Code of Conduct
Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1

    Default "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Sunday's NY Times article by Burr in "Style" Magazine has a hilarious article concerning him and 4 other industry insiders being educated in raw materials by Jean Guichard, described as the "head of a real Grassoise family."

    After introducing them to Bulgarian Rose, incense and various synthetics, he then plopped a drop of pure civet on a blotter and the description of the utter horror and recoil by the "sniffers" was hilarious! "The strong, persistent smell of dirty underwear...." "And it smells...quite simply...like anus."

    The perfumer then allowed that civet is a "cream" that his father used to roll around in his mouth and then smoked a cigarette!

    He goes on to review 3 scents with prominent civet notes...Kouros, which he described as "wearable in the 21st century as 19th century spats;" Musc Ravaguer, which he loved, and ditto Rose Poivree by The Different Company.

    My question...do perfumers actually still use REAL civet in their fragrances? I read an article once about how civet is obtained from the cat, and it wasn't pretty. It's hard to believe in this "enlightened" age that actual, real cat secretions are harvested and used in modern perfumery...I mean, Christ, where's PETA when you need them?

  2. #2

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Butthead53 View Post
    After introducing them to Bulgarian Rose, incense and various synthetics, he then plopped a drop of pure civet on a blotter and the description of the utter horror and recoil by the "sniffers" was hilarious! "The strong, persistent smell of dirty underwear...." "And it smells...quite simply...like anus."
    Chandler Burr is a tease, "plopped a drop"? Please !!! Civet does not smell like my anus (if it did, I would sell my supply to Guerlain so they could make a more natural version of Jicky) and I bet it doesn't smell like yours either. Shock value, anyone?
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 24th October 2007 at 04:54 AM.

  3. #3

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    actually, it smells terrible. burr is pretty on the money. it's use in perfumes, however, is not so much scenting the mix (heart notes of anus, anyone?) but more as a lengthener, as it's so potent in it's longevity it enhances the staying power of a frag if used in very small quantities.

  4. #4

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ruggles View Post
    Chandler Burr is a tease, "plopped a drop"? Please !!! Civet does not smell like my anus (if it did, I would sell my supply to Guerlain so they could make a more natural version of Jicky) and I bet it doesn't smell like yours either. Shock value, anyone?
    Actually it smells worse than most( but not all) people's anuses. I have civet (it's synthesized-- but it has the same active component, civetone) and it does smell like dirty ass-- there's no other way to think of it. It walks like a duck and talks like a duck. Have you ever smelled straight up civet or the synthesized civet? There's no other way to perceive it. It smells like where it comes from. How shocking is that?

    That being said, I'm discovering just how valuable an ingredient civet is-- a VERY minute addition of civet in extreme dilution can be the final glue that helps keep the fragrance together. Plenty of fragrances use civet-- fragrances that are not in the least fecal smelling.

    Really, the day I first cracked open that vial of civet I almost vomited!

  5. #5

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Kouros? Spats!? Is that a negative or a positive comment (I'm not a native speaker) ?

    I'm sad that Musc Ravageur is not that civetty on me. Maybe initially, but the vanilla/tonka pretty soon take the center stage. Seeing the good side of it: I won't feel tempted to buy it.

  6. #6

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    Actually it smells worse than most( but not all) people's anuses. I have civet (it's synthesized-- but it has the same active component, civetone) and it does smell like dirty ass-- there's no other way to think of it. It walks like a duck and talks like a duck. Really, the day I first cracked open that vial of civet I almost vomited!
    If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck it must be civet! I stand corrected. Now if I can get one of those Jungle Essence machines, I've found a new way to make a living.
    Last edited by Kevin Guyer; 24th October 2007 at 05:02 PM.

  7. #7
    Dane's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Toronto
    Posts
    2,887
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    I have to agree that its pretty ass-y. I have a bottle of the synthetic as well.

    Side story - I had purchased a bottle of Rose Poivree from the boutique in Paris a while back. I came across a good deal on another bottle in a US store, so I thought...what the heck. When I smelled the new bottle though, something was very wrong. I thought maybe it had gone bad or something, but it didn't smell rancid, it smelled sweeter and more floral. The people at the US store glady took it back, and said that perhaps the bottles produced for export used a synthetic civet, whereas the ones for sale directly from Paris used (in part) natural civet. Just a theory...but interesting nevertheless. I much preferred the stinky bottle.

