Perfume Reviews

Positive Reviews of Sycomore Eau de Toilette by Chanel

Total Reviews: 96
Ah, Sycomore. I bought myself a bottle of this elixir (EdT) around 2012, and now I find myself carefully rationing the stash. Delicious; this scent is a gift to the nose. The first whiff is of cigarette smoke. Not wood smoke; mellow cigarette smoke. This recedes within the first 15 minutes, and vetiver puts a foot forward. Then vetiver mingled with cypress notes lasts for a heavenly 3-4 hours, and slowly melts into a sandalwood hum interspersed with the faintest spikes of pepper. When wearing this, every so often a movement releases a puff of scent and I am delighted with it, and myself for wearing it. For me, it is happiness in a bottle. It is smooth, heady, and elegant. I find its sillage to be considerable, and longevity runs about 7 hours before I feel the need to re-spritz. This is a tie for my "desert island scent", and for those concerned with such things, this is one of my "most compliment getters". I tried Encre Noir because of the comparisons here on BN and although I enjoyed Lalique's offering, Sycomore has an effortless polish to it that Encre Noir never achieves. Simply love it.
09th April, 2020
This is Paris in the winter.
This is fragrance perfection.
I own and am cherishing the last few drops of my large EDT bottle. Much more subtle as an EDT (from 2008) than the newer EDP.
01st March, 2019
Reserved 'cold' hearted billionaire business man, Chanel 'Sycamore' is a man who has no interest in anything but his parents, siblings, the 3 close friends he grew up with and all his business endeavors. He only came to the party to possibly make new business allies and strengthen the already existing ones. Dressed in a million-dollar dark grey suit, this man oozes money........ but that doesn't matter because he could be wearing sweats and a jumper from target and STILL make it look a million bucks. Dark, curly, thick, silky tresses of hair hang on his forehead, brows thick and dark pulled together as if his mad at the world, a prominent stubble making him look at lot more manly, mature and serious then he already is, he subdues power and authority. 'Sycamore' does not mind getting a bit brash, he says what he needs to say, no matter the consequences. If your feelings get hurt, then it gets hurt- you need to acknowledge this and move on. He commands the room by lifting a finger. If you can offer him something that will aid his business than his all ears, but if you cannot then you need to move along.
You don't know anything about him other than what he does for a living and even that is kept to a minimum.
Shoutout to Demi Rawling from YT for recomending this.
This is what I envision when I smell this.
02nd January, 2019
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Yes, Sycomore EdT is a vetiver scent, and it's perhaps not as versatile as many other vetivers (because it's all of luxe, chic and root-sy), and sillage is close and longevity so-so, and moreover it's gone now.

So what?

Sycomore has one of the loveliest accords in perfumery, a rooty, smoky, haunting vetiver with touches of iris, aldehydes, cypress, all blended to perfection. My words are just words, but you must smell it. Some enjoy it in summers, I enjoy it in early fall for its autumnal qualities. Once the sparkling top fizzles out quickly, I find the scent almost to be a country cousin of Pour Monsieur.

Did I say it's memorable?

4.5/5 (Perhaps 3.5/5 considering price/concentration issues, but, for once, let us not be accountants. :-) )
19th October, 2018
This is a beautiful dark vetiver fragrance that smells like a more refined version of Lalique's Encre Noire. The vetiver in this is similar to Encre Noire's and is the Haitian citric yet dark, slightly smoky, and slightly damp kind. Unlike Encre Noire though, there is something slightly citric and sweet hiding in the background in Sycomore, which is maybe a combination of aldehydes and pink pepper. I also compared it to some Indian khus oil that I have and it smells totally different - with the Indian vetiver being more nutty, sweeter, and smelling like an Indian dessert while the Haitian variety in Sycomore smells more earthy and grassy. Sillage is moderate while longevity is pretty good.

