Green’s Shangrila or Au Dela Narcisse from Bruno Fazzolari. Camel is like a nice Serge Lutens with a bit of rose.

Might be worth a sample! I love and wear them both but my partner likes wearing them too.
 

Oud Dude

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Jun 22, 2018
I've tried everything from the house and owned most of them. My favorites remain Civet, T-Rex, Squid and occasionally Hyrax. New Bat and Sloth are quality and fun too. Used to love Elephant Macaque but I rarely pull for them these days. My wife wears Chameleon, Dragonfly and Camel pretty frequently and I they smell great on her...
 

Wingie

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 2, 2009
From your wardrobe, I could imagine you might like civet and camel for different reasons. Civet is an incredible modern chypre... something not entirely removed from Hiram Green’s Shangrila or Au Dela Narcisse from Bruno Fazzolari. Camel is like a nice Serge Lutens with a bit of rose.

Might be worth a sample! I love and wear them both but my partner likes wearing them too.

Thanks for the suggestions. Civet and animalics in general are something I usually have some trouble with. It does help though that being in Canada I can order a few samples from their website and only pay a couple dollars for shipping, so maybe I will try these two in the future. I am sure my experience with this house isn't over and I will sample more of their creations at some point. Forgot to mention I also sampled Dragonfly but liked it the least.
 

Proust_Madeleine

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2019
Thanks for the suggestions. Civet and animalics in general are something I usually have some trouble with. It does help though that being in Canada I can order a few samples from their website and only pay a couple dollars for shipping, so maybe I will try these two in the future. I am sure my experience with this house isn't over and I will sample more of their creations at some point. Forgot to mention I also sampled Dragonfly but liked it the least.

I actually don’t find either of them very animalic, for what it’s worth. I always thought both names were a bit of a stretch. Even the Civet one doesn’t smell especially heavily of civet. I think Dzing! has a more realistic animalic note than either. :)

Obviously, I may be totally off and you might hate both of them. But they might be worth a spray if stores ever open again.
 

Pallas Moncreiff

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2018
Bee: a real favourite-- very sweet initially but it is such a realistic honey-honeycomb-dense pollen amalgam... its amazing.

Camel: is very intriguing, I think the scent of dates and spices takes it on a tangent. There is a hint of animal salty-musk... now the only way I can describe that underlying very real but very subtle hint is if you had ridden dromedaries or if you have eaten camel-meat... the scent of the camel-skin or the aftertaste of the meat has that musky scent. I am glad they named it Camel otherwise it would have driven me mad wondering where had I smelled it.

Sloth: herbaceous but not really, wet, earthy, and then drier notes later on. It is more atmospheric scent that a wearable perfume. It is also something that keeps you distracted because multiple notes simmer at different wavelengths, all at the same time. I would say, the perfume is of isolation, not for crowds.

Squid: beginning is balsamic-aromatic and then we go into the aquatic mood... more woody-faintly smoky elements come later.
Don't really care for it, too many such perfumes around.

Civet: Now, real civet absolute is Gawd-Almighty awful smell. Use the right concentration and its like you have given a hologram of a perfume real bone structure. The magic of animalics. Now, this Civet is a chypre of the most delightful aspirations. And I am glad, Victor didn't try to ram civet-like AC down our throats, but what civet scent is capable of doing, truly elevating a perfume to another level. Somewhat, like laws of thermodynamics in that they are just laws, but then look at what their presence have made us realize about our universe.... way more than the mere sum of total. This is my second favourite from the house.
And I wear it often in the house. Just delightful.
 

Proust_Madeleine

Well-known member
Apr 5, 2019
Bee: a real favourite-- very sweet initially but it is such a realistic honey-honeycomb-dense pollen amalgam... its amazing.

Camel: is very intriguing, I think the scent of dates and spices takes it on a tangent. There is a hint of animal salty-musk... now the only way I can describe that underlying very real but very subtle hint is if you had ridden dromedaries or if you have eaten camel-meat... the scent of the camel-skin or the aftertaste of the meat has that musky scent. I am glad they named it Camel otherwise it would have driven me mad wondering where had I smelled it.

Sloth: herbaceous but not really, wet, earthy, and then drier notes later on. It is more atmospheric scent that a wearable perfume. It is also something that keeps you distracted because multiple notes simmer at different wavelengths, all at the same time. I would say, the perfume is of isolation, not for crowds.

Squid: beginning is balsamic-aromatic and then we go into the aquatic mood... more woody-faintly smoky elements come later.
Don't really care for it, too many such perfumes around.

