New Perfume Review: Zoologist Hummingbird- Buzzing Nectar

The more time I spend out in farm country the more I find unexpected things which please me. One of those that snuck up on me is the little group of three hummingbirds which have also called our house their house during the spring and summer months. We have three feeders spaced throughout the outside of the house where we can observe them. It also seems like they like to observe us as I have caught them many times in a hover looking in. It has been about a month since they headed south to wherever they spend their winter months. Since I was missing them it was nice of Victor Wong of Zoologist to provide a fragrant replacement with his fourth release Hummingbird.

Victor Wong

Victor Wong

At the end of 2014 Mr. Wong founded Zoologist with a set of three releases. Mr. Wong was an avid participant in all of the online fragrance talk. When he started his own line he decided to work with some of the brightest lights in the independent perfume community. It is an interesting process to observe as an independent perfumer who, by the very nature of the name, enjoys being creative director as well as perfumer entering into a collaboration. The success of the first three Zoologist releases I think is testament to Mr. Wong’s ability to find the right balance. For Hummingbird he has asked Shelley Waddington to be his partner in perfume.


Shelley Waddington

I have come to really enjoy Ms. Waddington’s way with floral notes. Hummingbird shows off that ability throughout most of the development of the perfume. The hummingbirds which buzz around our house are constantly in search of nectar. Ms. Waddington has collected a mélange of fruit and floral nectars into an ambrosial concoction that glistens with sweet droplets.

Hummingbird opens with fruit in front. Ms. Waddington uses pear, apple, cherry, and plum as her starters. These are not dried fruits with rich tones. These are juicy fully ripened fruity notes. They are not restrained it is a celebration of fruity notes. Ms. Waddington then matches that exuberance with a floral bouquet equally as strong. The components of that are muguet, lilac, mimosa, peony, and ylang-ylang. The three which take the lead are the lilac, peony and ylang-ylang. Lilac on its own takes a firm hand to keep it from smelling like air fresheners. Ms. Waddington deftly avoids this by using the peony and ylang-ylang to add real depth to the lilac. After having gorged on the nectar these hummingbirds retreat to the surrounding trees to take a momentary rest. While it turns woody it doesn’t dial down the richness quotient. Sandalwood, moss, amber, and coumarin form a lovely soft woody resting place for Hummingbird to roost upon.

Hummingbird has 16-18 hour longevity and above average sillage.

It will be a few months until the real things start flitting about. Until then Hummingbird will make me not miss them quite as much.

Disclosure: This review was based on a sample provided by Zoologist.

Mark Behnke

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