22nd June, 2018
So then the kid says
"Mom! She smells like a story!"
Damn kid spotted her.
20th January, 2018
EDT version only:

A list of my top five Desert Island Perfumes would vary depending on the month, week, even hour that I listed them, but one thing that would never change about the group is that it would always include Sycomore. Like Eau d'Hermes, it inspires such unmitigated devotion from me that I find it difficult to talk about. I just hope to never be without either of them until the day I die.

Devoid of florals, it's unlike any other Chanel I ever smelled. Elegant and velvety, it's unlike any other vetiver I ever smelled. Damp, mossy and smoky, it should be bleak but instead elevates my mood at any time of day and in any weather.

I don't get the comparison people make to Encre Noir, which I find harsh and bitter, nor do I sense the marijuana smell that others ascribe to it. To me Sycomore is a walk on the moss-covered ground of a cypress forest on a crisp, grey day, with the woodsmoke from a distant campfire occasionally wafting across your path. And its perfection could not be better summarized than in Turin's assessment: "If putting it on does not make you shiver with pleasure, see a doctor."
10th January, 2018
Finally received a small sample of Chanel Sycomore from a friend. As a lover of vetiver and vetiver based fragrances I have been looking forward to finally smelling Sycomore. While I will very quickly admit that Sycomore is a great scent, I feel like I've smelled several very close versions of this fragrance before. Most notably in Malle Vetiver Extraordinaire and Dyptiques Vetvyerio. Sycomore has the same smooth, clean tone, with an almost nutty vetiver note. Creamy might be a way to describe it. The sample I received was the EDT yet to my nose, there isn't much of a smokey tone to this as many reviews describe. I also don't catch the comparison to Encre Noir, which to me is rootier and slightly bitter. Sycomore has a much woodier, velvet-like, vetiver tone. It's quite nice, with mild projection but excellent longevity. I'm going to compare the rest of my sample to my current vetivers to see if there's a place for it in my collection. Thumbs up.
07th November, 2017
An interesting scent. It is not what I would expect from Chanel; I've only ever known their older perfumes such as No 5, 19, and 22.

I like this blend of woodsy notes, in that it isn't like so many others I have tried in more recent days. I get the vetiver, tobacco, juniper, cypress, and pepper notes. The violet note comes later on, for me. I do not detect any aldehydes or sandalwood. That is unusual for me. I can nearly always pick out those. Very well made!

I may have to try Chanel's other exclusifs...
18th May, 2017
I love the edp version of Sycomore. The vetiver is beautiful and floats around with maybe cypress on my skin for about six hours. The opening through the second hour is my favourite part. It seems like the sillage is fairly close to my skin, but someone commented on my scent today, so I will say it has a moderate sillage. I cannot compare it to the old edt Sycomore. It does not matter if it is different the the old version, because I do not have access to the edt.
21st March, 2017 (last edited: 04th April, 2017)
Wake up and smell the vetiver!

That's what I did this morning when I put Chanel's Sycamore on. It's a straight shot of vetiver with some juniper thrown in for good measure. This smells really nice. A powder vibe sets in as this dries down, but it's not problematic at all. I'm going to try and pick up the cypress in the next few wears, but so far, I'm getting, vetiver, vetiver, vetiver, a little juniper, and the a for mentioned powdery note. This is a classy fragrance. Transparent, fragrant, well blended, and just plain excellent. It is full bottle worthy for sure, but it's a bit on the pricey side. I would love to add it to my collection however, one day...
19th March, 2017
Uh-huh.EDT, recently purchased this, as the word from the rep is Exclusifs are going slowly to Eau de Parfum refab.
A 2010 Vintage, I have procured, to my delight.
ClaireV offers us the Epicurean, Bon Bon review that tantalizes our senses.
How can one not at least try this treasure.
ClaireV's review. Just read it!

EDP 2016
Chanel is using a base in this that revolves around
a sweetened base. While it rounds off some of the sharper bit's making it, as a couple of women, (including my Queen)easier for the Feminine to wear, IMO it loses some of the things that make it exceptional for the Masculine. Therefore it is still a very good perfume as most Chanel's are, however loses it's "ganja" sparkle.

