Macaque (2016)

Macaque by Zoologist
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7.2 / 10     89 RatingsRatingsRatings
Macaque is a perfume by Zoologist for women and men and was released in 2016. The scent is green-fruity. The longevity is above-average. It is still in production.

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Sarah McCartney

Fragrance Notes

Top Notes Top NotesGreen apple, Red mandarin, Cedar
Heart Notes Heart NotesGalbanum, Honey, Jasmine tea, Rosewood, Frankincense, Ylang-ylang
Base Notes Base NotesTree moss, Green tea, Musk, White oud



7.2 (89 Ratings)


8.1 (79 Ratings)


7.5 (83 Ratings)


8.5 (76 Ratings)
Submitted by Franfan20, last update on 18.02.2020.
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32 Reviews
Green apple tea
Nice combination of bright and energizing green notes with calming herbal notes. This almost smells therapeutic—a scent to settle stomachs, focus energy, or relax nerves. I could also see this scent pumped into hipster spas or gyms to denote health and wellness. It is interesting to note I imagine this scenting both a space and my skin. A lovely, versatile composition for what ails you.
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73 Reviews
Classic backbone, modern body
I must admit that I'm not a huge fan of 4160 Tuesdays, as they're all just a bit too synthetic for me, but I feel that thanks to Zoologist this perfumer was able to put together a real masterpiece. The crisp, sweet apple paired with galbanum and other green notes smells like some classic green fragrances, but at the same time, the fragrance on the whole smells more artistic, like they took the elements of a classic fragrance and made it far more interesting. Something worth talking about AND wearing. Macaque and Elephant both take me to the jungle in totally different ways. Macaque is fresh, bright and exciting somehow, while Elephant is more creamy and mellow. Both are spectacular.
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0 Reviews
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Very helpful Review    12
Inner harmony - or - The silence high above in fog-covered treetops
Describing Macaque is actually harder for me than I thought - even though it has grown into one of my favourite fragrances within a very short time.
Green essences, (coniferous) trees, grasses and moss. Mist and damp from the morning dew. A rather cool and barely perceptible resin note underlines the wooded character, as does a wonderfully perceptible cedar note.
In the beginning there is something bitter-fruity in the background (for me, thank God, it doesn't smell like apple). This disappears in my case within the first 5 minutes and then disappears quite quickly and completely.
Honey again, I would have liked to have smelt it out for my part. I blame that on my olfactory sensation now but for me there is no honey note perceptible.
All in all I would call Macaque a moist, cool and dark green scent. Also as rather fresh scent, whereby I mean here in no way aquatic or even sporty. Not even a rudimentary citrine either. Rather like a cool forest lake or the moss around it soaked with dew.
Macaque has an incredibly coherent and uniquely coordinated effect.
I must agree with the previous speaker - it is not as if you wear the scent on your skin but rather that it melts with the skin. Sounds cheesy, but it is.
Also it radiates a pleasant serenity, rather even deep harmony and it simply feels good. Because this harmony is relaxing and at the same time somehow refreshing.
I would push Macaque, purely from the smell, rather toward man, can well imagine me, however, that it comes also with the one or other (self-confident) wearer magnificently to the fore.
Macaque stands out pleasantly, both from his colleagues in the zoologist line and from the fragrance trends of recent years.

Macaque is a dark green, pungent fragrance. A calm and yet powerful, almost meditative and yet extremely present, invigorating fragrance. It radiates a pleasant coolness and an enveloping harmony.

...and great-wise he also transfers it to me when I wear it.
4 Replies

484 Reviews
Very helpful Review    3
Victor Wong has used a model of art direction to build the Zoologist Perfumes line. As the brand’s owner and artistic director Wong commissions work from independent perfumers and collaborates with them to shape the perfumes. I’m interested in commissioned work because it allows an artist to step outside of herself to try on a new persona/style. The work can shift expectations and find a new audience.

Wong has used this approach to create a consistent but broad aesthetic for his brand. The line has expanded to include a number of genres, but the potent eau de parfum concentration of the perfumes, excellent presentation and cheeky anthropomorphic animal themes give the line coherence. Sarah McCartney is the author of the 4160 Tuesdays line of perfumes. She approached approached Wong, upending the pattern of the director pursuing nose, and then set herself a particular challenge by choosing a green perfume as her topic. Macaque is the second green woody perfume in the line after Paul Kiler’s Panda. Third if you count Chris Bartlett’s Beaver, which is a musky green floral. (Fourth if you count the reformulated Beaver.)

Cedar and frankincense reinforce galbanum’s balsamic olfactory profile and give Macaque backbone. The core of the perfume holds a coherent shape from start to finish, giving the more volatile aromas a chance to run their course at their own pace. McCartney makes the connection between wood and fruit via sap. Unripe fruit tends to be chalky and starchy, qualities often used to describe galbanum. At the cusp of ripeness, fruit is effectively resinous. McCartney takes advantage of this particular aspect of fruit to generate woody fruit notes. Her approach short-circuits the expected associations of green perfumes with springtime breezes, chirping birds and butterflies.

Macaque is painted in broad strokes and generates deliberate juxtapositions. The ‘sap accord’ defines the perfume and gives it a bittersweet balance. McCartney does some of sleight of hand in the drydown, recreating the balance with a different accord. For most of the perfume it is the mash-up of fruit and galbanum that produces bitterseetness but in the basenotes, fruit is replaced by a sweet muskiness. The slight dissonance of sweetness and bitter inkiness extends through the life of the perfume. It’s a clever use of a soft musk, avoiding the bland ‘soft landing’ white musks give to many contemporary perfumes.

Galbanum is such a particular and forceful scent that many perfumes that use it become penned in by it. It defined the vivid green perfumes of the 1960s-’70s and has unfortunately acquired a retro vibe. McCartney dives headlong into the material and implicitly begs comparison to some heavy hitters of the past, like Chamade, Chanel 19, Aliage and Safari. It’s a gutsy move and one that pays off by focussing our attention away from the bright floral stylings of these older perfumes and toward a more dusky, vegetal interpretation. McCartney succeeds in shaking off associations with the past and places Macaque solidly in the present.


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