The Stories Behind Zoologist Perfumes (Part 2)

Zoologist Perfumes label illustration sketches © Victor Wong / Zoologist Inc.

I like to tell people that Zoologist Perfumes is a one-man company and hope that they will forgive its shortcomings. Now I think it’s really a multi-person company; often I see Indie perfumers design everything themselves, from perfumes to packaging to online promotional artwork, but since I didn’t know two cents about perfumery back then, I focused on what I am better at – graphics design.

I disappointed my typical-Chinese parents when I told them my true passion was graphics, brutally right after I had graduated in computer science. I had worked as a programmer intern for a bank for about three months and the thing that I looked at most was not the code but the clock. Subsequently, I went to college to learn computer graphics, and since graduation, my career somehow revolved around casino games. (I designed graphics for slots machines, bingo games, etc. for very small companies.)

In 2010, I joined the interactive art department of a toy company as a 3D modeller. They had a hit product in the early 2000s that made them billions of dollars. The owner wanted more, and converted their warehouses into offices, and hired hundreds of artists and programmers in hope of making another hit. During that period of time, I had met many great artists, some of them newly graduates whose artworks humbled me, and also a marketing department assistant who wrote Robin Hood fictions for teenagers at night. (She now edits the marketing blurbs you read in the sample cards.)

Shortly, stupid politics and job reapers from the HR started to appear, and that’s the time my perfume project idea sprouted. One morning, in the company kitchen, I asked Daisy, a brilliant illustrator if she would help me create artwork for my perfume labels. I thought I could draw, but after seeing her work, I realized I couldn’t. She accepted the challenge.

I have told Daisy many times, her artwork is the soul of Zoologist. I really couldn’t imagine what would happen if one day she decides not to make artwork for me. She uses an ink pen to do the illustrations and there is no undo if she makes a mistake.

What about the perfumes? I went to a forum in and asked the question, “Who would help me design a perfume with a shoestring budget?” (Not exactly like that, but worded more elegantly.) Miraculously, two indie perfumers, Chris Bartlett and Paul Kiler came to help…

Author: Victor Wong

A perfume lover - niche, designer, modern, vintage, I love them all. I am also the owner of Zoologist Perfumes, a small Canadian perfume house. Please visit or for more info!

One thought on “The Stories Behind Zoologist Perfumes (Part 2)”

  1. I have studied Paul and his dedication, knowledge and intellectual persuits are phenomenal. You are scratching the surface of his depth of creativity. His own fragrances have a lasting quality as I am sure Zoologist line does equally. Best wishes.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s