Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Smokes Of Roots (Perfume Review: Chanel Sycomore)

Chanel Sycomore is part of Chanel's Les Exclusifs Collection. This collection are copies, evocations of some of Coco Chanel's original perfumes from the 1930s. Sycomore is signed by Jacques Polge (Chanel's house nose) and Christopher Sheldrake and it is very modern, yet retains a classy elegance I associate with vintage perfumes. The star of Sycomore is vetiver: but it isn't the grassy, bright vetiver that we normally see. This one is dry and root-y. (If you are familiar with MPG's Route de Vetiver, it would be a slightly sweeter version of the dry vetiver there)  I am imagining that if Sheldrake was making this for Serge Lutens we would have a more oriental and oakmossy version of this perfume. But this is Chanel, of course: more fashion, more couture. So that is exactly the finish we get from the vetiver in Sycomore. There's a hint of tobacco, there's a citrus edge, and it is all rounded up by sandalwood.  There's a soul of incense permeating, which gives this a smoky, woodsy feel. That makes this a puzzlement if you are wont to differentiate perfumes by gender. This is unisex all the way: sweet and woodsy for a woman, dry and smoky for a man. And it feels luxurious - there's something about a Chanel creation that instantly feels expensive. I love it, and I reach for this on days when I want to put a "period" to my wardrobe. On a colder day like today, It is pure perfection. I felt like I was leaving a "trail" wherever I went. I felt rich, I felt fashionable. Chanel always does that.

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