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  1. #1

    TaoLady's Avatar
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    Default Chandler Burr on civet...

    In today's NYTimes "Style"...http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/21/style/tmagazine/21chanel.html?ref=style

    (Don't know why it won't come up blue.....but you can copy and paste...)
    Last edited by TaoLady; 21st October 2007 at 06:54 PM.
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  2. #2

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    I would like to know who's this owner of a niche perfume house who hasn't smelled civet before.

    Also, gotta love the Ellena love in a Burr article...he rated Kouros a 2 / 5 while suprise surprise, Rose Poivree gets 5 / 5.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/21/st...ne&oref=slogin

    I dont smell much "animalism" in Musc Ravageur.
    Last edited by zztopp; 21st October 2007 at 07:20 PM.
    -

  3. #3

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...


    Thanks Taolady. A very interesting article and very well written. I find Burr at his best when he's telling a story about human interaction and he does a fantastic job here.

    However, I can't imagine there are too many of us on Basenotes who are as clueless as to what civet is and its function in perfumery as Burr and his group seems to be. Being clueless certainly seems to work for the story--sophisticated, eccentric French bring the world of smell to naive straight-laced Americans--and I have no problem with that at all if all Burr is trying to do is drum up interest in fragrances and fragrance creation, but he is also trying to inform, as far as I can tell. I find it very odd then that he neglects to mention that the use of civet has all but disappeared in modern perfumery of the last twenty years and has been replaced with synthetic and synthetically derived equivalent civetone the main constituent of natural civet. Very odd that he doesn't mention this last fact, nor does he mention the animal rights protests that were partially responsible for the eventual replacement of natural civet with a synthetic, more readily available, trouble free, and assured supply.

    I might very well be mistaken, but I am pretty sure the civet in Rose Poivrée is not natural and is instead civetone.

    scentemental

    P.S. I'd be surprised if there's natural civet in Musc Ravageur.

    Last edited by scentemental; 22nd October 2007 at 02:43 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    I sure as h*ll hope Burr is faking his ignorance of civet in that piece. Otherwise he has no business writing about perfume. As for his ratings of Kouros, Musc Ravageur and Rose Poivree: this is why I never pay attention to him.

  5. #5

    TaoLady's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Quote Originally Posted by zztopp View Post
    ....Also, gotta love the Ellena love in a Burr article...he rated Kouros a 2 / 5 while suprise surprise, Rose Poivree gets 5 / 5.

    I dont smell much "animalism" in Musc Ravageur.
    A big yawn for me too....ditto Rose Poivree....
    "The world is ruled by letting things take their course. It cannot be ruled by interfering." Lao Tze

  6. #6

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    I totally agree with his assessment of Kouros...however, I do not concur with his sentiments towards MR or RP. I like them both, but not in the way he feels.

    TNMA
    "Why not seize the pleasure at once?"
    -- Jane Austen (Sun, and Mercury in Sagittarius)

  7. #7

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Interesting piece I guess. Although with regards to Kouros, I think he has gotten his #1 confused with his #2 (in bathroom speak). I love Kouros, though it can be tough to wear if you're not in character.

    On the subject of civet-- I've just recently started using synthetic civet in my perfumery, and I can't tell you how much of a leap forward it has been. When you dilute civet PROPERLY, you can put it in almost anything. I've made citrus scents that smell as clean as a whistle-- you'd never guess there was civet in there-- but it is and it's a vital piece in holding the scent together and blending the edges. It can give a fragrance life.

  8. #8
    Dependent pluran's Avatar
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Rose Poivreé's a hell of a fragrance, blended to perfection as expected from Ellena. I think my girlfriend's gone through about 25 ml's lately. I've actually gone through pretty copious amounts of it myself. It's prominent civet but not the sort that gets out of hand in the heat (Jicky can get there fast on the wrong person). Like many of Ellena's fragrances, Rose Poivreé's often at its best while mingling between hot, sweaty bodies. Civet in Musc Ravageur is a distinct possibility though it's not presented in the usual way. If it is there it just enhances the fragrance's smooth, oozing from the pores feel. As for Kouros, I used to like it a lot more than I do now, but I can definitely understand a 2/5 rating from the average person. It can be blurred by spices, and those same spices have begun to bore the hell out of me, but it's still a 3 3/4 / 5 in my wardrobe. In Kouros, I've always found the musks far more pronounced than the civet.
    Last edited by pluran; 22nd October 2007 at 07:58 AM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Thanks Taolady - I missed this yesterday and always enjoy Mr. Burr's intriguing (sometimes 'bubble gum flavored') reviews. JC Ellena stroking aside, I lovelovelove Rose Poivree.
    "One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple"