  8. #8

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    The people at the US store glady took it back, and said that perhaps the bottles produced for export used a synthetic civet, whereas the ones for sale directly from Paris used (in part) natural civet.
    The people at the store were just agreeing with you so that you would be happy, they don't actually know anything about civet.

    Several fragrance material companies, Givaudan for one, make excellent synthetic civet bases that I find indistinguishable from the real thing. The Givaudan material is sold under the name "Civette Givco".
    --------------------------------------
    Sunday's NY Times article by Burr in "Style" Magazine has a hilarious article
    Yes, Burr's writing is entertaining.

    concerning him and 4 other industry insiders being educated in raw materials by Jean Guichard, described as the "head of a real Grassoise family."
    These people were being entertained, not educated.
    Last edited by dcampen; 24th October 2007 at 03:51 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

  9. #9

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Indie_Guy View Post
    Actually it smells worse than most( but not all) people's anuses. I have civet (it's synthesized-- but it has the same active component, civetone) and it does smell like dirty ass-- there's no other way to think of it.
    As I understand it, civetone is actually a rather nice musk; the main stinkers in civet are indole (which smells a lot like the heavy bottom note of jasmine, although there's some cheesy/fecal quality at high concentration) and especially skatole, which is one of the main stinky chemicals in feces.

    I too have the synth and even though it's at 10% I still can't see myself using it without diluting it to at least 1%.. and I would want to do the diluting outside on a breezy day, using heavy disposable gloves. Ugh.

  10. #10

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    As I understand it, civetone is actually a rather nice musk; the main stinkers in civet are indole (which smells a lot like the heavy bottom note of jasmine, although there's some cheesy/fecal quality at high concentration) and especially skatole, which is one of the main stinky chemicals in feces.
    Yes, I don't have civettone but it should smell quite pleasant like all the other macrocyclic ketone musks; several of which I do have.

    The intense foul smell of civet smells to me to be from indoles such as skatole (3-methyl indole) and short chain fatty acids such as butyric and caproic acids.

    Civettone is manufactured by Firmenich, here is a link to the web catalog page for it:
    http://www.firmenich.com/portal/page...productType=PR

    Here is the Givaudan page for their civet base "Civette Givco":
    http://ingredients.givaudan.com/givc...001053410aRCRD
    Last edited by dcampen; 24th October 2007 at 05:30 PM.
    All these moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.

  11. #11
    Oviatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    1,615
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    I'm surprised Burr didn't mention Ungaro II, which is--to me--by far the most civetty.....

  12. #12
    Basenotes Institution
    mikeperez23's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    25,692
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    I think Rose Poivree is civet-light to my nose, actually.

    Civet prominent frags that I would've highlighted instead, in Burr's review article are: Jicky by Guerlain, Jules by Dior and Musc Koubloui Khan by Serge Lutens.
    Last edited by mikeperez23; 24th October 2007 at 07:35 PM.
    "One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple"

    -- Jack Kerouac

  13. #13

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    QUOTE=mikeperez23;1084113]I think Rose Poivree is civet-light to my nose, actually.

    Civet prominent frags that I would've highlighted instead, in Burr's review article are: Jicky by Guerlain, Jules by Dior and Musc Koubloui Khan by Serge Lutens.[/QUOTE]

    Gosh.

    I stand corrected.

    "Meow" indeed!

    You're right that he mentioned those fragrances in the text of the story, but in a separate "box" he gave actual REVIEWS of the fragrances I mentioned as scents that, in BURR'S OPINION, had strong civet notes.

    I agree with the poster who said MR lacked civet. I don't get it either. I agree also that Jicky is the ultimate civet fragrance and would have been more appropriate to review than MR.
    --------------------------------------
    Last edited by Butthead53; 25th October 2007 at 03:14 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  14. #14
    Eluard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,338
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Butthead53 View Post
    Kouros, which he described as "wearable in the 21st century as 19th century spats;"
    Crap like this from Burr makes me want to wear Kouros all day, every day, for a week. For me Chandler Burr is nothing but Turin Light. His opinions on Men's fragrances are simply laughable.

