Here we have a vetiver perfume again… Somehow that note grows on me. My initial vetiver scepticism has been turned into genuine appreciation by the likes of Guerlain (Vetiver Pour Elle), Serge Lutens (Vetiver Oriental), Vero Profumo (Onda) and Mona di Orio (Vètyver) and now Chanel is taking its turn.
Sycomore was created as part of the Les Exclusifs collection by Jacques Polge in 2008 and includes notes of vetiver, cypress, juniper, pink pepper, smoke and burning woods.
Sycomore is sturdy and clean, straight, free of embellishments and flourishes, like the tree its name is borrowed from.
Vetiver is indeed prominently featured from beginning to end. Sycomore opens with a salty vetiver that morphs into a more hazelnutty-gourmand facet over time. The drydown is darker and woodier, cypress and subtle smoke coming into their own.
Sycomore has excellent lasting power on me, which is saying something, since some Les Exclusifs are woefully shortlived, the sillage is average to good.
I always had Sycomore down as a very masculine scent, which it is, but that does not mean it should only be worn by men. Sycomore is androgynous, famous faces like Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Hepburne, Lauren Bacall or Tilda Swinton come to mind when I smell this perfume. Sycomore demands wearing trousers and striding purposefully.
It is uncluttered and straightforward, it exudes strength, but a quiet purposeful strength. A conviction, a determination, a strong character, deeply rooted, not easily swayed or influenced.
Sycomore is utterly reliable. I can lean against this tree and feel its solid and reassuring presence. Why oh why, did I not try this sooner…
Aside: My little son has to go to the hospital for a small surgical procedure today. I’m wearing Sycomore and hoping for the best. Please send him your good thoughts.