    -- Jack Kerouac

  10. #10

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Quote Originally Posted by pluran View Post
    Rose Poivreé's a hell of a fragrance, blended to perfection as expected from Ellena. I think my girlfriend's gone through about 25 ml's lately. I've actually gone through pretty copious amounts of it myself. It's prominent civet but not the sort that gets out of hand in the heat (Jicky can get there fast on the wrong person). Like many of Ellena's fragrances, Rose Poivreé's often at its best while mingling between hot, sweaty bodies. Civet in Musc Ravageur is a distinct possibility though it's not presented in the usual way. If it is there it just enhances the fragrance's smooth, oozing from the pores feel. As for Kouros, I used to like it a lot more than I do now, but I can definitely understand a 2/5 rating from the average person. It can be blurred by spices, and those same spices have begun to bore the hell out of me, but it's still a 3 3/4 / 5 in my wardrobe. In Kouros, I've always found the musks far more pronounced than the civet.
    I find Rose Poivree to be perfectly demonic, rude, lecherous, in the best possible way. I love it.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Ah, scatalogical humor lives on.

  12. #12

    Unhappy Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental View Post

    I might very well be mistaken, but I am pretty sure the civet in Rose Poivrée is not natural and is instead civetone.

    scentemental

    really? I was thinking to buy one bottle but this make me change my mind

  13. #13

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Just saw bizarre foods on Discovery travel yesterday, and they were drinking coffee in Vietnam made from civet..
    In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds it's morning, and is refreshed. -Kahlil Gibran

    Current Favourites: Mandarine by Il Profvmo, Sculpture Homme by Nikos

  14. #14

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Quote Originally Posted by chimera45 View Post
    Just saw bizarre foods on Discovery travel yesterday, and they were drinking coffee in Vietnam made from civet..
    that coffee is not just made from civet...the coffee beans are eaten by the civet, swallowed, passes through the digestive track, and, um, excreted. THEN they are gathered, cleaned, roasted, packaged, and sent to your door! Yum!
    *

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sestra View Post
    Kelly Caleche smells like Beelzeebub's urine to me...

  15. #15

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Quote Originally Posted by MiaKulpa View Post
    that coffee is not just made from civet...the coffee beans are eaten by the civet, swallowed, passes through the digestive track, and, um, excreted. THEN they are gathered, cleaned, roasted, packaged, and sent to your door! Yum!
    Wow, it's like a natural coffee machine...
    In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds it's morning, and is refreshed. -Kahlil Gibran

    Current Favourites: Mandarine by Il Profvmo, Sculpture Homme by Nikos

  16. #16

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Well, that's one way to look at it, chimera. lol

    Would you like that civet coffee with cream and sugar?
    *

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sestra View Post
    Kelly Caleche smells like Beelzeebub's urine to me...

  17. #17

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Oh, I dunno.. if its strong I might need some sugar... lol..
    In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds it's morning, and is refreshed. -Kahlil Gibran

    Current Favourites: Mandarine by Il Profvmo, Sculpture Homme by Nikos

  18. #18

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    good to the last dropping!

    *

    Please visit SalonAesthetica.com (undergoing redecorating, but still open for business and will be motoring along soon)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sestra View Post
    Kelly Caleche smells like Beelzeebub's urine to me...

