Hey, my sweet ‘n skanky friends – not too long ago, when I was posting about “nude” scents, someone mentioned Zoologist Bee, so the last time I was ordering samples I threw some Bee into the cart, because I love honey scents, and bees, and honeybees, and honey… well, you get the gist. Here’s some online blurbage:
“Like the frantic hustle of the bee through a maze of multi-faceted scents, Zoologist Bee delivers a surreal experience. The rich aroma of honey captivates, while alluring florals, royal jelly, animalic beeswax and regal incense unite to create a buzz, offering excitement, and the sweet rewards of life.”
Top: Orange, Ginger Syrup, Royal Jelly Accord
Heart: Broom, Heliotrope, Mimosa, Orange Flower
Base: Benzoin, Labdanum, Musks, Sandalwood, Tonka, Vanilla
Well, that sounds rather nice, doesn’t it? And because I was associating it mentally with my nude/comfort scent post, I didn’t think twice about giving myself a generous spritz from my sample atomizer when it arrived. To the extent I thought about it at all, I was expecting something sweetly gourmand, maybe like that honey-vanilla thing a few years ago from L’Occitane. Instead, I got … whoa ho HO, NELLY.
Frankly, we need better descriptors for the many aspects of scent; to me, “skanky” suggests something more intensely animalic, but it’ll work here, I guess. The Brits have “pong” which could do as well, and I swear the French have some word for panty-smell (and it’s a compliment.) Zoologist Bee has that furry, footy funk going on, not so much animalic as pollen-ish, a musty, musky-barnyard smell built on top of the sorts of ripe-rotten blooms that are pollinated by flies.
Bee falls into my mental category of “experiential” scents– to be sampled for all they have to offer; whether I like it or find it wearable is kinda beside the point. Since I’d guess most folks would find this borderline unwearable, I’m surprised the reviews on Fragrantica aren’t worse. Bee offers it all – a whiff of horse stables, a heady dose of hawthorne, standing downwind from a grove of Bradford pears in bloom and smelling like buttered feet … deeply interesting smells that aren’t everyone’s idea of enjoyable.
Maybe I’m smelling it differently than most folks? Here’s LuckyScent waxing poetic (emphases mine): “the honey accord is both extremely realistic and un-animalic – a doughy beeswax note to muffle its sweetness, and a softly musky, woody base of sandalwood and benzoin to keep it from sliding off into honey’s more animalic facets….” Uh, if you say so. LuckyScent has no reviews of this; maybe people are afraid to contradict the experts. Maybe they’re still trying to scrub Zoologist Bee off, or they’ve died trying. Maybe they’ve forsaken perfumes and joined a nunnery. Three days later I can still smell it on the back of my hand, after all, and I am enormously grateful I didn’t get it on my clothing.
Have I mentioned my dogs? They perked right up when I sprayed this, and then followed me around all evening, clearly intrigued. No, seriously. Don’t wear this to work unless you work at the zoo.
Really, it’s kind of fabulous, but I’d put it up (down?) there with the best of the barnyard scents.
OK so help a girl-blogger out here…. Zoologist as I’ve experienced it thus far equals variations on the same earthy-oud-smoky-musky-leathery Great Ape House, with the random smells-like-inky-sperm outlier (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Are there scents in the line that are less outlandish that I should smell? How are you feeling about Zoologist in general?
Finally, I’m inserting my giant disclaimer here: to the person who recommended it, I’m grateful you did, because I’m enjoying the hell out of this even if I wouldn’t describe it as particularly wearable. If you’re feeling stung, please know that my favorite honey scent is Lutens’ almost universally loathed Miel de Bois, which I love and wear, just so you’re clear who you’re dealing with here. Anyway, Zoologist Bee was a delightfully curative antidote to the snit I was in after surfing the fragrance counter at Bloomies, bitter with disappointment and bored out of my mind, and I’d much rather write about this.