is a new release from niche perfumer Areej Le Dore. I have heard bottles tend to sell out, so I decided I’d give it a go and buy one and see how it went (and if I didn’t like it, gift it to a good friend), but the notes definitely gave me pause as I thought it would be challenging for me to wear!
After testing it out, Civet de Nuit is a heady, darker floral composition that is heavily dosed with powder, musk, and nag champa incense. It was far less animalic as I’ve come to think of it; it was slightly leathery, but had more of a powdery-musk contribution and likely brought out the richness of the florals and helped them endure.
Civet de Nuit Notes
It is described as as a “heavy floral composition” that is contrasted against a “heavy dose of … antiquated civet tincture.”
- top notes: heliotrope accord, aldehydes
- heart notes: antiquated civet tincture, night blooming jasmine, and ylang ylang
- base notes: oakmoss, benzoin, olibanum, tobacco, white ambergris, castoreum, sandalwood Mysore, styrax, labdanum, musk accord
What does Civet de Nuit Smell Like?
It opens with an explosion of powder and aldehydes–but it was almost dark and heavy powder, because the jasmine followed swiftly through the powder as it settled down onto my skin. In some ways, it reminded me of opening a large pot of heavily-scented, almost aged, loose powder and having it diffuse upward into the air.
It was smoky, darkly spiced–it was incredibly heavy on incense that has remained lit for days and days. It brought me back to being at a Buddhist temple. There was a coolness to the scent, too, and a mustiness that held it down. The jasmine was blended and less “jasmine” as it was a rich white floral blooming and weaving through the powder and musk. There were no traces of anything urinous or fecal about the civet used in the fragrance for me, at this point or at any future point.
After 15 minutes of development, there were subtle animalic tones that emerged with a salty-sweet resin that dripped slowly in the background. It was musky, slightly dirty, and leathery, but I considered the sweeter, floral-powder to be the more dominant part of the fragrance still. Chewy toffee crept in after a half hour, initially barely detectable but then amped up over the next two hours.
Perhaps it was due to being longer-wearing than the average fragrance on me, but even after eight hours, it smelled very much like it did after the first hour. It was marginally muskier with less powderiness (though still quite heavy on floral-scented loose powder to me) with a salty-chewy-toffee aspect paired with smoky, never-ending incense that all felt quite dry.
The drydown, which appeared maybe eight to 10 hours into wear, was still very much in the same vein–it was slightly toffee-like, musky, and heavily powdered with white floral aspects. There was a suggestion of sandalwood, but it was quite restrained. Even 18 hours later, Nuit de Civet was mostly musk, powder, subtle incense, and a hint of white floral.
It lasted for 12 hours until it was a skin-scent and about 20 hours before it was quite difficult to detect on my skin. The sillage and projection were moderate and dropped closer to the body and the skin after six hours of wear.
For testing, I used two sprays applied to the underside and topside of my wrist area. I used an unscented moisturizer prior to applying the scent as I found scent did not hold well here otherwise.
I purchased my sample in February 2022; fragrances are known to be reformulated over their lifetime, so be mindful of when a review was made, e.g. a review from 2010 may not reflect what the same-named perfume smells like in 2022.
Civet de Nuit is available for $90/300ml.
If possible, I highly recommend trying a fragrance before purchasing a full bottle because fragrance can wear differently just because of skin chemistry. Skin chemistry can effect not just the longevity of a fragrance but also what notes are prominent or hidden.
Civet de Nuit Samples
Presently, samples are not available, but typically we recommend the following retailers for purchasing decanted samples (typically 0.7ml to 2ml in size). This is a fuller list, so individual availability may depend on inventory. It is unclear if there will ever be enough stock that it makes its way to retailers.