Zoologist Civet Review

zoologist civet reviewZoologist Civet – yeah!  Weird how a brand I had not even heard of like a year ago become one of my faves. Shelley Waddington created Civet for Zoologist.  For a fragrance that released 10 days ago, there are already 584 reviews.  Give or take 563.

I have my own thoughts about this fragrance, but lets take a whirl around those 584 reviews and get some other takes on Zoologist Civet.

Ida at Fragrantica – “Repulsive? Hardly. We smell the warmth of dark coffee melded with photorealistic synthetic civet and dusky oakmoss, a rich lusty leather accord underpinning the panoply of sumptuous materials.

Robert Herrmann from Australian Perfume Junkies – “…she is still slightly sweaty from the show, but covered in a sexy, sultry perfume which doesn’t mask the skin-smell of sweat, just makes it all the more alluring and enticing.”

EauMG – “…French-feeling oriental with indolic florals, dark woods and this absolutely genius coffee accord. If I were to choose a perfume of the woman I wish to become, it’d be Civet.”

As I’m smelling this, I’m thinking I will never be sultry and interesting enough to wear it.  Notes of Bergamot, Black Pepper, Lemon, Orange, Spices, Tarragon, Carnation, Frangipani, Heliotrope, Hyacinth, Linden-blossom, Tuberose, Ylang, Balsams, Civet*, Coffee, Incense, Labdanum, Musks*, Oakmoss, Resins, Russian Leather*, Vanilla, Vetiver, Woods. (* means synthetic).

Open is poppy, like champagne, almost fizzy.  That’s a good thing because there is a party looking for a place to swan about in a black dress with a slit up to almost there.  Not sure what I was expecting with something named Civet, but this is better.  There is a lovely floral unfolding that begins after that fizzy cork pops that is an interesting blend.  I love the coffee note in there, it’s unexpected and  add whimsy to  that floral middle.  So think of it as a dance – an excited scurry on the dance floor when the music starts, champagne glass in hand.  The music speeds up a little, she puts her now empty champagne glass on an empty table and returns to the floor, the music getting more serious, sometimes faster, sometimes slower, and beads of sweat form above her lip. She laughs as the music stops, changes pacing into a slower, closer dance.  Well, you know how this dance ends, y’all.  

Zoologist Civet reviewA few years ago I went to Barcelona and we attended Flamenco.  That dance with the invitation of sultry looks, smoldering stomping, dancers circling each other, getting closer, then flouncing off.  Zoologist Civet.

Zoologist Civet is a crazy trip and a fun one.  It’s beautifully done and paced, it doesn’t get muddied like I was afraid it would, and the civet underlies and deepens and adds interest to gorgeous leathery incensed florals.  This never becomes publicly awkward to wear. Hey, I am not saying that is a bad thing.  You just don’t have to worry about it here.  Beautifully done. Though I’m not opposed to a future revision that does turn this into a smutfest, I’m a big fan of those.  Call it Civet Night.

Winners of the Neela Vermeire Rahele sample – LeslieR, Luna Green, CBSutcliffe and taxi. Just click on Drop Us a Note at the top, send me an e-mail, remind me of what you won, give me the ten samples you want and get me your mailing address. I’ll send you a quick e-mail to let you know I got your e-mail and it didn’t land in a spam filter and then get it on the way to you.

Giving away three samples of Zoologist Civet so you can figure out your own sniffing dance with it. Favorite Zoologist?  Or have you gotten to smell one yet? 



  • Katherine says:

    I like Bat and Panda. I haven’t had a chance to smell civet yet.

  • civet says:

    rhinoceros is my favorite so far. I would love to try the civet, obviously!

  • dremybluz says:

    I would love to try this. I love civet in old perfumes

  • Grizzlesnort says:

    I got BAT based on a review and don’t regret it because love it. I want to try them all.

  • My favourite Zoologist is Bat…but Civet sounds amazing.

  • HeidiC says:

    Dying to try this! I was disappointed by Zelda, but I love a good animalic scent, so I’m willing to give her another try. I’ve only tried Bat, which is wonderfully weird. Thanks for the draw!

  • filomena813 says:

    My favorites from Zoologist are Civet and Hummingbird. I have not sampled Rhinoceros and Panda as yet.

