Bee is the latest creature to be immortalised in one of Zoologist’s fragrant creations. It’s fuzzy, sweet and dripping with decadent honey. Exactly what we need to chase the cold away!
Orange, ginger syrup, royal jelly, broom, heliotrope, mimosa, orange flower, benzoin, labdanum, musks, sandalwood, tonka, vanilla.
If you close your eyes and imagine what a bee might smell like, then Zoologist’s Bee does almost exactly what you may imagine. When you inhale Bee you think sunshine, relaxing summer days, warmth and ease. It opens with a bright, sweet ginger syrup note which is creamy, like ginger syrup poured over vanilla ice cream but left out in the sun to melt. You can almost feel it slipping down your throat, the sweetness coating your tongue. The orange isn’t particularly punchy, but it lingers in the background giving a candied or dried peel tone. Then comes the royal jelly accord which smells rather like honey on steroids. It’s so decadent, so full-on sweet, so rich and oozy that you can practically feel your blood sugar spiking just from smelling it.
The shift in Bee as it settles on the skin is not massive, but it’s interesting, because it wears like time is moving in reverse. The fragrance starts with the end products, the royal jelly, the dessert sauces, the honey, and in the heart it moves backwards to the flowers that are the raw materials the bees use. The sweetness and bright honey tones are still there, but they are joined by broom and heliotrope – flowers which smell like captured sunshine at the height of summer. They’re laden with pollen and in full bloom. There’s a phase when the florals smell ever so slightly wet, as if there is something like orris or another aquatic type floral note hiding in there, and this seems to give the composition some strength and weight.
One of the marvellous things about Bee is the density that has been achieved in the scent. This isn’t a flighty, delicate floral, nor is it mildly sweet. This is full on, heavy, dense and tooth-rottingly delicious. Definitely one for the sweet-toothed or sweet-nosed amongst us.
Although there is some progression in Bee, it remains a relatively linear type of fragrance throughout. As a result, what you are left with retains that thick, honeyed decadence that was present at the start, albeit in a slightly less full on way. In the base, a drier, pollen-like effect appears and if the start is what the industrious bees produce, the heart is the raw materials, then the base feels like the closeness of the hive itself. The scent at this point, stays much closer to the skin than it did earlier on, although it still feels like it wraps you up in a warm, fuzzy blanket of sweetness.
There is also a touch of muskiness here that feels like dense fur. To call it animalic would be to overstate it, but it is heading in that direction. It lives under the honey in the mix and has a pleasant fuzziness, like the chin-fur of a cat, or indeed the pelt of a bee.
Bee, like many of the Zoologist fragrances, isn’t a subtle scent. This is honey turned up to 11. It’s concentrated essence of hive-life. The attraction here is just how over-done it is, how exuberant and decadent. Not subtle, but satisfying, especially if sweet scents are your favourites.
The other stuff
It would be easy to characterise Bee as a summer scent, given the heady floral and honey mix and the fact that when you sniff it all you can imagine is warm summer days, but despite that, it’s lovely to wear it in winter. It’s cliched but true, this is sunshine in a bottle, and worth saving for days when daylight is scarce.
The gender of Bee leans more towards the stereotypically feminine, given the sweetness, honey and heavy florals.
The sillage and longevity of Bee are a bit changeable. To start off with it projects well, probably beyond handshake distance, but once the scent is down to its base, it projects much more quietly – to close proximity levels, ie more than hugging distance but not as far as handshake distance. The longevity is excellent though, better than you may expect from this sort of sweet and floral fragrance. We got more than eight hours of wear each time we tested it. It performs well in cooler weather conditions making it a good choice for winter, but warmth seems to reinvigorate it too. Definitely a scent to check out if you like staying power.
Zoologist are a Canadian brand who have been around for a while now, producing scents which are all inspired by animals but which do not contain animal products. Zoologist state on their website that “Zoologist Bee contains beeswax and bees are not harmed in its harvesting.” So you can wear it without worrying that it has contributed to declining bee populations.
Zoologist are a brand with a very distinct identity and their scents all seem to have a characteristic Zoologist DNA, so if you like one of their line up, you may well find yourself liking others. Some of their recent releases have been a bit hit and miss but Bee feels like it is the brand firmly back on track with a distinct and characteristic scent.
Bee by Zoologist is available from Bloom Perfumery London, where it is priced at £195 for 60ml Extrait de Parfum. The first boxes of Bee are presented in a limited edition yellow box, and thereafter it will be in the standard black box. Bloom very kindly supplied us with a no-strings-attached sample of this scent.
You can also buy Bee from the Zoologist’s web boutique for $195 USD.