Canadian perfume house Zoologist are unstoppable at the moment and they’re growing their line quickly. Elephant is the latest to hit the shelves and is an aromatic wander through verdant grasslands and lush forests.
The Zoologist range are a charismatic bunch of scents, some challenging but very individual (Bat), some more tame and sophisticated (Rhinoceros), some downright playful and very wearable (Dragonfly, Hummingbird) so when they release something new, it’s always interesting to see where it will fit in. Elephant sits towards the easier end of the spectrum, being a soft, green, aromatic fragrance which is distinctly Zoologist in tone and character.
Elephant is so new that it isn’t even on the Zoologist website at the time of writing, so we have listed the notes that were supplied to us by Bloom Perfumery London.
Fresh air, violet leaf, green, sandalwood, soft amber, chocolate, coconut milk.
Zoologist have been around since 2013 and they’re having a meteoric rise into the ranks of perfume royalty, having received critical acclaim for their innovative scents which are all named after members of the animal kingdom.
You can read about the development of Elephant in an interview with the nose behind it – Chris Bartlett – on the Zoologist website.
The initial notes of Elephant are very grassy, like walking through a really lush waist-high meadow and tearing handfuls of stalks up and cramming them against your face. It’s green initially and becomes more sweet and hay-like as the scent dries, becoming quite intense towards the heart of the perfume.
The violet leaf is also very discernible in the top, it adds a strong aromatic green note and is vaguely soapy. You can tell this is violet leaf, rather than any other leaf, as there is the suggestion of the flowers unripe and just about to open in there too. At times the violet leaf becomes almost citrusy in its pungency, but without the sourness.
The experience of the top notes of Elephant reminded us of a tomato leaf scent, it doesn’t smell of tomato leaf as such, but it has that high aromatic green quality which those types of perfumes exhibit. The sort of scent that makes your nose fizz and makes you want to inhale deeply to capture every drop of it!
The journey through the start of Elephant is rather like a walk from Spring to late Summer; everything starts off green and leafy and gradually matures into something much drier, more golden, more like hay, and more concentrated in its pungency. There’s definitely a story here.
The dry and aromatic quality of the top persists into the heart and provides a pleasant hum against which everything else is set. The scent matures as woody, twiggy notes start to come through, and it really does start to evoke the feeling of walking into the fringes of a dense forest. It has that quality that really makes it possible to imagine trees closing in around you gradually as you walk, the sky being blotted out by foliage, the path becoming less and less clear. This is a dry forest though, and the wood has a baked-in-the-sun quality about it. You can practically see the split logs drying on the path and smell the muskiness of an animal that passed this way five or ten minutes ago.
The base of Elephant is warm, close and woody. The sandalwood accords are very obvious here. The chocolate and coconut milk aren’t particularly discernible in their own rights, but they lend a richness and a complexity to the scent which is really interesting. That said, at times this did remind us of the smell of a freshly split coconut; the dryness of the husky outside and the gentle freshness of the coconut milk inside. The amber adds a gentle warmth to the woody notes, and really rounds the scent out. The whole feeling here is soft, but not quiet.
The success of this perfume lies in there being a real sense of this scent being a journey; you can almost see the elephants meandering their way through the undergrowth as you experience the maturation of the scent on skin. It really takes you along with it. To that end, this has to be one of the most successful Zoologist scents so far, it’s warm, it’s wearable and it has a real charm about it. We can see this becoming one of their biggest successes.
The other stuff
The longevity of Elephant was good – it lasted until mid afternoon at the very least and sometimes was discernible even longer.
The projection of the scent was moderate. Despite this feeling like a scent that had a lot of energy about it, it seemed to want to stay pretty close to the skin. Whilst wearing it, we noticed that it was quite pungent if sniffed right next to skin, but people close by didn’t seem to be able to detect it so well.
We can definitely see this being a comfortably unisex scent; it will suit a range of people of all genders.
It’s interesting that Zoologist have chosen to release this scent now because to us it felt like it would wear best in Summer, on those long lazy evenings, sipping a G and T under a tree by the river. Not that we have many of those in Yorkshire, but still. Maybe the company wants to remind us of hotter weather now that the nights are drawing in?
Elephant will be available from Bloom Perfumery London, priced at £135 for 60ml extrait. It’s not the cheapest scent around, but Zoologist really seems to inspire devotion amongst their followers and we can see this flying off the shelves. Bloom were very kind enough to supply us with a sample of Elephant so we could test it before it came out.