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  1. #31
    gecko214's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Well I have a bit more, 50 grams, but still it is expensive stuff that was hard to come by and it would be a shame to waste it. I would be happy to put up the flag but don't know how to do it... I live in the tropics, Burma actually, so no issue with working outside (although right this moment we are having oddly out of season rains and a "cold" spell -- 16 degrees at night, which is, I know summer in the UK, but here that is really cold, especially considering it was 30 at night just a week ago). On the chalk issue, the book said "exhausted orris root or whiting". For "whiting" my search came up with chalk or calcium carbonate. Don't know if that is accurate but it seems to be...

  2. #32

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    With 50g, you could try it five ways. My orris powder still is not tired enough.
    Currently wearing: Bat by Zoologist Perfumes

  3. #33

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    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    I don't pretend to be an expert in anything fragrance related--I'm confined to a very narrow niche of inorganic late transition metal chemistry (there perhaps I may make a small claim). Thanks for the flattery though!

    These materials are just to aid it in dispersing and increasing the available surface area for it to dissolve. There may be some adsorption of odour components onto the material's surface (much like how activated carbon is utilized for removing odours and decolorizing organic products). Fuller's earth and bentonite are essentially the same thing. Kitty litter is bentonite, so the very cheapest kitty litter would be useful.

    Frankly, I'd just get a blender and get it all into solution that way and then toss that blender.

    Civet is evil-smelling and quite odoriferous to boot. That said, one must wear gloves and exercise extreme care in handling this paste material. I would weigh it into a tared bottle, at most 0.750 g/100 mL solvent (less is more with this animalic in my opinion as it is downright feral if overused). Then add the alcohol and any abrasive material and shake.

    This is one of those times that a Soxhlet apparatus is nifty--input incredibly vile civet concentrate in cup, and then extract.

    Cheers!

  4. #34

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    You are a Chemical angel when we needed you. Thank you.
    I admit I had to look up what on earth a Soxhlet was. That looks a very whiffy process. Would a cold wine filter suffice?

    I dared get my civet out of the box today. I must say although extremely powerful, it wasn't altogether unpleasant. It seemed so and nearly took your breath away, but if you held it at arms length and smelled the after waft (outside). it definitely had the same sort of catty smells as a Jasmine Sambac or similar. I can see that in extreme dilutions, this could be fun to use with flowers.

    Our puppy thought I had given him a whiff of heaven. Those eyes......
    Currently wearing: Bat by Zoologist Perfumes

  5. #35
    gecko214's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Thanks to both if you. Hmm. A Soxhlet extractor. I actually have one and have used it with ethanol as the solvent. I did not know that is what it is called... Besides the smell of 78 degree cat juice concentrate, I wonder if the heat would not denature the scent? You mentioned a sonicator in another post I was involved in and would that not also be a (low temperature) option here?

  6. #36

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Sonication rates as a very thorough cell-disrupter, sometimes too strong for the cells and proteins in question. If scientists need to use a more delicate procedure, they generally choose a traditional process such as enzyme digestion (disruption by chemical reaction) or grinding with a material such as sand.

    It would be interesting to see if it actually altered a smell.....

    They are not expensive. I have been looking at them to aid with difficult tinctures like ginseng roots. The cheap ones are aimed at the jewellery cleaning market. They range from a few quid for one doing 6500 waves a minute on battery power through to ones for about £100 at 42 kHz frequency. These clean your CD's, your specs and your dentures too. Handy!

    Has anyone out there used one for tinctures?
    Currently wearing: Bat by Zoologist Perfumes

  7. #37
    gecko214's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Ok, this weekend I took the plunge and did a tincture with 10 grams to make 1 liter in ethanol 96%. I used calcium carbonate which did a very nice job of triturating. I did go outside and used gloves and an apron etc as suggested. I used a (very) small glass bowl and a stainless chemistry spatula (don't know the name) to mix in the whiting. It took about three measures by volume to get it to become granulated rather than a white past (like mixing flour into softened butter, for those who cook). Then into a 1 liter brown reagent bottle, then ethanol to the top. Stir with glass rod. The paste is completely broken up and the calcium carbonate seems to do very well falling to the bottom and not clouding the liquid (after settling a few hours of course).

    The scent is already very strong after just a couple days. I don't think a 5% tincture would ever be needed. The scent I am getting so far is still a parma cheese-like strongly animalic smell. I am not getting any sweetness. Like many aromatics I have come to work with it has a strong memory association for me, but I cannot exactly place it, a kind of "I know that smell", tip-of-the-tongue type feeling. On its own not unpleasant to me but also not exalting either (e.g. unlike muskdeer or ambergris, which I find quite pleasant and seductive on their own). I did a couple experiments with this very raw tincture though (as I am impatient) with a few drops mixed with natural florals (jasmin sambac, rose otto, etc) and it seems to be an amplifier, making the scents LOUD and thick, no longer thin and (only) flowery. Also very interesting with sandalwood, making it both have more body and, well, more "floral". I can't wait to play more with it when it has matured.

