Bee

Pave bee pin, locally harvested honeycomb and decant vial, with test paper cutout of Zoologist Bee bottle.

This one is gorgeous: beeswax comb filled with vanilla and flower nectar and a bit of tonka that manages to come across as animalic, and so incredibly sweet you expect it to be sticky on the skin. The heliotrope–which I’ve not been a fan of lately–gives nice structure to the benzoin, and a lovely powder dryness to the honey-syrup.

There’s a brilliant smudge of labdanum on the bottom, a perfect hint of beekeeper’s smoke. Fills the room like a summer swarm and lasts forever.

I loved it passionately until the guy said it reminds him of that scented toilet paper from the ’70’s and now that’s all I smell and I’m so sad about it.

*

This one is as sweet as the perfume–

Hummingbird

hummingbird edgesHoneysuckle nectar and lilac and more honey, then a mouthful of cherry and lily-of-the-valley cream, but always the pervasive tropical green note that is the Zoologist trademark.

Sits a few inches above the skin for several hours, but it’s too sweet for me.


This cover of Leon Russell’s Hummingbird (made famous by BB King) is also sweet but much less flighty–

Panda

panda edgyClimbs green trees and drinks peach tea, then holds orange flowers at paws length during the descent to the forest floor.

Sweet, comfortable and ponderous, but not terribly exciting.

The latest version of this is done with green apples instead of bamboo–I think I liked the older one better.


Daniel Caesar is an R&B artist from Canada, too. (Zoologist is out of Toronto.)

Squid

squid zoo
Decant vial with sea blue eau de parfum, naturalist drawing of a squid, and test paper cutout of Zoologist bottle.

It’s blue! And weird and wet and marvelous.

Marine water and smoke out of the vial that darkens down to black fountain pen ink, dirtying up sea foam.
Algae blooms, delicate green, strangely organic and chemical at the same time, with big juicy sillage.
The ambergris rises to the surface an hour later, making it even wetter with ocean spray; benzoin sweetens it, turning it fresh again.

Six hours later and it’s still there, chaotic, never seeming to settle down to one depth; yet it’s oddly comforting and beautiful.


Gov’t Mule does a terrific jam cover of Jimi Hendrix’s 1983 (A Merman I Shall Be)–from Electric Ladyland–that goes deep under water around the 4:15 mark.

Dragonfly

Sample spray and promo card showing pink lotus blossoms and bottle with label of a dragonfly wearing an embroidered caped greatcoat.

Edit – 9/29/21

The 2021 remake of Dragonfly is a little lighter, I think–the amber and heliotrope is replaced with benzoin and ginger, with the wet notes lasting longer on the bottom.
The mustiness of the rice still comes through, but it’s more powdery now–drying out just after a sun shower, rather than in the rain–and still cloying.
Not my favorite Zoologist.

*

dragonfly edgy
Decant vial on Zoologist ad. (The first edition had lavender eau.)

Green pond lilies and sugar dipped flowers steaming in summer rainstorms.

There’s an amber shard edge that keeps it from being cloying, but it’s still too sweet for me.


An acoustic track from a post-grunge group that definitely has an amber edge.

Bat

Paper test cutout of Zoologist bottle with a very Vlad looking bat on the label, a blue rhinestone bat, some black dirt and a decant vial.

Bat is entertaining, but makes me feel like I’m in a nature documentary narrated by David Attenborough.

“The species Chiroptera wakes in his cave, rife with mineral dirt, dust and a trace of smoke, hungry for the tropical fruits of his diet. Bananas and figs sustain him for several hours, but eventually rain hinders his foraging, and he must find refuge in the green forest floor, hiding under his own leathery wings in the woody undergrowth until it passes.”


This weird little song was in the soundtrack for Batman & Robin and might be the best thing about that whole movie.

Hyrax

Pooka sniffing decant vial and Zoologist bottle paper test strip, on Edward Lear’s watercolor sketch of a hyrax. (He did not approve.)

No.
Just. No.
This does not smell like some sexy anthropomorphic Furry wet dream musk, this smells like road kill during rutting season. Shrieking tire residue and terrified mammal anal gland excretion.

It won’t scrub off. My skin still smells like turtle pee and tarmac and rot-gut bourbon. I am not okay.
My cat is not okay.

*

Macaque

Zoologist card with sample spray and pic of bottle. The label shows a monkey wearing haori robes.

Not my monkey.
Pissy alpha pine flings fruit and the dregs of metal teapots in the air for hours, then disappears into trees after smearing indelible green musk on the skin.

Edit – 11/16/2021

Discontinued, with new flanker editions. Yuzu is a slight improvement on the original. (The Fuji Apple wasn’t available when I placed my order.)

*

Different circus, better monkeys:

Camel

Enamel camel pendant carrying decant vial, Zoologist bottle paper test cut-out, and dried rose petals.

Camel is that delicious import shop halfway down a dark alley that greets you with dried roses in enamel vases and sticky dates on brass trays when you walk in the door.

Cedar boxes of incense, the animal musk of raw silk tapestries…
The shopkeeper has smuggler’s eyes, and you laugh when he tells you there’s a djinn in the bottle but you buy it anyway because he’s so incredibly sexy.

*

This whole album is amazing.

Civet

civet
Blue-point cat ears hovering over test paper printed with Zoologist bottle and decant vial.

My cat just peed on the carpet.

No, that’s not what Civet smells like–it’s actually quite lovely. Leather and citrus and peppery carnations, smoke and it’s so lush.
But when I dabbed it on my wrist my cat freaked out, frantically pawed at my sleeve and then took a stress squirt on the rug.

Never have I felt so sexy doing laundry.
ETA:
Carpet is clean, cat is sleeping, perfume calmed down to sweet black coffee on the skin.


This Rolling Stones cover was the B-side of Jesus Christ Pose. (Best played loud.)