Civet Gold Absolute

Eleonora Scalseggi has this to say “Let us be clear, civet, especially if undiluted, does not smell of fresh flowers, and this Civet Gold Absolute is no different. Approaching it straight from the bottle it is strong, faecal, feral and unmistakeably skanky. So why would you have anything like that go anywhere near a perfume, and even call it gold, you might ask.

Well, civet is one of those aromatic materials that needs lots of dilutions before you can unveil its beauty and its purpose. Actually, when you think that you are done diluting you might find that no, it needs a little more (it is quite common to work with 1% and 0.1% dilutions) to enable some much needed control and avoid overdosing it, more so when you consider that civet is one of those perfume ingredients that tends to grow in a perfume, so restraint is of utmost importance.

Once diluted, the worst faecal and horribly skanky notes are out of the way and you are left with a material that many describe even as “magic”. What is sure is that diluted civet added to a perfume composition is capable of a deeply transformative effect, much more so if its presence is kept below the threshold of conscious detection. You smell the beautiful transformative effects of civet, not the civet itself.

Of course, then some civet materials can impart more beauty than others. This particular Civet Gold Absolute is hands down the best Civet Absolute we have ever sampled, it was more expensive than our regular Indian offering, but we couldn’t pass on a material which is light years in front of any other absolute sampled, and not even comparable to any synthetic reproductions attempt, which unfortunately don’t come even close.

All the above about civet aromatics applies but with increased grace, floral notes upon dilutions and more so with ageing, and the added bonus of no gone off parmesan cheese notes, not even if you are brave enough to inhale it in the pure undiluted version.

At 1% the material displays floral notes and a musky warmth with a vaguely wild animalic edge; at 0.1% the dilution becomes even softer and smoother with delicate musky notes reminiscent of white ambergris along with the clean and cosy white musk notes of ambrettolide natural isolate.

This Civet Gold Absolute hails from Ethiopia, where civet farming is more civet-friendly than its Asian counterparts and where some more progress is being made to adapt farming to the Western standards of animal welfare. We wonder if this could at least in part explain the superior aroma profile of the product, or if it is just a matter of different civet species supplying the paste or again if it might just be the different manufacturing techniques as it happens with any other natural aromatic material.

Like all civet materials, this Civet Gold Absolute has tremendous staying power and can be used in trace amounts as an exalting fixative in any composition that we want to make more sensual. A good civet can increase the wearability of a perfume and improve its performance when applied to the human skin, imparting unparalleled warmth and depth to a very vast array of fragrance compositions like few other aromatic ingredients can. Maybe this is why some call it “magic”.”

Scientific name: Viverra civetta

Origin: Ethiopia