Perfume Directory

Civet (2016)
by Zoologist Perfumes

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Civet information

Year of Launch2016
GenderShared / Unisex
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 73 votes)

People and companies

HouseZoologist Perfumes
PerfumerShelley Waddington

About Civet

THe company says: 

As the sun sinks over the dense tropical forest, civets emerge warily from the thickets. Under a carpet of narcotic flower blossoms, a smattering of coffee berries peppers the ground. The moist air is heavy with mossy aromas that penetrate every crevice, but the musky scent of the civets dominates; their marked territory daring one to enter at one’s own risk.

Zoologist Civet pays homage to the age-old ingredient, civet, as well as chypre perfumes of bygone days – perfumes that refused to be intimidated by raw, alluring, animalistic musks. Civet is a moody and complex brew entwined in mystery. It opens with a spicy floral accord, threaded through with dark coffee tones. Slowly it prowls forward, unraveling base notes of leather, moss and vanilla that combines with distinctive civet musk to create a bewildering, sophisticated scent with the promise of a sultry nighttime rendezvous.

Reviews of Civet

Civetone, while a staple of perfumery past, isn't much appreciated in the modern era. That's why I was a bit at unease with the concept of a Civet-based fragrance. That's of course until I tried it. Looking at the notes list you can see that this gives the impression of the lifestyle of the cute little cat, far more so than the molecule it's known for could. The flowers and greens give and idea of the habitat, and the coffee nods to Kopi Luwak.

This isn't a heavily animalic fragrance, and I appreciate that. I can only really notice the harsh parts of the civet note in the first thirty seconds. Past that, everything blends really well together. I will say though that this really needs warmth to bring out some of the special aspects. My wrists dim into dry resins and incense quite quickly whereas my chest projects sweet honeyed florals for longer.

Overall I would say this is a modernized version of an older era of perfumery, and done well. The kind that makes me appreciate things I wouldn't normally. It's not one of my favorites, personally, but I definitely see the value here.
24th January, 2020
This opens up with a blast of florals. Tuberose is one I can pick out prominently. After the initial blast of flowers spicy resin incense comes out... and there it sits. I guess this is just a floral incense fragrance. The civet in this is a quiet background player, its shines a little more in the heart, but never rising to prominence. The incense hangs on after the florals have burned off. I would not call this at all animalic. Floral opening feels feminine, drydown of incense and quiet quiet civet is unisex. Performance seems good on all the Zoologist fragrances I've tried, each performing well for the type of fragrance they are.
19th February, 2019
I've no experience of real civet, but this is definitely animalic, although it's furry, rather than pissy.
A bittersweet coffee and vanilla opening with a full texture, leather and a furry musk coming up dry and a little dusty through florals, predominantly tuberose and heliotrope with a tropical frangipani/ylang-ylang accord. Although each of the florals are identifiable, they're blended to give just an edge of softness and beauty to a somewhat grainy texture. Within 20 minutes, it's settled into a vanilla-coffee, ambery musk with the florals drifting by on a soft breeze. Cool, smooth labdanum is a great base for spicy frankincense with vanilla keeping the basenotes from becoming too dry.
In low doses, it's powerful but stays close to the skin. After 6 hours, it's barely there. It's totally gender-neutral and I find it very sexy. Scent is often akin to framed moments of foreplay - like the glamorous, saturated city lights of Tom Ford, or the rich mystery of vintage Guerlain - but this is the smell of *actual* sex, not the evening that came before it.
30th December, 2018
Interesting this, a three-dimensional scent typical of this house with plenty to keep the wearer interested. What is doesn't have in an obviously authentic animalic component it makes up for in clever composition, not least the gourmand aspects, notably the coffee - it's fairly widely known that some of the most expensive coffee beans are those pre-digested by the civet, so that is a good if self-referential turn. On application, it is musky and assertive. Returning to the room where I sprayed it, I found loud florals and spices that had somehow escaped me. After many hours, there is a leathery dry-down with some stiff woods suggesting vetiver and birch tar. Although long-lasting, it's never over the top or aggressive. And it lasts and lasts. I think Zoologist are one of the better houses for actually delivering on the promises of "niche", in the sense of boldness, risk-taking, and quality, and this is a good example.
11th November, 2018
Starts out modern. Finishes in a retro style. Begins with fruity, spicy, lively notes. Moves into somewhat smoky florals. Drifts away into a familiar base of aromatic, oriental notes. Resinous, a slight of animal. The base reminds me of perfumes made in the middle of the last century.
24th June, 2018
Another stunner from Zoologist!
Opens similar to Jazmin Sarai's Solar 1.
I suppose it's the Oakmoss and Civet which pushes up a great Fruity,Spicy, Musky cloud.
Black Pepper and Carnation Camphour set back the Tuberose to allow a full bloom of Frangipane to create some tropical come hither.
Labdanum weaves it's Leathery feel throughout.
Heliotrope with the Ylang Ylang and Vanilla give it some Gourmandy flavour.
Altogether a really nice blend of a large number of notes, into a smooth symphony.
I get rather long sillage and a perfumed skin hum.
It settles to Resins and trails off into incense.
23rd June, 2018 (last edited: 24th June, 2018)

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