perfume review

Bat (2020) by Zoologist

“We have some very sad news: Zoologist Bat, designed by Ellen Covey, is now discontinued. “Bat” is important to us, and we have planned to create a new Bat, but by a different perfumer”, announced Victor Wong on Zoologist’s Blog in last June. “We hope to achieve the same greatness of the original Bat with the new one. Thank you for your support and forgiveness.”

While I was intensively caught up in thinking about densified meanings and references behind these sentences, and then about the still unrevealed name of the perfumer who was supposed to create a new formula for such a praised and awarded perfume, my mind on its own started to play with numbers, words and meanings…

So, we’ll have 2.0 in 2020…

In a world of modern, technical references the term “2.0” is almost a part of our daily life: 2.0 is not a modification or improvement of the first version, but a completely new, fundamentally modified one. We all know: 2.0 is an upgrade in which the same job is done from scratch, completely differently and (at least) equally good.

But, what happens when 1.0 is great? Is the simple math simple then?

No, it is not.

Prin Lomros, the perfumer behind the redesigned Bat, started from a completely different subspecies of the only flying mammal on Earth. He chose the fruit bat, who lives in the warm and tropical parts of the Earth and feeds on fruit.

The fruit bat belongs to the group of “megabats”, the largest bats, and because of its looks, it is equally known as the flying fox. Version 2.0 completely moved away from the cave bat, which strongly determined the identity and character of the first formula.

Pteropus  – fruit bat or flying fox

Although the basic accents from Ms Covay’s Bat can still be smelled in Prin Lomros’ composition, the new perfumed beast pushed the damp earthiness of a cave into the background. Musky and leathery animality is still present in a portrait of the night fliers, but the Lomros’ Bat is more fruity and florally enticing and seductive. I don’t know if the association was planned, but when I first smelled the redesigned Bat – the flying fox – I thought:

This is foxy!

I sniffed the opening over and over again, trying to discern the moment or layer in which the fruits transform into the animal that feeds on them:

I failed.

The exact moment when I failed to make a straight line of associations made me realise that within Zoologist’s more recently created un-extinct beasts, this creation has a special place. Being slightly accustomed to the straightforward associations, I thought: “This Bat is something else!”, and this thrilled me and filled me with completely unexpected pleasure.

Even blindfolded, I don’t believe I would miss identifying the previous Bat. I doubt that I would be among the few who would fail to connect that honey, pollen and honeycomb lead directly to marvellous Bee. I also believe that salty and fishy ambergris, the smoky ink-like quality combined with slightly sweet and powdery aftertaste points directly to Squid, another very characteristic Zoologist’s creation. Perhaps, although I’m not entirely sure, I would also associate Lomros’ Sloth with some herbivore.

But, every time I closed my eyes, trying to give my best in getting rid of narrative that burdens my smelling experience, especially when the new formula is caught up in the limbo of the known theme and the old name, I felt and sensed the same: Lomros’ Bat not only smells different – it feels different.

It smells and feels like a pause from olfactory literalism. This is unexpected.

The intensely tropical-fruity opening is imbued with foresty freshness, but the ripe fruits have a salty facet as if transformed by dirty touch. A surprisingly accentuated and intoxicating white floral layer invites you to take a step further into the exotic darkness, but in this Bat, the darkness is inviting. Sharp and cold smoke seems to unravel, lift and swirl the familiar mineral and earthy mustiness in the background. Closer to the base, thick animalic musks tightly wrap around the fruity, furry beast.

The darkness of the flying fox is appealing and exotic, the one I don’t mind getting lost in.

Compared to the original, Prim Lomros formula is less polarizing. But, this Bat offers unrestrained associativity, and the refreshing, intellectually stimulative possibility of multiple interpretations: it is all about double identity, the possibility of misplacement, a trap for predefined expectations based on previous experiences. It smells like a promise of ripe and edgy fruits and dark flowers. It fulfils animalic, musky and dirty pleasure.

It is foxy, indeed.

The Bat in Prin Lomros interpretation perfectly fits the Zoologist’s bestiary, and at the same time fully works outside of the Zoologist’s narrative as a mighty warm and seductive animalic. For a 2.0, which along with name inherited the burden of the extraordinary predecessor, Bat 2020 is an unexpectedly successful surprise.

Foxy ladies and gentlemen, the flying fox is for us!

The notes via Zoologist:
Top Notes: Fig, Passion Fruit, Pink Guava, Soil Accord
Heart Notes: Hay, Incense, Minerals, Night Blooming Jasmine
Base Notes: Animalic Notes, Leather, Mossy Stones, Teak Wood, Vetiver.

The review is based on the discovery set from my own acquisition. Opinions are my own.


The flying fox photographs are sourced from: Mother Nature Network, Fox 8, Mongabay, CAFNEC, MAX-PLANCK-GESELLSCHAFT, Save Our Flying-foxes, Cairns QLD

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