Blog post by Gwen

Camel – resinous and spicy and woody

Photo: Courtesy Zoologist Perfumes

Zoologist Perfumes, a Canadian niche fragrance line, has been making some of the best fragrances of the last few years. I wear Bat, Hummingbird, Civet and Rhinoceros regularly, but lately it’s Camel I’ve been crushing on. 

Here’s the description from inside the box:

“On a track through an unforgiving desert, starting point and destination are indistinguishable from one another. Terracotta-hued dunes twist and writhe, their shapes ever-shifting. Only the merciless sun and aloof constellations can be trusted to point the way. Weighed down by treasures - some tempting the eyes with their glittering sheen, others enticing with exotic aromas - the camel plods towards a far off marketplace. Water is but a dream now, the taste of sweet dates a distant memory. There is nothing but an endless ocean of sand.”

Talk about evocative!

It opens with the smell of dried fruits – apricots and raisins for sure – that soon mixes with resinous, balsamic-spicy Frankincense from Oman, rounded out with the warm, honey-sweet smell of palm date. A note of lush rose completes it. This is what I smell on my arm, but what I feel is an exotic journey unfolding on my wrist. Warm, resinous and sweet-smelling amber is up next, along with the balsamy woody smell of cedar. A note of aromatic cinnamon keeps the mix warm and spicy as it evolves.

There’s more incense here, too, this time from India. Two different types of incense give Camel two different dimensions of the note, making the fragrance even more compelling. Bitter, pungent myrrh, warm and woody, just the way I like it, brackets the incense beautifully. Sweet, heady jasmine, wafts through the smoky incense, as orange blossom adds a lovely fresh floral counterpoint to it.

At the base, there’s civet, not enough to make it skanky, just enough to give it animalic warmth, before a sweet, rich, woody note of oud appears resting on creamy sandalwood and bolstered by vetiver. Tonka bean and vanilla sweeten it just perfectly.  The drydown is smooth and seductive, resinous, spicy and woody and that OUD! It lasts and lasts on my skin.

This really is the smell of a caravan traveling through the Arab desert as I imagine it: the incense-laced air, the smell of the pack animals, the aromas coming from the marketplace, where exotic treasure of all kinds have been bought, sold and tradedand are now being moved across the desert, all mingle together in the desert air.

Victor Wong, creative director of Zoologist Perfumes, never skimps on quality, and nowhere is that more evident than with Camel. And what makes it extra-lux is the extrait de parfum concentration.

There are many great fragrances in the desert-genre (the stunning L'air du Désert Marocain by Andy Tauer leaps to mind) and Camel is a stand-out among them.

Check out Camel in our Shop.