  8. #38

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    I'm just testing some very fine budgie sand that has oyster shell remnants in it with alcohol in a ginseng root tincture to see that it doesn't cloud. So far so good. It is heavy, so it sinks immeadiatly and is totally inert. I actually normally use it for cleaning out dirty demijohns. If you ever need to clean a filthy or smelly bottle, it's very effective.
    Your tincture sounds good. What fun!
    Currently wearing: Bat by Zoologist Perfumes

  9. #39
    gido's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    what's with all the other stuff?

    here's the recipe for civet tincture, the standard in modern perfumery (of course, the real thing isn't used in post-modern perfumery) from our friend steffen arctander.

    Civet Tincture may be produced directly from
    the crude civet by maceration with 95% ethyl
    alcohol. It is customary to use either 5 or 10 parts
    by weight of alcohol to one part by weight of
    civet. The tinctures may be prepared with or
    without the application of heat. In any case, the
    tincture must be well chilled prior to filtration
    which can take place after a maceration time of
    several months. The tinctures are labelled Civet
    Tincture 20% (respectively 10%).

    for evaluation and experimental purposes only, i would dilute some of the tincture 10% (or even less) in alcohol.

    btw. is the initiator of this thread, genieg, still around? i wonder how it turned out, the tincture should be ready by now.

  10. #40

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    What's with all the other stuff.... it was a discussion resulting from a reference from a really old recipe saying macerate with loaf sugar. I cannot find my original reference material right now. It was looking for the right something to break the civet lump up completely without touching it or leaving any smell of it's own, or pinching the smell from the civet. Thank you for that recipe gido. Thanks to your advice, I own the most wonderful scales as from a few days ago. Now I can make mine.
    Currently wearing: Bat by Zoologist Perfumes

  11. #41
    gido's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    he also mentioned that 'gentle heat is applied since the fatty raw material is almost insoluble in cold alcohol and tends to “protect” the active ingredients from being extracted.'

    now, you be careful with this! heating alcohol can be very dangerous. just make it warm, not hot!! let's keep it at 50 degrees celsius, that's pretty safe. do not tight close the container, make sure no pressure can form (ie, air should be able to escape) while you are heating it up. you could use some foil when you've reached the right temperature, as it will expand under pressure, and give away when the pressure gets too high. try to keep the temperature more or less stable. and please, no open fire anywhere in the room, no smoking, etc. keep the room well ventilated.
    you only need the warmth to dissolve the civet, and you can stir or shake vigorously to agitate it further.

    when it's dissolved, let it cool to room temperature and close the container firmly tight. then let it macerate for several months. maybe half a year at the max, surely nothing much will be happening after that. then, filter as described above, and you're done.
    Last edited by gido; 23rd March 2011 at 10:57 AM.

  12. #42
    gido's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    mumsy, if you're really scared to do it, i can do it for you. my charge? 10% of the tincture with a minimum of 5ml and a maximum of 25ml. plus half the shipping costs (you pay yours, i will pay mine).

  13. #43
    gido's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    arctander is really the best source. there's simply no bullshit, like in many (most) books i've seen. they are a man's life work, and it prices accordingly (the complete paper version goes for over 1000 dollars, you can get the crappy scanned cdrom, like i did, for around 300$).

    another good one is piesse. but, while arctander is a little dated, piesse's work is of another age. basically, piesse's book was just a few decades before modern perfumery took off, while all these big things had already happened when arctander wrote his books. there's a century in between, and in that century, just about everything changed.

    also, piesse restains himself from giving you all the information. he had to protect his business! if he had given the real formula's, his book would be a good seller, but his perfumes sales would drop like a brick. he gave us sketches, perhaps somewhat closer to note pyramids than real formula's. there are some interesting pieces on his book on octavians blog, right now.

  14. #44

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Scared... me.... Naaah. Just Virgoan style micro detail shredding. I also didn't want to guess the proportions so had to wait until I could afford the scales. I like to be exacting with such things. I have a good source of constant heat. I shall put it on the warming side of the aga or on a storage heater. I shall check the temp with water first. I shall give you some anyway if you like, you don't have to earn it. My reference came from a 17th c manuscript I think and I cannot remember where I found it. Probably somewhere on the internet. When I come across it again, I shall tell you.
    Currently wearing: Bat by Zoologist Perfumes

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    xxx
    Last edited by bonvivant03; 14th September 2011 at 04:18 AM.

