My first fragrance-related trip to start off the new year was down south at the Zoologist Showroom in North York, Ontario. I woke up, grabbed a coffee and hit the road, excited to get my nose on Zoologist Cow.
As I approached the destination, I began to take in my surroundings. I pulled into a very unassuming plaza, searching for the showroom. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a stark white banner that read “Zoologist”. I pulled in, armed with my notebook, pen, phone and a nose that was prepared to be blown away.
Upon entering the store, you feel as if you’ve stepped through the wardrobe into Narnia. In front of you is a marble table with all of the Zoologist fragrances meticulously placed in groups of three or four. To the left is a shelf that holds all of the boxes that accompany the full-sized, 60ml bottles. On the right side are all of the animal portraits, blown up and framed.
I began admiring the decor around the space. Gorgeous pieces of Jade, crystal lamps, Asian-inspired pottery, the showroom is truly designed to the nines. In the blink of an eye, Victor Wong appeared out of the backroom. Dressed in a blue sportscoat and denim, Wong greeted me with an adequate replacement to a handshake, a firm fist bump.
We began to make small talk about his fragrances, the story behind the brand and what drew him to specific concepts. Before Zoologist, Wong worked as a 3D designer for a video game company while collecting animal figurines in his spare time.
After over ten years of collecting fragrances, Wong decided to merge his love for fragrances with his passion for animals. He would begin with Beaver, then Panda, eventually amassing 24 different fragrances before the conclusion of 2021.
When discussing the story behind Cow, Wong let me in on a secret. He challenged himself during the design process by choosing a fragrance note that was either not popular or somewhat disliked in the community. From there, he would base the fragrance off of the note, looking to create a scent profile that people could get behind.
For Zoologist Cow, the note of choice was Milk. The note itself is difficult to work with and hard to love for some. But, most importantly, it is difficult to recreate. Somehow, someway, Wong and Nathalie Feisthauer got it done.
On paper, the fragrance begins with top notes of Sage and Apple. From there, Milk, Lily of the Valley, Heliotrope, Violet and Jasmine are added to the mix. Finally, Zoologist Cow is rounded out with Cedarwood, Vetiver, Benzoin, Musk and amber.
Throughout our chat, I would periodically go back and forth from Cow and some other fragrances that Wong and I were talking about. But, once I arrived home, I sprayed the sample on my skin to see if I could pick up any subtle differences between the tester strip and my wrist.
Upon first smell on both the strip and my wrist, I was treated to a very pleasant aroma that was refreshing. It urged me to smell the strip deeper and deeper, to the point in which I physically couldn’t put it any closer to my nose. The Apple note is very prominent off the top, similar to the sweetness that you would get from a red apple, mixed with the tartness of a green apple.
The Sage works very well as a complement to the Apple’s freshness, giving off the aroma that you may find when lying down in a field of flowers. As the fragrance dries down, the Milk begins to spring to the top alongside the floral accords.
The Milk note coats your nose in a way that is light and creamy. It mixes very well with the florals, reminding me of Nordstrom’s Lavender Chai Latte. Overall, the heart notes maintain the freshness that is found off the top. The base kicks in near the three-hour mark, inviting in some fresh woods which helps to add a new layer to Zoologist Cow.
Zoologist Cow will maintain its fresh aroma throughout the entirety of its life, although the florals will trade themselves in for woods. The scent overall is absolutely terrific! It is one of the easier Zoologist scents to get behind, reminding me of Panda and Chameleon.
As suggested by Wong, I would recommend the scent be worn in the spring due to its floral and fresh nature. It is a perfect fragrance for days when you need a little pick me up, or for when you need to spray quickly and hit the road. Zoologist Cow will be available in the 60ml deluxe packaging in the original Zoologist-styled bottles or a limited edition collectors bottle (Shown above).