Review: Chanel Sycomore — 4.5 points

I have few vetiver perfumes that I love and admire. These are Vétiver (Guerlain, 1959), which is an all-time classic, and Encre Noire (Lalique, 2006), which I have come to think of as a modern classic. But, they are not the vetiver that I mostly reach for. That honour goes to Sycomore (Chanel, 2007).

chanel

I have few vetiver perfumes that I love and admire. These are Vétiver (Guerlain, 1959), which is an all-time classic, and Encre Noire (Lalique, 2006), which I have come to think of as a modern classic. But, they are not the vetiver that I mostly reach for. That honour goes to Sycomore (Chanel, 2007).

Sycomore is likely named after Sycamore (Chanel, 1930), an aldehydic floral created by perfumer Ernest Beaux. However, Sycomore was composed by perfumers Jacques Polge and Christopher Sheldrake, and it features vetiver as the main woody note.

But just as important are also the accents that shape the vetiver. The interpretation here toys with the green and sweet woody facet of vetiver. From the bright pine needles in the opening to the smoky and woody vetiver, Sycomore grows and expands on skin, much like its namesake the sycamore tree. I am rather fond of its sweet woody vetiver note towards the dry down, which gives it an addictive signature. In this respect, it is similar to Vétiver de Guerlain (1959) and naturally Vétiver Tonka (Hermès, 2004), but, whereas Vétiver de Guerlain is sweet in the sense of being almost oriental and Vétiver Tonka is praline-like, Sycomore is restrained. Its take on vetiver is sublime, at once sophisticated and austere.

Sycomore is subtly orchestrated. It is complex, yet nothing is overdone. Wearing it, I feel as though I dressed myself up but remain comfortable. For this reason, it acquires a special place even amongst my favourite vetivers and wins hands down when it comes to the frequency of use.

Source: chanel.fr

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