As you may remember, Les Exclusifs left my nose generally unimpressed and my wallet completely unaffected (except that, of course, I immediately bough the last parfum extrait of Bois des Îles upon learning this was the sacrifice for the new line). Even though all the 6 new scents were very well made from quality materials and nevertheless elegant – they left me cold and, well, disappointed. Mostly because most of the collection seemed to be elaborating on already-familiar-Chanel themes: the cool green iris scent (28 La Pausa, Bel Respiro – both reflecion of No. 19); the over-the-top oriental (Coromandel, a modern oriental with an obvious wink towards Coco from the 80’s); and finally - the sophisticated abstract woody: No. 18 and 31 Rue Cambon, both paying an homage to Bois des Îles but barely scrape the bottom of its feet in my opinion, but nevertheless are the only two that I found interesting so far. Until Sycomore came around.
Sycomore was love at first sniff. It encompasses everything that I wish was in a vetiver perfume but haven’t really smelled yet. I have to admit: for a moment I felt so comfortable I even thought I am smelling my own familiar and odd Vetiver Racinettes. . It is the first vetiver that I encounter that is nearly as complex and full bodied, dark and spicy, earthy and sweet as how I like this root to be. It has many of the lements I liked in Vetiver Tonka. It even has a nutty coffee note (which I really enoyed in Jo Malon’s Black Vetiver Café); and it has a lot of Haitian vetiver from what I can tell – which is my all-time favourite vetiver oil. I've been reaching for the Sycomore mini for a week now and enjoy it's versatility, easy-going nature and find that it is distinctive and perhaps even timeless. But perhaps more than anything else I'm surprised that is so unpretentious.
Sycomore is nutty, woody, earthy, sweet, clean, tart and complex like vetiver should be. It has whiffs of odd and familiar notes weaving in and out – mint, pepper, mastic, cypress, juniper and coffee. And the woodiness of vetiver is accentuated by other woody notes such as sandalwood. It truly captures the vastness of earth, nature, trees and woods.