Now, a plug, open up your purse and send a few shekels to become a BN+ member. Just realized it's my 1 year Birthday and I can easily say it's an inexpensive ride.
05th June, 2016 (last edited: 25th December, 2016)
I’m a freelance writer-slash-odd-jobber, which means that I write articles and blog posts about all sorts of things, like retinoic acid, how to sell your own home without a real estate agent, and the top ten things you can learn about social media dominance from Don Draper. Seriously. Those are all articles I have written. You will not find me half as ridiculous as I find myself, believe me.

Freelance writing is soul-destroying work for the most part, because most clients don’t value writing and they are always pissed off that they have to pay someone to do it. Plus, nobody feels bad about being mean or rude to a freelance writer. The one thing I do like about it, though, is that you get to learn things you didn’t know before.

For example, I recently started work translating the content of a vaping website from German into English. Now, I know nothing about vaporizers and vaping, but after translating the advantages of several models as avoiding the risk of burning “your precious plant material”, I began to be curious as to the nature of this precious plant material they kept referring to. I have my head so stuck in the fragrance clouds, I kind of thought precious plant material meant a rare variety of vetiver root or something.

Well, turns out it’s not vetiver!

You know, it’s funny, but ever since I found this out, I get a powerful urge to smoke a little something something when I’m translating this website’s content. And then I get the munchies. It’s not good either for my concentration or my waistline, this job. It’s been a long time since I’ve, um, indulged in this particular activity and I don’t know why it’s come upon me. But what can I say? Ich habe hunger, as they put it in German.

Sycomore also sparks a kind of hunger in me for all the unhealthy, unwise things. It’s not in the least bit sweet or gourmand. But like all very, very dry things – salted plums, vermouth, etc – Sycomore makes my mouth water. It’s an involuntary reflex – monkey smell, monkey do.

Sycomore opens as cool, damp green woods and then segues quickly into a dry, smoky vetiver that smells to me very much like the smoke from a joint. It smells sweet and grassy and oh so good. Damn, now I wish I were 18 again, living in digs and with absolutely none of the respect for law enforcement I now have.

The pot note jives nicely with the juniper berry, creating what I think of as the “gin-and-tonic” note. If No. 18 reminds me of a martini, complete with bitter vermouth and juicy olives – pitched high enough to suck your mouth dry, then Sycomore definitely smells like gin and tonic, infused with smoke from a joint.

Damn, now I want a cocktail.

My mouth waters when I wear Sycomore. Yes, yes – it is cool, crisp, and as elegant as everyone says. But don’t confuse clarity (or linearity) with simple-mindedness – Sycomore has a rich, velvety depth to it. Peel back the smoke and the woods, and you find a creamy sandalwood, which merges with the nutty vetiver to create the fine-grained, melting texture of the finest torta gianduia you’ve ever tasted.

Damn, now I want cake.

Luca Turin, in his review of Sycomore in The Guide, said that, “If putting it on does not make you shiver with pleasure, see a doctor.” I think that sentence perfectly captures the sheer sensory, tactile, gustatory pleasure of wearing Sycomore – the same satisfaction you get from a good cocktail. Or cake. Or…you know.
04th June, 2016
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A creation of the utmost elegance, executed in the grand classical manner. Forged from the most luxurious materials, yet infused with an almost monastic austerity.

This is Coco's high class miserablism wonderfully transposed into scent; shades of dark green, touched off by anise and aldehydes, rounded by woods, resin and smoke.

What rescues Sycomore's tightly bound chic from the sterility of other minimalist ventures - of the sans fleurs, sans sucré, sans vie variety - is the underlying human warmth hidden behind every detail.

It's as devastating as any Little Black Dress, and what's more - its for men.

A landmark.

27th May, 2016 (last edited: 10th June, 2016)
Nice, standard vetiver mixed with quite a bit of geranium, made woody and smoky by a generous dollop of iso e super. It's also a bit salty and has a lemony black pepper piquancy that balances out the vetiver's metallic iodine quality.

