Description and usage notes:
One of the extremely powerful ingredients, best thought of in the same way as the pyrazines. Used in traces to add animalic warmth and wearability to many fragrance types. Particularly important in fine fragrance where this material has an exceptional enhancing effect on fragrances when applied to human skin.
This is Arctander writing about the natural extract of Civet (please note the product offered here is a synthetic recreation and contains no animal extracts whatever): “Civet ranks among the 20 most important perfume raw materials… The crude civet arrives in Europe and the U. S. A. in Zebu horns, containing about 500 to 1200 grams of the buttery yellowish paste which turns darker and more solid on age. The contents of one average Zebu horn represents the production from one civet cat in Four Years. During this period, the animal will consume something like the raw meat from 50 (fifty) sheep, and the poor cat, frequently teased in its narrow cage, will have undergone 400 to 800 painful “scrapings” of its glands. The raw meat, the narrow cage and the teasing are all means of increasing the production of the civet secretion which is scraped off with regular intervals while the cat is caged. It is no wonder that Civet is one of the most expensive perfume raw materials! But, thanks to the outstanding power of civet, its price does not prohibit its use by any means.”
He goes on to discuss the means of converting that crude product into the Absolutes and Tinctures that were still in widespread use in commercial fragrances in the 1960’s before describing the ways in which it is used:
“Civet products are used in a great variety of perfume types, particularly in the better lotion perfumes of the rose-type, Oriental types, ‘honey’- notes, narcissus bases, ambre types, etc. It blends well with the nitromusks, coumarin derivatives, quinoline derivatives, vanillin and related materials, etc. and many commercial fixative specialties are based upon such mixtures. The use of civet extracts or tinctures in muguet and other delicate floral bases may seem surprising to the layman, but this application of civet is well known and highly appreciated. The ‘lift’ and radiation (diffusive power) derived from minute quantities of civet tincture in certain types of perfumes is quite unique and this effect can only be adequately understood through long experience with good grades of civet.”
Because this material is so strong there is no practical limitation on the amount that can be used in fragrances even though the pure civet synthetic contains the following materials subject to restrictions by IFRA:
- Benzyl Alcohol 0.0001%
- Cyclododecatrien (CAS number 144020-22-4) 0.0510%
- Cyclopentadecanolide 1.0367%
- Farnesol 0.0012%
At Pell Wall we regard the means of extraction of natural civet (see above) as cruel and so don’t stock or use the material. What are offering here is a good quality recreation by Firmenich, presented at 0.1% in ethanol: a practical dilution for use in blending work, but if you work on a larger scale you may prefer to buy our 1% dilution or even the pure material.
Note that both of the below documents relate to the pure material, so due consideration will need to be given to the effects of dilution.