  19. #19

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Rofl...!
    Last edited by chimera45; 19th November 2007 at 11:01 AM.
    In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds it's morning, and is refreshed. -Kahlil Gibran

    Current Favourites: Mandarine by Il Profvmo, Sculpture Homme by Nikos

  20. #20

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Quote Originally Posted by MiaKulpa View Post
    good to the last dropping!
    I bet that's good with dirty rice!

    on topic: I love Rose Poivrée, but don't get much of an animalistic note from it, just roses and pepper, and what I take to be vetiver in the drydown.
    Last edited by zatarain; 19th November 2007 at 06:15 PM.
    Behemoth cut a slice of pineapple, salted it, peppered it, ate it, and then tossed off a second glass of alcohol so dashingly that everyone applauded.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental View Post

    Thanks Taolady. A very interesting article and very well written. I find Burr at his best when he's telling a story about human interaction and he does a fantastic job here.
    <SNIP>
    I find it very odd then that he neglects to mention that the use of civet has all but disappeared in modern perfumery of the last twenty years and has been replaced with synthetic and synthetically derived equivalent civetone the main constituent of natural civet. Very odd that he doesn't mention this last fact, nor does he mention the animal rights protests that were partially responsible for the eventual replacement of natural civet with a synthetic, more readily available, trouble free, and assured supply.

    I might very well be mistaken, but I am pretty sure the civet in Rose Poivrée is not natural and is instead civetone.

    scentemental

    P.S. I'd be surprised if there's natural civet in Musc Ravageur.

    May I clarify something, Scentemental?
    Civet whether natural or synthetic does indeed contain civetone, but it is by no means the largest odorant part of civet. Civetone smells nothing at all like civet, but is very closely related chemically to other natural musks and has a very lovely, slightly woody and even peachy odor. It is VERY expensive to synthesize. Civetone does give civet its carrying power and makes it an exalter... that is, it raises the perceived intensity of other aromas. The main defining odorants of civet, however, are indole and skatole (yes, named after scat) and a myriad of organic acids, etc. which give it its distinctive "cheesy" and somewhat "pissy" aroma along with the pronounced "poopiness," which most of us feel smells wonderful when used correctly. If you really want to smell a good dose of civet, smell some Joy. Only slightly hidden behind all those flowers is a real powerhouse of civet. Maybe you've noticed..

    I have had real civet.. just a sample to compare with.. and I use the synthetic in my fragrances; the most common one in use is made by Givaudan of Switzerland. I can tell you that synthetic civet smells very, very close to the real thing.
    MICHAEL STORER fine niche perfumery for the individualist
    www.michaelstorer.com

  22. #22

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Quote Originally Posted by mastorer View Post
    May I clarify something, Scentemental?
    Civet whether natural or synthetic does indeed contain civetone, but it is by no means the largest odorant part of civet. Civetone smells nothing at all like civet, but is very closely related chemically to other natural musks and has a very lovely, slightly woody and even peachy odor. It is VERY expensive to synthesize. Civetone does give civet its carrying power and makes it an exalter... that is, it raises the perceived intensity of other aromas. The main defining odorants of civet, however, are indole and skatole (yes, named after scat) and a myriad of organic acids, etc. which give it its distinctive "cheesy" and somewhat "pissy" aroma along with the pronounced "poopiness," which most of us feel smells wonderful when used correctly. If you really want to smell a good dose of civet, smell some Joy. Only slightly hidden behind all those flowers is a real powerhouse of civet. Maybe you've noticed..

    I have had real civet.. just a sample to compare with.. and I use the synthetic in my fragrances; the most common one in use is made by Givaudan of Switzerland. I can tell you that synthetic civet smells very, very close to the real thing.
    Ciao Michel, it is nice for me to get some news about these synthetic materials that I do not use.
    It makes me curious. I have checked out of curiosity ambrox and cetalox after reading some posts here about these products but they are so far from real ambergris smell that I do not understand even how they could carry their names.
    The words you use of Cheesy and poopy are very true about civet, be it raw or absolute, but these smells do just hide the true nature of civet.
    If one smells it after 3 or four weeks on the mouillettes, it smells exactly like ambrette.
    The best description of Civet I have read is fron Sanzio on this group at http://community.basenotes.net/showt....it#post768127.
    He demonstrates to be an expert nose that does not stop at the superficiality of things, but this is more a quality of the soul than a quality of the nose.
    Civet paste is called civet musk, and musk is a traditional name also for Ambrette, there is definitely a link there.
    Scentemental thinks that the use of civet has been discontinued because of animalits protests, but this is not the main reason. Mass production can certainly not afford supplies of raw material that are hazardous (political instability and civil wars in Ethiopia), can not afford to use products whose supply is extremely limited and whose increase in request (to satisfy the production of a successful perfume for example) would automatically send the prices soaring.
    Synthetic raw materials have the advantages of price stability over years and almost illimited possibility of production. This is all what is needed to prospect the production of a mass product.
    AbdusSalaam Attar
    www.profumo.it
    http://naturalperfume.blogspot.com
    Last edited by Profumo; 20th November 2007 at 08:10 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Quote Originally Posted by Profumo View Post
    . . . . Scentemental thinks that the use of civet has been discontinued because of animalits protests, but this is not the main reason . . . .
    No scentemental doesn't!

