LEATHER

Type
Natural raw material
Parts used
Glands
Extraction method
Extraction solvent or alcoholic tincture

Animal, pervasive, tenacious, musky, faecal, powerful.

Civet is prized for its highly fixative abilities; blending and balancing notes in some of the world’s most notoriously seductive scents. In its natural form, civet is a deeply pungent scent, fecal and intensely animal, but when diluted and manipulated by the experienced hands of perfumers, the ingredient transforms—giving an alluring radiance and warmth to floral notes. For ethical reasons, civet is almost always reproduced synthetically (recreated using civetone) and most often used in prestige perfumery.

Production

The civet is a carnivorous wild cat with a greyish-yellow coat and unique pattern of black markings, not dissimilar to martens. In a rather cruel process, the civets’ glands were emptied once a week to collect the coveted secretion before being purified through a process of extraction using solvents. Synthetic substances are nowadays used to replace this outdated practice.

History

Hoarding civet to harness its intoxicating fixative effects is a process that predates this millennia. Long ago, unrefined civet was shipped in zebu horns large enough to transport 500–1200 grams of the yellow paste-like substance, which darkened and hardened over time. If extracted from a single civet, it would have taken up to four years to extract such a large amount of the substance.
Aside from its undeniable fixative qualities, civet also acts as an aphrodisiac—evoking a sensual, enticing effect.

Some fragrances related to the ingredient

Zoologist

CIVET

CHYPRE
Santi Burgas

EGNARO

LEATHER / CITRUS
D.S. & Durga

NOTORIOUS OUD

WOODY / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
CHYPRE / WOODY
Serge Lutens | Collection Noire

NUIT DE CELLOPHANE

FLORAL
Zoologist

SACRED SCARAB

AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Serge Lutens | Palais Royal

CUIR MAURESQUE

LEATHER / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Bond No. 9 I Love NY

H.O.T. ALWAYS

LEATHER / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Boadicea the Victorious | Courage Collection

INTRICATE

LEATHER / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
Comporta

SELA PARFUM

LEATHER / WOODY
Hermès

BEL AMI

LEATHER / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
LEATHER / AMBERY (ORIENTAL)
LEATHER / WOODY
LEATHER / CITRUS
Histoires de Parfums | Éditions Rare

PÉTROLEUM

LEATHER / WOODY
CHYPRE / WOODY
Santa Maria Novella

PEAU D'ESPAGNE

LEATHER / WOODY
Le Labo

IRIS 39

LEATHER / GREEN
Dior | Maison Christian Dior

LEATHER OUD

LEATHER / WOODY
Amouage

OPUS V

LEATHER / CITRUS

Musk

Bergamot

Sandalwood

Patchouli

Amber

Vanilla

Jasmine

Cedarwood

Rose

Mandarin

Vetiver

Lemon

Tonka Bean

Orange Blossom

Iris / Orris

Cardamom

Pink Pepper

Lavender

Grapefruit

Woody Notes

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