I think it's the lavender that seems to bring out the civet in the beginning, but as the lavender relaxes and mellows with the rest of the fragrance the civet doesn't seem so evident. I have to say though, I really don't mind civet in anything.
My nose always wants to compare MdM to Jicky and Jicky will always be forever in my top 10. MdM always falls way short of Jicky IMO, but has it's place when I want the warm fougere but not so much of those sensual notes. There seems to be a lot more patchouli compared to Jicky and I really wish it did last longer on me.