Perfume Directory

Civet (2016)
by Zoologist Perfumes


Civet information

Year of Launch2016
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 45 votes)

People and companies

HouseZoologist Perfumes
PerfumerShelley Waddington

About Civet

As the sun sinks over the dense tropical forest, civets emerge warily from the thickets. Under a carpet of narcotic flower blossoms, a smattering of coffee berries peppers the ground. The moist air is heavy with mossy aromas that penetrate every crevice, but the musky scent of the civets dominates; their marked territory daring one to enter at one’s own risk.

Zoologist Civet pays homage to the age-old ingredient, civet, as well as chypre perfumes of bygone days – perfumes that refused to be intimidated by raw, alluring, animalistic musks. Civet is a moody and complex brew entwined in mystery. It opens with a spicy floral accord, threaded through with dark coffee tones. Slowly it prowls forward, unraveling base notes of leather, moss and vanilla that combines with distinctive civet musk to create a bewildering, sophisticated scent with the promise of a sultry nighttime rendezvous.

Reviews of Civet

This one has woken me up.

It's got that warm human/animal smell which could be described as spicy and somewhat honeyed with a strong backdrop of something like glue or soup. But what it actually makes me think of is a presence with some dried but not stale urine and later a little saltiness like sweat. This may not sound appealing but it pulls at a visceral level, in the way of classical perfumes - it's not a rendition of something that smells 'good' like a flower, but of actual funk which smells good to the beast in me. It's warm and enveloping and comforting, not in a vanilla biscuit way, but in a 'belonging to and present on the earth' feeling.

It's also got some spice and florals coming in and out. I couldn't pick out individual notes as I'm so taken by the changing mosaic of smells I get when I sniff my arm. This one will need several wears - another great example of how a new perfume can impress and enthrall.
07th September, 2017
If you have enjoyed the pleasure of smelling raw or real tinctured civet, then your reaction to this composition will be: "This smells absolutely nothing like civet." Neither bluntly nor ethereally does any stage of it come across as being inspired by the animalic gold.

Beyond the misnomer, I found this to be quite pedestrian and forgettable, reminiscent of something I smelled too frequently when I worked the fragrance counter in my youth. It's keenly associational to several different styles of fragrance past — that perhaps is its strong point. It's a musked pastiche of many different perfume conventions, packaged in a gorgeous cut bottle and branded with an interesting concept and design identity.

In fact, I would argue that it's the overarching concept of the line that encourages excitement about this particular bottle. No matter, this outlier isn't buying into that ideology or buying the bottle.
05th July, 2017
I'm no scent genius, and have a hard time describing fragrances and often can only use other fragrances as a benchmark for comparison. Zoologist Perfumes "Civet" reminds me quite a bit of "Givenchy Gentleman" before it was reformulated about 20 years ago. It's a warm, honeyed vanilla and civet marvel that I wish I could afford to wear every day. Zoologist Perfumes may be doing this one a bit of a disservice by simply calling this "Civet" - the name implies a very linear experience, and nothing could be further from the truth. The opening is for me like the original Comme des Garcons Parfume - the one in the oval bottle that has that spicy, Tiger Balm smell to it. Then the leather, coffee and incense kick in to give me that warm honey-like smell which works SO good with civet. If you like Mouchoir de Monsieur, Shalimar or Jicky by Guerlain, or the before-mentioned Givenchy Gentleman, give this one a try.
09th June, 2017
This fragrance is difficult for me to describe. Opens with a chypre-like note mixed with floral and a touch of sweetness. I don't detect civet at the opening. The florals mix with coffee and vanilla to give the sweet undertone. I don't smell the hyacinth, but I do detect tuberose and carnation. Upon dry-down, the leather and musk mix with a tiny bit of civet. The vanilla is still present, taking the edge off of some of the sharper notes. Overall a very complex fragrance, and a great one to be my 400th "Tried" fragrance!
22nd May, 2017
Surprisingly good, perhaps even great, and not at all what you'd expect from the name. This is not some animalic powerhouse that reeks of piss or fecal matter, but rather a multitude of seemingly disparate smells that emerge and recede as the fragrance progresses, some that you might not think would work well together (coffee, spices/fruit, flowers and woods, etc) but they just do. What civet there is in this is well into the background, only emerging later, and then only accentuating the other elements. Quite a lot of craft and care went into making this one, reminding us again that perfumery isn't just commerce, but can aspire to be true art.
05th April, 2017 (last edited: 11th April, 2017)
I can solemnly assert that Zoologist Civet is a contemporary gem, really, a cult fragrance (by now a modern classic), a pretty gorgeous creation which, while paying tribute to a classic baroque french honeyed-mossy-spicy chypre tradition (civet= Coco Chanel, Guerlain Djedi, Rochas Mystere, Must de Cartier, Estee Lauder Knowing etc), manages at same time to strum the (wilder fruity-spicy) strings of the Indie's
dodgy creative underworld, succeeding in the aim to conjugate (exactly a la House of Matriarch Bohemian Black, a far Civet's cousin) classic and contemporary, baroquely structural and the wild cozy countryside-farm's universe (just to be better intended: ideally the classic Roccobarocco woman or Ungaro Diva interpenetrate their classic substance with the visceral Slumberhouse Sova or Rundholz 03.Apr.1968). A proudly synth note of civet is in here connected to roasted coffee, resinous plummy-figgy spices, tropical flowers and "forest" in order to disclose a bold bloody (salty-plummy) effluvium which is all at once sapiently (with balance) alluring and wildly rural. Opening is quite visceral, a blast of sultry-spicy indescribable emotions (dark, sparkling, multicolored, equatorial, dry-fruity and dirty/sweated). I detect by soon a dark resinous-peppery-woodsy/mossy-liquorous classically chypre background enveloping the brisk sultry elements of the piquant night and overall is supported by a toasted accord of earthy patchouli, burnt dried fruits and roasted coffee. I can pick up dried figs, tropical flowers (kind of orchid, tuberose, ylang-ylang), salty leather, toasted tobacco, liqueur, sugary nuts, impenetrable spices, woods, misty resins and tasty balsams (the culinary-boozy-bloody carnality of this opening "recalls" to me an ideal combination of Les Liquides Imaginaires Belo Rabello and several of the spiciest/more syrupy/honeyed Slumberhouse's creations a la Jeke and Sova). Apart toasted coffee I detect a general (typically Indie in style) burnt-sugar's effect as mastering (resins galore). The core of this juice is represented by this central mysterious connection of toasted coffee and a sort of animalic black (salty-acid) musk (the synth civet's effect). I don't get the civet's typical fecal vibe, while I surely detect (as background and after many hours) an erotic sort of "stale - vaguely acid - pungent sweat of the body recesses-effect" combined with wax and honey (which is typical of vintage animalic chypres). Along the way various balsams seem to go soothing the elements and a muskier-lighter more "polished" chypre (mossy-woody-honeyed) vibe pops up as a stroke of fate. I detect in this phase a vaguely less dark presence of honey, oakmoss, heliotrope and mossy leather. The main effect, despite stable (sapiently orchestrated, alluring, elegant) and proudly classic "in school", is anyway destabilizing, avant-garde and incredibly erotic. Super bold sillage and great longevity on my feral skin. Excellent creation nearby the house of Zoologist.
26th March, 2017

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