    I have this horrible fear that this know-nothing is going to do damage to the men's fragrance market in the long run.

    More civet please — in Givenchy Gentleman! And let Burr sniff that for a month!
    There are people to whom the truth of language does not matter — they are known as liars.

  15. #15

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eluard View Post
    Crap like this from Burr makes me want to wear Kouros all day, every day, for a week. For me Chandler Burr is nothing but Turin Light. His opinions on Men's fragrances are simply laughable.

    I have this horrible fear that this know-nothing is going to do damage to the men's fragrance market in the long run.

    More civet please — in Givenchy Gentleman! And let Burr sniff that for a month!
    So it IS a negative comment - well, maybe Kouros is just too manly for Mr. Purr.

  16. #16
    Eluard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,338
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by fakepurseninja View Post
    So it IS a negative comment - well, maybe Kouros is just too manly for Mr. Purr.
    Yes, it's a very negative comment. And you're right: Chandler Burr, like Turin, has a problem with very masculine fragrances. They both, he and Turin, are inclined to female and unisex fragrances.
    There are people to whom the truth of language does not matter — they are known as liars.

  17. #17

    narcus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Königl. Preussen
    Posts
    4,579
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eluard View Post
    Crap like this from Burr makes me want to wear Kouros all day, every day, for a week. [...] His opinions on Men's fragrances are simply laughable.
    I have this horrible fear that this know-nothing is going to do damage to the men's fragrance market in the long run. More civet please — in Givenchy Gentleman! And let Burr sniff that for a month!
    ! !
    Quote Originally Posted by Eluard View Post
    Yes, it's a very negative comment. And you're right: Chandler Burr, like Turin, has a problem with very masculine fragrances. They both, he and Turin, are inclined to female and unisex fragrances. (plus inserted from the first post): For me Chandler Burr is nothing but Turin Light
    & ... OK, The Emperor of Scent was a cooperation, and they both have quite an audience for their columns on perfume. But that's about all these two men have in common, I believe.

    Turin is a scientist in the field of smells and smell perception. He earns his bucks designing fragrances and runs a niche company of his own in the aroma and fragrance business. He, at least, is believably passionate about perfumery (according to his own accounts from early childhood on), and the first male perfume critic, I think. He may also be the first one who found masculine perfumes bookworthy. And I am still looking for other perfume books which are not strictly written for women, or exclusively about feminine perfumes. And if nothing else matters, he has a natural talent with words.

    Chandler Burr
    - 'Turin light' ? Not even that!! Burr is a journalist. He has been more or less successful working as an all-rounder on different subjects. He is the author of a book about the gay gene, and The Emperor, of course, well written, too! To the best of my knowledge, this is how he got into perfume at the age of 39 (?). He learned from Turin that one could derive an income from perfume columns, and that's what Burr does now: teaching his master (Turin) how one can write for a much bigger audience in America without knowing the least thing about the subject (perfume). Burr's writing gets me cranky any time he tries to be funny. I a smile, feeling the pain that it must have cost him! So it's fragrant dinners with entertainment now, and a cook-book by Chandler tomorrow?

    As to their alleged preference for feminine fragrances - I don't know how you see the function of a perfume critic. In their columns, they are always addressing both genders, I like to think. No need to further comment on Burr's personal top ten . They have been discussed here in extenso (spring 2006, or earlier). It's his taste. He should be responsible enough to hold some of that back in NY, though.

    I wonder if anybody knows a couple of fragrances Turin actually wears. He is certainly not biased. Not because he stated that Kouros is sexy and great (for the man who can wear it), but because already his first Perfume Guide is about being open minded and feeling free. We will find that same philosophy in the second, due in April, I am sure. In the French book, he made it a routine to recommend a number of perfumes to both genders, and he described the different effects on the wearer. That was more than ten years before men could discuss the similar matters at BN in a peaceful manner. Quite an innovation then, and still the exception now. But he has also stated more than once (in a nut shell): perfume is not needed for anybody to be perfectly dressed, however at it's best, perfume is much more than a mere accessory! Turin's love for perfume has little to do with its main function - to make the wearer appear more beautiful! Anybody who has seen the man must know that he isn't vain at all.