  16. #46

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Well I think this thread got resurrected by mistake, but since it did: do you have a functioning dilution of your civet paste now? I should be fascinated to hear how it worked and how it differs in use from the synthetics that I use . . .
    ďBattle cries and champagne just in time for sunrise.
    ― David Bowie
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    Fine fragrances hand made in The Shire
    Quality perfume making ingredients
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume
    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog for more info about perfumes and perfumery.

  17. #47

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    I'll do some swaps if you like, but it will only be micro amounts as i didn't make much. Pm me if you'd like some to smell. It's rather lovely in a stinky jamine way.
    Currently wearing: Bat by Zoologist Perfumes

  18. #48
    gecko214's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Mine seems to be ready. At 1% it is strong and I find I use only minute amounts in the experiments I have been doing with it. I still detect no fecal quality to it; maybe that is just my nose. It does (still) have a deep, strong, rounded, nutty parmigiano cheese quality to my nose with maybe a dash of modeling clay. I like the smell in a guilty-pleasure kind of way (the way a very faint skunk smell, when passing roadkill, can be secretly pleasant, even if we don't want to admit it). I get very little "sweetness" and to me it seems to have almost nothing to do with any artificial musks I have smelled (granted, I have not smelled that many). In very low concentrations is does have floral notes and I can see why it is related to jasmine, but definitely the dark, hidden, troubled soul of jasmine, not its public side.

  19. #49

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    can i ask you where do you shop for supplies please? :P

  20. #50
    gecko214's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    I got mine in Thailand directly from the farm, I can PM you the info if you like.

  21. #51

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    yes please, it'd love to know!! Thanks a lot@@

  22. #52

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Quote Originally Posted by gecko214 View Post
    . . . the dark, hidden, troubled soul of jasmine, not its public side.
    Beautifully put!
    ďBattle cries and champagne just in time for sunrise.
    ― David Bowie
    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    Fine fragrances hand made in The Shire
    Quality perfume making ingredients
    Twitter: @PellWallPerfume
    If you are looking for a perfumery consultation Iím happy to quote: if you want free advice, thatís what these forums are for
    You can also join my blog for more info about perfumes and perfumery.

  23. #53
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    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Civet civet where are thou

  24. #54

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    I am wondering how this civet issue worked out, I recently got a jar of civet paste. I haven't done anything with it yet. I also got 1 oz of muskrat , beaver, skunk, and a few others, all except the rare tonquin are in raw form. I have perfumers alcohol and lots of carrier oils. I guess I should begin with the perfumers alcohol . anyone else worked with these?
    Currently wearing: Folie de Minuit by Lanier

  25. #55

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Quote Originally Posted by gecko214 View Post
    Ok, this weekend I took the plunge and did a tincture with 10 grams to make 1 liter in ethanol 96%. I used calcium carbonate which did a very nice job of triturating. I did go outside and used gloves and an apron etc as suggested. I used a (very) small glass bowl and a stainless chemistry spatula (don't know the name) to mix in the whiting. It took about three measures by volume to get it to become granulated rather than a white past (like mixing flour into softened butter, for those who cook). Then into a 1 liter brown reagent bottle, then ethanol to the top. Stir with glass rod. The paste is completely broken up and the calcium carbonate seems to do very well falling to the bottom and not clouding the liquid (after settling a few hours of course).

    The scent is already very strong after just a couple days. I don't think a 5% tincture would ever be needed. The scent I am getting so far is still a parma cheese-like strongly animalic smell. I am not getting any sweetness. Like many aromatics I have come to work with it has a strong memory association for me, but I cannot exactly place it, a kind of "I know that smell", tip-of-the-tongue type feeling. On its own not unpleasant to me but also not exalting either (e.g. unlike muskdeer or ambergris, which I find quite pleasant and seductive on their own). I did a couple experiments with this very raw tincture though (as I am impatient) with a few drops mixed with natural florals (jasmin sambac, rose otto, etc) and it seems to be an amplifier, making the scents LOUD and thick, no longer thin and (only) flowery. Also very interesting with sandalwood, making it both have more body and, well, more "floral". I can't wait to play more with it when it has matured.
    Bear in mind that traditionally a perfume would use a 2 or 3 % tincture of civet. It isn't quite the dreadful smell it appears to be when used properly. Some fragrances I am aware of use 1% PURE civet in the fragrance formula - so 10 grams of civet absolute in a 1kg formula. It seems a HUGE amount but after resting it's magical.

    It appears from what I understand that a civet tincture of 10% is the most commonly used - with pure absolute being the next most common and the 3% being the least often seen.