  • EchoCharlie says:

    I have not been fortunate enough to smell any of the zoologist line, but I am definitely intrigued.

  • Ingeborg says:

    Do not enter me in the draw, I got an extra sample from Zoologist when I ordered samples of some of their scents. Civet didn’t really work for me, too dense. I didn’t get much leather in it, a note I tend to shy away from anyway. Civet lasted for a very long time and was nice enough, a bit retro. But Civet didn’t develop much at all on my dry, scent-eating skin, I wish I had the same experience as Patty when I tested!

    I have tried the new formula of Beaver, very nice and outdoorsy, but I would have loved a bit more animalic facets to it! Panda is possibly my favourite among those tried, I wanted to love the Nightingale scent, but it didn’t last on me, while Hummingbird lasts around 4 hours and is interesting and at the same time easy to wear. Hummingbird is a scent I think would also appeal to people who are not used to niche, it is sweet without being cloying.

  • Spring-pansy says:

    Yes, count me in the draw, please. I haven’t gotten to try any of the Zoologist fragrances, but I’m intrigued by several. If they ever make a Zebra, I’ll order it unsniffed!

  • Nadja Sand says:

    I wanted to get Civet with my latest order from Indiescents but they didn’t have it yet. I’ve only heard good things about it so very eager to try it. Coffee and civet, leather, resins and florals… it just sounds yum! Right up my alley!

    I did finally get that sample of Bat that I’ve been wanting for a year though, hopefully I’ll love it, I do tend to love Ellen Covey’s work (especially Tropic of Capricorn) so I have high hopes! The only Zoologist that I’ve tried so far was the old version of Beaver, which was impressive but too dry for me.

  • Sapphire says:

    This sounds really interesting. I haven’t tried any Zoologist scents yet, but am gradually getting intrigued by the reviews. Thanks for the drawing!

  • Sylvia says:

    Thanks for the chance! Sounds like an interesting smell.

  • RoseMacaroon says:

    LOL, KOYEL!!! I tried Bat on paper, too – it’s such a trip. Really fun experience, just not one I need to repeat immediately. There’s a lot from this line that appeals to me, Civet and Panda being uppermost in my mind atm. Thanks for the draw ?!

  • Christine says:

    Leather. Incensed. Florals. Sign me up!

    Whether I win this or not, I’m definitely signing up for some samples because yeesh this sounds gorgeous. Plus I love that zoologist has a sense of humor about them.

    • Christine says:

      Never mind! Take me out of the running for the give away. I caved and bought a decant. ?

      • Christine says:

        Oh. And I’m waiting for zoologist to make a sperm whale scent based on ambergris. Because that I’d probably buy a full bottle of, unsniffed.

  • Olivia says:

    I’m dying to smell Civet and the reformulated version of Beaver. Zoologist is certainly causing quite a stir! Thanks for the chance!

    • Ingeborg says:

      The new formula of Beaver is very good, do try it (I haven’t tried the old one, so can make no comparison)!

  • Koyel says:

    I’d love to try this. I once tried Bat on paper and nearly threw up. I don’t think I’ll like this one either, but I’m very curious. Thanks!

  • I haven’t tried anything from Zoologist yet, but I have been meaning to. Civet sounds like something I would like, so I really want to try it. Zazie’s story above reminded me of an interesting experience I had with a synthetic “civet” material, civettone. This stuff is strong and on its own smells like indole on steroids. Anyway, I had gotten a small amount of it, probably from perfumer’s apprentice, and I got a bit on my hand as I was diluting it. I went to wash my hands, and I was using a lily of the valley-scented hand soap. The little bit of civettone on my hand melded with the scent of the soap, and it was amazing. It really deepened the scent and made it sing.

  • Zazie says:

    Hi there, Patty, I hope all is well! Have you tried the Perris absolue d’osmanthe?

    Zoologist is a brand I know nothing about, but this review of yours is just so surprising (I smelled civet-the raw material- once… and whoa! Not subtle. Definitely not subtle!!! 😉 ) and surprisingly enticing… though a part of me wishes to put as much distance as possible between my wrists and a perfume named after such a powerful substance!

