Sycomore 2008 Eau de Toilette

Version from 2008
Sycomore (2008) (Eau de Toilette) by Chanel
Bottle Design Jacques Helleu
Top 32 in Women's Perfume
8.5 / 10478 Ratings
Sycomore (2008) (Eau de Toilette) is a popular perfume by Chanel for women and was released in 2008. The scent is woody-spicy. The longevity is above-average. The production was apparently discontinued. Pronunciation

Fragrance Notes

AldehydesAldehydes
SpicesSpices
Pink pepperPink pepper
SandalwoodSandalwood
TobaccoTobacco
VioletViolet
VetiverVetiver
JuniperJuniper
CypressCypress

Ratings

Scent

8.5478 Ratings

Longevity

8.1349 Ratings

Sillage

6.8341 Ratings

Bottle

8.4310 Ratings

Value for money

6.719 Ratings
Submitted by DonVanVliet, last update on 07.10.2021.
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Reviews

9.5
Scent
9
Longevity
Intersport
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Intersport
Intersport
Top Review    10  
1930, 1957, 1959, 2002, 2008, 2016
Vétiver, this clearly multifaceted ingredient experienced a remarkable boom in the period 2002 - 2010 that seems to still be going on, so regularly do Vétiver titled perfumes appear. The austere masters of Carven, Givenchy and Guerlain were at this time almost half a century behind, in the 70's 80's and 90's there were only sporadic, but wonderfully sophisticated and differentiated interpretations, including Jean Laporte, Goutal, Etro.

What now has initiated the vétiver focus again, is questionable, trends in fragrances, new developments in distillation processes? Something like this is what Fréderic Malle claims: around this time, Laboratoires Monique Remy would have introduced a new vétiver extract, making up part of Vétiver Extraordinaire (2002), a fragrance that certainly also opened a new round of conservative-analytical-precise vétivers. Comme des Garçons Vettiveru from the same year is infinitely softer and a timeless lightweight vétiver that doesn't hide its proximity to Givenchy's classic. Serge Lutens' Vétiver Oriental (2002 - my attempts here to correct the date of this perfume despite triple 'evidence' always fail - so be it) is the most original throw of this decade with its indirect vétiver that still polarizes as to how far it is still a vétiver or already something else. These three vétivers, all from 2002 perhaps offer perspective on Sycomore, which for me offers a synopsis of many vétiver facets from smoky, balsamic, sweet to dry. Jacques Polge and Christopher Sheldrake have refined much that has been charted in the vétivers field since 2002, detail by detail, in Sycomore.

As with Vétiver Oriental - also designed by Sheldrake - there is enough modulation through sandalwood, cypress, Chanel aldhydes, and minimal tobacco that Sycomore can be read as both a vétiver and a far more layered one - the perfume wants to be more than Chanel's vétiver, that it's called Sycomore is a welcome change from the ingredient names that have become more and more prevalent in these years, but also - like almost everything in Chanel's exclusifs - a reference to an earlier moment or moments in the company's history, or rather, rumour mill: a fragrance that's a little bit more than just a fragrance that's a little bit more than a fragrance that's a little bit more than a fragrance. Rumor mill: a fragrance from 1930 with that very name - Profumo's review delves into that history.

Sycomore - EdT - remains for me the most sophisticated vétiver of the 00's - though two aspects still make me wonder; Sycomore was often and willingly compared to Lalique's Encre Noire (2006). Although Lalique's perfume is not as delicate, and is rougher and smokier in its overall texture, there were moments where I perceived a clear kinship in the vétiver note, which brings the question of developments and distribution of specific distillations from those years back into play. In 2016, such speculation was put to rest with a swipe: Jacques Polge's son Oliver took on the role of Chanel's house perfumer and - are there family therapists among parfumos ? - maltreated a lot of the 'Lex Exclusifs' so badly that even the push of concentration to the Eau de Parfum couldn't help over these bloopers. The Vétiver texture of the first bottles of the 2016'er EdP resembled too much Guerlain's classic (!), Meanwhile, there was steered back strongly, the current EdP is again closer to the EdT - Polge Jr.'s rehabilitation and a return that unfortunately not all Les Exclusifs EdP's was granted: 31 Rue Cambon and 28 La Pausa are still AWAY from their original originality.

