Your first perfume was likely sweet, possibly with floral or citrus notes, and something light and universally pleasing. But people evolve (hello, natural selection), times change, and sometimes you just need to stand out. Perhaps you might like to try smelling like a rhinoceros for a change?
This might not immediately strike you as an enticing prospect, but a new line of fragrances could soon have you reconsidering. Toronto's Zoologist Perfumes aims to conjure up the essences of various members of the animal kingdom—the charm of the panda, the stealth mystery of the bat—without having to use any animal products in the process.
To the average nose, animals like rhinos, monkeys, and pandas might not have distinct scents—instead, the very thought of them might simply conjure the image of an unappealing, pungent, earthy zoo enclosure. That's why Victor Wong, founder of Zoologist, turned to the experts to bring the brand's one-of-a-kind scents to life.
"Ellen Covey, the perfumer of Zoologist Bat, is a professor who studies bats intensively," Wong says. "She suggested the perfume smell of a cave full of earthy mineral aromas, and using an aroma chemical called geosmin—which smells of damp earth—she succeeded."
Natural Selection Set, $125.
With eight unique scents, Zoologist offers a range of complex fragrances that evoke the unexpected allure of some of the planet's most intriguing creatures. Below, Wong describes each of their scents.
Bat Eau de Parfum, $125.
"We won the 2016 Art and Olfaction Award with this absolutely creative and mysterious perfume that smells of a cool cave. It opens with aromas of banana and tropical fruits that fruit bats love."
Beaver Eau de Parfum, $125.
"This smells like a swim in the river to visit a beaver lodge. It's a fresh, watery, lightly floral, addictive woody fragrance that features synthetic castoreum—beaver musk."
Civet Eau de Parfum, $125.
"This is a warm, spicy, furry, musky perfume that pays homage to vintage chypre perfumes that use civet musk. It's sophisticated and modernized."
Hummingbird Eau de Parfum, $125.
"Imagine you are a beautiful hummingbird, hovering from flower to flower to taste sweet nectars. This is a perfect blend of florals, fruits and honey."
Panda Eau de Parfum, $125.
"Panda smells like a dewy bamboo forest that's fresh, green, and relaxing. On top of that, you have Chinese osmanthus flowers, mandarin, and citrus."
Macaque Eau de Parfum, $125.
"This is a meditative scent that features cedar, jasmine tea, apple, and incense. Imagine taking a hike in an old forest and finding a spot to rest in a temple."
Nightingale Eau de Parfum, $125.
"Nightingale smells like the arrival of spring in Japan. It's a beautiful, powdery pink floral chypre that features plum blossoms, rose, saffron, and a hint of oud."
Rhinoceros Eau de Parfum, $125.
"This fragrance is an über-masculine leather scent. It opens with a big blast of rum, but mellows down to a very aromatic scent of tobacco, oud, pine, and sage."