Zibeline fragrance notes

  • Head

    • Bergamot, Lemon, Coriander, Tarragon
  • Heart

    • Rose, Jasmine, lily of the valley, Ylang ylang, Orris, Gardenia
  • Base

    • Vetiver, Civet, Sandalwood, Amber, Musk, Honey, Tonka

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Latest Reviews of Zibeline

I'm reviewing a 1960s bottle of the parfum de toilette. Zibeline pdt is a beautiful example of an abstract, beautifully blended classic 20th century perfume. It doesn't smell like Arpege, but it has the same style. Tonka fanatics will love Zibeline pdt. Cherry, almonds, spicy flowers, sandalwood, powder and musk. Gorgeous. I don't own Sable furs, but I did attempt to scent my Mouton furs with this. My advice: not the best idea. Mouton seems to repel liquids rather than absorb them. Oh well. Nothing ventured nothing gained I suppose.
15th October 2022
A glamorous 1920s type scent and she's a vamp queen goddess. Like Theda Bara in "Cleopatra" with her vampy makeup... lying on a tiger skin rug like a cobra ready to strike...this is incredibly sexy. Naughty and sensual. The scent is also like the voice of Yma Sumac, Chuncho (1954). Fearless and depth,full of sweet untamed strenght.

It opens with overpowering aldehyde. Then the spicy floral with rich jasmine & rose note starts to creep in. This is my favorite part: an unexpected level of sophistication that brings a welcome sensuality, playing with the balsamic honey. The honey morhps into tonka bean. Deep dark sandalwood and fluffy and comforting musk feels like you're wearing a long black eventing gown with a slit on the side showing your leg. Totally a gloriously sensual, deep, enriching luxurious feminine perfume. Not for the faint of heart. Just absolutely stunning.
12th April 2021

This review is for the vintage 1928-formula Parfum de Toilette (essentially an Eau de Parfum); my batch appears to be from the 1960's or 70's. Interestingly, it is a pressurized aerosol, not solely a pump atomiseur, and I am glad it still has enough propellant in it to dispense the jus.

An opening of brilliant, very sharp aldehydes, with a tinge of boozy tarragon, a tart note of "Pledge"-like lemon oil, muted bergamot, followed by an immediate impression of civet. Then a muted woody impression, colored by a subtle gardenia and nostalgic orange blossom emerges, laced with a faint, oldschool jasmine and hint of ylang.

Gradually, the basenotes appear: honey, opoponax, tonka, orris, and a curious, nigh-gourmand impression of butter, yellow pollen and caramel. Cedar is quite prominent, in its "sharpened pencil" guise. It is at this point that ZIBELINE seems very similar indeed to Lanvin PRÉTEXTE, and somewhat like Lanvin ARPÈGE. Perhaps this is no surprise, as Claude Fraysse, the father of Andre and Jacqueline Fraysse, was the nose behind it.

Like the classic Lanvins, there is not a strongly etched, focused smell profile to the perfume (as you'd start getting in the late-1970's and 80's); rather, it has that soft-edged, powdery, mutable quality of the first half of the 20thc, suggesting it will smell differently on different skins.

In drydown, there is the marriage of a "golden" smelling opoponax and a pronounced tonka bean, with its curious tobacco-like "burn" and deep quasi-vanillic, caramelized qualities (which is found amplified tenfold in Coty ÉMERAUDE). All swaddled in a chalky, diaphanous iris silk. Though opoponax is not mentioned in the above olfactive pyramid, it is a MAJOR player in this scent, let me assure you. Honey, musk, iris and faint jasmine color this sweet accord.

ZIBELINE is a gorgeous, decidedly oldschool aldehydic/floral/woody, laced generously with animalics. As I say, it is, to my nose anyway, extremely similar to Lanvin PRÉTEXTE and not too far removed from ARPÈGE-- but sweeter and more white floral.

I confess, I am not picking up on the suggestive "naughty knickers" qualities that others have ascribed to ZIBELINE (read the Scented Salamander review online). In fact, I get more of that marine/ambergris note from Lanvin MY SIN than I do from this fragrance.

