I've been fascinated by seahorses since I was a child. Why? So many reasons. Their heads resemble the heads of teeny horses! They can hold onto things — seaweed, each other — with their prehensile tails! They are monogamous! The male seahorse carries his mate's fertilized eggs in a pouch on his abdomen! I've never actually stopped to think about scents associated with seahorses, though — until now.
Seahorse is a unisex aquatic fragrance developed for Zoologist by perfumer Julien Rasquinet, and its notes include cardamom, fennel, ambrette, clary sage, tuberose, neroli, algae, vetiver and ambergris. With Seahorse, Zoologist encourages us to envision the underwater coupling of seahorses amidst a "vibrant coral garden" and other sea vegetation. I love ocean-inspired perfumes just as much as I love the idea of seahorses, so I ordered a sample of this one with much anticipation.
If you're a fan of Zoologist Dragonfly in its original (2017) formulation, you'll like the opening minutes of Seahorse: its floral-grassy top notes are sheer and a touch creamy. That's just the sunlight flickering over surface of this fragrance, however — Seahorse turns deeper and weirder as we dive into its depths. Its heart is still green but more marine, even a little bit mineral, with some distinctly "briny" notes. At this point, the fragrance skews more conventionally "masculine" than my other Zoologist favorites (Bee and Snowy Owl). Three hours later, however, it has spiraled into a softer salty-woody scent that combines its (synthetic) ambergris with some very subtle white-floral notes. Seahorse stays close to my skin by this phase (my favorite part) in its evolution. It's long-lasting and smells great on my sweater cuff the next day.
Seahorse is the second aquatic-life fragrance from Zoologist (correct me if I've missed any others!) and feels like a suitable friend for Squid, another "song of the sea" with some enjoyable quirks. Don't let its bright-blue coloration deter you: it's definitely not a mainstream "fresh" or "sport" fragrance. I'm going to take the rest of my sample with me on an upcoming trip to the seashore, where I'll dab it on as I watch the waves and imagine the creatures frolicking on the ocean floor.
Have you tried Seahorse yet? Do comment!
Zoologist Seahorse is available as 60 ml ($165) or 10 ml ($45) Extrait de Parfum. (The limited edition packaging for Seahorse, shown just above, can be found while supplies last; Luckyscent has it at the moment.) Samples are also available ($8).