In terms of "the good vetiver perfumes", Sycomore sits closest to Encre Noire, sharing its smoky woody geranium skeleton. But Sycomore plays up the salty bright medicinal aspects of its vetiver, while Encre Noire uses a very similar structure but focuses more on the inky darkness and hidden florals of the geranium.

Is Sycomore great? Of course it is! But I could never pay $200 for Sycomore while small bottles of Encre Noire are widely available online for $30. But I'd never think ill of anyone who picked Sycomore - it is quite good.
28th April, 2016
This is a comfort scent for me. It makes me feel calm, warm and comforted. On my skin it is fairly quiet. Doesn't project much, especially after the first hour or so, but it does linger most of the day.

As others have noted, the vetiver is front and center from beginning to end. To my nose this vetiver is dry and smokey, almost incense-like. It brings to mind smoldering bundles of dried vetiver grass on parched earth, smoke rising into the air. But this smoldering vetiver is softened with the other notes that are blended such that I can't really make them out individually (but I'm also new to fragrances so my nose is partly to blame). But this softness makes the overall scent more plush and pulls the fragrance into unisex territory.

To me it seems better suited to spring and fall than the more extreme seasons, but I think it could be worn all year (with some care in summer). In fact, I live on the equator, so it is always summer here, and I wear it without any issues.
02nd March, 2016

As if you needed it, this is another review saying that Sycomore is pretty near perfect… and that it’s similar to Lalique’s Encre Noire but much more refined. I can see the refinement as a good thing, but that doesn’t mean that I don’t value the rawness of Encre Noire. Encre Noire is excellent and fulfilling just as it is… its roughness is part of its character. I own Encre Noire and I wear it often, and plan to continue with that program.

Sycomore is pretty near the perfect smoked vetiver fragrance. As perfect as it is, I don’t see my wearing it very often, and there are other Exclusifs that are calling out to me to fill some empty spaces in my fragrance wardrobe... I already have more than enough vetivers.

But there’s no way I can get away from it: Sycomore is truly, truly beautiful and certainly worth every penny.
07th February, 2016
This is a very recent purchase, following on the heels of my quest for a specific kind of pine scent. It was a blind buy, which for me is generally a safe proposition when it comes to Chanel - and this is no exception, though my expectations exceeded Sycomore's performance on my skin. Still, I can't give it less than a thumbs-up rating, because it's a very well constructed, seamless, smoky vetiver, evocative as all get-out with notes that carry one deep into the heart of a pine forest redolent of campfires and dark earth. Stunning. However, contrary to the experience of most reviewers, Sycomore lasts only 2-3 hours on my skin, has almost zero sillage, and - to my nose - is very linear, ending exactly as it began.

I recommend obtaining a sample or decant of Sycomore before commiting to a bottle of the EDT (as of 2015, there's no parfum version) so that you can see how it performs on your skin.
14th November, 2015 (last edited: 15th November, 2015)
My second try from Les Exclusifs line, Sycomore is one of the best vetiver/woods fragrances I can recall trying. It hits the mark far better than Le Labo's Vetiver or Gaiac entries, with a hearty balance between vetiver, cedar, and sandalwood. Neither too earthy nor too smoky, Sycomore plays each note rather subtly without anything taking over too much. Certainly the vetiver is strongest but not doesn't overwhelm, as it's not a terribly fresh vetiver but rather works in concert with the other element. It's not terribly bright either--there is hardly any citrus or florals to sharpen the opening and give way to a more subdued drydown---rather, it's quite consistent.

I wouldn't give it high marks in the realm of uniqueness (as with Coromandel) but Sycomore scores high as far as style. I haven't tried Encre Noire, which appears to be its doppelganger based on other reviews, but I have a hard time imagining it would be more refined or sophisticated than this.

My typical criticism of fragrances with strong contributions from vetiver (top to bottom, as opposed to just a heart or base) is that they're usually unpalatable to being too dirty or earthy, but Sycomore rings sophisticated.

