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.