The eponymous Sykomore tree - see Josch's review - is probably also to be read as a reference to its functional as well as spiritual significance in ancient Egypt, among other things, similar to already Chanel's Bois des Îles or Coromandel , another, coherent episode to wooden exotica, extended Orientalism and most exclusive wood polish.
5 Replies
10
Scent
7
Longevity
6
Sillage
9
Bottle
Denim86

16 Reviews
Denim86
Denim86
   1  
Just good
You know those perfumes which are not the strongest performing, But the scent is so beautiful that it does not matter that much. This is a perfect example of that.
Beautiful vetiver, a bit on the masculine side But could definitely go as unisex. Stunning fragrance.
10
Scent
8
Longevity
8
Sillage
Torfdoen
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Torfdoen
Torfdoen
Top Review    24  
The path taken Part 1
Two paths led into a yellow forest. And since I'm a perfume wanderer, I took them both. I didn't stand around for long, but walked the darker, feral ones first. You can always go back if you don't like it, I thought. In the thicket, I lost my sight.

The branches are sharp and deeply rooted. A little harsh, I think, at first. A sip from the flask soothes the first impression. Heidewitzka, what is this strong stuff! In a slightly milder mood, I take a look at the surroundings. Genuine liquorice, moss-covered, releases essential oils after breaking. Juniper bushes, planted along the side of the inaccurate path, point the way with their typical warm spicy aroma. The earth steams in the first hours of the morning. I'm rolling myself a cigarette. It was the right decision. The dense forest eclipse glistens in the incoming sunshine. Colours come into play. Green orange. Earthy red. The warming dullness gives way to a noble freshness.

Arriving on a wide plain, conifers sway in the warm wind, crickets chirp through densely overgrown, half-dried grasses. The scent of wild pepper orange trees wafts around me, reminds me of the earthy warm liquorice haze of the forest. I look back and see no darkness. Merely the alcoholic sharpness of the entrance, makes me question my flask again. Then I come across a whole field of salty-juicy sweet grass perennials, which exalt their typical citrus-nutty smoke in outstanding mildness, yet strong and full. The sky does not occupy a living cloud. The way is long lost. The distance the goal.

How nice to have chosen the dark path. The naturalness of the landscape has an electrifying effect. It can't be perfume, I think. I walk through the fields in a dream, pulling my hat lower, lying under a woody, ossified tree that offers no shade. Endless impressions. The filter jumps to harmony. A better reflection of nature. That's heretical, I think. And subtle. A man-made natural spectacle. A natural human spectacle. A rough, pretend idyll.

Be that as it may. I lie in the middle of it, it suits me, I never want to leave.
This Lutens Sheldrake, that's one, I think, in ecstatic happiness. Chanel episode, I still think
Yes, something's pushing me back...
16 Replies
8
Scent
8
Longevity
7
Sillage
6
Bottle
Novalis
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Novalis
Novalis
Less helpful Review    6  
... unfortunately nothing new..
Sorry, but here the wheel was not reinvented.
The competition is too big and it has been decades ago. Of course, it's noticeable that I didn't rate this scent so bad, how could I if I (in my opinion) praise THE vetiver scent (Guerlain) go to heaven.
It's simple: It's not a reinterpretation of anything. Here they tried to impress him with some pepper. Here the similarity to Lubin or Guerlain cannot be denied. In my opinion, they are nuances.
For me, it's almost a peekaboo at a cheeky price.
16 Replies
9
Scent
6
Longevity
7
Sillage
7
Bottle
K1

