Sunday, November 09, 2008


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.

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At November 09, 2008 11:08 AM, Blogger maw808 said...

Beautiful summary of, in my opinion, the most authentic Vetiver fragrance on the market. As a Vetiver farmer, Chanel has captured the essence of a Vetiver harvest. When its roots are first exposed, the fragrance is so powerful and heady that I practically swoon. Some perfumers' Vetiver/Vetyver lack any connection to the earthy nature of this remarkably complex and versatile essential oil.

At November 11, 2008 4:47 PM, Blogger ScentScelf said...

Well, you've got me hooked. Bois des Isles is one of my all-time ultimates...sometimes I stray, and when I come back, I love it more than when I left. It's interesting to hear your summary of the other Chanels you mention, since those are those are the ones I am drawn to. Apparently I should try No. 19 again -- was intrigued, but not taken, the only time I sampled.

But more importantly, I need to try Sycomore...

At November 11, 2008 6:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vetiver - I loved Vetiver Dance - Andy Tauer´s new fragrance.
It is greener thou...

At November 13, 2008 6:48 AM, Blogger chayaruchama said...

I'm with you, on this, my sweet !

The day will come, when I eventually cave for it.

It's spectacular.

[Granted- I love Bois Des Iles and Cuir de Russie- but I've sequestered them in parfum...pure hedonism-in-a-bottle...]

At December 02, 2008 8:19 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

I would love to hear more about your vetiver harvesting experiences. I've never uprooted this tropical grass but I'm glad to hear there is a perfume that evokes it. Sycomore is really quite wonderful, isn't it?
You got to love vetiver for its versatility and many unique qualities of how it affects both mind and body. It's remarkable.

At December 02, 2008 8:21 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Am I your enabler? I hope not...
Bois des Iles is incredibly rich and light at the same time. I really hope they bring back the extrait.
No. 19 is different in the various concentrations. It took me a long time to warm up to it, because it is very cool, almost harshly unemotional at first. The vetiver doesn't come through till the very end.

At December 02, 2008 8:22 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Simone, I haven't tried Vetiver Dance but I heard only good things about Andy Tauer's work.

At December 02, 2008 8:24 PM, Blogger Ayala Moriel said...

Chaya Ruchama,
Hope you are doing well in this dark and cold weather!
Sycomore is beautiful and wonderful. I think it would have been that way even if it was made into an extrait version.
And you are right - Bois des Iles and Cuir de Russie are pure indulgence in the extrait, I love them!
Cuir de Russie is so realistic though... It almost makes me feel guilty for the animal even without have any fur coat.


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