Seahorse

Zoologist sample spray with turquoise eau, and promo card featuring a seahorse in a kelp toga, looking a bit perturbed at my spice jar with a seahorse skeleton and some tiny shells I found on Sanibel Island.

Zoologist’s newest is a surreal snorkeling jaunt that begins at the bottom of the reef with the weirdest lunch of buttered seaweed on rye toast, goes on to examine some herbal indolic anemones, then drifts ashore on pleasant low tide algae funk.

Seems a little gimmicky–a fun excursion, but I don’t want to smell like it.
Lasts minutes on skin, but like sand, is impossible to get out of clothes.

*

This equally odd Sea Horse takes a trip through folk blues, new age, and Jim Morrison.

Macaque Yuzu Edition

The new Macaque promo and vial, with a tired lemon and a bottle of bleach.

So the Zoologists cleaned the monkey cages with lemon scented Clorox.
Now the bleach musk augments the animalics for an uncomfortable hour before fading into resinous pine trees, but I appreciate the removal of the rotten fruit from the original Macaque.

Dries down to long-lasting Mtn Dew and turpentine that’s sweeter on cotton than skin.
Better, but still not the most fun exhibit at the Zoo.

*

StellaCorvo (sounds better the Italian) and Cris Pinzauti–who does lots of neat looped stuff–on Peter Gabriel’s classic.

Chipmunk

Zoologist promo sample with adorable rodent in acorn cap beret and scouts uniform, and some dark brown pin oak acorns.

This is nuts.

Opens with a squirt of alcoholic citrus that is overtaken by green cardamom, then turns creamy. (The chamomile and benzoin, maybe? It’s quite nice.)
Acorns and leaves slowly fall to the skin, sharp oak but earthy, sweetened with hazelnuts and herbs.
At the very bottom is more woods and some gorgeous balsamic resins, but they’re cooled with patchouli, a hint of winter coming.

Brilliant for autumn.
I’d enjoy it more as an ice cream or a tea, rather than wearing it–I’d be constantly worried that I’d managed to overturn someone’s fall spice latte on my clothes–but Chipmunk would be perfect for anyone looking for a heartier nutty gourmand than the usual marzipans.

*

Best Chipmunk remix ever.

Musk Deer

Zoologist bottle cutout paper tester, green cardamom pods, decant vial and enamel deer brooch.

Rude at first, then lovely.

Opens with loud fecal spice, like something large and furry shat cardamom pods in your personal space.
Just as your eyes start to water in protest, the cedar tamps down the fumes with some nice florals, and then the softest powdery musk takes over.
The orris root makes this brilliant–not like Lolita Lempicka’s pulverized violet candy–more fae monarchy walking in the forest, raising sugary pollen that glitters in the sun.

The base woods stay sweet on the on the skin for half the day, with the musk trailing a foot above.

Unisex. Leans delicate, after the feral beginning.

*

Music for modern elven kings:

Chameleon

Colorful rhinestone chameleon brooch with violet leaves, paper test cutout of Zoologist bottle and decant vial. Most species of this lizard (they can be as tiny as an inch or as long as two feet) are from Madagascar.

Opens with mild fruits and green violet leaf, sweetly pleasant in personal space, but five minutes later becomes a mush of flowers and spice and odd salt and enough pink pepper to be a bit headache inducing.
Coconut and vanilla woods settle to the skin after an hour or two, with no residue on clothes.

I wanted more.
Zoologist is usually polarizing, love-or-hate animalics with strong reactions. Chameleon is a bit too boring to represent a color changing lizard with a tongue twice the length of its body and eyes that move independently.

*

(I adore The Voice blind auditions.) This is a haunting cover–Boy George did not even recognize his own song at first.

Dodo

Dodo illustration from Leopold Fitzinger’s 1864 Picture Atlas of birds, and a Zoologist card (with a much more dapper dodo) and sample spray.

Did the dodo go extinct because they actually smelled like this? Recent studies of their oversized beaks have suggested they had an acute sense of smell–were they so offended by their own species, they refused to mate?

Zoologist’s Dodo smells like screeching black currant cat pee, cheap body spray over unwashed teenager, and fresh basil.
For way too long.

Eventually settles to fruit salad with herb dressing tinged with feather musk–but unlike Snowy Owl, it’s not cute downy fluff, it’s molting fowl.

Fairly permanent on cotton.

*

I like this dodo sound.

Koala

John William Lewin’s 1803 drawing of “Coola and Young,” Zoologist bottle paper test strip, decant vial and tip of a eucalyptus branch.

Down Under barbershop bloke.
Zoologist went for environment rather than animalics on this one, though apparently koalas do smell like cough drops.

Opens with a big bar of masculine eucalyptus soap, and rinses down to herbal spice and vanilla mint. Within half an hour there’s a splash of smoky tea that I wish stayed longer, then it dries down to soft wood musk on the skin.

I like him, even if he’s not giving out Vegemite sammies.

*

I’m old enough to remember when this first came out on the radio.

Snowy Owl

Zoologist card with drawing of a bird princess in a cute winter hood, sample spray and a craft feather wing to make my photo fancy.

Snowy Owl is clever and gorgeous and a little wistful–

Opens with wintry wind notes, and a weird animalic beat that really does smell like feathers (that anyone who has kept chickens would immediately recognize, and can be found in new down pillows, too) but is freshened by sugary alpine mint.
There’s a tease of spring florals, green and sharp but distant, and a vaguely earthy sweet resin that’s somehow creamy, like ice milk that hasn’t been flavored yet.
Projection is mild, but not exactly linear, with white forest floor musk shyly creeping in now and then.
Lasts most of the day, and even longer on mitten cuffs.

Recommended for ski instructors, Swan Lake dancers, and anyone else–but only when the temperature is below freezing out.

*

I love this melancholy winter song–and how amazing this party must have been!

Rhinoceros

Test paper cut out of bottle, a decant vial, carved wood rhino and a shot glass with an ounce and a half of hemlock cones.

Drunk pine cones and combat boots, but comforting.
This is that big guy at the bonfire who wrapped me up inside his motorcycle jacket to keep me warm, and whispered dreadful jokes in my ear all night long, and I’ll always be a little in love with him.

Fills the room then eases into personal space for the entire night, and lingers on the skin the next.

*

Rhinoceros was a supergroup experiment by Electra Records in 1969. There’s a good stampede in the middle of this one–

Elephant

Wooden elephant statuette with decant vial, paper test of Zoologist bottle and green leaves.

Green grass and green tea and green coconuts and jasmine at the beginning–playful jungle notes that I like very much–but then the patchouli makes it rain, and the sweetness is lost.
Wood notes at the bottom dry it up and add some gravitas, but I wish the cocoa came through deeper, to give more weight.
There’s a lack of presence, in both scent and sillage, that I find disappointing.

The elephant in the room should fill the space, and this one doesn’t.

*

This Elephant makes me happy.