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.
More Les Exclusifs reviews: 28 La Pausa :: Bel Respiro :: 31 Rue Cambon :: Cuir de Russie :: Coromandel :: N°22 .
Have you tried Encre Noire for Men? It smells very similar to Sycomore, but the price is a bit friendlier.
Best wishes to your son.
No, I haven’t but I will, if I get the chance.
Thank you for the recommendation and your wishes. 🙂
Sending strength and healing thoughts for your son x
Thank you, Maggie! He is fine, kids are so resilient!
I would like to echo cheesegan – Encre Noir (for men) is one of my absolute favourites: it smells like an afternoon curled up by the fire in a panelled library. Sycomore did not grab me when I sampled it, must revisit – I’m sure I have a sample somewhere…
And of course I am sending good vibes to both you and your son.
Hmm, that sounds nice, just what I want right now… 🙂
Dear B, I am sure all will go well today and I’m sending positive thoughts your way.
Sycomore is a great choice for a perfumed back-up.
Thank you, dear! All went just fine.
“Wearing trousers and striding purposefully” is just what is needed for this scent, I agree. I have also historically thought of this one as a bit masculine, but my view is changing. Maybe I am becoming more purposeful!
Good luck to son No 2 for his op. He’s a “sturdy” little chap too and will take it in his “stride”, I am sure!
Will be back later to read the rest of the week’s posts…
I had to laugh so hard when you talked about Niki’s pavement diving experiences and I’m sure his time as a stunt-man helped a lot yesterday. 🙂
First of all my warmest wishes to you and your son…
You are slowly turning into a converted vetiverist! What a surprise!
I find Sycomore a very bright, lively, happy vetiver. I agree that Encre Noire uses the same vetiver note but in a slightly darker and more urban way. The earliest release with this bright vetiver note was Kenzoair. It is almost discontinued now but if you see it in a discount store don’t miss the opportunity to try it.
It is a surprise, so again the most important lesson I got from perfume applies – never say never.
We’ll send prayers for you, your son and family- I know how stressed you feel, been there myself! But you have an excellent health care system, I know everything will go well.
Vetiver does give one strength, it’s a good choice. It cools the emotions and calms one down. It’s my favorite base note!
That is so true, we are lucky to have such a great health system (and knowing many specialists personally is also an enormous relief and makes the situation a lot easier.)
Niki is as good as new today. 🙂
Sending Niki healing wishes and thinking of you both. It doesn’t matter how small the procedure is when it’s your child. I’m sure it will go well and be all over very soon.
I agree with Marla that vetiver is a great choice for today. I hope Sycomore gives you strength and calms your frayed nerves.
Thank you, dear Tara!
Sycomore was an excellent choice, in the evening I went for Beloved, it worked like an embrace. (One from Christopher Chong apparently. 😉 )
Sending Niki lots of good thoughts today!
Vetiver is a good old staple choice I find. I really need to spend some more time with Les Exclusifs, I just cannot find any love for them yet.
Have you tried No. 22 yet?
I have a couple of times, mainly in passing, I find it the most intriguing of the bunch.
I woukd have thought it was the most ‘you’ of all of them.
I love the Exclusifs. Like Tara, I think that N°22 would be the best choice for you, but maybe you’d also enjoy Coromandel?
Sending both yourself and Niki good thoughts, I have been through two small surigal procedures with my son, I know it is not an easy thing to go through for either of you.
I must try sycomore again, I hope it worked for you today. 🙂
Thank you, Andrea! It is a bit nerve-wracking having to give your child into someone else’s care, but thankfully it is over now.
GOOD THOUGHTS!! XxX
Sending love and light to you and your son.
Thank you very much, Connie!
Loving thoughts and fragrant hugs to you and Niki, Birgit. ❤
Thank you, Suzanne! xoxo
Sending positive thoughts and energy your way. 🙂
Thank you, Arline!
Many, many good thoughts for Niki, and for you. I’ve been there in spades myself. (If you find yourself tired afterwards, just go easy for a bit. Even though as parents it seems we don’t do much except sit, there’s something about waiting in a hospital that can be very wearying.)
Sycomore is OK on me, but absolute magic on The Engineer. He’s been working his way through the vetiver note, and Sycomore is still at the top of the list: a perfect combo of green freshness and subtle smokiness.