    Last edited by narcus; 26th October 2007 at 06:43 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  18. #18
    Eluard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,338
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    ! !
    & ... OK, The Emperor of Scent was a cooperation, and they both have quite an audience for their columns on perfume. But that's about all these two men have in common, I believe.

    Turin is a scientist in the field of smells and smell perception. He earns his bucks designing fragrances and runs a niche company of his own in the aroma and fragrance business. He, at least, is believably passionate about perfumery (according to his own accounts from early childhood on), and the first male perfume critic, I think. He may also be the first one who found masculine perfumes bookworthy. And I am still looking for other perfume books which are not strictly written for women, or exclusively about feminine perfumes. And if nothing else matters, he has a natural talent with words.

    Chandler Burr - 'Turin light' ? Not even that!! Burr is a journalist. He has been more or less successful working as an all-rounder on different subjects. He is the author of a book about the gay gene, and The Emperor, of course, well written, too! To the best of my knowledge, this is how he got into perfume at the age of 39 (?). He learned from Turin that one could derive an income from perfume columns, and that's what Burr does now: teaching his master (Turin) how one can write for a much bigger audience in America without knowing the least thing about the subject (perfume). Burr's writing gets me cranky any time he tries to be funny. I a smile, feeling the pain that it must have cost him! So it's fragrant dinners with entertainment now, and a cook-book by Chandler tomorrow?

    As to their alleged preference for feminine fragrances - I don't know how you see the function of a perfume critic. In their columns, they are always addressing both genders, I like to think. No need to further comment on Burr's personal top ten . They have been discussed here in extenso (spring 2006, or earlier). It's his taste. He should be responsible enough to hold some of that back in NY, though.

    I wonder if anybody knows a couple of fragrances Turin actually wears. He is certainly not biased. Not because he stated that Kouros is sexy and great (for the man who can wear it), but because already his first Perfume Guide is about being open minded and feeling free. We will find that same philosophy in the second, due in April, I am sure. In the French book, he made it a routine to recommend a number of perfumes to both genders, and he described the different effects on the wearer. That was more than ten years before men could discuss the similar matters at BN in a peaceful manner. Quite an innovation then, and still the exception now. But he has also stated more than once (in a nut shell): perfume is not needed for anybody to be perfectly dressed, however, at it's best perfume is much more than a mere accessory! Turin's love for perfume has little to do with its main function - to make the wearer appear more beautiful! Anybody who has seen the man must know that he isn't vain at all.


    I don't disagree with you here. In calling Burr "Turin Light" I didn't intend to suggest that Turin himself is light at all. He isn't, and I have the greatest respect for the man. But he does have a problem with masculine fragrances. There is a passage in the TEoS where he splits all men's fragrances into three categoires (one of which was "the faded gentleman" as I recall, but don't have the book with me.) And this tripartite dismissal was intended to suggest that whatever one chose from the standard offerings was regressive and uninformed. He himself recommended Lauder's Pleasures for Men and Dior Homme, neither of which do I find wearable. But he is on much stronger grounds on female fragrances and that's where his genius really shines through.

    But Burr has taken on this preference and magnified it without having the innate taste to qualify it and control it. He dismisses things in a ridiculous way. Kouros is a case in point. The analogy to 19th Century spats (and are they really any different to 20th century spats?) gets it wrong: because there is nothing 19th century about Kouros. It would be more accurate to say: as dated as Picasso's Mediterranean sketches. Which is to say: not dated at all, unless you are a maven for the urban contemporary.
    Last edited by Eluard; 25th October 2007 at 12:54 PM.
    There are people to whom the truth of language does not matter — they are known as liars.

  19. #19

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Well that top ten essay of his pretty much clears everything up:

    "Wearing anything Guerlain to play tennis would be weird (while wearing Tommy Girl to play tennis would be perfect)."