Civet: Now, real civet absolute is Gawd-Almighty awful smell. Use the right concentration and its like you have given a hologram of a perfume real bone structure. The magic of animalics. Now, this Civet is a chypre of the most delightful aspirations. And I am glad, Victor didn't try to ram civet-like AC down our throats, but what civet scent is capable of doing, truly elevating a perfume to another level. Somewhat, like laws of thermodynamics in that they are just laws, but then look at what their presence have made us realize about our universe.... way more than the mere sum of total. This is my second favourite from the house.
And I wear it often in the house. Just delightful.

These are great reviews. I especially love the Civet review.
 

Pallas Moncreiff

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2018
Proust_Madeleine: thank you kindly.

Chameleon: I can’t say I like it or not… but it’s a pleasant surprise, just like the protean, variegated skin of a chameleon. It’s a floral-fruity-herbal concoction, like the aftertaste of a Hawaiian punch, but better. A little away from skin, the hum of the notes goes down, but right close to the skin, as if you took a gulp of the juice. An odd imagery comes to mind, as if I am seeing these riotous colours—reds, blues, vivid yellow and green through the water—it teeters on the edge of becoming those fruity/floral shampoo scent, but thankfully, doesn’t. Dry down is surprisingly tenacious and delicate… I guess I didn’t know chameleons were so feminine. :)

Koala: Eucalyptus and hay, but not your chest rub or cough medicine variety, it is different, more mature perhaps. It evolves next into musky, dry eucalyptus leaves--I do like the dryness. It is a 3-tiered perfume and in the end it turns into an almost musky-fougère scent.

Panda: Lily and apricot, so floral and so floaty, like a breeze. But the feel is of a soap-fragrance (lets say Rance), and strange that it is the feel not the smell of soap. There is green wood in background which makes it flat. Subtle, not loud but definite joie de vivre. Not what I expected, rather more a pleasing mental exercise than something I would go looking for.
Nice I guess… Gawd, how damning that word ‘nice’ is, in truth.
 

thrilledchilled

All Is Beautiful
Basenotes Plus
Nov 17, 2018
Sloth: herbaceous but not really, wet, earthy, and then drier notes later on. It is more atmospheric scent that a wearable perfume. It is also something that keeps you distracted because multiple notes simmer at different wavelengths, all at the same time. I would say, the perfume is of isolation, not for crowds.

Great observations. I totally agree.
 

Shlorpy

Well-known member
Apr 12, 2019
I really like the concept of them and I've tried several and all do seem to evoke the animal they're going for (if you have a good imagination :) ) except Panda which is the most wearable of all of them. Kind of sweet and fruity to my nose. Very pleasant and I think it's their most popular, but doesn't make me think of a panda. Moth is definitely something to experience but I can't imagine seriously wearing it to smell good.
 

thrilledchilled

All Is Beautiful
Basenotes Plus
Nov 17, 2018
I really like the concept of them and I've tried several and all do seem to evoke the animal they're going for (if you have a good imagination :) ) except Panda which is the most wearable of all of them. Kind of sweet and fruity to my nose. Very pleasant and I think it's their most popular, but doesn't make me think of a panda. Moth is definitely something to experience but I can't imagine seriously wearing it to smell good.

Camel doesn’t make me think of camels but is very wearable and almost mainstream. The most of any Zoologists I’ve tried.
 

Tonyprince

Well-known member
Jan 1, 2007
I was just on the Zoologist website and they now have Koala for sale but they're calling it a "webstore exclusive." Does anybody know if they intend to only market that one through their website, and if so, why?
 

Wingie

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Dec 2, 2009
I was just on the Zoologist website and they now have Koala for sale but they're calling it a "webstore exclusive." Does anybody know if they intend to only market that one through their website, and if so, why?

I would think it is just available through the website to start and will likely be available from other retailers soon.
 

Ponyboi

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 28, 2018
I would think it is just available through the website to start and will likely be available from other retailers soon.

This. On Instagram it states it’s only available on their web store for the summer of 2020. I take that as in the fall the stores will carry it.
 

Pallas Moncreiff

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2018
Moth: This is how it begins, a floral bug spray with an inky herbal note. That vapourish quality and something else inside, makes you think of powdery wings of the Lepidoptera. Then comes an undercurrent of hovering, and it is a faintly bitter note somewhere between patchouli and vetiver, and neither: the nagarmotha. My taste and preference in perfumes, is for the classic, but who wouldn't want to spend time with something as esoteric as this. The dry-down is delicate and feathery.
That perfumed-bug-spray accord… it makes me laugh.

Dragonfly: the scent of Monet's water lily ponds- watery, vegetal, greens, bumblebees, some lotus as well. Watery pastels all over. It stays close, so close to the skin. Although high-end shower gel vibe is never too far away. To create the Ukiyo-e imagery is not easy. Made me realize M. Ellena does have a gift.

