Bat by Zoologist Perfumes

Top Notes: Banana, Soft Fruits, Damp Earth
Heart Notes: Fig, Tropical Fruits, Mineral Notes, Myrrh, Resins, Vegetal Roots
Base Notes: Furry Musks*, Leather*, Vetiver, Sandalwood, Tonka

                                         *No animal products are used in Zoologist fragrances.


I’ve said previously how I love the concept behind Zoologist Perfumes. The ‘animal inspos’ are quirky and using the talents of artisan perfumers to compose them is a master stroke. I’ve written mini reviews  of Rhinoceros, Beaver and Panda and Civet, Nightingale and Macaque.

I have owned a sample of 2016 release, Bat, for a while but thought it would be fun to delve into it for Halloween.




Dr. Ellen Covey is the indie perfumer behind Olympic Orchids but she is also a university professor who has conducted research into bats. Therefore, it’s no wonder she captured this creature, its diet and habitat so perfectly in scent for Zoologist. Last year Bat won an Art and Olfaction Award in the Independent category.

The bat in question is specifically a fruit bat, so we begin with a mixture of fruity notes    coated in mustiness very similar to petrichor, that fantastic aroma created when rain hits dry soil. This prevents the fruitiness from veering anywhere close to syrupy cocktail territory. I can’t bear the smell of bananas but here it’s the faint odour of dried banana skin. The damp earth accord coupled with the tropical fruit is completely unique.

Consider me hooked.

As the musty fruit opening fades, I notice a chill coming off my skin along with the earthiness, as if the bat is swooping through the cool night air.

In the heart of the fragrance, Bat returns to its cave with its scent of stone walls along with vegetal roots and humus rising up from the damp dirt floor.  It’s hugely atmospheric, recreating the dark, dank environment the bat haunts during daylight hours.

The base brings us up close and personal to the mammal’s black wings and grey fur. This is achieved through a phenol, fume-y leather dusted with vetiver and set against a fuzzy musky background. Now we get a real taste of the gothic. It’s a potent brew and not for the lily-livered.

What has surprised me the most about Bat is that it’s not the wholly unapproachable art piece I expected it to be. This may be in part because it stays relatively soft on my skin (until the base) though longevity is excellent. I was prepared to be impressed by its originality but it is also clever, witty and well structured.

Bat is not a conventional, easy wear by any means, but under the cloak of a damp and overcast autumn day when the veil between worlds is at its thinnest, it fits right in.




Do you pick an appropriate perfume for Halloween? Have you tried Bat?










Filed under Perfume Reviews

23 responses to “Bat by Zoologist Perfumes

  1. Tara, I have to say that this is an amazing review! For the first time I felt an urge to try any of this line’s perfumes (well, your Halloween idea also helped since I like this holiday, and perfume named Bat seems rather appropriate 🙂 ).
    Since I know that you’ll be reading my post, I won’t repeat the explanation here and just name perfumes: Jo Malone Earl Grey & Cucumber and Sweet Milk combo. And my lipstick will be Lipstick Queen Medival (I was just reading Vanessa’s lipstick post 🙂 ).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same with me, Undina – Tara’s writing makes me wish to try this one and perhaps more from the line. I hadn’t really been encouraged to before….
      Tina G xx


    • Happy to draw you in Undina 🙂 I recall your Halloween nails competition at work one year!
      Looking forward to reading your post and finding out the reasoning for your picks.


  2. I liked Bat more than I thought I would. I have given my sample to V. so may be she will wear it for Halloween? For myself I haven’t decided yet, did’nt even have my first coffee…


  3. Hey Tara – fun review for Halloween! I think it might be an interesting one to wear in summer here – on a humid evening with the fruit bats coming out at sunset.

    My Halloween fragrance was A City On Fire by Imaginary Authors – a borrowed spritz at a Halloween party. Fab fragrance, a smoky amber/sticky incense which keeps its structural integrity all through the dry down.

    xxxxx Tina G


    • Hi Tina
      Wearing it on a humid summer’s day is such a great idea. What better way to cut through the heat than with a mega dose of petrichor?!
      A City on Fire sounds just perfect for your party.


  4. Lady Jane Grey

    Haha, “lily-livered” – you made my day, T. !
    I love bats, I find them truly fascinating – but do I want to smell like one ?…


  5. Maya

    I adore bats. I think they are awesome looking,incredible, little beasties. I tried Bat and thought it weird and strange and likeable. It’s not a perfume I would wear often. Halloween is perfect for it!!! It is probably the only perfume I will eventually buy just to have it and spritz once in a great while. There is something about it…….


  6. I was lucky enough to be at Ellen Covey´s home for dinner back in hmmm, 2015. I got to have a sniff of the unfinished BAT in her atelier. I like it then, and would be really interested to give it another sniff. I will do that next time I am in London, hopefully not that far away ……… Excellent piece, as ever. xxxx


    • How unbelievably cool to have had dinner with Ellen and visited her atelier. It’s such a shame we don’t have easy access to her fragrances in Europe, but it’s great that Bat has reached a wider audience.


  7. I loved your atmospheric review too! Totally captured every facet of Hallowe’en, and its dank, murky mystery. I am indeed the recipient of Sabine’s Bat sample, along with Civet. I liked Civet (never thought I’d see the say, she who used to be known on Basenotes as ‘VM I hate Civet’). Bat I found ingenious in the way it combined those distinctly fruity facets with the furry underbelly and musty rafter-ness. But as a perfume to wear I probably remain on the fence with it – the combination of styles was ultimately a wee bit too weird, and you do describe it as being not ‘an easy wear’. I am sure I have referred to myself as ‘lily-livered’ in the past – I am that soldier! Though weird is always fitting at Hallowe’en, no question. 😉


  8. Late to the party, but still; a great and invocative review, and I would love to try the Zoologist perfumes at some point.
    The banana note sounds scary, but If you can handle it there’s hope I would as well.
    I can no longer remember what I wore on Halloween, I guess here Halloween is mostly a kids thing.


    • The Zoologist perfumes have been a really pleasant surprise for me. I wasn’t drawn to them when Ines first wrote about them but they’re so interesting and the fact they are co posed by artisan perfumers is a real pull.


  9. I’ve tried Bat! And you’re right it’s a lot more wearable than expected. I have yet to find a zoologist perfume that works well enough with my skin and is actually one that I enjoy smelling of for the rest of the day, sadly.


    • Yes, I’m in the same position. Hopefully we’ll both find one at some point that makes us pull the trigger. It’s a great concept and have a lot of admiration for the brand.


  10. I really admire independent perfumers who create new and interesting scents and from such good ideas. There are so many to choose from, and of course we dont get everything in Australia! online is a saviour for perfume addicts lol.
    I have never really held any halloween events, its getting popular though.


    • I’m totally with you. Indie perfumers push the boundaries and take risks where the mainstream won’t.

      Thank goodness for the internet. It gives us access to perfumes but also new friends.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Pingback: Zoologist Bat Perfume Review – EauMG

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