  20. #20

    narcus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Königl. Preussen
    Posts
    4,579
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by fakepurseninja View Post
    Wearing anything Guerlain to play tennis would be weird, while wearing Tommy Girl to play tennis would be perfect.
    After two years with NYT it's obvious that he will never be a good perfume critic. He has no passion for what he does, and all the learning he still has to do cannot compensate that flaw. He certainly is no tennis player! If he were, he wouldn't worry about the correct perfume for it ! :bounce:
    Last edited by narcus; 28th October 2007 at 05:43 AM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

  21. #21
    Eluard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    1,338
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by narcus View Post
    After two years with NYT it's obvious that he will never be a good perfume critic. He has no passion for what he does, and all the learning he still has to do cannot compensate that flaw. He certainly is no tennis player! If he were, he wouldn't worry about the correct perfume for it ! :bounce:
    I have been mulling over your post for two weeks now, trying to put my finger on what really disturbs me abour Chandler Burr. And I think I now have it!

    There is no indication that he had the slightest interest in fragrance before he met Turin — so when he now comes up with his bombastic ex cathedra fragrance pronouncements there is no sense that they come from a man whose life has been entangled with fragrance issues over a long period. One does not feel that he has earned the right to make these style judgements.

    In fact his attitude seems to be: if you want to be taken for a fragrance guru then you'd better quack like one.

    And quack he does.
    There are people to whom the truth of language does not matter — they are known as liars.

  22. #22
    Cognoscento's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    New York state
    Posts
    699
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eluard View Post
    I have been mulling over your post for two weeks now, trying to put my finger on what really disturbs me abour Chandler Burr. And I think I now have it!

    There is no indication that he had the slightest interest in fragrance before he met Turin — so when he now comes up with his bombastic ex cathedra fragrance pronouncements there is no sense that they come from a man whose life has been entangled with fragrance issues over a long period. One does not feel that he has earned the right to make these style judgements.
    I agree. Though Burr is a good writer, he is for the most part a Johnny-come-lately to perfume. As such, he doesn't have the experience we hope for in a perfume expert. He got this job simply through one good connection, Turin, and being in the right place at the right time, not through mastery of perfume, but of writing.

    And the beauty of it for him is, his audience doesn't really know what he's talking about either. So if he doesn't really grasp a scent, he can simply cover that up with flowery metaphors, and the audience understands these better than fragrance terms anyway. His editors' fragrance knowledge is likely zero. So he won't get fired as long as he continues his cute, frothy articles. It's great being him!

    It's actually too bad Turin didn't get that job. He's probably too busy anyway, and may not want to write politically correct froth. I do respect him, even if he does like stinky Beyond Paradise!

  23. #23

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    for me, he has the pretentiousness of an expert coupled with the actual knowledge of an amateur, which makes every bit of commentary he delivers on fragrance annoying as hell.
    current favourites: guerlain vetiver, trumper eucris, adp colonia
    latest swag: cdg man2, lolita lempicka au masculin
    next buys: keiko mecheri oliban, michael by michael kors

  24. #24

    narcus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Königl. Preussen
    Posts
    4,579
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: "Meow Mix" by Chanlder Burr--A Fresh Scoop of Civet, Anyone?

    It seems obvious why the editors appointed Burr for this prominent platform. More of a riddle: why is he still there? If I was responsible, I would call up Tania Sanchez to submit drafts of what she is working on right now ( I assume Turin has turned down a NYT offer very early in the game). It's a shame really - there have been, still are, BN reviewers who know what they are writing about. And some have a talent with words, too.
    Last edited by narcus; 6th November 2007 at 04:21 PM.
    'Il mondo dei profumi è un universo senza limiti: una fraganza puo rievocare sensazioni, luoghi, persone o ancora condurre in uno spazio di nuove dimensioni emozionali' L. V.

Similar Threads

  1. Burr reviews Paris by YSL, Lipstick Rose by Malle & Cannabis Rose by Fresh
    By mikeperez23 in forum Female Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 14th April 2008, 05:42 PM
  2. Chandler Burr on civet...
    By TaoLady in forum General Fragrance Discussion
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 30th November 2007, 07:51 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •