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  1. #31

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoombung View Post
    It's certainly not used in the same amounts anymore. Perfume is now more 'overground'; nearly everyone has a bottle these days- and the general public are probably as unlikely to appreciate it as a Penderecki atonal symphony. I personally think the synthesised version of civet can smell a bit 'blunt' on occasions
    I agree that the public is unlikely to appreciate it, as is posted several times in this thread. But, as a musician, just had to comment on the parallel with a Penderecki atonal work. Civet is from the emotional romanticism of Brahms through Richard Strauss. The atonal movement is the move towards syntheticism (if there is such a word) and then to the cleanliness of digital, as someone mentioned. Both are devoid of those sensual emotions of the past. Hopefully, as someone mentioned, there will be a move back to those emotional days that those of us who are old enough experienced, but, unfortunately, I suspect not. Those were the days where people had time to live and experience life. There is no time anymore. We are caught in the "now" without dreams of past memories or the anticipated future. How sad really.

  2. #32
    Dependent ericrico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Very eloquent posts, gentleman.

    Dogodojo - I really like what you said here. Civet, among other notes, are what shaped modern fragrance. There is an element of classicism in these Vintage bottles and it transcended men's and women's fragrances wonderfully.

    I would like to focus on your last couple sentences...we still have time to live. For all of us, as is the mystery of life, we just don't know how much time. If you live in the present, each day is a "gift" - and you can feel blessed to have lived during an era where you had the chance to enjoy the lavish scents of days gone by. Thankfully, a lot of us can say that, we, (and perhaps if we have children who enjoy this passion) - are the last generation to truly know fragrance in its most glorious and creative days. The juice won't last forever, but nothing does. Relish in the fact that you've had this olfactory experience in your lifetime and you understand the fragrances (and notes) that have been with you in their true and original formulations. We can look to the future with hope...but I live each and everyday in the moment, and that includes my passion of scent.

    From a positive perspective, we are truly lucky to have had this experience. We can also enjoy listenening to Brahms while we wear our classic scents - yet he did not have the scents we love so dearly, while he was composing his timeless pieces of music.

    Enjoy the beauty now...for the future is uncertain.

    Cheers.

    ericrico

    Quote Originally Posted by dogodojo View Post
    I agree that the public is unlikely to appreciate it, as is posted several times in this thread. But, as a musician, just had to comment on the parallel with a Penderecki atonal work. Civet is from the emotional romanticism of Brahms through Richard Strauss. The atonal movement is the move towards syntheticism (if there is such a word) and then to the cleanliness of digital, as someone mentioned. Both are devoid of those sensual emotions of the past. Hopefully, as someone mentioned, there will be a move back to those emotional days that those of us who are old enough experienced, but, unfortunately, I suspect not. Those were the days where people had time to live and experience life. There is no time anymore. We are caught in the "now" without dreams of past memories or the anticipated future. How sad really.
    “Some perfumes are as fragrant as an infant’s flesh, sweet as an oboe’s cry, and greener than the spring; While others are triumphant, decadent or rich; Having the expansion of infinite things, like ambergris and musk, benzoin and frankincense, which sing the transports of the mind and every sense.”

    ― Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil & Paris Spleen

  3. #33
    DuNezDeBuzier's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    I’ve appreciated this thread from the start.

    Perhaps some perspective? According to the fine BN directory, a query response to ‘civet’ brings up (only) 91 responses: 16 masculine; 43 feminine; 32 shared. Of the 16 masculine, 5 originate from the last decade, about as many in each the 70s and in the 80s, and only 1 pre-70s and only 1 in the 90s. Of the 43 feminine, 11 or so originate from the last decade, about as many from pre-70, and the rest roughly spread evenly across the decades 70s/80s/90s. Of the 32 shared, except for 1 they all originate from the last decade.

    Of course all the fragrances listed in the directory do not have a note pyramid and/or accuracy is debatable. That aside, however, what do these numbers tell us?

    Perhaps they’re saying civet…
    - was not and is not a relatively frequently identified note in the universe of perfumes, or, at least, the 13,000+ that make up the BN directory. In other words, civet was never a popular note in commercial fragrance.
    - is approximately 5 times more noted in directory fragrances produced within the last decade as opposed to ‘the oldies’ of pre-70s. In other words, and as counter-intuitive as it may seem, the note (civet) is not dead or dying and is arguably identified in more modern fragrances than those with earlier origination dates of decades past.

    Please, do shoot holes in either conclusion.

