Civet (perfumery)

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Civet (Zibeth; Zibet; Zibetum), also known as civet musk, is the glandular secretion produced by both sexes of the civet (Viverridae).

Production[edit]

The African civet, Civettictis civetta, is one of the species that secretes civet fluid.

A number of species of civet, Civettictis civetta of Ethiopia, and Viverra zibetha and Viverricula indica of India, Malaya, Indochina, and Indonesia, can yield civet oil. Most civet is however produced by civet farms in Africa, where the secreted oil is taken from the pouches of caged animals once a week.[1][2] African civets typically produce three to four grams of civet each week. In 2000, civet sold for about five hundred dollars per kilogram.[3]

Civet is a soft, almost liquid material. It is pale yellow when fresh, darkening in the light and becoming salve-like in consistency. Its odor is strong, even putrid as a pure substance, but once diluted it is pleasantly and sweetly aromatic. It is prepared for use in perfumery by solvent extraction to yield either a tincture (10 or 20 percent), an absolute, or a resinoid.[1][2]

Composition[edit]

The chemical in civet oil that gives it most of its distinctive odor is civetone, at a concentration of between 2.5 and 3.4 percent. The oil also includes various other ketones such as cyclopentadecanone, cyclohexadecanone, cycloheptadecanone, and 6-cis-cycloheptadecenone. The animal scent is reinforced by the presence of smaller amounts of indole and skatole, which in African civet are present at a concentration of about 1 percent.[1][2]

Uses[edit]

Civet has a distinctly different odor from musk and was formerly a versatile ingredient of fine fragrances. It is being displaced by 5-cyclohexadecen-1-one (Ambretone) which is more easily synthesized.[1]

Civet absolute [68916-26-7] is used as a flavor and in perfumery.[4][5]

Safety[edit]

The USA does not allow civets to be imported, as the species can transmit the SARS virus.[6] The USA does however permit the importation of civet oil, as long as it has been treated to ensure it is noninfectious.[7]

Name[edit]

The name derives from the Arabic zabād or sinnawr al-zabād, civet cat (Viverra civetta), by way of Old Italian zibetto and Middle French civette.[8] [9]

History[edit]

The 10th century Arab historian al-Masudi mentioned civet (zabāda) as a spice in his book Murūdj al-dhahab (Meadows of Gold).[10]

Civet was among the many trade items that caravans, controlled by the Ghana empires, carried from the Niger valley to North Africa.[11]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Karl-Georg Fahlbusch; et al. (2007), "Flavors and Fragrances", Ullmann's Encyclopedia of Industrial Chemistry (7th ed.), Wiley, p. 86
  2. ^ a b c George A. Burdock (2010), "CIVET", Fenaroli's Handbook of Flavor Ingredients (6th ed.), Taylor & Francis, p. 326
  3. ^ Shalu, Tuteja (2000), Civettictis Civetta African Civet, Animal Diversity Web
  4. ^ George A. Burdock (2010), "CIVET ABSOLUTE", Fenaroli's Handbook of Flavor Ingredients (6th ed.), Taylor & Francis, p. 326‒327
  5. ^ Transparency List, International Fragrance Association, 2011, retrieved 2014-09-12
  6. ^ Bringing a Civet into the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, retrieved 2014-09-12
  7. ^ Bringing Animal Products into the United States, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, retrieved 2014-09-12
  8. ^ "civet", Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary
  9. ^ F. Viré (1997), "SINNAWR", The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 9 (2nd ed.), Brill, p. 653b
  10. ^ A. Dietrich (2004), "AFĀWĪH", The Encyclopaedia of Islam, 12 (supplement) (2nd ed.), Brill, p. 42b
  11. ^ Willie F. Page; R. Hunt Davis, Jr., eds. (2005), "civets", Encyclopedia of African history and culture, 1 (revised ed.), Facts on File, p. 58