January 11, 2017

Zoologist Civet Eau de Parfum Review

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

Zoologist Civet Eau de Parfum is the latest unique fragrance launch from our friends at Zoologist. Civet launched late last month and was an unexpected surprise after not one but two new launches from Zoologist that happened in November including one of my new favorites, Nightingale.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Civet and the note and name alone scared me a little. Basically the fragrance captures a synthetic civet note (Zoologist does not use animal products in their fragrance). If the idea of civet makes you cringe or raise a brow keep in mind it does make an appearance in many popular and cult favorite scents from Chanel, Guerlian, and more. If you’re unfamiliar with the note, allow me to briefly explain.

Ah yeah, ahem, well civet cats release a pungent secretion that marks their territories. Apparently when diluted with other notes, particularly florals and given time to age it actually adds warmth and body to fragrances. I won’t go into where exactly this “musk” is secreted from. The note has actually been replicated though in a synthetic form so, the idea is a little less gross than you might be thinking.

Let’s take a look at my thoughts and review of Zoologist Civet Eau de Parfum.

Shelley Waddington and Zoologist founder, Victor Wong are the noses behind the the stunning Zoologist Civet creation. You may recognize Shelley’s name for a few reasons. One being she has her own find niche fragrance house called En Voyage and the second reason is you might recall me mentioning my other favorite fragrance scent from Zoologist, Hummingbird, in my introduction of the brand as Shelley is also responsible for this fragrance as well.

I admit, I heard Shelley’s name and I had no reservations about purchasing Civet considering my love of her own house brands as well as my intense passion for Hummingbird. I knew it was bound to be special and it is.

Civet isn’t for the faint of heart as he’s a refined gentleman with a vintage air and a certain cloying warmth that travels with you throughout the day. If I close my eyes I can easily imagine Lord Alfred Douglas misting this on before a meeting with Oscar Wilde. It’s very much a fragrance that’s elegant, vintage, and truly glamorous.

I think the way Zoologist describes the scent can be a little intimidating with a promise of “raw, alluring, animalistic musks”. For me this opens up with a spicy floral element with a burst of black pepper, bergamot, and a spiciness that my nose is too novice to define. As it settles down a beautiful layer of floral notes emerge and if you concentrate hard enough you can pick some of them out particularly the spicy warm of carnation and tuberose. As it dries down further a slight incense-y warmth embraces you and the floral notes become even more complex courtesy clean vanilla, woodsiness, musks, oak, and coffee. Dare I say at this point the scent even reveals a slight sweetness. The fragrance is so well blended that you’ll never really capture the element of the civet note here but you will feel it’s presence as it enriches the perfume and gives it warmth and sensuality.

I can tell you all of these things but you might never full visualize or understand Civet until you smell it for yourself. For me it smells like an old worldly perfume. It’s a vintage scent that’s wrapped in a flare of notes that will bring you back to centuries past but with an edge that can only be described as modern sexy. It deserves mentioning that this is created with 25% concentrated perfume oil so the scent is strong with an incredible linger and throw. It’s a conversation piece that will have people leaning into you and asking, “What is that beautiful smell?”

Zoologist Civet Eau de Parfum does not disappoint and is another fine offering from this incredible niche fragrance house.

Well done, Zoologist! You’ve done it again.

A most perfect, vintage scent that with a complex and unique formula that’s sure to please indie and niche fragrance fans far and wide.

Muse Approved.

Try a sample of Zoologist Civet for $6 which can be purchased at etsy.com and from zoologistperfumes.com.

I purchased this item and I receive a small commission if you shop using the links in this post.

About the Muse

Isabella MuseIsabella is just an average everyday geeky girl who doesn’t blend her eyeshadow correctly, wears too much blush, and hopes she never finds her holy grail products because she likes the thrill of the chase so much. Her mission is to bring you super honest reviews on makeup, skincare, fragrance and all things beauty. She’s in no way an expert on the topic and she sure as hell isn’t a super model. But she’s passionate about makeup and is seeking like-minded individuals that like pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, and ones that enjoy spending hundreds of dollars at Sephora without feeling buyer’s remorse. If you’re that person feel free to reach out and leave a comment or follow me on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Bloglovin‘.

