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  1. #1
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    Default Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Hello fellow Basenoters -

    I wanted to ask a general question. I decided not to take a poll, although it might make sense. But, I would rather hear what you had to say.

    Understanding that a good amount of fragrances, nowadays (and for decades) have used synthetic civet (civetone) - but actual civet exists in some compositions. We can leave that argument or perspective aside, as I am more curious about what Basenoters think of the actual note and its place in fragrance today.

    Just curious to hear what people think - relating this to Kouros, Givenchy Gentleman, Chanel No.5, Chanel Coco, and countless other scents.

    Cheers.

    ericrico
    Last edited by ericrico; 21st November 2012 at 01:05 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

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    I think civet is a wonderful note, and a number of my favourite fragrances have it - and my wife likes them on me (but we're both mid-50s, whatever that tells you).
    Alan

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    One of my absolute favourite notes.
    Sadly, less favoured in perfumery today than in decades past. Classics such as Joy and No.5 which once contained generous doses are much the worse for its effective removal. Even Jicky is a shadow of its former self.
    Really too bad.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    I would say yes as it is hardly used today as it was in the past. Done right it can add that dark muskyness to a scent and smell nice though if not can be horrid. In Givenchy Gentleman there is just a little bit in the basenotes and it smells good and adds overall to the scent. But in Czech & Speakes Citrus Paradisi its truly horrid mixed in with the citrus, a truly imo horrid fragrance.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    I would say yes as it is hardly used today as it was in the past. Done right it can add that dark muskyness to a scent and smell nice though if not can be horrid... But in Czech & Speakes Citrus Paradisi its truly horrid mixed in with the citrus, a truly imo horrid fragrance.
    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

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    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

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    I'm wondering if that it why I have always loved Givenchy Gentlemen. I have always had a bottle of this one and received many compliments.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    My limit is 0. So sorry, I can't stand any scent with recognizable civet.

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

    Along with cumin and fenugreek, it is my least favorite note... That said, when used sparingly in the base notes like in vintage Givenchy Gentleman and Monsieur de Givenchy it can work quite well in a fragrance. The key words are "used sparingly". As for it being relevant to use today? If implemented in the same judicious manner as those two greats, why not?
    Current Top Favorites:
    1) Portrait of a Lady original formula (EdP Frédéric Malle)
    2) Giorgio for Men vintage/V.I.P. for Men (Giorgio Beverly Hills)
    3) Dia Man vintage edt (Amouage)
    4)
    Anat Fritz Original Formula and Classical (Anat Fritz) - tie
    4) Lalfeorosa (O'driů) - tie

    6)
    Les Nombres d'Or Vetyver (Mona di Orio)
    7) Captain vintage (Molyneux)
    8) Tzora (Anat Fritz)
    9) Javanese Patchouli (Zegna) - tie
    9) Monsieur de Givenchy vintage (Givenchy) - tie
    9) Coeur de Vetiver Sacré (L'Artisan) - tie
    9) X for Men (Clive Christian) - tie
    9) Patou pour Homme Privé (Jean Patou) - tie
    9) Oud Shamash (The Different Company) - tie

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Not necessarily, in Mouchoir de Monsieur for instance, it manages to remain improbably, yet pleasantly surprising trendy.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    I love civet, I think it should be used much more in perfumery in generous amounts , I have Dior Leather Oud, where I find the civet the star of the show. I also procured this 5ml Indian temple attar, which uses real palm civet, jasmine,rose, sandalwood and clove, it is used from what I was told it is used for the worship of a specific hindu deity(don't know which one) , it literally is divine!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    'Dated' only to noses more accustomed to bland mono-dimensional synthetic blends. Civet is seldom the star of the show but like a good stage manager you can't help notice when it's missing.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Individual taste and micro-trends aside, I think civet (and other animalics) in scent, at least as a prominent player, suggests an intimacy from which human beings have generally been retreating.

    On a personal note, if someone gave me a bottle, say, of vintage Givenchy Gentleman I wouldn’t let it go to waste. But I wouldn’t purchase anything that I knew contained natural civet.
    Last edited by frug; 21st November 2012 at 04:04 AM.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    ^ Great observation. We are not shiny androids.