Even with a generous application, this Parfum de Toilette maintains a discreet powder-puff quality, with no glowering basenotes or room-filling sillage. I like it very much, and it has become a tous-les-jours go-to for me... it's perfect when you don't want to go full citrus eau-de-cologne, but you don't want to go sweet and dark Oriental either.
4th May 2020
Created in 1928 to apply to a sable fur, Martes Zibellina, to keep mustiness away, this a blend of bergamot, lemon, coriander and tarragon in the top notes, rose, jasmine, yang yang, orris, gardenia, hawthorn and muguet in the middle, and vetiver, civet, sandalwood, amber, musk, honey and tonka in the base.

It starts out with a cherry almond note, which is spicy and sweet, then moves to a rich floral melange that manages to smell vintage without smelling old-fashioned. The warm, balsamic base notes carry the floral medley into the dry down.

A true classic in its complexity, balance and beauty. They don't make them like this anymore.
18th February 2014
What a treat. I never thought I would smell this amazing, rare perfume which was designed to be applied to fur. I carefully researched the notes, I applied it to my hand, I prepared to identify those which stepped to the forefront as most representative, and I inhaled. Imagine my surprise when I smelled… cherry almond. What is the matter with me? It's similar to almond extract albeit fainter, richer, and more complex, maybe like heliotrope or scented tobacco. But I won't lie; I don't smell what I'm supposed to be smelling in here. If it's any consolation to you Zibeline aficionados, I love this. I keep continually smashing my face into my hand for hours as it dies down to a delicious, sweet, but cryptic combination of notes. My nose totally flunked this test.
29th December 2011
According to my 1964 Dictionnaire des parfums de France, Zibeline is a fruity, ambery and spicy aldehyde floral chypre (neroli, hawthorn, linden, rose, jasmine, ylang-ylang, incense, opopanax, oakmoss, vetiver, tonka bean and civet). Wow! You can hardly imagine a more complete olfactory palette than this. I adore this daring yet sophisticated composition. The opopanax/tonka notes give this elegant fragrance a warm and sensuous touch without making it too sweet or too powdery. Although there is no cinnamon, nutmeg or clove in Zibeline, I can smell a rich and delicious touch of spice in the dry down. The animal note (civet) does exactly what it is supposed to do, i.e. increase staying power without leaving a skunky "aftersmell". I have not seen Zibeline anywhere for over 20 years and I truly miss it.
11th October 2011
I am with Brielle87 on this one - marvelous - I am very LUCKY to have a bottle of this masterpiece in my possession. Without a single doubt, this goes right up there with Guerlain's Jicky as a true classic. I dare say that Jean Desprez's wonderful Bal à Versailles (in it's civet laden cologne concentration) harkens back to this as a possible influence . . . The civet note in the base this is absolutely stunning AND made even better by a lovely ambergris! Absolutely amazing!! The bottle I have was from France - Pre New York Weil - brought to the states in 1932 (indicated from the papers that came with it). I have read that it had to be reformulated several times due to lack of materials and wartime problems when the company moved to the United States as a result of the Nazi occupation during WWII. Unfortunately, again, from what I have read, the civet/ambergris note largely disappeared in later versions of this - being replaced by more spicy elements and sandalwood. I am sure it was still nice, but an awful shame to loose them!! However, rest assured that If I ever find any of the newer formulations, I'll snatch it up! I am sure it is fantastic too! Perfect.
3rd October 2009
A true marvel of the parfumeur's art. This is a wonderful aldehydic floral in the classic sense, but it has a surprising animal quality one would expect from a floriental dry-down. This scent is all furs and champagne; romantic evenings dancing under crystal chandeliers at a glorious ball. It truly is the essence of a bygone era, yet it has a thoroughly modern quality to it. It has a truly seamless transition from head, to heart, to basenotes. A masterpiece which, much like many others, has gone to the great fragrance Valhalla in the sky.
26th January 2009