    I own or have smelled maybe a couple dozen from those listed in the BN directory as having a civet note. Somewhat interesting is that the following fragrances frequently noted, rightly or wrongly, for civet are not on that list: Ungaro II, Kouros, MKK, Leather Oud, Bal a Versailles, Aramis 900, Oud 27, Mouchoir de Monsieur, Ubar, MCM 24 Evening, Kingdom, Chanel CdR, Eau d’Hermes, Cuba, Cuir Mauresque, Rien, Peau d’Expagne, Jean Pascal for Men, YSL pH, Iquitos, Absolue pour le Soir, Yatagan, Dzing!, …. Uh, but what the hell, Civet by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo does not come up either, so take from this what you want.
    Simplex Sigillum Veri

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Vintage GG. I would love some of that juice.

  5. #35
    Dependent ericrico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Hey DuNez!

    Great to hear from you - fantastic contribution to the thread. Conceptually alone, it raises an eyebrow and questions if (perhaps) there is a great misconception. For sure, still the "association" goes to Vintage scents (probably due to the use of real civet, not synthetic)...those of us lucky to have some old bottles.
    ;-)

    I like your list and how you broke things down, according to decades & listed fragrances. Interesting that 32 are "shared" - which shows the versatility of civet (and also that even far more feminine/women's fragrances with the listed note).

    Fantastic research, perspective - thoughtful, and thought-provoking...always appreciate what you add, my friend!

    Thank you - you made this thread more complete and opened some interesting doors...

    Cheers.

    ericrico

    Quote Originally Posted by DuNezDeBuzier View Post
    I’ve appreciated this thread from the start.

    Perhaps some perspective? According to the fine BN directory, a query response to ‘civet’ brings up (only) 91 responses: 16 masculine; 43 feminine; 32 shared. Of the 16 masculine, 5 originate from the last decade, about as many in each the 70s and in the 80s, and only 1 pre-70s and only 1 in the 90s. Of the 43 feminine, 11 or so originate from the last decade, about as many from pre-70, and the rest roughly spread evenly across the decades 70s/80s/90s. Of the 32 shared, except for 1 they all originate from the last decade.

    Of course all the fragrances listed in the directory do not have a note pyramid and/or accuracy is debatable. That aside, however, what do these numbers tell us?

    Perhaps they’re saying civet…
    - was not and is not a relatively frequently identified note in the universe of perfumes, or, at least, the 13,000+ that make up the BN directory. In other words, civet was never a popular note in commercial fragrance.
    - is approximately 5 times more noted in directory fragrances produced within the last decade as opposed to ‘the oldies’ of pre-70s. In other words, and as counter-intuitive as it may seem, the note (civet) is not dead or dying and is arguably identified in more modern fragrances than those with earlier origination dates of decades past.

    Please, do shoot holes in either conclusion.

    I own or have smelled maybe a couple dozen from those listed in the BN directory as having a civet note. Somewhat interesting is that the following fragrances frequently noted, rightly or wrongly, for civet are not on that list: Ungaro II, Kouros, MKK, Leather Oud, Bal a Versailles, Aramis 900, Oud 27, Mouchoir de Monsieur, Ubar, MCM 24 Evening, Kingdom, Chanel CdR, Eau d’Hermes, Cuba, Cuir Mauresque, Rien, Peau d’Expagne, Jean Pascal for Men, YSL pH, Iquitos, Absolue pour le Soir, Yatagan, Dzing!, …. Uh, but what the hell, Civet by AbdesSalaam Attar Profumo does not come up either, so take from this what you want.
    Last edited by ericrico; 21st November 2012 at 02:31 AM.
    “Some perfumes are as fragrant as an infant’s flesh, sweet as an oboe’s cry, and greener than the spring; While others are triumphant, decadent or rich; Having the expansion of infinite things, like ambergris and musk, benzoin and frankincense, which sing the transports of the mind and every sense.”

    ― Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil & Paris Spleen

  6. #36

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Civet is a wonderful note.

    I adore Narcisse Noir, Jicky and Mouchoir de Monsieur.

    It is dated only for those accustomed to new aquatics.
    "No elegance is possible without it...perfume is a part of you." Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel
    Currently wearing: Poison by Christian Dior

  7. #37

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    I haven't really read everything everyone has said so far, but I do think that civet is dated, and I don't like it much at all, even in small amounts. The real stuff (non-synthetic) smells like poo, literally. The synthetic variants can smell like anything from cat pee to, again, poo. hahah That's my own opinion though.

    My own opinions aside, a lot of modern fragrances still use it, some masterfully so, such as:

    Invasion Barbare by MDCI
    Absolue pour le Soir by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
    Neroli 36 by Le Labo

    I don't mind it so much in those, but I'm still not a fan. I guess I missed the civet boat.