    If you're going to comment on my posts, please read them carefully before you do so. This is what I said, and I am boldfacing the relevant word in case you miss it a second time around:


    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental View Post
    . . . . nor does he mention the animal rights protests that were partially responsible for the eventual replacement of natural civet with a synthetic, more readily available, trouble free, and assured supply . . .

    scentemental
    Mike it's good to hear from a perfumer who has had experience both with civet and civettone. I'd like to respond to your post and the questions it raises at length, a luxury I don't have at the moment, but I will get around to it. Thanks.

    scentemental

    Last edited by scentemental; 20th November 2007 at 09:41 PM.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Quote Originally Posted by mastorer View Post
    May I clarify something, Scentemental?
    Civet whether natural or synthetic does indeed contain civetone, but it is by no means the largest odorant part of civet. Civetone smells nothing at all like civet, but is very closely related chemically to other natural musks and has a very lovely, slightly woody and even peachy odor. It is VERY expensive to synthesize. Civetone does give civet its carrying power and makes it an exalter... that is, it raises the perceived intensity of other aromas. The main defining odorants of civet, however, are indole and skatole (yes, named after scat) and a myriad of organic acids, etc. which give it its distinctive "cheesy" and somewhat "pissy" aroma along with the pronounced "poopiness," which most of us feel smells wonderful when used correctly. If you really want to smell a good dose of civet, smell some Joy. Only slightly hidden behind all those flowers is a real powerhouse of civet. Maybe you've noticed..

    I have had real civet.. just a sample to compare with.. and I use the synthetic in my fragrances; the most common one in use is made by Givaudan of Switzerland. I can tell you that synthetic civet smells very, very close to the real thing.
    Very interesting post, thanks Mike (looking forward to trying the new EDPs of your Monk (and your other scents) paying special attention to the civet note.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

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  25. #25

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    but these smells do just hide the true nature of civet.
    If one smells it after 3 or four weeks on the mouillettes, it smells exactly like ambrette.
    ...
    Civet paste is called civet musk, and musk is a traditional name also for Ambrette, there is definitely a link there.
    Yes, the link is that both civet paste and ambrette seed oil contain macrocyclic musks. Civet, as mentioned, contains civettone (cycloheptadecenone) while ambrette seed contains ambrettolide (oxacycloheptadecenone).
    All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

  26. #26

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Quote Originally Posted by scentemental View Post
    No scentemental doesn't!

    If you're going to comment on my posts, please read them carefully before you do so. This is what I said, and I am boldfacing the relevant word in case you miss it a second time around:

    scentemental

    [/COLOR]
    Scentemental,
    You are right. I am sorry for my inattention.
    AbdusSalaam Attar
    www.profumo.it
    http://naturalperfume.blogspot.com

  27. #27

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...


    No problem. It happens. I appreciate the fact that you find time to post on the forum and share with us your experience. Most of us are hungry for the kind of experience you and Mike have and we try to piece it together here and there, so you thank you for sharing with us.