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  • Z

    I think this might be too spicy for me but damn Muse your perfume review is beautiful as always!

    • Isabella Muse

      Not at all, Z! Not the spice bomb one would believe, it actually has a certain floral sweetness that smells very clean and vintage on the dry down 😀 Aw thanks girl!

  • Angelyn

    Oh man this is so right up my alley. You say civet and I already love it! One of my favorite perfume oils is a blend of civet and orchid 😀

    • Isabella Muse

      yay! someone that doesn’t find the idea of civet weird ;-D You def should try this!

  • cecilia

    Your reviews actually made me purchase a few samples from this brand last year, Beaver is one of my favorite perfumes now! But I was really disappointed in Bat, to me it smelled like baby food (the fruit kind) and a great whopping pile of mold 🙁 But this one sounds right up my alley, might need to try it when I get paid.

    • Isabella Muse

      Yay! I’m so happy to hear that! I don’t get the baby food element from Bat, I like the initial sweetness of Bat but it gets a little mossy and earthy after a while which didn’t quite agree with me at all! Did you try out Hummingbird? Thoughts? 🙂

  • Jodi Apps

    SARS !!!! That was the first thought when I saw this! Second thought: if I were to have worn this to my workplace I would be beaten to a bloody pulp! Scenario goes like this: ” Oh that’s really nice perfume! What is it? ” -” uhmm it’s “Eau de Civet Cat” ( in a timid voice ) – “WHAT!!!!??? ” then POW! right between my eyes!

  • Robin

    Isabella, I am a new subscriber and I just want to tell you this is the BEST blog on beauty I have found!
    I want to order a sample, could you tell me which of these fragrances would be the strongest spice and long lasting?

    Thank You

    • Isabella Muse

      Hi Robin! Welcome! Thank YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Flattered 😀 If I were you, I’d order a sample pack so you can experience them all for yourself. I wouldn’t say any of them fall into the realms of being true spicy fragrances. If you’re looking for spice you might want to try out MAC’s new Lady Danger. She’s a nice floral oriental that has spicy warmth. https://www.etsy.com/listing/226659632/zoologist-perfume-complete-sample-set this is the sample pack and you can try all of the scents. They aren’t dabbers or vials either, they are sprays. I always find vials messy and dabbers are just as bad. these are actual sprays and you can get a nice long test out of each one. As for long lasting, they are all strong. They put a good deal of perfume oil into all the blends they do (this one has 25% concentrate) so they aren’t a fragrance that will fade away quickly 🙂 Hope this helps. If it doesn’t, I highly recommend emailing them directly for a recommendation, Victor Wong, the owner/creator, is very friendly and will likely make a more knowledgeable recommendation on a scent you might like 🙂

  • Daisy

    My mom keeps talking about a civet musk perfume she wore in the 70s. There were a few “flavors” like strawberry, lemon and original. She believes it was called RH, but doesn’t know if it was associated with Helena Rubenstein. Can anyone confirm if the info I have is correct? I wonder if any of the Zoologist scents are similar? Thanks, Muse, for the great post!

    • Isabella Muse

      oh you’re going way back. That’s RH Mystic Musk, I’ve only read about it on perfume forums and once in a perfume book about vintage scents. But I never actually tried it or smelled it myself. Helena Rubinsteinn was not involved to my knowledge. I honestly only remember Heaven Scent from Helena Rubinstein and that’s even a very vague memory because I believe Dana (makers of baby soft) became involved with Heaven Scent and that’s the notes I am most familiar with as my sister used to wear it in the late 80’s. Nowadays it smells like wet dog but that’s off topic 🙂 I wish I could say that Zoologist reminded me of what your mom remembers but I never personally smelled RH Mystic Musk, so I’m not really sure. Sorry Daisy! :-/ Aw thanks and my pleasure!

  • Kim

    I’m so intrigued. I think I will buy all the samples from this brand and see. I love the aesthetic, and as a proudly Canadian, it’s always nice to see a local indie brand. And the shipping to Singapore is actually cheap, always a plus!