Anyone who has visited Antarctica knows about the freshness of the air in this region of ice and snow, at least until one stands on the edge of a colony of penguins. Yet, these are precisely the ingredients with which a Japanese perfume designer and a Canadian manufacturer will launch a completely new product that has already been described by the press as an “unconventional fragrance”.
The perfume “Penguin” by Canadian manufacturer Zoologist Perfumes aims to exude a breath of fresh air, a touch of Antarctica, when the product is officially launched on January 12, 2024. And even if emperor penguins and their way of life serve as a model for naming and marketing, the perfume will not bear the scent of a colony of the iconic animals. However, the blend from which the perfume is made (without animal additives and without animal testing) will be a slightly tart fragrance and is likely aimed primarily at male customers.
The perfume by Japanese designer Chiaki Nomura was inspired by the lifestyle of emperor penguins, in particular the males and the icy cold air of Antarctica to which the animals are exposed during the incubation of their eggs and the rearing of the chicks. The designer used a blend of juniper berry, pink pepper, saffron, cistus, sandalwood, synthetic musk, seamoss and suede. The top note, however, is provided by “Antarctic Air” and “Ice Accord”, two synthetic fragrances that provide freshness. However, it’s not real Antarctic air or ice. “The note “Antarctic Air” is a fantasy note,” says Victor Wong, the founder and CEO of Zoologist Perfumes, in an email. And designer Chiaki Nomura adds, “I used IFF (International Flavors & Fragrances) fragrances called “Arctical” which are considered icy, chilled, airy and clean and slightly aldehydic and “Oceanol” which stand for ocean/sea, seaweed and seamoss.”
The result is a unique fragrance that is sure to delight polar fans in particular. A well-known Antarctic travel company is already stocking the product. Zoologist Perfumes will offer “Penguin” in two different packaging versions: the regular white and black packaging and the Special Edition, which will be available in limited quantities and will be presented in the colors of Antarctica.
The perfume “Penguin” is the third product sold by Zoologist Perfumes as part of its “Cold Environment” trilogy. The other two, “Snowy Owl” and “Musk Deer”, are more closely related to the Arctic world. In general, the Canadian company stands for unusual fragrance compositions that are strongly oriented towards nature and the environment of the eponymous animals.
But it is not just polar regions that are part of the Zoologist Perfumes product line. Deserts and tropical jungles with the corresponding animals also play a part in the range. In addition to the innovative fragrance, the most striking feature is certainly the carefully drawn but unconventionally depicted animals on the perfume flacons, a trademark of the company. “I founded Zoologist Perfumes in Toronto in 2013. All our fragrances are inspired by animals and their diets, habitats and associated cultural significance,” explains Victor Wong. “We don’t use animal-derived musks and our fragrances are cruelty-free. We don’t want to see any animals harmed just so we can smell good.”
This policy also seems to be working. The company has expanded its operations globally over the past ten years and its products are now available from Australia to Sweden. Zoologist Perfumes has also worked with numerous world-class perfume designers, most recently with Chiaki Nomura, the creator of “Penguin”. This designer, who trained in Japan, France and England and works in New York, draws inspiration from nature on her many travels and also found a new idea in Antarctica.
The result is a product that may not attract penguins, but will bring a fresh breeze of Antarctica to people outside the region in the future.
Dr Michael Wenger, PolarJournal
Link to the Zoologist Perfumes website
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