I bought Bois des Iles and got a sample of Sycomore which I didn't like that much at first... It actually grew on me and I ended up loving it. It has this strange smell of something akin to sweat, weird but great. On my wish list.
I was excited to try Chanel's Les Exclusifs Sycomore for quite a while, having heard so many good things about it. I do like vetiver, and Sycomore is said to be an homage to that note. On first sniff, I'm getting a pepper note and also something I can't quite identify, but that smells very like what most perfumers believe passes for a tea note. Have you ever put your nose into a bottle of vitamin C? Yes, it smells like ascorbic acid. I don't know why perfumers think tea should smell like ascorbic acid, but that's almost always how it comes across to me. Anyway, after the pepper and tea-wannabe note fades (and it takes a while, these are some long lasting top notes), I get a very earthy vetiver. This is not a clean, crisp green, but rather chockablock full o' dirt. It is also slightly smokey. And it lasts a loooooong time. I dabbed this in the morning and it lasted all day. All in all, I am not a fan of Sycomore. I do like the earthiness of the vetiver once it dries down some, but quite frankly I really hate that ascorbic acid thing. Black tea fragrances have just never worked for me because of it, even though I love drinking tea of all kinds. I don't think that Sycomore is even supposed to have tea in it! Oh well, I saved myself $$$ and a trip to a Chanel boutique.
I got one of my biggest compliments ever, in public, from a total stranger, while wearing Chanel Sycomore.
Let me begin by saying I don't like or wear Green perfumes. At all. Except for Sycomore -- this is Green at its best. I don't like green foliage-y perfumes, I don't like vetiver, I don't like chypres. But Sycomore is made so well, that I do wear it once in awhile -- not often -- just occasionally, in the Fall. Therefore, I feel my 2oz bottle will last me forever and I'll never need to repurchase.
I have tried -- and still own -- bottles of Chanel #19 EDT (which I can't stand, ugh!!, this is perfume??), EL Azurée original, EL Aliage, EL Private Collection. I don't like these -- I just don't do Green. Yet I keep them in my closet *just in case* my tastes change or the mood strikes.
I wore Sycomore when I took my cat to the vet in November or December of last year -- because I thought it fit the occasion. I figured people who work in veterinary offices were nature-lovers who would probably appreciate something natural and outdoorsy -- so I wore a small spritz of Sycomore.
After the appointment, when I was standing at the front desk waiting to pay, a vet tech ran out of the room I'd been in -- she'd been cleaning up -- and she said she LOVED my perfume and asked what it was. I told her Chanel Sycomore, and she said "Well, you smell just LOVELY!"
It's green & leafy & foresty & vetiver -- yet with some campfire smoke too. When you feel like hiking or camping or visiting Gatlinburg in the Great Smoky mountains -- wear Chanel Sycomore -- it just fits.
I voted yes on repurchase, but there's a single note in this that gives me pause and knocks this down to a four: juniper.
Love the smokey wood. Love the vetiver. If you love a wallop of smoke, green, wood, and vetiver, this one's for you. The smoke is really earthy, sometimes dry, sometimes a little wet in the first five minutes, but always present under that megadose of vetiver.
But then there's that single note that just rings too loud for me, because I really don't care for juniper. And it's not a kind of clean, subtle juniper that one finds in a good gin, it's all pungent and sloppy to my nose. Dries down eventually to more of a citrus, but I am not a citrus fan, either.
I prefer Bandit over this for a wallop of bad girl, trouser wearing, cigar smoking femme chic .... however, the smokey wood in this is quite seductive, and will keep drawing me back.
I find it difficult finding fragrances that don't make my throat dry, even in small quantities, but this is amazing. Wearing it is like wearing a comforting atmosphere. I do not experience the abrupt grassiness that others mention. On me, this fragrance becomes quite sweet - a natural, crisp, green sweetness - almost immediately. I'm not a fragrance expert by any means, so I'll leave the note descriptions to others, but I highly recommend this fragrance to those who find heavy florals/aldehydes too intrusive. Don't let the piercing scent on paper deter you. On the skin, you wouldn't even believe it's the same fragrance!
I would have to say that for a wallop of wet, inky vetiver with woods and smoke, I much prefer Lalique's Encre Noire (the men's version). To me it has more movement and depth, whereas I found Sycomore to be a little flat and one-dimensional, and the vetiver to be rather oily and sinister, for some reason putting an image in my head of black, coiling tentacles. Guess I should stop reading Lovecraft before bedtime.
I do not like sweet fragrances and I tend to like slightly masculine fragrances with a hint of tobacco or leather or both. While I could be dead wrong about that in Sycomore, I am really enjoying this one and reaching for it almost exclusively lately. I was afraid it would not last based on the reviews, but it does last on me. On me, I think it smells sophisticated, fresh and sexy (hopefully).
To me Sycomore is a fresh green vetiver, very suitable for a man but to my taste,too green for a woman to wear. and it is similar to Cristalle eau vert.
I thought this was a lovely, quite unique woodsy fragrance; though not something I would reach for often. My daughter joined me a bit after I tried it. Right after she walked into the room she wrinkled her nose and said, "Eww, what is that awful smell? I told her it was a new fragrance I was trying. She replied, "You know how black licorice tastes? That's how you smell!" Then in case I did not fully realize how horrid that really was, she brought me a black licorice jelly bean to taste to further illustrate her point. Like most 10 year-olds, she prefers sweet perfumes, but she usually responds more like, "you smell like Nana" when I wear a vintage perfume, or comments that it smells like it's only for grown-ups, etc., but she has never had a reaction quite like that. I decided not to wear it to work and risk offending my co-workers or first graders, since apparently it does not become me!
Sycomore is all juicy dark greens and lush woods, like walking through a deep dense forest after a storm. I'm delighted to finally sniff a blend where vetiver is front and center, and not just an afterthought. In Sycomore it is lush and wet, like biting into a bitter under ripe fruit. To my nose it's a bit citrusy also, like the calamansi juice I've loved since childhood but minus all the sugar typically thrown into it. As I normally can't smell citrus on my skin as the notes turn to ash on my skin, I'm delighted. The sandalwood and tobacco prop up and support the vetiver, and overall I'm reminded of hot summer evenings in Florida chatting around my aunt's wood table as her numerous lime and lemon trees sway in the humid breeze.
I may buy a bottle of Sycomore one day, should I run out of my decant. I think I've already established in my reviews I like a masculine slant to my scents, and Sycomore is no exception--no florals whatsoever here. This is what I wanted No.19 EDT to be, but 19 EDT's sharpness pushed me away. I'll be using this when I take on the boardroom. I wouldn't rebuy though as I doubt I'd ever finish a bottle.