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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: Civet by Houbigant

  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: Civet by Houbigant

  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: Civet by Houbigant

  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: Civet by Houbigant

  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: Civet by Houbigant

  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 09:57 AM.

  12. #42
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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: Civet by Houbigant

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

    xxx
    Last edited by bonvivant03; 14th September 2011 at 03:18 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 . . .
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    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 if you wish to ask questions of me.

  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: Civet by Houbigant

  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!
    ďA person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person
    ― Dave Barry

    Chris Bartlett
    Perfumes from the edge . . .

    www.perfumedesigner.co.uk
    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 if you wish to ask questions of me.

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

    Civet civet where are thou

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