    scentemental
    Last edited by scentemental; 20th November 2007 at 10:35 PM.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Thank you scentemental, I am glad myself to be able to share with fellows perfume affictionados on this prestigious forum.
    I am only a small artisan and work only with naturals. The industry is mostly about synthetics and big production, this is why I am quite inadequate in the "Fragrance industry" forum.
    Mike is much more informed both about the commercial fragrances and on the backstages of the industry.
    I would give my best in a "natural perfumery" discussion on Basenotes, but it does not exist yet.
    AbdusSalaam Attar
    www.profumo.it
    http://naturalperfume.blogspot.com
    --------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by dcampen View Post
    Yes, the link is that both civet paste and ambrette seed oil contain macrocyclic musks. Civet, as mentioned, contains civettone (cycloheptadecenone) while ambrette seed contains ambrettolide (oxacycloheptadecenone).
    Dcampen, it is years that I read your posts and they are always for me a precious font of information. Your knowledge of chemistry is exhaustive and chemistry is such an important aspect of perfume, be it natural or not, that I often regret to know too little about it.
    I have a question for your expertise. I have recently purchased from South Africa an essence that is not used in perfumery, so impressed I was by its potential (http://tinyurl.com/26vgyd).
    I was wondering if its typical “Catty” smell, which is present also in blackcurrent absolute is due to the Pulegone molecule.
    Can it be?
    AbdusSalaam Attar
    www.profumo.it
    http://naturalperfume.blogspot.com
    Last edited by Profumo; 20th November 2007 at 11:16 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  29. #29

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    my amateur and naive contribution to this civet discussion is this:
    when I spray Jicky edp on my skin, after the initial lemony burst, I can feel the warm surge of civet, buttery, voluptuous, and I can understand the term "exaltant" in that it truly is an uplifting experience emotionally for me. Remarkable that something from a rather humble or base place can inspire such an upward motion within one's mind.An image I get is of a supple silken cloth, like a parachute, upon which the other notes are bouncing gently.
    ok. maybe that's sounds crazy, I'm just telling you what I'm thinking.
    and, furthermore, Jicky takes on a living quality - I wonder if civet has a good deal to do with this
    Last edited by rtamara41; 21st November 2007 at 01:47 AM.
    "Like a lobster with a pearl in its claw, the beet held the jasmine firmly without crushing or obscuring it. Beet lifted jasmine, the way a bullnecked partner lifts a ballerina, and the pair came on stage on citron's fluty cue. As if jasmine were a collection of beautiful paintings, beet hung it in the galleries of the nose, insured it against fire or theft, threw a party to celebrate it. Citron mailed the invitations." Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins p. 189

    What I am loving right now: Shalimar vintage extrait, Chanel Bois des Iles, Chanel no. 22, Le Labo Iris 39, Guerlain Iris Ganache

  30. #30

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    I received my 1st civet tinture bottle (50ml) from Profumo.it
    It's quite magic to have a "face to face" meeting with one of the most important ingredients of perfume making. I have to sniff it well, let pass some days and after I'll write here some of my impressions about. I must admit that not only this liquid is "alive", but the bottle that hosts it is a remarkable piece. Squared, simple and elegant, a pleasure for eyes too.

  31. #31

    Default Re: Chandler Burr on civet...

    Quote Originally Posted by Taolady View Post
    In today's NYTimes "Style"...http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/21/style/tmagazine/21chanel.html?ref=style

    (Don't know why it won't come up blue.....but you can copy and paste...)
    Interesting article to read. Interesting are specially the things written which are wrong. One would not have expected an expert like Mister Blurr to ignore that an absolute is not distilled, and his expert nose seems not to recognize that rose absolute indeed smells like rose, like a squash of fresh petals.
    I am marvelling not about a niche perfume who never smelled Civet, as ZZtopp does, but rather as how Mister Blurr never did.
    Is it not a fundamental ingredients of trafditional Perfumery?
    He is rather ingenuous in believing that natural civet is still used in mass perfumery.
    Now about Civet, which I adore (I am French), I recieve my paste directly from Ethyopia and the most usual way sellers use to tamper it is to add fat, but when you put it into alcohool it does not dissolve and is easily identified. The paste contains about 45% of absolute, which is the substance actually used by perfumers to compose (they are really few to do it).
    The quality check is simple, you need a nose and some "mouillettes", but above all you need a sample of the top quality paste. Any dilution is immediately noticed by the strengh of the smell, and time passing makes it all the more evident.
    Civet paste will smell for several month on the paper strips, and it looses its feacal odour in a few days. The lasting note that lasts for month is exactly like ambrette. Probably Dcampben can explain to us if there is some ambrettolide in the paste.
    A profumista (or a perfumer) in search of the Civet paste just has to tape "Civet paste" on google. It is so easy that it is also marvelling that Mister Blurr did not try it before.
    AbdusSalaam Attar
    www.profumo.it
    http://naturalperfume.blogspot.com

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