The "straight up" civet I've smelled was lightly fecal, more like baby's-first-poo than offensive, and had cucumber like smell as well. Slightly sweet as well.
Civet Tincture from AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo
Swings between smelling fecal and smelling like mothballs. I do not get any urine smell here as I do with the synthetic civet. I think natural civet is much more pleasing, however, I am really impressed that synthetic civet comes as close as it does to the natural scent. I recognize this scent very well from Jicky, and of the concentrations I've tried, the civet in Jicky extrait comes closest to smelling like this natural civet. In the drydown, it has a sweetness that is unexpected, but helps me see how this can blend so well in oriental bases that include sweet balsamic notes.
From what I understand, if you can actually obtain any real civet, it may very likely be adulterated by some very odd things like baby poop and honey. Caveat emptor!
Agreed, Nymphaea. However, Profumo is a very picky about his sources so I feel comfortable when he says his animalics are authentic and natural. He also sells honey EO or tincture (or somesuch) as a separate single note dilution.
Compiled from the Note Identification Project Thread:
Civet: moth balls, aged urine, ammonia
Civit, synthetic, Perfumers Apprentice – By far the strongest note in the palette. This one packs a punch. Sulfuric and fecal aroma. (You would not want to spill it anywhere.) Oddly, this synthetic accord of civit was not as long-lasting as I had expected. It was permeating, but for something that packs such a punch in the top notes, it managed to back down appreciably. Perhaps this synthetic version was engineered to fade out so it would be more useable in perfumery.
Civet (givaudan): oh what a surprise! i actually liked the civet smell! is there something wrong with me? "It hits you like Wladimir Klitschko’s right hook and smells like his boxing shorts after 10 rounds", and that´s the polite way to put it, to quote chandler burr. but for me - amazing - it is quite pleasant, even sweet. could it be that i diluted it too much? i came as 10% and i diluted it to 1%.
Civet: whoa! Rasa Extreme without the roses! At first it reminded me more of someone's bad breath than faeces. But then that disappeared and it turned to poo. Well at least now I know what it smells like!
Civit – Fecal, musty, overwhelming. Unique aroma.
Civet - reconstitution, 2% dilution in carrier oil: eeeek ! was the first word I uttered when I smelled this molecule. It smells of old urine, strong and definitely unpleasant. I wonder what it will do to other notes when mixed - I am planning to mix it with rose, for instance. I also wonder if those who say they love civet as a note in fragrances ever smelled the single note, real or synthetic. I am not able to exactly identify a civet note in a perfume, I usually detect only a generic animalic tone.
From a sense of morbid curiosity, I smelled the "Civette" at Le Labo and was shocked how light it was. It was obviously synthetic and did smell like poo, but not the "baby's first poo" I associate with Jicky and other civet bombs. I guess it's civet dumbed down for American tastes...
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I enjoy the way civet is used in Ungaro II and Monsieur Carven. I do not know however which version they used.
I'm pretty sure that most large houses use primarily synthetic civet. I smelled the aromamolecule from Purplebird's package, and it is quite a good synthetic rendition of natural. However, the synthetic is much harsher and sharper, despite their overall similarities. The natural civet I smelled from profumo.it was soft and round--it still had the fecal notes (which smell like mothballs to me), but was far more complex.
Oh, I heard Jicky Smells like Caron's Pour Un Homme, Is this true? I hope not, because Carons PH didn't agree with me on my arm. *Crossing Fingers!* Civet sounds disturbingly heavenly!
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I find Caron Pour un Homme to be intensely more harsh and grating than Jicky. However, Jicky does have a large does of Lavender, vanilla and civet...notes very similar to what is in Caron PuH.
Is there still civet ( if there is ....I assume it is synthetic ) in modern day Joy parfum ? I heard the note was removed or very minimal ?
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The civet in Bal à Versailles is mesmerizing. BaV wouldn't be what it is without it. Deliciously dirrrrty.
Does civet paste have a shelf life and if so, how long does it last, what is its lifespan?
I have some I bought about 8 years ago. When I first got it, I used a teeny tiny bit in a 1/4 oz of anhydrous alcohol. I still have it and it still has that fecal note to it. (Maybe I used too much?) It isn't THAT bad, but I would not wear it on its own anywhere.
After I got my civet paste, I put it away in a dark, cool closet & then kind of forgot about it.
I brought it out yesterday & went outside to open it up. I had forgotten what kind of container it was in. I felt it in the baggie, and thought the paste was hard. But when I opened it up, to my surprise it was still very soft.
The smell is not as bad as I thought it would be. OK, its not *good* but its not as offensive as I remembered it.
Should I stir the paste in its container to mix it together again after being closed up so long?