121 Reviews
K1
K1
   1  
Woody - earthy - powdery green
Though it's a replica of Lalique Encre Noire, trimming Laliques omen intriguing darkenss, Sycomore is a unique earthy vetiver that proclaims the most earthy element of perfumery - vetiver - in a truly divine identity like being in seventh floor of heaven. A weightless touch of aldehyde and violet softly amplify tobacco without any warm or sweet render. Love it badly even with its poor performance.
4/5
5
Scent
5
Longevity
4
Sillage
7
Bottle
Oriane

120 Reviews
Oriane
Oriane
Helpful Review    2  
Discontinued Sycomore EdT
Yesterday, I finally tested the 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 it 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 soupcon 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 n my 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 it 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 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.
WildGardener

219 Reviews
WildGardener
WildGardener
Very helpful Review    4  
Impeccable roots
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 fleures, 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.
7
Scent
5
Longevity
Sweetgrass

35 Reviews
Sweetgrass
Sweetgrass
   5  
Fine wood and vetiver
DISCLAIMER: My sample vial broke and I had to pour it all on me or lose the juice, so this review is based off of one wear. One very thorough wear in a very cold and dry climate (it's -20°C outside as I write this).

Sycomore opened up much lighter than I had expected, which is not a bad thing. I am usually averse to aldehydes, but they only seem to appear in a supporting role to the top notes' pepper, lighting them up and preventing the spiciness from becoming stifling. The woods are discernible from the beginning as a faint background presence, and to my nose, juniper dominates. If you have never smelled juniper wood, I recommend you try to find a piece of it -- it smells gorgeous in its own right, and the note in Sycomore is pretty faithful to the real thing. Violet (as the only floral note listed) accents it very well.

In about 40 minutes, along creeps vetiver that gives this perfume a fuller body and a more defined woody quality. Three hours in, it's a soft woody vetiver, and not overpowering in the least despite my erratic application. I couldn't detect any tobacco -- it could be the dry, cold day, or maybe it's just well-blended. Sandalwood (Australian?) is not clearly discernible as an individual note, but I assume it's what gives Sycomore a slightly powdery, creamy feeling.

Sycomore is beautiful, unisex, and wearable. I would have like just a little bit of plush leather to round it a bit more, but this is a beautiful perfume in any case. Not sure if it goes up on my buying list, but now I am curious to try Encre Noire. Another perfume this reminds me of in the drydown is Bvlgari's Omnia with its tender woodiness -- it sure comes a whole lot cheaper than Sycomore despite being now discontinued.
1 Replies
7
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
5
Bottle
Miaw2

339 Reviews
Miaw2
Miaw2
Helpful Review    3  
Wonderful vetiver, but...
Comparisons with Encre Noire are inevitable.

While Encre Noire smells much more a raw and earthy vetiver, Sycomore is brighter and lighter.

I guess the main difference is about the supporting
notes.

While sandalwood turns this into a creamy fragrance, the cashmere wood makes Encre Noire darker and heavier.

If you have enough money it's worth having both them. Actually if you dont, i'd stay with Encre Noire.
2 Replies
9
Scent
5
Longevity
5
Sillage
7.5
Bottle
Drseid

798 Reviews
Drseid
Drseid
Helpful Review    5  
A better (And Much More Expensive) Encre Noire...
Extremely similar to Encre Noir but a bit softer and more polished. Sycomore most likely uses more natural ingredients. As Encre Noir is one of my favorites and Sycomore is slightly superior to it naturally I love it. That said, Encre Noir is easily the better value and is probably good enough for most folks. If money is no object and you want the best in your collection, then I recommend Sycomore. 4.5 stars out of 5.
1 Replies
Show all reviews (13)

Statements

MatuxMatux 2 months ago
An updated rendition of vetiver on the vein of Encre Noir, however with better quality than this last one.
BertolucciKBertolucciK 7 months ago
8.5
Scent
7
Longevity
6
Sillage
8
Bottle
Peppery vetiver, very earthy and woody. The scent is rooty and I get tobacco and sandalwood. More bright and less green than Encre Noire.

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