  8. #38

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericrico View Post
    There is an element of classicism in these Vintage bottles and it transcended men's and women's fragrances wonderfully.
    Ah. Sorry to be picky, but classicism is very different than romanticism. ;-)

    I would like to focus on your last couple sentences...we still have time to live.
    Ah, again. ;-) I was speaking of time in the philosophical sense, not in the "we have time to live each day to the fullest" sense. What I was trying to say is that this modern, very "clean" era has only the vertical sense of time - time in the present, without a horizontal sense of time - time in the past, present and future. It is only through the stretch of time that we experience beauty/ugliness, pain/pleasure, want/fulfilled, etc. But, in the clean present we don't have those contradictions that civet seems to embody. Anyway, it was just a thought.
    We can also enjoy listenening to Brahms while we wear our classic scents - yet he did not have the scents we love so dearly, while he was composing his timeless pieces of music.
    Hmm.... I don't know the history of perfume. But, surely it has been around as long as civilization? It would be interesting, as an aside, to find out what perfume people were wearing in Brahms' day.

    Nice thread. Thanks.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by dogodojo View Post
    It would be interesting, as an aside, to find out what perfume people were wearing in Brahms' day.
    Well he died just a few years after the advent of the early synthetics in perfumery, so presumably those early "modern" classics like Jicky at the end of his life, along with Victorian floral concoctions and Eaux de Cologne that had been around for decades.
    Last edited by MonkeyBars; 21st November 2012 at 03:08 PM.

  10. #40
    Dependent ericrico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Dogodojo -

    Well said, my friend. I think we can agree that both classicism & romanticism exist in these Vintage bottles...! ;-)

    Regarding time...perhaps I leaned to my left brain a bit there - but, then again, there is that element we need to consider as Vintage bottles become more scarce and we are the last generation to "know". I can relate to what you said about a horizontal sense of time versus vertical. Good points you bring up in relation to that as well. Elegantly stated.

    Brahms was probably wearing something of distinct quality and richness...but I doubt it smelled like Vintage Kouros.

    I sincerely appreciate your well-written and thoughtful comments to this thread, which is turning out to be a wonderful one! Thank you to all of you - regardless of your love or disdain for civet...

    Cheers,

    ericrico

    Quote Originally Posted by dogodojo View Post
    Ah. Sorry to be picky, but classicism is very different than romanticism. ;-)


    Ah, again. ;-) I was speaking of time in the philosophical sense, not in the "we have time to live each day to the fullest" sense. What I was trying to say is that this modern, very "clean" era has only the vertical sense of time - time in the present, without a horizontal sense of time - time in the past, present and future. It is only through the stretch of time that we experience beauty/ugliness, pain/pleasure, want/fulfilled, etc. But, in the clean present we don't have those contradictions that civet seems to embody. Anyway, it was just a thought.

    Hmm.... I don't know the history of perfume. But, surely it has been around as long as civilization? It would be interesting, as an aside, to find out what perfume people were wearing in Brahms' day.

    Nice thread. Thanks.
    Last edited by ericrico; 24th November 2012 at 06:33 AM.
    “Some perfumes are as fragrant as an infant’s flesh, sweet as an oboe’s cry, and greener than the spring; While others are triumphant, decadent or rich; Having the expansion of infinite things, like ambergris and musk, benzoin and frankincense, which sing the transports of the mind and every sense.”

    ― Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil & Paris Spleen

  11. #41

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Ehhh, NO and NEVER.

  12. #42

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    It still has its place today.

  13. #43
    Dependent lovingthealien's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Marais View Post
    I agree with this. Some of the currently available civety ones are 'too much' and everyone has their own threshold. I love MdM but can't stand Rochas 'I wet myself' Moustache, for example.

    I wish it were used more though as it helps to make a fragrance more interesting, done right. There are so many boring gutless smell-alikes out there.

    Yes civet is regarded as dated, since the 'pure clean' drive of the 90s; soapy is the new sexy! Does this go hand-in-hand with the Bieber/infantilising of sexuality? I wonder...

    I suspect the younger members who are attracted most to lollipop scents and clean laundry scents would like civet least. I'm generalising of course.

    I think the oud craze amongst perfumistas may be a response to the current sterility. An acceptable skank.

    /ramble
    Yes! I love Moustache!
    My Top Ten:

    1: Guerlain - Habit Rouge
    2: Guerlain - Jicky
    3: Guerlain - Mouchoir de Monsieur
    4: Guerlain - Shalimar
    5: Knize - Knize Ten
    6: Caron - Yatagan
    7: Caron - Pour Un Homme
    8: Jean Desprez - Bal a Versailles
    9: Yves Saint Laurent - M7
    10: Salvador Dali - Dali Pour Homme

  14. #44
    Super Member vbs's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoombung View Post
    It's certainly not used in the same amounts anymore. Perfume is now more 'overground'; nearly everyone has a bottle these days- and the general public are probably as unlikely to appreciate it as a Penderecki atonal symphony. I personally think the synthesised version of civet can smell a bit 'blunt' on occasions
    I don't think it's a matter of appreciation. People don't wear ascots and stovepipe hats, corsets and bustles anymore, and it's not because they are unwashed plebes who lack the sophistication to appreciate them.

