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civet

Fragrance no 7 is described with these words by Kilian, “An inspiration from the Marshmallow. A pure sensual treat.” I didn’t read it however until today (I wore the fragrance yesterday), and it makes me smile. The description feels more than adequate as I felt a bit like this the entire day. Or no, I did not feel like this, but I felt like I smelled like this.

Holy Sweet, Stockholm
The roses, honeysuckle and the caramel are like a romantic embrace. There is something about the feeling that this fragrance creates that makes you think of women like in the old movies. Of blushing cheeks, soft skin, light red anticipating lips, blossoming cherry trees, skirts that swoosh on a summer’s day and crushes. Total utter impeccable sweetness. And… as much as I love seeing it and it makes me smile and fills my heart with marshmallows…it’s just not me. Well, ok, it is a part of me… Yes. But not enough parts to define me in a way that I am comfortable with so not a fragrance that I can “stay” in.

However…there is a person that is the embodiment of all the things mentioned above. Also she of course has many many other sides and is a more complex person. But. She has that very very very special kind of romantic sweetness that you find in so few people these days. You have met her before on this blog, Karin. Karin can carry blush, blossom, swoosh, caramel and rose with a credibility and contemporary touch that no one else that I know can master. So, my Love. don’t be shy-sample now belongs to her, it’s  a really lovely match. Perfumes like this are made for women and womanisciousness like Karin.

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Let’s talk about another one of the animalistic perfume ingredients. Civet. Just like musk its value for the perfume industry lies in its ability to enhance fragrances and prolong the life of scents.

So now to the less romantic part.

Civet, or civetone as it is called at its more refined stage, is a substance taken from an animal called the African Civet – a nocturnal animal in sub-Saharan Africa. It eats most things, including snake and species that other animals find too poisonous to have for dinner. When moving around a territory the civet spreads a fluid to mark it. This fluid comes from the animal’s perineal glands and is the link between this African mammal and the perfume industry.

There is definitely a market for civet, which has led to numerous civet farms where animals are kept under dubious conditions only to serve as sources of gland secretion. One animal provides the owner with three to four grams per week.

Civet is one of the absolutely oldest perfume ingredients, particularly popular in France. It has a strong odor similar to musk and is used in very small quantities as a fixative that gives the fragrance depth and longer life. Chandler Burr compares it to using whole cream in soups and sauces.