    Also, I don't think any one note itself can be dated. The note is used mainly in perfumes from an earlier era, but styles and tastes change. Our culture (western culture, anyway) seems very perfectionist, very corporate. Individual expression and art is becoming digital. No muck. I'm sure this will change, and civet, like orientals and tobacco recently, will see a comeback in perfumes.
    "It's not what you look like when you're doing what you're doing; it's what you're doing when you're doing what you look like you're doing."

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

    IMO it is not.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    It's a note that most people nowadays don't like, to "unclean" in some peoples eyes. But people who appreciate scents I.e us still love it

  17. #17

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    ...I would not say so: it is prominent present in many very popular scents...!

  18. #18

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Yes definitely. I know it's par of fragrance history but it is definitely dated

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    I really appreciate the responses, so far, fellow Basenoters. I opened the thread after a long and intense wearing of Vintage Kouros earlier in the week and then a beautiful, full wearing of Vintage Givenchy Gentleman last night (as I shaved for the first time since November 1st - over 15 days of beard for "No-Shave November" that I had to break due to short-notice plans to visit family came up. I didn't want to look like I lost a bet. ;-)

    I splashed on Vintage Givenchy Gentleman After Shave and layered with Vintage GG EdT. The gorgeous aroma filled the room and my wife loved it. I was in a special "place" on a cold, rainy night...that was, in essence, a "metaphorical gallery of olfactory art wearing a classic piece from 1974." It was so transcendent. I felt like Monsieur Hubert de Givenchy's brother, James Taffin, who lived in cold, rainy and dreary London with an aroma that warms the soul. I thoroughly enjoyed the civet, deep patchouli, rich spices, smooth honey and the rose that peaks through the "tule fog" of masculine smokiness. Sensational. But, I pondered the thought. Is this scent dated because of the civet (in Vintage Givenchy Gentleman)? Because, current formulation amplifies the deep, dark patchouli and increases the leather. It is almost totally void of civet. I know it well. But, I smelled it from the nozzle to compare (once more) and put it back away. Vintage only, for last night...I didn't feel it smelled dated, but most definitely "classic". And, to me, timeless. I recently turned 40 years old and have enjoyed civet in fragrances for more than two decades as Kouros was with me earlier in life. I have always enjoyed the animalic muskiness and wonderful powdery vibe it offers a composition. But, I fully agree, that it must be used in proportion. Givenchy Gentleman (Vintage) - it is used, in my opinion, to perfection. It is what makes Kouros the wonderful classic (and "masterpiece" to those who feel that way), that it is. Take out civet and you don't have either composition.

    I gave my wife earlier a gift - one we enjoyed together...a bottle of Givenchy Amarige. Ropion's nose created a symphony of beauty to our noses and minds, with the tuberose very present but the wonderful gardenia shining through. It was my late Mother's favorite note and she only wore gardenia scents. The gorgeous ylang-ylang, wonderful concoction of rich fruit with musk and light sandalwood in the base came together in harmony. No civet in this composition, but I wanted to mention this bottle to those who have not tried it. We loved it and shared in the notes together - both fragrances.

    It was a very sensual night with olfactory pleasure that was simply divine...

    Cheers,

    ericrico
    Last edited by ericrico; 20th November 2012 at 07:03 PM.
    “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. #20

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    I believe it is a very dated note, and one of my least favorite notes in fragrances. One I now tend to avoid.
    Seasonal favorites:

    1. Creed - Spice & Wood
    2. Creed - Aventus
    3. Dior - Vetiver
    4. by Kilian - Incense Oud
    5. Puredistance - Black
    6. by Kilian - Cruel Intentions
    7. Armani Privé - Oud Royal
    8. Brückner - Aoud 1
    9. Creed - Royal English Leather
    10. House of Matriarch - Blackbird

  21. #21
    Super Member huffeur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by ericrico View Post

    It was a very sensual night with olfactory pleasure that was simply divine...

