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Thread: Civetone

  1. #1

    Default Civetone

    Hi all

    Does anyone use civetone ? I'm intrigued by this material and am wondering about getting some.

    The only other animalics I have are muscenone and animalis base. Does it smell similar to (or have a similar effect to) either of these?

    What kind of thing do you use it with? Mainly 'orientals'? Not a fan of that term. Does it work particularly well with any other materials?

    I have noticed that, in modern perfumery at least, it seems more often used in female fragrances. What do you think is behind that? Not all male fragrances are freshies, after all.

    And does anyone particularly hate it, and why?

  2. #2

    Default Re: Civetone

    I've tried to use it & not had much success. I think it's tricky to dose correctly & too much just crushes everything from top to bottom, but you don't even really smell it that strongly. I'm sure I'm just too lazy & impatient to figure it out, but I just keep reaching for habanolide which you can just dump a ton in w/o even thinking about it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  3. #3

    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by mnitabach View Post
    I've tried to use it & not had much success. I think it's tricky to dose correctly & too much just crushes everything from top to bottom, but you don't even really smell it that strongly. I'm sure I'm just too lazy & impatient to figure it out, but I just keep reaching for habanolide which you can just dump a ton in w/o even thinking about it. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
    Thanks Mike. Strangely I recently had the exact same experience with habanolide. It must have been working with something else in the mix to do this, but as soon as I added it, the scent was squashed.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Civetone

    My personal impression is that there is not any musk that works well alone. The few ones I know have all different nuances, and a combination is, to my nose, much more pleasant.
    I never smelled civettone. Will get some to try.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Civetone

    I find that civettone has a "futuristic" quality in blends that no other musk has. However, if as your question suggests you're fairly new to musks (muscenone) and animalics (animalis), I would seriously avoid civetone for the forseeable future and focus instead on more "bread and butter" type materials like habanolide, ethylene brassylate, etc. It's also worth understanding the differences between white musks and animalic materials like civet - it's night and day.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Civetone

    Yes, Civettone, Muscenone, Muscone, laevo-muscone, Silvanone Supra, and Musk Ketone all have a family odor style about them.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    In addition to Our own PK line, we make Custom Bespoke Perfumes, perfumes for Entrepreneurs needing scents for perfumes or products, Custom Wedding Perfumes, and even Special Event Perfumes.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    Yes, Civettone, Muscenone, Muscone, laevo-muscone, Silvanone Supra, and Musk Ketone all have a family odor style about them.
    Thanks Paul

  8. #8

    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by leicaboy View Post
    I find that civettone has a "futuristic" quality in blends that no other musk has. However, if as your question suggests you're fairly new to musks (muscenone) and animalics (animalis), I would seriously avoid civetone for the forseeable future and focus instead on more "bread and butter" type materials like habanolide, ethylene brassylate, etc. It's also worth understanding the differences between white musks and animalic materials like civet - it's night and day.
    Thanks. I'm intrigued by your 'futuristic' comment, especially as I have been thinking of it as a vintage type material.

    The musks I currently use are:

    Habanolide - love this one for clean musk vibes. Great with lyral

    Ambrettolide - my first musk. Used to love it but seem to have lost my ability to detect it.

    Exaltolide total - beautiful, almost a dumb reach

    Tonalid - Ok. Don't love this one. Maybe need to spend more time with it.

    Ethylene brassylate - don't get much from this one in a mix. On a strip i can smell it after a while. Fairly nondescript clean musk, like a watered down mixture of all of the above. I don't get the vanillic nuance that I have read about. Again, I probably need more time with this one. I feel like I'm missing something.

    Animals - don't think this counts as a musk. On its own I HATED this at first. In a blend it's surprisingly subtle and sort of fresh. I would be interested to hear other people's thoughts on this material.