Thank you Dionne. It was indeed wearying and I went to bed at 8.30pm (a hospital bed, since we had to stay the night, but Niki slept like and angel for 12 hours straight.) 🙂
Oh! Thank you for reminding me of this. I love Sycamore and have been out for while. It is such a great warm weather scent… I especially love it for the office. This might be my next full bottle purchase – we’ll see how fast I go through the next decant.
Sending healing wishes your way.
I have seriously considered a full bottle myself, it might be in my future…
Thank you for your kind words!
Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers and lovely comments!
I’ll be answering each one tomorrow.
Niki is fine, all went well, but it was a very looooong day. 🙂
Thanks for letting us know. Hope you all sleep well.
Good wishes for Niki! My little one got ear tubes put in last August and honestly it was probably more stressful for ME than for her. She was playing by the afternoon! Their resilience at that age amazes me.
Thank you, susan, that is so true, they take it all in stride.
good to know that all went well! I am a new convert to vetiver too (since last year), after sycomore and guerlain’s vetiver pour elle the next step could be malle’s vetiver extraordinaire (I layer it with the guerlain). A nice summer option is escentric molecule 3 (the blended scent) The toughest vetiver option I’ve seen for the moment is the les nez turtle front…
I’m still not so enamored with vetiver that I go looking for it in a perfume, but there are more and more that I found very, very nice. Who would have thought? 🙂
I was sure Niki would do well. I am really happy his Mom miraculously survived the procedure.(I am myself a mother 🙂
By the way, happy Mother’s Day! (May 13 in the US and Canada)
Happy Mother’s Day to you too!
Thank you so much!
Warm thoughts to you, Birgit, and Niki – I hope you both got some rest.
I haven’t tried Sycomore yet but I definitely should: I like both vetiver and your review.
Thank you, yes, we did. Not enough, though… 😉
all my best thoughts for today, I’m sure all will be well and easier than you fear
Thank you, Irina. I’m glad it is over.
I hope your son is well and that Sycomore somehow made it easiser for you to survive this day. It is the worst time for mum to have a child in a hospital, whatever the reason is. Sending you both positive vibrations.
Thank you, civava. Sycomore was a very reliable scent, I was glad I wore it.
Hey B, glad all went well with the procedure and wishing Niki a speedy recovery!
Sycomore is on my wish list…and so is n#22!
Thank you, Nana! 🙂
That is a very nice wishlist.
I still have to give this a good try! I haven’t found the vetiver for me 😦
I came close with Les Nez’s bone dry Turlte Vetiver Front (I wish I got to try Exercise 1), and recently sampled Fat Electrition which just didn’t work… I think vetiver for me has to make a major statement for it to be even remotely interesting to me.
This gets so much praise, I will crack out a sample soon!
Did you try Onda by Vero Profumo? If there is a statement vetiver, it is that!
But of course Sycomore is a lot easier to wear, I would miss it.
I am awaiting some very generously gifted Vero samples in the post 😀 I can’t wait, I’ll be sure to send my thoughts.
Excellent! You are in for a treat! 🙂
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Awesome review….Sycomore is my #1, my signature scent 🙂
You should do Youtube perfume reviews and start with Sycomore 🙂
Thank you! You have excellent taste!
Youtube is not my element, I’m afraid, Katie Puckrik is doing a world-class job there, I’ll stick to writing. 🙂
You are doing a world-class job with your writing, s I think it woks out well this way 🙂
Aww, thanks! 😉
You’re welcome 🙂 By the way, I think I need to work on my proof reading skills after looking at my last comment.
After spending some time on your blog this evening, I’m surprised to see I haven’t commented on this one. Sycomore is one of the Chanels I know I will like, if I will only just try it already 🙂 The vetiver note is always a winner with me. No. 19 is also on my list, too. I’ve ordered some samples this week, so I think I’ll add these two to my next order.
As a vetiver fan, I’m sure Sycomore is just the thing for you! It is so strong and elegant.
It would be nice if Sycomore could give me those qualities. 🙂
You surely already possess those. You are a true southern gentleman, James!
Oh thank you, dear Birgit. I certainly aspire to that. (hugs).
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