Zoologist is an indieperfume company created by Victor Wong that commissions some of the most interesting indie-perfumers to make perfumes inspired by iconic animals (without the use of any animal products, no less).
This is a lovely concept, and it seems that the perfumer and the animal spirits have been well-matched to bring out the perfumer's personality as well as express the spirit of the specific creature. I find there's something almost Ancient Egyptian in this inspiration, as that mythology depicted many an elegant god and goddess with the head of an animal joined to the body of a human, both male and female, harmoniously combining both with a natural balance and poise.
The Zoologist site is engaging and the graphics are delightful. I especially love the illustrations for these two perfumes, Bat and Hummingbird. There is something unique in the company's overall style and approach, which is a little more masculine than is usual in perfume presentation design. Original, engaging and contemporary, with a light sense of humor, while harking back to the beautifully detailed engravings made by artist-naturalists of past centuries.
The site has in-depth interviews with the perfumers on the inspirations behind the construction of each perfume.
The two that are my favorites so far are Bat by Ellen Covey and Hummingbird by Shelley Waddington. They work harmoniously together too, wearing one on each arm. The deep fresh earthiness and fruit of Bat coordinates well with the nectar and florals of Hummingbird. They both have a light spirit, lift off with an airbourne energy, grow more dimensional and complex, while gentle and imbued with a subtle variety of natural intensity sweetnesses.
Bat is the essence of an appealing cool mineral earthiness, a true black soil, fecund, dark and spare, touched by the sweet creaminess of tropical fruit and a forest aura.
There is an airy quality, something of the experience and environment of a small delicate flying creature who eats fragrant fruit and flocks to rest inside the dark recesses of caves, to come out and whirl around at night, navigating by radar. Seems like every animal has its own super power and for bats it is the invisible sense of radar, that unerring aim and sense of direction toward what they need and desire.
For all the earthiness there is a liftoff that carries on with energetic vitality, steady throughout the perfume experience.
Notes are listed as - Top: banana, soft fruits, damp earth. Heart Notes: fig, tropical fruits, mineral notes, myrrh, resins, vegetal roots. Base Notes: furry musks*, leather*, vetiver, sandalwood, tonka (*= chemical notes, as Zoologist does not use animal products).
The listed banana note almost frightened me, but it comes through gently with a fresh creaminess that modulates all the rest, and so not as a dominating note.
For me that is the damp earth, mixed with myrrh, vetiver, and tonka. There is a night-ly quality here, one with the excitement and energy of a night out, as the opposite of sleepiness; fueled by the clean mineral and nectar notes. The woods are subtle and the perfume grows dimensionally as it dries down, getting softer all the way there.
Hummingbird by Shelley Waddington is a study in the layering of nectars, floral and fruit, moderated by a creamy musk and soft woods supporting a pure froth of aromatic energy.
It has an ethereal and energetic nature, delicate and refined. The sweetness of these nectars is bright and light, not amped up or heavily syrupy. The perfume's most striking personality feature is the purity of a strong Spring white flower style, softened by airy cream and woods.
The intense energy of a floating hummingbird hovering in mid-flight is represented by the aromatic high pitched singing quality that goes on and on through the life of the fragrance. The fruit is represented by natural nectars, without standing out as recognizable separate notes, but rather joined as an accord that pulls together all the essential mildness within the sweetness.
I felt the hummingbird persona, I also felt the wildness hover beside the civilized behavior of watching the birds take a friendly offering at a feeder, perhaps inspiring decorative painted images on fine porcelain cups and dessert plates, from which to take afternoon tea. This perfume has an ornamental, decorative quality that is sunny and softly bright.
Notes are listed as - Top: apple, cherry, citrus, lilac, muguet, plum, rose, violet Leaf. Heart Notes: honey, honeysuckle, mimosa, peony, tulip, ylang. Base Notes: amber, coumarin, cream, moss, musks*, sandalwood, white woods.
Please see the links above and the Zoologist site for more information and to order samples and full size perfumes.
Images above taken from the Zoologist site, and Pinterest for the depiction of Anubis, the dog headed god of Egypt.
Copyright 2016, Lucy Raubertas, All Rights Reserved.