    Muscenone - my favourite musk so far, though sometimes I get a dirty vibe. In my first experiment with it, I used far too much, with vetiver, oakmoss, lyral, coumarin, anisaldehyde and too much carrot seed EO. It's a deeply strange fragrance due to the carrot seed, and heavy due to the overdose of muscenone, but I love it when in the right mood.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by Yuri-G View Post
    Thanks Mike. Strangely I recently had the exact same experience with habanolide. It must have been working with something else in the mix to do this, but as soon as I added it, the scent was squashed.
    It's very possible (likely!) that my sense of habanolide as very easy to use & forgiving is not general, but specific to the types of structures I've been working with (simple fougères & the like). My sense in scanning large numbers of publicly accessible formulas with habanolide is that it is, however, pretty generally transparent & amenable to high doses.

    ETA: Just checked Big L's awesome database & these are habanolide stats from 68 formulas:

    Screenshot_20210414-032818.jpg

    As far as I can tell, this is a quite high typical dose range for a macrocyclic musk.

  10. #10
    Basenotes Member manfred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Civetone

    Civetone isn't something that I reach for quite often but I find it extremely useful for heady, heavy white florals, with a vintage mood of course. Goes well obviously in "animalic-oud" compositions for that certain "stinky" touch!

  11. #11

    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by manfred View Post
    Goes well obviously in "animalic-oud" compositions for that certain "stinky" touch!
    Do you mean Civettone (so far as I know, the only version of civetone commercially available) or Civet Artificial?

    Perhaps no longer relevant but Perfumer's Apprentice once sold some stinky artificial civet as "Civettone" or "Civetone," I forget which, though it of course wasn't.

    They do now sell the real product, which is not remotely stinky. (Though for some reason at more than twice the price as Perfumer Supply House. $518 per 30 mL???)

    Maybe there are other sellers who do the same as they used to.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by mnitabach View Post
    It's very possible (likely!) that my sense of habanolide as very easy to use & forgiving is not general, but specific to the types of structures I've been working with (simple fougères & the like). My sense in scanning large numbers of publicly accessible formulas with habanolide is that it is, however, pretty generally transparent & amenable to high doses.

    ETA: Just checked Big L's awesome database & these are habanolide stats from 68 formulas:

    Screenshot_20210414-032818.jpg

    As far as I can tell, this is a quite high typical dose range for a macrocyclic musk.

    Very interesting- I haven’t seen this database, can you post a link?

  13. #13
    Basenotes Member manfred's Avatar
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    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Roberts View Post
    Do you mean Civettone (so far as I know, the only version of civetone commercially available) or Civet Artificial?

    Perhaps no longer relevant but Perfumer's Apprentice once sold some stinky artificial civet as "Civettone" or "Civetone," I forget which, though it of course wasn't.

    They do now sell the real product, which is not remotely stinky. (Though for some reason at more than twice the price as Perfumer Supply House. $518 per 30 mL???)

    Maybe there are other sellers who do the same as they used to.
    You are absolutely right! Mine is the Civette Synth. from Firmenich and not Civetone. Thanks for the correction!

  14. #14

    Default Re: Civetone

    You're very welcome, and not intended as correction, just clarification!

  15. #15

    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Roberts View Post
    You're very welcome, and not intended as correction, just clarification!
    The one I saw was by firmenich too.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by pkiler View Post
    Yes, Civettone, Muscenone, Muscone, laevo-muscone, Silvanone Supra, and Musk Ketone all have a family odor style about them.
    I'd like to ask you a question, if I can.
    I saw in a previous thread that you wrote that Civettone is one of the longest lasting materials. Do you think it is possible to use it for this purpose, without having a strong animal character by adding it, in small doses, in a fragrance?
    Could it be useful for softening and warm up some shades of clean musk-bombs, like habanolide, that I find a bit cold and overwhelming?
    I would be very grateful if you would like to give me some advice on this.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Civetone

    Please wait for Paul but in the meantime I believe it will help greatly if you can make clear what you mean by "animal." For example, but not limited to, what AC's or bases are such to you? Are any musks not?