Definitely a worthy try that is also strong on projection and longevity (and so also justifying the Exclusif cost), I'd have to recommend this to all, for vetiver fans and non-fans (like me) alike.

8 out of 1
03rd November, 2015
I think I'm becoming a bit of a vetiver addict. I've also tried Encre Noir (like many) recently, also Guerlain Vetiver. Of course there are strong similarities. For me this hasn't the clean, honest, freshness of Guerlain, and it hasn't the dark, sinister drama of the Lalique. But this is mellow, subtle, refined, tentative, fleeting, delicate. Beautiful, in fact. I get the soft spiciness at the start and of course full-on lovely vertiver throughout. For me rather soft sillage (although I was wearing Polo yesterday, so I might revise that comment later!) and soft to moderate longevity. Someone else I read said "otherworldly" - I agree, and in fact the scent of vetiver is always like that for me. But whereas Encre Noir, for me, is a malevolent, cold and dramatic spirit, Sycomore is an intelligent, refined and absolutely benevolent alien being. Someone I read said that the character from the film Avatar would wear this. Yes, bravo, perfect! I so wish I'd thought of that image, but it's completely right. A benevolent, intelligent, otherworldly, beautiful, forest dweller.
I've just noticed it's listed as a feminine fragrance too. Yes! (lightbulb moment....) of course it would be lovely on a woman, but I'm also claiming it too. In fact this scent is not about sex at all for me.
No doubt at some point in the future I will be surrounded by far too many bottles on the theme of vetiver. Heaven! Of course Sycomore is on my "want" list. I'd wear this when I felt I needed support and kindness not of this world. Lovely.

27th June, 2015
One of the finest vetivers on the market. A re-thinking of the original 1930 masterpiece, revisited for the 2008 market.

This, along with the two other vetiver masterpieces, the Givenchy Vetyver and the Guerlain Vetiver, comprise the trio of greats in my opinion.

Here Chanel combines vetiver with sandalwood, tobacco, violet, cypress and juniper to give us a fragrant, light, dry scent that is both sophisticated and long-lasting.

Quite marvelous and along with Cuir de Russie, Coromandel, Bois des Iles and Misia, Sycomore stands as one of the great hits of the Exclusif line.
13th May, 2015
2 bottles of this i have used up since the 75ML was launched. Why don't i learn my lesson and buy the 200ML? Buy 10 of the 200ML??

The one of the most intoxicating perfumes i've ever smelled. I makes my eyes roll into the back of my head! The sweet woodiness, with that dry airy vetiver.....It takes me somewhere!

Longevity is excellent! Projection is average, it will not kill people!

I need a 55 gallon drum of this please!
08th March, 2015
Now this is a nice surprise. Great vetiver on par with Encre Noire but at the same time it's less harsh. This could be used year-round but most would like it for the late summer/fall/winter periods. The vetiver is very clear at the beginning but the nice juniper and cypress soften the experience. Very elegant. Think of Baie de Genievre by Creed mixed with Lalique Encre Noire. The pepper spices it up just a little and it trails off in a smoky drydown. Anyways it all blends so well. Definitely recommended, especially for those who already like Encre Noire.
22nd November, 2014
This is a wonderful fragrance. Sophisticated and dynamic, it goes through a series of metamorphoses before settling down to its warm sandalwood-forward base with vetiver backdrop. Until now I have never been a sandalwood fan, but Chanel has done something to take the cloy out of it for me, leaving me to make a fool out of myself sniffing my arm repeatedly. There are hints of other pleasantries that I can't place, perhaps a fleeting hint of orange is there? But the package is too harmonious for me to identify components confidently. I am impressed with how this scent changes but is always harmonious, and the vetiver is always there.

The marketers at Chanel must know what they are doing but to me there is nothing feminine about it. Nor is it boisterously masculine laden with musk and earth. It is just different.

Expensive, of course. The price structure is set so that you really do have to invest in the 6.8 oz size. I make it as 36% less per ounce relative to the 2.5 oz bottle. If you get swing it, get it.