Nightingale: Is a surprise; a fruity chypre. The plum or fruity note is not that obvious, but it has a woody oud resinous thread running through all its phases. The volume only amps up later in the dry down. It's not a bad perfume, but I don't care for this generic medicinal-green-oud base, it is too generic at this point.

Hummingbird: I had been waiting for this one, so avoided all prior info about it.
Fruity (apple, pear) and floral (rose, mimosa, etc.) and in the end what you get is LILAC…
lilac, would you believe that?
In perfumery, creating a perfect Lilac accord is even more difficult than lily-of-the-valley (pear note is essential to LOV), and somehow it often ends up with this adult nuance, gold-toned, heavy floral which has this voluminous feel--usually frizzles with a mineral quality, you can't miss it once you've learned it. Here, it is not overwhelmingly sweet or cloying which most lilac perfumes suffer from—so, I guess, it's alright. Hummingbirds see an ultraviolet world; I wish Victor would do a scent in future whose colour palette ranged from purples to violets—but, not Lilacs. I have a 2011 bottle of Rue des Lilas coming.
Let's see if it can make me like a lilac-accord any better.
 

thrilledchilled

All Is Beautiful
Basenotes Plus
Nov 17, 2018
Moth: This is how it begins, a floral bug spray with an inky herbal note. That vapourish quality and something else inside, makes you think of powdery wings of the Lepidoptera. Then comes an undercurrent of hovering, and it is a faintly bitter note somewhere between patchouli and vetiver, and neither: the nagarmotha. My taste and preference in perfumes, is for the classic, but who wouldn't want to spend time with something as esoteric as this. The dry-down is delicate and feathery.
That perfumed-bug-spray accord… it makes me laugh.

Dragonfly: the scent of Monet's water lily ponds- watery, vegetal, greens, bumblebees, some lotus as well. Watery pastels all over. It stays close, so close to the skin. Although high-end shower gel vibe is never too far away. To create the Ukiyo-e imagery is not easy. Made me realize M. Ellena does have a gift.

Nightingale: Is a surprise; a fruity chypre. The plum or fruity note is not that obvious, but it has a woody oud resinous thread running through all its phases. The volume only amps up later in the dry down. It's not a bad perfume, but I don't care for this generic medicinal-green-oud base, it is too generic at this point.

Hummingbird: I had been waiting for this one, so avoided all prior info about it.
Fruity (apple, pear) and floral (rose, mimosa, etc.) and in the end what you get is LILAC…
lilac, would you believe that?
In perfumery, creating a perfect Lilac accord is even more difficult than lily-of-the-valley (pear note is essential to LOV), and somehow it often ends up with this adult nuance, gold-toned, heavy floral which has this voluminous feel--usually frizzles with a mineral quality, you can't miss it once you've learned it. Here, it is not overwhelmingly sweet or cloying which most lilac perfumes suffer from—so, I guess, it's alright. Hummingbirds see an ultraviolet world; I wish Victor would do a scent in future whose colour palette ranged from purples to violets—but, not Lilacs. I have a 2011 bottle of Rue des Lilas coming.
Let's see if it can make me like a lilac-accord any better.

Great notes. Thank you.
 

Ponyboi

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Apr 28, 2018
Moth: This is how it begins, a floral bug spray with an inky herbal note. That vapourish quality and something else inside, makes you think of powdery wings of the Lepidoptera. Then comes an undercurrent of hovering, and it is a faintly bitter note somewhere between patchouli and vetiver, and neither: the nagarmotha. My taste and preference in perfumes, is for the classic, but who wouldn't want to spend time with something as esoteric as this. The dry-down is delicate and feathery.
That perfumed-bug-spray accord… it makes me laugh.

Dragonfly: the scent of Monet's water lily ponds- watery, vegetal, greens, bumblebees, some lotus as well. Watery pastels all over. It stays close, so close to the skin. Although high-end shower gel vibe is never too far away. To create the Ukiyo-e imagery is not easy. Made me realize M. Ellena does have a gift.

Nightingale: Is a surprise; a fruity chypre. The plum or fruity note is not that obvious, but it has a woody oud resinous thread running through all its phases. The volume only amps up later in the dry down. It's not a bad perfume, but I don't care for this generic medicinal-green-oud base, it is too generic at this point.