  18. #18

    Default Re: Civetone

    Sorry, I should have said animalic. I have a sinthetic civet that smells animalic to me, as it is a bit fecal, it's not that I dont like it, but not what I am looking for. And I have an Animalis base that smells animalic, of course. As for musks I have: Habanolide Helvetolide, Exaltolide, Romandolide, Exaltenone, Ambrettolide, L.Muscone.
    What I am searching is a warm, sensual, skin-like thing, that is not a bomb, something that does not scream.
    It is not very easy to explain.
    I have seen that some use Ambrocenide in microdoses as an exalting and long lasting background. I am trying with it. But I am wondering if Civettone could be useful in a similar way and maybe warmer, more seamless.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniffita View Post
    I'd like to ask you a question, if I can.
    I saw in a previous thread that you wrote that Civettone is one of the longest lasting materials. Do you think it is possible to use it for this purpose, without having a strong animal character by adding it, in small doses, in a fragrance?
    Could it be useful for softening and warm up some shades of clean musk-bombs, like habanolide, that I find a bit cold and overwhelming?
    I would be very grateful if you would like to give me some advice on this.
    Civetone is not animalic, to me, just a musk, as mentioned, smelling like say, Muscenone and Muscone.
    Yes, you can use small amounts to bring depth and longevity to almost any blend.

    And as for longevity, Civetone is one of the few other materials that fits into my own named new evaporative category, that I call last notes. I had to make up a new longer lasting category for myself after making up new schiff base molecules that last forever... Civetone is one that can keep up with them.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    In addition to Our own PK line, we make Custom Bespoke Perfumes, perfumes for Entrepreneurs needing scents for perfumes or products, Custom Wedding Perfumes, and even Special Event Perfumes.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Civetone

    Thanks a lot, Paul, for your very kind reply. I much appreciate it.
    Your work is fascinating, I cannot even imagine molecules that last forever.

  21. #21

    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniffita View Post
    Sorry, I should have said animalic. I have a sinthetic civet that smells animalic to me, as it is a bit fecal, it's not that I dont like it, but not what I am looking for. And I have an Animalis base that smells animalic, of course. As for musks I have: Habanolide Helvetolide, Exaltolide, Romandolide, Exaltenone, Ambrettolide, L.Muscone.
    To better understand what you mean by animalic, is Romandolide "animalic" to you?

    Of what you name (or of anything I think) L-muscone is the closest to Civettone.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Civetone

    Thanks Bill.
    No, I would not say Romandolide is animalic, I use it just as you would use Galaxolide, maybe it is less sweet.
    I love L-muscone, find it elegant and it melts very well with my skin. Like Helvetolide too, when a fruity note is ok in the blend, nice in floral-greens.
    So, definetely have to get Civettone. It is awfully expensive, but I have seen that luckily I can buy a small quantity from PSH, that will be enough for me.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by Sniffita View Post
    So, definetely have to get Civettone.
    Looking forward to your thoughts on it. I’ve seen it for years and just always assumed I had something in the neighborhood already so I’ve skipped it.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Civetone

    In my own substantivity experiments spotting 100ul of 10% dilution in EtOH on smelling strips, civettone seems to be about equally substantive for me as velvione. They both remain detectable on the strip for 948 hours, substantially longer than any other macrocyclic musks I've tested. Interestingly, at least for me, velvione starts a lot stronger smelling & remains substantially stronger thru about 800 hours. Given the known genetic variation in musk sensitivity, it is absolutely possible that I am less sensitive to civettone than velvione, and civettone is actually substantially more tenacious than velvione. It's just that I'm not as good at smelling civettone as velvione.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Civetone

    If it were not so pricey and so therefore unreasonable to expect many to go get -- well wait a sec, 2g is $25 at PSH so it's not exactly prohibitive if efficient with materials -- it would be interesting to have a Civettone Challenge where the task is for a perfume to use it at at 3-5% or so.

    I have often had the idea of doing so but never actually have. I would build it up with Civettone right from the start; if trying to add Civettone to an existing formula it does have a tendency to say "Move over boys, I'm taking over the bass!" Meaning, a part of the perceptual range rather than referring to substantivity.

    But it is so good in that range I don't see why that would have to be a problem if the rest of the fragrance were composed to allow that. Although, we might have to be concerned about jaguars (see below.)

