So. Well…you know the best part about the Internet? There is, in general, NOTHING that happens that hasn’t already happened to somebody else, somewhere on this planet – and that somebody(s) has seen fit to Share. I am thrilled about that because, in general, it means there is a photo of whatever has happened to you, even if it’s not your photo.
And so begins my story.
So. Awhile back I was…wait…before I tell you the story I guess I need to lay out the layout, as it were. Okay – we have a basic Shotgun Shack, with a new addition at right angle to the existing kitchen (running across the back of the house). At some point, maybe, El O will get off his buttockians and finish it – for now it’s roughed-in. The laundry is parallel to the French doors and the new bath (with working toilet) is perpendicular to that. With me? okay. So. One morning I decided to throw a load of laundry in before I settled down to work. Toilet lid is up. I see a dark mass in the toilet and I think ‘crap! (lol!) He must’ve had to go and didn’t want to flush while I was in the shower.’ You know. Daily Life Stuff. So I walk around the roughed-in wall to flush (already ‘ew’ but whatchagonnado, right?)….when…the Dark Mass MOVED! I nearly shit a moose right there and then! My first thought was ‘omg! there’s a snaaaake! in the bowl!’ which means El O is coming back from the shop NOW to get that damned thing out of there. I am NOT fishing a snake out of the pan. Then I calm down and realize it’s a bat.
I ain’t ‘fraid o’ no bats.
So I grab a large slotted spoon and a towel and scoop that poor thing out of there – he was exhausted from trying to stay above the water line and just lay there as I loosely wrapped him up. I took him down to the bottom of the kitchen garden and put him in the 4′ raised bed in the shade so he could recover (or not) away from predators. Checked on him through the day and, just at dusk, found the towel empty. Yay!
I ain’t ‘fraid o’ no bats. We have a bat house on the garage, I am a patch-
wearing carrying member of Bat Conservation International (it hangs from my Bombay, in place of a Twilly) and we have a bat that gets into the house from time to time – I call her Lily. My job is to turn off the ceiling fans and open the door. Lily does the rest. Before we sealed up all (he sez) most (I sez) of the ingress points in this drafty old house, I frequently had to pluck bats off the curtains – they usually just want to get outside and are happy to let you scoop them up and make it happen. I usually let Miss Lily roam the house for a few minutes, though, so she can eat all the mosquitoes foolish enough to be out and about.
So. I ain’t ‘fraid o’ no bats. I love bats! But I also had never given a thought to Bat-as-Scent or, more to the point, Bat Idea: what they, their lives and environment (out of the roost, thanks). Then Zoologist came along and caused me to ponder. So I (waaay behind the curve, I know) got ahold of a Surrender to Chance sample (along with Hummingbird & Rhinoceros – it was a Shelley Waddington (perfumer for Hummingbird) post that caused me to take a look at the Zoologist line) to see if the Bat perfume and I were on the same wavelength.
From Surrender to Chance’s site, a description:
Zoologist Bat is a 2016 Art and Olfaction Award Finalist in the Independent category. Released in 2015, created by Victor Wong (owner, Zoologist perfumes), it has notes of banana, soft fruits, damp earth, fig, tropical fruits, mineral notes, myrrh, resins, vegetal roots, furry musks*, leather*, vetiver, sandalwood and tonka. (* is synthetic notes). Startling in the artistic breadth, Bat is a complete original.
From the award entry “The journey of Bat starts at the entrance to a cave in the hillside, shrouded by the swirling fog that is created when the warm air of the outside world meets the cold breath of the dark chambers beneath, heavy with scent of deep-reaching tree roots, moist earth, and dripping limestone walls. At dusk the bat wakes and flies on delicate, leathery wings through the stony labyrinth seeking the balmy air outside, where it drinks from a stream, feasts on wild figs, ripe bananas and juicy soft fruits. Back at its roost, it snuggles with its warm companions and falls asleep again, lulled by the clean, sweet scent of musky fur and skin that is not that different from our own.”
Well! I would say yes, Ellen Covey (the phenomenal perfumer/creator behind Olympic Orchids perfumery as well as the perfumer behind Zoologist Bat) and Victor Wong got it right. I have yet to get the banana or the soft fruits notes, though. That’s okay. What I do get is an extraordinary dry, resinous …and yes…furry skin scent – it has a lot in common with Liz Zorn’s Underworld (which, in its turn, has a lot in common with Guerlain’s Djedi) – that vetiver note that always smells like dust, dirt and sweat-dried skin. The Girl’s head, just at the ear jointure, always smells like that and it’s my favorite nuzzling place. In a bit, the vetiver sinks into an earthy miasma that releases a wonderful, silvery metallic note. This ‘metallic’ is nothing like the cheap, synthetic metallic you might find on any given perfume counter these days. This is more like ribbons of mercury, if mercury could run up – and then turn into tendrils of vapor. In yet another bit the metallics settle back down into liquid pools and allows itself to be wrapped in a velvety, sensual skin scent.
This is a gorgeous, lustrous, very brown (dark brown. VERY dark brown) fragrance, perfect for gathering dusk. I cannot imagine wearing this with a bright pink sweater – it feels like it should be a complement to clothing in shades of steel greys or brown-y greens (or browns and blacks). I have a Skif sweater jacket that is the perfect piece to wear with this scent. That won’t be for awhile, though – it’s 90F here – so right now I’m wearing it with a black tank dress & some amber beads and it’s perfect. It’s doing that intriguing thing where it both sits lightly on the skin while also becoming part of my own chemistry (rather than blather about what I mean, I would ask you to consider all the perfumes that are designed to NOT do that – nothing wrong therein, btw. I do not want my beloved No5 mixing with anything! – that would be….weird. But this type of scent? It’s almost a requirement, imo. It just feels so organic.
Back in the Jurassic Era, when we did LA Scentsation, Olympic Orchids was gracious enough to send us samples for our attendees. At the time I was so overwhelmed that I was unable to take the time to explore the line. In that Venn-y, roundabout way that Life often has, I am probably the last of the LAers to become acquainted with it – but hey, no time like Now, right? Bat will take me through Zoology and on to Orchidaceae! I’ll just have to remember to turn off the ceiling fans.
Have you had a chance to sample any of the Zoologist line? Surrender to Chance has both Zoologist & Olympic Orchids samples! I’m also giving away my 1ml sample of Bat (99% full – it doesn’t take a lot of ‘dab’ to sample). Tell me a story funnier/weirder than the bat/toilet one – you can make it up if you’re living an ‘uninteresting’ life (oh, if only)…The Girl will pull a winner!