Is it still any good? What can I mix it with to make it liquid so I can start using it with some of my other oils?
Any help would be greatly appreciated.
the Civet paste is still good after 8 years. As a matter of fact it is good as long as it has a smell, and in a closed container I can imagine it will take centuries before it looses it all. These organic materials that are pheromones do not putrefy. They do oxidate though and this is why their container should be air tight, contain as little air as possible and be opened as rarely as possible.
The oxidation process lowers the cheasy and fecal smell of the paste, still I understand you do not wear it, I am the only person I know who wears the pure paste with delight. This product becomes dark coloured with age and oxidation while it is light brown when fresh.
Do not stir it so that the inside does not come into contact with the air.
You should put it into pune, NON denaturated, natural 96° grain alcohol. It will keep even bettert in this form, as a tincture.
There is a receipt for the wife: perfuming the bed sheets with essential oil of lavender and Civet tincture.
Just today I received this comment from a lady who used "Feromone pour Femmes" which contains Civet and Ambergris as animal note:
"On another note: I recently carried the small bottle of pheremone woman with me on a trip, and found strangers of both sexes smiling, opening doors, striking up conversations, offering to carry my bags----! A little goes a long way."
Thank you so much for your response. I put some in a container with dehydrated alcohol that I bought from a laboratory.
The bottle says: Dehydrated Alcohol (Ethanol, Undenatured: Ethyl Alcohol, Anhydrous) So this is not denatured.
There is some clumping in the container I put the civet & alcohol in....the civet has not completely dissolved or broken up. Is that normal?
yes Ginny, undenatured or non denatured should mean that it is without denaturant. The clumping of the paste is normal in the beginning, I shall send you by mail the instruction sheet that comes along with the civet tincturing kit: http://www.profumo.it/perfume/prodotti.asp?cat=22
Thank you SO much for all your help!
Companies use the chemical molecule version for reason of costs, and in order to avoid being harrassed by animalist associations. These can tarnish their image and make them loose business.
i do remember Frank Breen (managing director of Australian distributor Cosmax for Bulgari, Issey Miyake, Lanvin and Van Cleef & Arpels) saying in 2008 : "Civet, for example, nobody today would use civet; I don't know of any fragrance that [uses natural] musk, they use synthetics. They don't use [natural] ambergris any more. There are fragrance makers who will tell you they no longer wish to use any form of natural product that is endangered or too difficult to distil. [Perfume] is essentially a harvested product or a synthetic."
... but then again that's an Australian distributor talking about European houses.
I also remember Civet product imports were banned in the USA in 2004 because of the SARS scare, but don't know the exact impact of that or if it was lifted later on...
When I traveled in Indonesia I had good fortune of trying Civet Coffee know as Kopi Luwak. Wow, was that an experience.
Just purchased some "Civet Artificial" It reminds me of the monkey cage at the zoo. I find mixing very small doses(one drop) Can really make other scents pop. I found it warms everything up a bit. Not just for anyone.
I adore the civet smell, the best one I have found so far was in Lanvin, My Sin, but I have no clue which one was used...
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I can confirm that there is not any ban in Europe, I bought it in international market without problem.
Natural civet has nothing in common with synthetic one, the synthetic has not the beautiful roundness of natural and the honey note with beautiful evolution
I've smelled the Firmenich civet base (the one from Perfumer's Apprentice) and one that they had on site at Symrise. The Symrise one, I would imagine, was a dilution, but I won't guess at the percentage. To me it smelled like rotting teeth. The Firmenich base I smelled at 100% and it was more unpleasant, but I wouldn't describe it as fecal per se. More like an intensified bad teeth smell. And both had a nuance of mothballs, more or less.
As a single note, real civet smells very fecal, and i could never wear it alone.
Synthetic civet, flat, holds almost the same kind of distance to the real as any other synthetic replica of animalic notes, its much less fecal or animalic, but instead sharp and bitter, its used in modern perfumes, and i hate it! Adds a lot to the synthetic feeling of composition.
The only exception to that is Maharanih intense, where its role is not to mimick animalics, or dirty notes but rather to enhance bitterness of orange note.
Last edited by iivanita; 13th March 2013 at 10:14 PM.
I've found that if I combine civet with artificial musks that I get an aroma reminiscent of natural musk. Yum.
It's a pity that these synthetics have so little to do with the smell of natural civet. Natural civet has a delicate almost fruity aspect that while somewhat urinous and fecal is engaging and compelling. I've bought civet absolute but it has none of the finesse of the tincture, say nothing of the synthetics which I don't think are worth using (unless there's something out there I haven't tried). I, of course, can't use civet in my perfumes, only for small experiments.