    On the excellence of civetone (on my apparently inconsistent spelling, the molecule is civetone, the branded Firmenich product is Civettone), this has been posted before but I think it worth posting again. From a Scientific American article:

    "The plan was the get the cheetahs to rub up against hair snares - basically a big brush nailed to a tree - because a small hair sample is all that’s needed to extract an individual’s genotype, just like a scat or tissue sample. Scent was the obvious lure, but what smells would attract these sleek, gorgeous, and highly elusive cats? Thomas tested scores of colognes and perfumes on the zoo’s cheetahs, leopards, lions and tigers and found that that the overwhelming favourite was Calvin Klein’s Obsession for Men.

    "In 2003, the team tested the scent on big cats in the wild in a private game reserve in South Africa, in preparation for Iran's Asiatic cheetahs. According to Dr Guy Balme, Director of the Panthera Leopard Program in Africa, the results were mixed. While the leopards and lions showed some interest - one female leopard rubbed the scent so much, she ended up in a fit of uncontrollable sneezes - the cheetahs didn’t respond one bit. The team suspected that unlike the Bronx Zoo cheetahs, the wild cheetahs in South Africa had so much to smell, they couldn't care less about the cologne.

    "But late last year, Miguel Ordeñana from the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles reported better luck with his pairing of Obsession with wild jaguars and camera traps in Nicaragua. According to Jason G. Goldman over at The Thoughtful Animal, the attraction probably has to do with a chemical compound called civetone, which is one of the world’s oldest perfume ingredients. Originally extracted from the scent glands of civets but now made synthetically, civetone proved to be the perfect lure for jaguars.

    "BC: Do you use Calvin Klein cologne as part of the cats' enrichment program?

    "LG: We spray it around the enclosure in lots of little concentrated sprays, and when the cats come out and smell it, they literally roll onto the ground, rub their cheeks all over it, and rub their faces with it. I guess it’s kind of like the reaction that you get from a cat when it’s enjoying catnip, they just seem to be in absolute heaven.

    "... And it’s lovely that we can do something like that to help break up their day, and give them something to do. Often with carnivores, food is used a lot with enrichment because they really do respond well, but with a smell, it sort of opens up a whole new realm of the types of enrichment that you can do with them and ways of keeping the animal active and stimulated."

  26. #26

    Default Re: Civetone

    Sounds like it might be fun to try to create an interesting 8-liner with civetone! I'll have to give it some thought.

    ETA: I've been sniffing corps racine on a smelling strip for months & it is so bright & green & lasts forever. I wonder if it might complement the darkness of civetone in an extended drydown?

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Roberts View Post
    But it is so good in that range I don't see why that would have to be a problem if the rest of the fragrance were composed to allow that. Although, we might have to be concerned about jaguars (see below.)
    Purchased lol

  28. #28

    Default Re: Civetone

    OK I made a civetone sketch & it smells very green & dark & rich & bright & pretty diffusive on the smelling strip. Remains to be seen if it has any interest at all on skin. Here is the formula as final percent b/w in EtOH:

    civetone 0.2
    ambrocenide 0.0001
    benzyl salicylate 0.9 (my crutch lolz)
    cyclopidene 0.02
    rhubofix 0.4
    corps racine 0.002

    And obvs the potentially really interesting part will be the drydown after the cyclopidene (fast) & rhubofix (moderate) are gone. I thought rhubofix being fruity woody spicy floral might be a good bridge from cyclopidene to darkness & greenness. We'll see how it goes on skin tomorrow.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Civetone

    Quote Originally Posted by mnitabach View Post
    OK I made a civetone sketch & it smells very green & dark & rich & bright & pretty diffusive on the smelling strip. Remains to be seen if it has any interest at all on skin. Here is the formula as final percent b/w in EtOH:

    civetone 0.2
    ambrocenide 0.0001
    benzyl salicylate 0.9 (my crutch lolz)
    cyclopidene 0.02
    rhubofix 0.4
    corps racine 0.002

    And obvs the potentially really interesting part will be the drydown after the cyclopidene (fast) & rhubofix (moderate) are gone. I thought rhubofix being fruity woody spicy floral might be a good bridge from cyclopidene to darkness & greenness. We'll see how it goes on skin tomorrow.
    Well, on skin this was disastrous! Lolololol. I do have a feeling that I just don't smell civetone very well.




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