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Niche Perfumery

Zoologist Cardinal: The Crimson Flight

Zoologist has finally released its long-awaited Cardinal fragrance. The Rosendo Mateu (rest in peace) creation has been a highly coveted scent since it was announced by owner Victor Wong months ago and it’s finally here.

“Branches lay bare against a grey sky. The gaiety of summer has given way to doldrums of fall, and as winter settles in, flocks take flight, like guests from a dwindling party. But one pair of revellers lingers on, he in crimson finery, she in demure tones. Among tattered streamers of copper leaves, they warble a merry duet. Around the cardinals’ nest, tinsel icicles may have replaced vibrant blooms of roses, but as they feast on scarlet berries that dot the snowy landscape, this feathered brood’s festive spirit refuses to be chilled.

Zoologist Cardinal

Zoologist Cardinal combines the invigorating scents of bergamot, rose, and rich hints of leather. Tart green notes entwine with handsome undertones to encircle you in a subtle wreath of fragrance. Cloak yourself in this warm, cheerful perfume, a spark of joy on a bleak winter day.”
Being inspired by one of North America’s most iconic birds, Cardinal aims to invoke the earthy landscape that these birds call home. Tones of herbal clary sage met with leather and earthy patchouli form the main attraction of the perfume, while roe, bergamot, and moss make up the supporting cast.

Zoologist Cardinal


Top: Lemon, Bergamot, Mandarin, and Green Leaves

Heart: Rose, Clary Sage, and Leather

Base: Patchouli, Vanilla, Oakmoss, and Musk*

*Musk is synthetically derived. Zoologist does not use any real animal notes in its perfumes.

I love watching and studying birds, and we happen to have cardinals here where I live, so here are some facts about them! This might give a little insight into Zoologist’s story about the scent as well.

– The males are bright red, and the females are more of a brownish tan color.

– Males are typically the only ones that vocalize in many breeds of songbirds, but both the male and female cardinals sing. Also, Cardinals can have different dialects based on their respective regions, just as we do with words!

– They are also referred to as a “winter redbirds” due to them sticking out in the snow with their vibrant red colors. Cardinals are not migratory, which means they stay mostly in the same area, even in the winter.

– They were called cardinal due to the red vestments of Catholic cardinals during the colonialism days.

– Unlike birds who also consume insects, the cardinal almost exclusively dines on seeds.

Zoologist Cardinal

The special edition of Cardinal comes in a standard Zoologist bottle, but dress in a crimson red bottle. The cardinal artwork shows the stylish songbird donned in a suit with snowy coniferous trees in the background which seems like it could be a nod to the colonial times that the name was coined. The normal version comes in a clear bottle

The box features the caricature of the cardinal without the background. Special edition artwork is not featured on this box, which is notable, outside of a red circle that states it is the special edition version. The perfume is exclusively sold on Zoologist’s site and costs $175 for 60ml.