Perfume Reviews

Neutral Reviews of Sycomore (new) by Chanel

Total Reviews: 9
Yesterday I finally tested a Sycomore EdT sample gifted me by a kind and generous fellow fragrance lover (thank you again!), and I wanted to share my impressions which may be more helpful to the ladies than they will be to the gentlemen, but who knows? The gentlemen may also find what I have to say useful.

Upon initial application, the top notes were quite strong and projected quite well. I think they were helped in this respect by a soupçon of aldehydes. They were very green and woody; however, the woodiness was not the woodiness I expected. Instead of the woody trunks of the cypress and sandalwood trees I expected, I smelt the green foliage of the cypress and what must have been the vetiver note, but I detected no sandalwood whatsoever. I also detected a lot of smokiness and possibly pink pepper. I am not familiar enough with the pink pepper note to be sure if I smelt it or not. The top notes dried down quite quickly as one might expect. Within thirty minutes, insofar as I could tell, as there was no one around to ask, Sycomore dried down to a complete skin scent on me. Overall, I found it quite linear.

Sycomore's greenness and smokiness persisted into the deep dry down, but I was never able to perceive any floral note(s) in it whatsoever. About three hours later, I reapplied it and had the same experience as the first time. I continued to press my nose against my wrists every so often over the next four to five hours to see if I could detect anything else, but I was unable to discern anything else. Sycomore EdT persisted on my skin for a solid four to five hours but only as a skin scent. Again, I wished I had had someone nearby who could have offered me some input on the longevity and projection. In the end, I found I liked the deep, deep dry down of Sycomore best as the greenness finally began to fade away a bit.

Now, as to the question of whether or not Sycomore is a "masculine" scent or not, I would argue that it is not a masculine scent per se. However, if I had not known anything about Sycomore in advance of smelling it, and if I had closed my eyes and smelt it on someone near me, I would have guessed I was smelling it on a man. I think it would definitely be attractive on a man. Yet, it is nevertheless "unisex" as I could see a woman wearing it as well, but I cannot conceive of a venue/occasion where I personally would wear Sycomore except perhaps if I were camping in the woods and wanted to blend in with the natural ambience of my surroundings.

I spent a lot of time yesterday smelling and thinking about Sycomore EdT, and in my humble opinion, Sycomore has Sheldrake's signature all over it. It smells much, much more like a Lutens's fragrance than a Chanel fragrance, and I had to wonder what did Polge contribute to it? I do not detect any influence from Polge aside perhaps from the fleeting, light aldehydes in the top notes. If I smelt Sycomore at random and did not know that it came from Chanel and had to guess from which house it had come, I would have guessed Serge Lutens.

Mind you, I still consider myself to be a beginner in this hobby, but these were my impressions of Sycomore, and I can see why out of all the Les Exclusifs Sycomore is the one most beloved by men. Would I enjoy this on the men around me? Yes, I believe I would do. Would I wear Sycomore? Well, I think I might wear it once in a while if I had it in my collection, but I doubt I would reach for it very often.

Many people describe Sycomore as an Autumnal fragrance, but I would not associate it with any season in particular. I think it could be worn all year. I read one review in which the reviewer said she initially smelt both No. 22 and Sycomore and opted for No. 22, but years later, she tired of No. 22 and fell in love with Sycomore. For me, it would be the other way around. I cannot conceive of ever growing weary of the gorgeous No. 22, and equally, I cannot conceive of ever falling in love with Sycomore EdT. That being said, I have yet to test the new EdP which according to one commentator is vastly different from the EdT and is more "feminine." I may like the EdP much more. It remains to be seen, but I plan to test the EdP at the soonest opportunity.

05th October, 2016
This scent, the 2008 version of Sycomore, is a legend on this site, and typically singled out as one of the best for men from the Chanel Exclusives, including by me.

I have a 5 ml decant which has given me many chances to wear it, and it's an artistic achievement, but it feels like a lost day of wearing something I would enjoy more. It's jarring to work it into a routine with my other fragrances.

I can say that it smells good, but I'm reticent to wear it.
03rd March, 2015
Sycomore has been given great reviews by many people and I think it is a light, masculine fragrance that has no weight and not as great as I was expecting. It would be a nice fragrance for spring and summer because of it's light vetiver. However, I like my fragrance to be able to stand on their own and shout a bit, but Sycomore just lays there and hovers above the skin.
The opening is the best part of this frag with the abundant smell of Vetiver and the undertones of Pink Pepper. After about 15 minutes the pink Pepper is dying down, but the vetiver is still center stage with the scent of Juniper and Cypress making there way forward. After 30 minutes in the vetiver, cypress and juniper conspire to give of a tobacco accord even though it's not noted i the pyramid.
After an hour, I finally start to get the aroma of smoking woods, but they are faint.
The sillage is at it's best on me in the first 30 minutes. After that the sillage and longevity start to die off. It lasted at best 2 hours on me. Not very well compared to the reviews I have read.
Sycomore is a light, lovely, masculine frag for someone else, but just not for me. Unisex in every way.
18th March, 2013
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Sycomore.. I wanted this scent and waited for a long time before I could afford it. And now I had to discover that this is not for me. A very green and overpowering smell, I get vertiver and smoke, and roots, greens of all sorts. I juts cannot wear this, I keep running away from myself. It is so un-Chanel - and I do own most of the others, including the Exclusifs. I do see that it is very well-made but do women really war this?
29th January, 2013
maybe I don't get it. it smells very heavy, strong,dirty. like smoke. not feminine at all. really wow. doesn't smell sophisticated or friendly to me. wow. Didn't give it a thumbs down becaue I just feel like I am missing something there are too many thumbs up. maybe my sample is spoiled who knows.
01st December, 2011
Was expecting to love this. I'm fond of Incense and of Vetiver. Can't get enough of Incense Extreme, Encre Noir, Vetiver Fill in the Blank (Route, Extraordinaire, Dance).
Sycomore certainly contains a nice Vetiver note, but it's civilized with enough muted musk and sophisticated smoke that it just misses the mark. Although it is marketed to Women as many have pointed out it has a decidedly masculine edge. In this regard it sits too much on the fence. It either needs to get a touch more floral and go female, or go for broke and tear its shirt off. Clearly expensive but too careful for me.
24th March, 2011
A nice smokey vetiver, balanced with some wood notes, cypress, and a touch of pink pepper. I honestly get more cypress in this than vetiver. I think the cypress was used in the scent to imitate vetiver. Sycomore gives off a gray color. I see a rich artsy type who dresses in all black wearing this as an everyday scent, maybe one who sketches with charcoal sticks. I like how it opens, but after a few hours, the complexity of the scents wears off, and then it just smells like smoke. The kind of smoke you get maybe from burning pine leaves.
15th December, 2010 (last edited: 11th February, 2011)
Whatever hits me on the top here nearly made me ill. I agree with the reviewer who noted it was a bit harsh. Either the juniper or cypress punched me in the nose. After it dries down a bit I find it to be a nice smoky woods scent. I won't be wearing it as that is not my type but I think I would really enjoy it on a man.
14th September, 2009
I smell s similar vetiver vibe like those from Mugler Cologne, Original Vetiver and Paul Smith Story. It's much closer to Paul Smith Story where it's dirtier, a little dry and kidna smokey. Other than it being a little more concentrated, Paul Smith Story is way cheaper but lacks the dry woodiness of Sycomore. So for the price, you're buying a simple woody vetiver scent.
18th April, 2009