Growing up in S. Florida I became certified to scuba dive as soon as I was able. With access to a boat there were lots of reefs easy to get to. I had a favorite one called Hens and Chickens. I spent a lot of early mornings motoring out there just after sunrise. By the time I would get anchored and into my gear the sun would just be above the horizon. This would give that effect you see in many photographs where there are shafts of light spearing through the clear water. I would dive down to the bottom and sit still. It would take a few minutes before all the denizens of the reef would return to their morning activities. I would add to their scavenging with a piece of bread I would break up. That brought many of them right in front of my mask for a show more colorful than the best cartoons. When I think back on many things of pleasure from my past there are distinct scents associated with them. Except for this. The only actual smell was the rubber of the mask and a bit of the ocean. It was a disconnect from the vibrant colors and life right in front of me. I’ve wondered what a perfumer would do if I asked them to interpret that as a scent? Somebody else had a similar thought which has led to Zoologist Seahorse.
That somebody else is Victor Wong the creative director-owner of Zoologist. He has become one of the best creative directors in independent perfumery because he asks questions like what does a reef smell like? It all must be based on what you think bright colors smell like. For Seahorse he asked perfumer Julien Rasquinet to collaborate on this idea. The result is an extremely clever mix of abstract and realism.
When you see the colors of the fish on the reef you see neon yellows, flaming pink, deep azures, and outrageous orange. For Seahorse M. Rasquinet translates those into cardamom, tuberose, clary sage, and neroli. They are the imagined tropical fish darting around.
He places them in a fantastically realized oceanic accord of fennel, ambrette, ambergris, and seaweed. This is the water the fish swim through. The use of the fennel is particularly inspired as it is what M. Rasquinet seemingly uses as the linchpin for his oceanic accord.
Seahorse comes out of the bottle fully formed on my skin. The sun-streaked ocean is filled with vibrantly scented colors. It always felt as if I was noticing the “fish” at different times throughout the days I was wearing this.
Seahorse has 8-10 hour longevity and average sillage.
This is another exceedingly smart aquatic from Mr. Wong. Squid was an aquatic of the ocean depths. Seahorse is one which represents the shallower part of the ocean. The Technicolor riot of the tropical reef.
Disclosure: This review is based on a bottle provided by Zoologist.