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?