    On a side note, the day I smelled civet (the raw material), a perfumer also provided me with a pear accord to try (very realistic!). She then mixed the pear with the tiniest bit of civet, and the end result was absolutely surprising! The “perfume” didn’t smell of either substances, at least not in the obvious way I expected it would… it just it had a fruity and velvety feel to it, even though you could recognize the pear if you went looking for it. The civet just wasn’t there anymore, but the pear accord now had texture, and nuances, and softness and a “human affinity” to it… odd… the sense of smell is so odd and exciting….

  • Audrey says:

    Civet, sounds interesting! Love to try, Thanks!

  • Musette says:

    DNEM. But wow. Just. WOW. xoxoxoA

  • Jenbat says:

    I’m a zoologist superfan! My favourite perfume ever is Rhinoceros, although I’d wear any of them happily. Dying to try Civet.

  • Kayceebee says:

    Very grateful for the opportunity to try Civet. It sounds beautiful. I have very little access to non-mainstream perfumes.

  • Fernando says:

    I’m sure there are some zoologists nearby in the biology department, but no, I never got close enough to smell one.

  • mikasminion says:

    I love Hummingbird enough to have it on my FB list and wouldn’t say no to a bottle of Rhinoceros or Beaver. Bat didn’t work on my skin but I love to sniff it from the vial. Civet is driving me nuts because I want to try it and, though I am clinging desperately to my temporary no-buy policy, I can feel my fingers slipping…

  • rosarita313 says:

    Ack I can’t wait to try this, I think Shelley Waddington is brilliant so Civet has a special appeal, so does Hummingbird since she did that one too.

  • laurallls says:

    I haven’t tried anything from this line. I am most interested in Civet and Hummingbird.

  • Connie says:

    Favorite Zoologist is Hummingbird, but I’ve yet to try Nightingale and Civet, and both lovely! I thought Bat was super interesting too, if a bit ‘avant grade’ for me 😛

  • Selina says:

    My favourite is Rhinoceros but I also love Beaver. Also considering Nightingale as a buy because it’s a lovely, easy to wear perfume and I don’t have too many of those. Dying to try Civet!

  • I have heard so much about Zoologist but never tried any. Using civet so prominenetly is a bold move, but it sounds like it’s paid off! There’s a lot of love for this brand. I must seek it out! Great review xx

  • SHMW says:

    I would love to try this. I haven’t tried any Zoologist perfumes yet and Civet sounds fascinating. I love their label art and their scarves. This reminds me of my Ibride bird portrait tray..

  • MaureenC says:

    New to me but with that write up I’d love to try it!

  • Fleurycat says:

    I haven’t tried any of the Zoologist fragrances yet, but several are on my decant wish list, Civet at the top. So many interesting notes that are difficult to imagine into the whole. I’d love to try this!

  • Neva says:

    I’m so curious about this line ever since I’ve first heard about them last year but the samples are almost impossible to find in Europe…I have a feeling I’ll fall in love with some of them.

  • In love with all of these- they transport me somewhere else immediately and every one is uniquely beautiful. Nightingale and Rhinoceros if I must choose. Have to have Civet!

  • Angela Boyer says:

    The title is unusual, it catches you off guard as does the portrait on the bottle STILL This Juice Sounds Amazing! A coffee scent as it changes form? I can’t even imagine!! I have read such great reviews about Civet, I believe the 583, everyone is talking about this one…. sadly it is not included in my sampler pack. I thought I would enjoy Hummingbird or Bat, but this one appears to be the runaway hit.
    Even the bottle looks like a throwback to earlier times, maybe a children’s storybook cover back in the day. My imagination is curious, just like the Civet!!

  • Les says:

    Wow, that sounds fantastic. I haven’t tried any Zoologists yet, but Beaver and Hummingbird are also both on my to-sniff list.

  • Cindy says:

    I really like Zelda by Shelley Waddington and have a love-hate relationship with Frida. This one sounds amazing, can’t wait to try it!

  • Clarochka says:

    Have not to tried any of Zoologist but this sounds right my alley

  • Artist says:

    I love the fruity, flowery pretty Hummingbird best so far, would love to try Civet!!!!

  • Ellen M says:

    Really want to try this. There was no sample available when I placed an order to Surrender to Chance.

  • Tara C says:

    I am dying to try this! My favorite Zoologist is Beaver with Rhinocerois a close second.