    Fashions change. Traditionally-presented animalics are not currently fashionable in fragrance, especially because they were very fashionable in the past. But these things are cyclical. If bell bottoms can make a comeback, so can civet.
    My top 5: Sea Mist; Minnow; Crab, tiger, and almonds; Semprini; Rancid Polecat N° 2

  15. #45
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Since the ban on harvesting civet from the animal, the synthetic note is dead on.

  16. #46

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBars View Post
    Well he died just a few years after the advent of the early synthetics in perfumery, so presumably those early "modern" classics like Jicky at the end of his life, along with Victorian floral concoctions and Eaux de Cologne that had been around for decades.
    Cool. Thanks! So, when you say early synthetics, what do you mean? (sorry if this info is elsewhere.) For instance, I love BaV in its original formulation. Would there be synthetics in that or was it all "natural" essences? (I really know nothing about this, so if that question requires knowing a whole history, please don't feel you need to answer! I don't want to waste your time.) :-)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by ericrico View Post
    I think we can agree that both classicism & romanticism exist in these Vintage bottles...! ;-)
    Yes. :-) (With MonkeyBars' info, I understand that better!)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by vbs View Post
    Fashions change. Traditionally-presented animalics are not currently fashionable in fragrance, especially because they were very fashionable in the past. But these things are cyclical. If bell bottoms can make a comeback, so can civet.
    That is a true statement! But things always "come back" a little differently. And, I suppose I was taking the question as "real" civet rather than synthetic civet, and so was thinking that real civet will never come back due to the laws about animal abuse. If I, knowing so little about perfume, can smell the difference between the two, then to me they are quite different "animals," thus making civet dated, and, unfortunately, never to return.
    Last edited by dogodojo; 21st November 2012 at 02:32 PM.

  17. #47
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    I still think it has a prominent place in perfumery, but the trends of today make it less used, although no less usable; creating mystery, depth and sexiness to perfumes.
    I'm not OLD...I'm VINTAGE!
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  18. #48

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Civet for me is old fashioned, but in a sensual, mystical, primal way. It does smell offensive in a sense, but also very exotic and compelling - there is much more to it than "fecal" or "urine-like".

    The real stuff is still available, I have some myself. I don't know of any ban on it. I don't think it necessarily has to be a product of cruelty. I've read about civet raising facilities in Thailand that seem relatively humane - although that is of course a matter for people to decide for themselves.

    I think the fashion throughout history has been to use less and less of it. Where once it was used to cover up the even more offensive smells of unwashed bodies, it is now generally used at a subconscious level in perfumes. So in that sense, a prominent civet note is dated, isn't it?

    But then of course we have Muscs Koublai Khan, very trendy these days as far as I can make out.

  19. #49
    Dependent ericrico's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Very well-stated...I fully concur!

    Then again, since when did us Basenoters follow trends in today's mainstream fragrance community?

    Civet is, perhaps, one of the most defining notes in the history of perfumery...along with musk, castoreum and ambergris. The animalic notes are wonderful and truly create "mystery, depth and sexiness to scents" (as you stated) - both male and female, as DuNez articulately put forth some information. We are all primal, at some level, and Freud tried to unravel the human mind down to the simple fact that we are *gasp* - sexually-driven animals! As humans, we simply rationalize thoughts, suppress our id & wanton libido by allowing our super-egos to keep us within moral boundaries...some, more than others.

    I found a link I would like to share as this thread has been one that I have thoroughly enjoyed and learned from. To me, civet is only "dated" if you feel the composition it is in makes you feel a lack of sophistication and maturity...and perhaps someone who is suppressing themselves. I find it fascinating.

    A great link on animalic notes in general, not just civet - http://perfumeshrine.blogspot.com/20...-animalic.html

    Cheers, my friend.

    ericrico

    Quote Originally Posted by southerngardens View Post
    I still think it has a prominent place in perfumery, but the trends of today make it less used, although no less usable; creating mystery, depth and sexiness to perfumes.
    “Some perfumes are as fragrant as an infant’s flesh, sweet as an oboe’s cry, and greener than the spring; While others are triumphant, decadent or rich; Having the expansion of infinite things, like ambergris and musk, benzoin and frankincense, which sing the transports of the mind and every sense.”

    ― Charles Baudelaire, The Flowers of Evil & Paris Spleen

  20. #50

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    I still haven't experienced anything I would consider 'too much civet'.
    I just can't get enough of it. I have to try Muscs Koublai Khan.

  21. #51

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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Amouage Gold (Man and Woman): Civet galore!

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