    Cheers,

    ericrico
    Beautifully written post.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Hunter View Post
    I would say yes as it is hardly used today as it was in the past. Done right it can add that dark muskyness to a scent and smell nice though if not can be horrid. In Givenchy Gentleman there is just a little bit in the basenotes and it smells good and adds overall to the scent. But in Czech & Speakes Citrus Paradisi its truly horrid mixed in with the citrus, a truly imo horrid fragrance.
    I enjoy civet very much. In fact, Citrus Paradisi is my favorite citrus fragrance on my partner.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Two of my favorites wouldn't be the same without civet, Mazzolari Lui and Creed Orange Spice. It certainly adds that extra "kick" to them!
    Are you not entertained??? Is this not why you are here??

  24. #24

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Civet is dated for the ones new to the perfume industry!
    Civet is one of the best "notes" that are true to perfumes!

  25. #25

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Quote Originally Posted by etoile View Post
    Civet is dated for the ones new to the perfume industry!
    Civet is one of the best "notes" that are true to perfumes!
    +1
    Are you not entertained??? Is this not why you are here??

  26. #26

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    With the exception of Love By Kilian (and it's barely even a note in there, you can't even smell it) I've yet to find a frag that has civet in it that I like. I do think it's sort of outdated, and in some case down right repulsive

  27. #27

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Great Thread with predictable responses on the whole, grown-ups get it and kids who have been bought up experiencing vanilla as the post 1990's fixative for "Men's Colognes" will run for the hills.

    Given prevailing market trends I think we will see less and less civet use, I imagine in most fragrances where it was a part of the composition it's been dialled down already.

    I enoyed your post, ericrico. Every now and then I have a revelatory experience with something 'of another time and place' and occasionally in circumstances where I can share it with someone who appreciates it - that is really the magic of this whole thing isn't it?

  28. #28

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Romeo Gigli per Uomo (dating back at least ten years) gives me some civet without smelling particularly dated. It's actually quite unique smelling.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Civet will become dated the day sex becomes passé.

  30. #30
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    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Very intelligent post, my friend. I'm glad I posted this thread.

    You live up (fully) to your screenname...I knew there would be mixed responses. We can draw a line with those who like it and those who don't. Rather polarizing, actually. But that is expected. Actual real civet is rarely used anymore.

    An interesting post on Wikipedia that I read before and wanted to share: "Animal rights groups, such as the World Society for the Protection of Animals, express concern that harvesting musk is cruel to animals. Between these ethical concerns and the availability of synthetic substitutes, the practice of raising civets for musk is dying out. Chanel, maker of the popular perfume Chanel No. 5, claims that natural civet has been replaced with a synthetic substitute since 1998." Civetone is the chemical used in place of real civet, as I mention in my initial post.

    However, there are a lot of us who have Vintage bottles that contain real civet...often blended with musk. Those days are long past us...

    Finally - thank you for the comment on my post to you (and others). That truly is the magic of the whole realm of olfactory art!

    Cheers.

    ericrico

    Quote Originally Posted by mr. reasonable View Post
    Great Thread with predictable responses on the whole, grown-ups get it and kids who have been bought up experiencing vanilla as the post 1990's fixative for "Men's Colognes" will run for the hills.

    Given prevailing market trends I think we will see less and less civet use, I imagine in most fragrances where it was a part of the composition it's been dialled down already.

    I enoyed your post, ericrico. Every now and then I have a revelatory experience with something 'of another time and place' and occasionally in circumstances where I can share it with someone who appreciates it - that is really the magic of this whole thing isn't it?
    “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

  31. #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.

  32. #32
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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

  33. #33

    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

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

    Vintage GG. I would love some of that juice.

  35. #35
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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 03:31 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

  36. #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 sweet perfume ever tortured me more than this." Desert Rose by Sting and Cheb Mami, Album 1999.

  37. #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.

  38. #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.

  39. #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 04:08 PM.

  40. #40
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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 07:33 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

  41. #41

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Ehhh, NO and NEVER.

  42. #42

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    It still has its place today.

  43. #43

    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

  44. #44
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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

  45. #45

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

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

  46. #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 03:32 PM.

  47. #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!

  48. #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.

  49. #49
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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

  50. #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.

  51. #51

    Default Re: Is civet a dated note in fragrance?

    Amouage Gold (Man and Woman): Civet galore!

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