Perfume Directory

Macaque (2016)
by Zoologist Perfumes


Macaque information

Year of Launch2016
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 42 votes)

People and companies

HouseZoologist Perfumes
PerfumerSarah McCartney

About Macaque

High upon the mountain, a group of macaques rest and play, the young mentored by exacting elders. Inside a solemn temple in the ancient mossy forest below, a ceremony takes place – a quest for inner peace. Frankincense, white oud, and jasmine tea chant in meditative harmony, their light florals and sweet offerings falling into rhythm with sweeping aromas of nature. Observing the macaques’ orderly, hierarchical society we can almost see our own hopes mirrored in their eyes.

The opening notes of Macaque offer a panoramic view of a cedar forest – intensely green and majestic. Gradually, whimsical frankincense and subtle aromas of ylang and jasmine tea begin to unravel. As you settle into the calming scent, you discover elegant traces of white oud, moss and musk, and find yourself reflecting on the tranquility of a soft but vibrant clearing among the trees.

Macaque fragrance notes

Reviews of Macaque

Zoologist Ė Macaque (2016)

A blast of galbanum and oud at the outset, dominating all remaining 11 ingredients in this creation. Sadly, as with all scents containing oud, (a note I loathe), it dominates throughout. I do get occasional sweet fruity green notes (the green apple no doubt), which waft above my arm. Thankfully the oud remains on my skin and not in the atmosphere above it, so if I just sit quietly, I donít have to endure it. Cedar in the olfactory shape of shaved pencil dryly drifts up on occasion.

Still, the green effect is not that unique or special here. Galbanum, when used judiciously, can be marvelous (Weil de Weil, Givenchy III), but here it seems shy and retiring. It might have garnered a neutral rating had they just left out the oud, but no matter, itís here at the center and must be dealt with.

My second sample from this house and both experiences are negative.
13th July, 2019
I was indifferent to this when I first smelled it perhaps a year or so ago, and thought I'd come around to it again today. I felt like I went on a bit of an adventure with a truly wonderful fragrance-I didn't give this one the credit it deserves.

Opens with a slightly tart apple-woody aroma, rich with white oud. It's slightly musky (lighter than many of the other offerings from this line) and green-the galbanum is with the scent during all phases, as it should be, adding lush green imagery to the scent. I can envision a Macaque sitting tranquilly among the bamboo, airy and light. As it dries down, sweetness from the honey and the tea add a nice, deep richness to the overall scent. All of Zoologist's scents are complex, and this one is no different-but for me, this is all about balance. Not too light, and not too heavy-a sort of zen mixture. The tartness and sweetness combine throughout for a wonderful combination, a true balancing act that works to Macaque's benefit.

This is very, very good. I feel like this scent may be easily overlooked in the Zoologist catalog: it doesn't make as much of a statement from the get-go as others. However, there is a wonderful story here for anyone to enjoy, that progresses and gets deeper as time goes on. Sillage is good (just past arm's length) and longevity is very good: 8 hours on my skin, which is excellent for a spring/summer scent.

Add this to your collection, you will NOT be disappointed.


27th March, 2019
A pale jade green ice faerie

Macaque was unexpected. The nose behind this scent is Sarah McCartney, founder of 4160 Tuesdays, a house that makes quirky, indie perfumes that remind me of listening to lo-fi, shoegaze tracks. I was expecting something along the same lines, but Macaque is both more difficult and much smoother than the 4160s Iíve tried.

The opening is bright, sharp and clean. Itís a little too chilly for my taste, and high pitched, but itís just on the right side of challenging. It reads pale green to me rather than a deep mossy forest green as the ad copy suggests. There's bitterness, but there's no weighty earthiness to it. Tart green apple emphasizes the scentís crispness while galbanum intensifies its hue. Iím not a fan of the ďgreen teaĒ accord which is a kind of transparent, floral soapiness we find with a number of green tea fragrances on the market that are as alike to smelling loose tea leaves or freshly brewed tea as smelling cherry lozenges are to real cherries.

The scent thankfully softens during its development, balancing the perfumeís sharp edges with a touch of sweetness and some blurring from the musk. ďWhite oudĒ which Iím guessing here is a slightly fruity, clean take on oud wood, provides a little more depth, but on the whole, there's no satisfactory baseline drop to this perfume.

What impresses me most about Macaque is its contradiction between a smooth texture that plays against its colour. Imagine the drape of a soft silk with a gentle sheen thatís been dyed the colour of a frostbitten green jade.

This is not a scent I would wear. Iím having a difficult time even imagining where this could be worn. I personally prefer a development with more heft. I wish the galbanum here was more earthy and grounding. Despite softening, there is a severity to it. Macaque is not easy to pull off. But it has definitely piqued my curiousity about Zoologist. This is on the good end of "neutral" for me.
23rd November, 2018
The Perfumer avoids a cloying, Honeyed mess by balancing Tannins and Citrus against this Ylang heavy
potion. Notice the sharp notes of Frankincense and Cedar are slightly blunted offering a focus upon the Lower Midrange Notes as Centre of Gravity.
Not unlike Roudnitska's creations, the perfume, of ripened boozy fruit, offers a background canvas to allow the Musk to layer in waves above. I have a vibrant 4 hours of Tutti Frutti LifeSaver deliciousness with this. Perhaps that is the result of Moss and Oud varnishy dregs.
Recommended, as it takes the focus away from WAC that bases most everything current.
05th August, 2018
A green, vegetal, botanic, eastern (far asian), meditative, harmonious atmosphere. Damp, fruity, fizzy-medicinal, gummy-aldehydic, musky greenness. Frankly the opening is kind of insufferable, one of the "hardest to tame" in contemporary perfumery. Zoologist Macaque's opening is super fizzy, sparkling and citric indeed, almost bursting of dry fruitiness, citric/berrish acidity and green bitterness. There is a tad of woodiness, some gumminess and "resinousity" as well, since this first stage under my ridiculus nose of province. A green tea's presence starts emerging with its charge of "angular fluidity" and floral leafiness. Synth resins, galbanum, green tea and sour fruitiness are the main elements of the fragrance's core. I definitely detect green apple and citrus. Something conjures me the grassy-gummy atmosphere aroused by scents from brands a la Oriza L. Legrand (Chypre Mousse) or Testa Maura (Carticasi). I detect this "secular forest's fresh-humus-aroma" rich of leaves, barks, cistus, mastic, mould, pine needles, aromatic herbs and oakmoss. Galbanum, connected to tart fruitiness and resins, arouses a sort of plastic pharmaceutical effect. I get more aoud than frankincense to bŤ honest (resins are more woody than ambery or incensey). Gradually, along the way, soothing balsams, honey, woody resins and floral patterns take softening the angular leafiness in order to provide a less vegetal and more properly musky-floral kind of vibe. Tea is still dominant but in a softer muskier floral way. In particular honey and white/yellow flowers provide a sort of mimosa/chamomille/magnolia/ylang-ylang-feel a la L'Erbolario Magnolia (fantastic fragrance). On this stage the juice is far more balanced, tamed, wise and harmonious (despite it is better to wait 3 hours before the huge fizzy tartness begins fading on the right level). The final wake is still musky-green but far less fruity and more kind of lightly rubbery, tea-oriented, honeyed and woody (but still too monolithic and intense for my full pleasure).
23rd July, 2018
An aromatic green for the ages. It has a cool, wet vibe throughout. There is a touch of sweetness in the middle from the honey and ylang ylang. The teas and galbanum in Macaque aren't bitter at all. A woody musk at the base is complimented by all the previous notes. Overall this fragrance has a unique identity all its own.
06th June, 2018

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