20th November, 2014
Light, breezy, woodsy on the open, dries down to a nice, slightly rich vetiver. Points off for price. 4 out of 5
01st September, 2014
Genre: Woods

Sycomore is the Chanel Les Exclusifs essay on vetiver, and after several wearings I’m ready to place it among the best of the current vetivers, right next to Vétiver Extraordinaire, Givenchy Vetyver, Route du Vétiver, and Encre Noire. Sycomore is a dry vetiver, and like the Givenchy it has a touch of licorice and nutmeat about it. It is a clean scent, without the earthy quality of Route du Vétiver or the harsh vegetal profile of Vétiver Extraordinaire. Like Encre Noire, it is smoky, but where Encre Noire is gaunt and austere, Sycomore’s structure is softened and rounded by a generous amount of iris root. If a vetiver scent can be said to be plush, this one is.

Sycomore’s iris and vetiver are accompanied by a particularly rich, smooth sandalwood, which adds yet another degree of luxury to the scent’s enveloping texture. Sycomore evolves very slowly once its central smoky-soft structure establishes itself. The iris/vetiver/sandalwood axis tilts slightly from time to time, nudged in one direction by dry spices, and in another by some very discreet incense. Components fall away one by one over a span of about six hours, and Sycomore’s drydown belongs primarily to the persistent vetiver and sandalwood, but there’s also a bit of moss at the foundation; not much, but just enough to allude to the classical chypre style. The overall impression is one of luxurious comfort without a trace of stuffiness or blandness, so if you’re seeking a vetiver scent with depth, sophistication, and ease of wear, Sycomore should probably be on your short list.

05th July, 2014
It opens with a very dry and smoky vetiver with tobacco. After a while a lovely soft sandalwood takes over mixed in with cypress. The sour like vetiver note though still shines within the blend.

A very good quality vetiver scent!
12th June, 2014
Sycomore is a perfume that smells good from start to finish to me.It's dark,but not heavy.Surprisingly it works really well in hot weather.There is a fresh top note,possibly citrus, but it's not piercing.
Shortly after the top notes are gone,I get a creamy nutty warmness which is slightly sweet.I adore this phase.Later the nuttiness subsides and the drydown is woody and quiet and easy to wear.
This is a perfume that works great year around and on all occasions.I love to wear it on difficult days at work because it smells professional to me and still comforting
16th January, 2014
Birds singing in the sycamore tree...

An incredibly elegant and sophisticated smoky vetiver, Sycomore represents a pinnacle of confident refinement in this remarkably crowded fragrance category. Sycomore is a very dry scent, woody and hay-like, but it features little of the earthy or harsh aspects of vetiver, opting instead for a brighter and more uplifting experience. With intriguing subtlety, it achieves a very fine balance between heavy smoke, woods, dry grass and roots on the one hand and an ethereal spicy-green leafiness and lightness on the other. Its apparent simplicity and spontaneous elegance notwithstanding, Sycomore is actually a very complex fragrance seamlessly mixing vetiver roots, creamy sandalwood and dried tobacco with greens, spices and the Chanel hallmark aldehydes, the latter adding air and lightness to the composition and inscribing Sycomore securely into both the Chanel heritage and the Exclusifs collection. The result is a very distinct and versatile fragrance, impeccably formal and cool yet curiously edgy and charismatic, integrating the best of classic perfume tradition with the more poetic side of postmodern niche quirkiness. "Stars shining bright above you…"

27th September, 2013
Nefret Show all reviews
United States
A clean, dry wood

This vetiver/woods perfume seems spare, handsome, and beyond gender (to me). Most seem to classify it as masculine, but I can wear it without a second thought. As it dries down, there is a curl of smoke, maybe a little thickness of something nutty, but it's still a classy wood at heart. Next, I should try Encre Noir, I know.

Pros: Quite good longevity, versatile
Cons: Some weirdos think it smells like weed"

25th August, 2013