Blog post by Gwen
Last December, Victor Wong, founder and creative director of Zoologist Perfumes, and I met up for coffee. Victor is soft-spoken, smart and very knowledgeable about perfume, so I really enjoy spending time with him.
That day, Victor had some exciting news: he was about to launch a fragrance called Bat by nose Ellen Covey.
That would be Dr. Ellen Covey, Professor of Psychology at the University of Washington, who studies hearing and teaches sensory and perception. Her research focuses on echolocation in bats and requires her to spend time in their caves studying them. This is her job. Her hobby is orchids. She grows them commercially at Olympic Orchids, an orchid nursery in Seattle she owns. Her interest in orchids led to the launch of Olympic Orchids Perfumes in 2010, a line of handcrafted fragrances inspired by the variety of scents produced by orchid flowers she grows.
The perfume thing is working out for Covey - her parfum, Blackbird won a 2014 Art and Olfaction Award in the Artisan Category, her Woodcut, won a 2015 Art and Olfaction Award in the same category, and now Bat has won an Independent Award in the 2016 Art and Olfaction Award category.
I wanted to know more about the development of Bat. Victor was happy to oblige. I was entranced with Victor’s description of the creative process that took place between him and Ellen Covey. Then, I was entranced by Bat.
The top notes on the Zoologist website are listed as banana, soft fruits and damp earth and that’s exactly what you get at the opening. In fact, I can smell each note listed for this fragrance. The surprise is how beautiful it all smells. The fruits and their sweetness are muted, maybe because the fruits preferred by bats are fleshy and sweet, and not particularly strong smelling, and the damp earth smell is soft and true. As it blooms, there is a note of green, another dose of tropical fruits and then the myrrh – dark and resinous – anchors the fruits against the tang of mineral notes. This trip to darker depths is gorgeous and enhanced by the smell of vegetal roots. At the base, it gets animalic from the furry musk that butts up against notes of leather and vetiver that keep my nose to my wrist. Rich, woody sandalwood adds another facet of depth, while Tonka adds a warm, vanilla-like sweetness that counterbalances the darkness beautifully.
The drydown is aromatic, rich and elegant.
Bat is a gorgeous fragrance that’s natural yet refined and stunning on the skin.
Victor Wong had every reason to be excited about the launch of Bat the day we met. Bat is a rare thing: a true original and an olfactory triumph.
Check out Bat in our Shop.