  26. #56

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Quote Originally Posted by jfrater View Post
    Some fragrances I am aware of use 1% PURE civet in the fragrance formula - so 10 grams of civet absolute in a 1kg formula.
    Is pure civet the same thing as the absolute then? I assumed that the absolute was an extraction of the pasty animal secretion.

  27. #57

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Quote Originally Posted by Alysoun View Post
    Is pure civet the same thing as the absolute then? I assumed that the absolute was an extraction of the pasty animal secretion.
    I thought so too.

  28. #58

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Quote Originally Posted by Alysoun View Post
    Is pure civet the same thing as the absolute then? I assumed that the absolute was an extraction of the pasty animal secretion.
    Actually I can only speak from my experience of both products:

    1. Civet Absolute: this is completely soluble in ethanol. I use this pure (as is) directly in fragrances and bases. It is a solid waxy substance at room temperature but dissolves to a clear brown/yellow color when heated lightly (warm water is sufficient).
    2. Civet paste: this has a large amount of insoluble matter in it. I use this to make tinctures at 3% and 10%.

    In terms of odour, I find the civet paste a little more urinous and complex. I find the absolute has an additional vomity note. I should say that I have only experienced the Charabot absolute so I can't compare it to absolutes from other companies. My civet paste has all been from Profumo but I just bought 250 grams from another supplier with a great reputation whose tincture I have sampled and love. The tincture is so good I was more than happy to shell out for such a large sample of his paste.

    My original comment was unclear - when I said 1% PURE civet I meant undiluted absolute.

  29. #59

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    animal.JPGOh My Goodness. I got a huge order in from my supplier who is not a perfumer at all, but a trapper guy. He was amazing!!! all I wanted civet tincture. He had a very limited supply of civet paste I ordered 2 oz, I also ordered ground beaver castor, muskrat musk ( looks also like a paste), Skunk gland oil (yet to be opened). The big surprise for me is the one oz bottle of tonquin oil. He said he was unsure if the tonquin was synthetic or the real mc coy. But I do know I put some on my wrist yesterday afternoon, and I still smell the haughty cinnamon sweet smell as if I had just reapplied it!!!! I called him just a bit ago to try to order 10 more oz of the tonquin oil, but he only had 4. I also ordered a bottle of the synthetic stuff for a point of reference (it was very cheap to buy). as to the original topic.... I took a toothpick and put the civet paste ( about the size of a 1/2 pea ) into 2 3 mil bottles. I then topped one with perfumers alcohol, the other with jojoba oil. I broke up the paste with the toothpick in each bottle, and vigorously shook both bottles. The jojoba civet got cloudy pretty fast. The perfumers alcohol bottle stayed clear with the little chunks still on the bottom. smelling the jojoba civet was quite unlike smelling the paste. It has already lost its poo pee smell and I love it. However I have not applied it to my skin as I did the tonquin oil, because Jojoba is not going to kill anything germ wise right?
    Currently wearing: Folie de Minuit by Lanier

  30. #60

    Default Re: Need help diluting civet paste

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaZNRU View Post
    animal.JPGOh My Goodness. I got a huge order in from my supplier who is not a perfumer at all, but a trapper guy. He was amazing!!! all I wanted civet tincture. He had a very limited supply of civet paste I ordered 2 oz, I also ordered ground beaver castor, muskrat musk ( looks also like a paste), Skunk gland oil (yet to be opened). The big surprise for me is the one oz bottle of tonquin oil. He said he was unsure if the tonquin was synthetic or the real mc coy. But I do know I put some on my wrist yesterday afternoon, and I still smell the haughty cinnamon sweet smell as if I had just reapplied it!!!! I called him just a bit ago to try to order 10 more oz of the tonquin oil, but he only had 4. I also ordered a bottle of the synthetic stuff for a point of reference (it was very cheap to buy). as to the original topic.... I took a toothpick and put the civet paste ( about the size of a 1/2 pea ) into 2 3 mil bottles. I then topped one with perfumers alcohol, the other with jojoba oil. I broke up the paste with the toothpick in each bottle, and vigorously shook both bottles. The jojoba civet got cloudy pretty fast. The perfumers alcohol bottle stayed clear with the little chunks still on the bottom. smelling the jojoba civet was quite unlike smelling the paste. It has already lost its poo pee smell and I love it. However I have not applied it to my skin as I did the tonquin oil, because Jojoba is not going to kill anything germ wise right?
    If he got any of his supplies from Kishels the Tonquin is synthetic. I enquired about it and he told me that "no one" can get real tonquin musk so it's all synthetic. I beg to differ on the "no one" as I have 250gm of tincture on its way - but at least know that if you do find real tonquin it won't be cheap by a long shot because it is typically owned by people who have owned it since before the restrictions on its sale.

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