A prehistoric monster of a scent, designed to rip your head off. But is it more genesis than apocalypse?
Bergamot, black pepper, fir, laurel leaf, neroli, nutmeg, champaca, geranium, jasmine, osmanthus, rose, ylang ylang, resins, cade, cedar, civet, frankincense, leather, patchouli, sandalwood, vanilla.
Zoologist are a Canadian brand who have been making waves in the perfume community in recent years. They offer a slightly bonkers stable of scents all themed around animals. The brand are quick to reassure, however, that they do not use animal derived products in their scents.
Out of all the companies on the market today, Zoologist are one which benefits from a really strong brand. Their perfumes all have a common identity. You could blind sniff a scent and figure out that it was from the Zoologist family, no problem at all.
We’ve also reviewed several others from their line including Bat, Rhinoceros, Elephant, Dragonfly and Hummingbird. We also felt that if you liked Tyrannosaurus Rex you may also enjoy Quality of Flesh by Homo Elegans.
A new release from Zoologist always creates a stir in perfume land. Zoologist are a brand who are unafraid of pushing boundaries and levels of taste with their scents, and their customers really respond to that refreshing approach. They’re really not bothered if you don’t like them or don’t think their scent is very wearable, because there are enough people out there who do respond to their fragrances.
T-Rex was always going to be the sort of scent that divided people. Even the name starts to tell you that this is a big, bold, aggressive scent and one sniff of T-Rex shows that it lives up to that in spades. It opens with a loud, acrid smoke. It immediately made us think of pubs in the 1990s (before the smoking ban in the UK came into force), especially if you sniff it straight after spraying and you can still get the scent of alcohol from it too. This is a huge opening that, if you aren’t ready for it, will knock you off your feet. Confident, burnt, and powerful, it screams it’s arrival like the roar of some primordial beast.
Let’s talk about that smoked accord for a second. It starts clean and natural, like the scent of burning logs crackling in a fireplace, but then goes sulphurous and mean-smelling, like the scent of a match lighting a cigarette in an enclosed space. Finally, the smoke becomes more resinous and sweet, more along the lines of incense. This complexity in just one facet of the scent gives a strong indication that we are in for a wild ride.
The top of T-Rex is also spicy, warm, leathery and there is also a strange, slightly soapy vibe in there too. Like sniffing the fingers of a smoker who is wearing freshly laundered clothes. It’s an undercurrent, but a very interesting one that contrasts with the smoke nicely.
At times there was also the hint of something like a smoked black tea: dry, preserved, leafy, leathery.
T-Rex also evoked for us visiting the La Brea tar pits in LA. There’s this tar quality about the scent which reminded us of that, or fresh tarmac, and oozy, unctuous resins that swallow things up. A little bit sinister.
The smoke-cloud does die down following the top of the scent and the resins and rose come to the fore a little more. In their blurb, Zoologist say “droplets of metallic rose oxide offer a chilling premonition of blood-lust” and we really did get a sense of this from wearing the perfume. There’s a moment when you can really smell the rose, festering away under the smokes and resins, but it’s an evil flower here, it controls and incites you to prick your fingers on its thorns, and when you bleed, it will add that metallic nuance to the scent it carries.
A creeping sweetness builds throughout the life of the fragrance, like an antediluvian vine crawling its way up a tree trunk. By the base of the scent the sweetness is fully formed and recognisable as vanilla and it heralds an era in the life of the scent which is significantly calmer and less tempestuous than the top and even heart notes have been. There’s a calmness and, dare we even say, tranquility the base. It’s as if the fires have receded into the distance, the monster that was terrifying you has passed and instead what you are left with is life returning to normal, flowers open their blooms, and the land falls to peace again.
There’s a really delicious indolic jasmine which comes through in the base of T-Rex and this is bolstered by hints of a creamy sandalwood and the slow rise of vanilla. The smoke is just hints in the distance, still present but no longer right at the fore. What lingers on the skin is far less aggressive than the scent we began with and in that sense T-Rex really does feel like it is telling you a story and taking you on a remarkable journey even though at times it made us feel like flies trapped in amber rather than the T-Rex itself.
The other stuff
T-Rex is enormous, especially in the top and heart. The sillage is immense and definitely projects beyond handshake distance. Be aware of this if you want to wear it to the office. The base of the scent is much quieter though and it does recede significantly after a couple of hours.
The longevity of the scent is good. When you initially spray T-Rex you imagine that it will last on your skin for weeks and although it does go for a full 8 hour working day, the latter half of the scent is significantly quieter than the first. It doesn’t last as long as you think it will do, but it is definitely still good enough to not be disappointing.
We felt that T-Rex firmly sat on the masculine side of the scent spectrum. It’s big, brash and bold. We could imagine Leonardo DiCaprio smelling like this in Wolf of Wall Street. There’s something a bit late ’80s power-dressing about it at times, with the emphasis on power and aggression.
T-Rex is available from Bloom Perfumery London where it is priced at £175 for 60ml EdP. Bloom very kindly supplied us with a no strings attached sample of this scent.
You can also buy T-Rex from the Zoologist web boutique.
The first 450 bottles of this scent were available in a ‘red’ variant, ie a red box and the T-Rex on the bottle was wearing sunglasses. If you hurry you still may be able to secure yourself one of these – bound to be a collector’s item in the future.