Hummingbird: I had been waiting for this one, so avoided all prior info about it.
Fruity (apple, pear) and floral (rose, mimosa, etc.) and in the end what you get is LILAC…
lilac, would you believe that?
In perfumery, creating a perfect Lilac accord is even more difficult than lily-of-the-valley (pear note is essential to LOV), and somehow it often ends up with this adult nuance, gold-toned, heavy floral which has this voluminous feel--usually frizzles with a mineral quality, you can't miss it once you've learned it. Here, it is not overwhelmingly sweet or cloying which most lilac perfumes suffer from—so, I guess, it's alright. Hummingbirds see an ultraviolet world; I wish Victor would do a scent in future whose colour palette ranged from purples to violets—but, not Lilacs. I have a 2011 bottle of Rue des Lilas coming.
Let's see if it can make me like a lilac-accord any better.

Beautifully written!
 

Amelia Koenigsberg

Well-known member
May 19, 2017
Moth: This is how it begins, a floral bug spray with an inky herbal note. That vapourish quality and something else inside, makes you think of powdery wings of the Lepidoptera. Then comes an undercurrent of hovering, and it is a faintly bitter note somewhere between patchouli and vetiver, and neither: the nagarmotha. My taste and preference in perfumes, is for the classic, but who wouldn't want to spend time with something as esoteric as this. The dry-down is delicate and feathery.
That perfumed-bug-spray accord… it makes me laugh.

Dragonfly: the scent of Monet's water lily ponds- watery, vegetal, greens, bumblebees, some lotus as well. Watery pastels all over. It stays close, so close to the skin. Although high-end shower gel vibe is never too far away. To create the Ukiyo-e imagery is not easy. Made me realize M. Ellena does have a gift.

Nightingale: Is a surprise; a fruity chypre. The plum or fruity note is not that obvious, but it has a woody oud resinous thread running through all its phases. The volume only amps up later in the dry down. It's not a bad perfume, but I don't care for this generic medicinal-green-oud base, it is too generic at this point.

Hummingbird: I had been waiting for this one, so avoided all prior info about it.
Fruity (apple, pear) and floral (rose, mimosa, etc.) and in the end what you get is LILAC…
lilac, would you believe that?
In perfumery, creating a perfect Lilac accord is even more difficult than lily-of-the-valley (pear note is essential to LOV), and somehow it often ends up with this adult nuance, gold-toned, heavy floral which has this voluminous feel--usually frizzles with a mineral quality, you can't miss it once you've learned it. Here, it is not overwhelmingly sweet or cloying which most lilac perfumes suffer from—so, I guess, it's alright. Hummingbirds see an ultraviolet world; I wish Victor would do a scent in future whose colour palette ranged from purples to violets—but, not Lilacs. I have a 2011 bottle of Rue des Lilas coming.
Let's see if it can make me like a lilac-accord any better.

Great reviews, thank you!

Obsessed wit Moth and Nightingale at the moment, I find Nightingale deliciously old fashioned, the woody oud resinous thread is an underlying whisper on me whereas the
plum note and the violet/rose sing in a sweet voice.
You didn't mention the honeyed dryness of Moth, which I can't get enough of.
Those two are by Tomoo Inaba, they couldn't be more different but share an intensity of emotion that I find compelling!
 

Pallas Moncreiff

Well-known member
Dec 16, 2018
Amelia-Koenigsberg: thank you.
You know you’ve provided a better bookend to my take on both.
I wrote honeyed dry down (Moth much more than Nightingale) and then removed it.
You said it much better.
 
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davidcalgary29

Basenotes Plus
Basenotes Plus
Sep 6, 2019
I appreciate what they are doing and clearly there is a place for them. But they are just too avant grade for my more or less main stream tastes.

For what it's worth, I was once in Scent Bar and asked to smell RHINOSEROS. The bartender sort of rolled their eyes, grabbed the bottle and went outside to spray it on card. They found it so potent and noxious, they didn't want the scent floating through the air in store.

Admittedly, this may be one person's bias, but these folks are spraying scents on cards all day long everyday. Never saw them do that before.

I bought a bottle after going through two different samples. I can see why not everyone would either want or like Rhinoceros, but it's a nice, straightforward leather scent with few distractions. Great stuff.

I may be in the minority, though: a co-worker who owns and works horses didn't like Rhinoceros that much. She much preferred the smell of Sadel (a bonus sample), which she says smells exactly like a saddle.

My order also came with Bee, which fades to a beautiful floral reminscent of goldenrod flowers and honey after the extremely strong opening blast dries down. One spray from the sample lasted for days on a pocket square, so it's got some staying power (at least on clothing). Squid is also a delightful aquatic, but longevity is disappointing.
 

U2u

Well-known member
Jul 26, 2014
Musk Deer by Pascal Gaurin has been announced and with it the “end” of Zoologist animalics as they will all have been done. Victor points out this deer species has fangs. Will the scent? Anyone had their nose on an early sample?
 

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