Chanel’s Sycomore (2008)

Chanel Sycomore © Victor Wong
Chanel Sycomore © Victor Wong

I thought Sycomore was magical when I first smelled it in a department store. It’s raw, fresh, mildly roasted, and at the same time evoked an image of an open-chested, wild-hair gentleman who is constantly perspiring some irresistible aroma. He wants to invite you to see some animals in a safari, but what he really wants to do is have a good time with you in his Jeep in the middle of nowhere under the hot sun.

That was before. Now that I know Sycomore is a vetiver eau de toilet, and exactly what vetiver smells like (I’ve bought a bottle of pure vetiver essential oil for aromatherapy), the magic of Sycomore has dramatically decreased, as if I have learned the secret behind a magician’s trick. However, the magician is still very charismatic and it’s always a joy to see him perform and tease the audience.

Sycomore is a fleeting scent, and if vetiver is removed from the formula, I guess what’s left is a scented water, or what the French call it a “l’eau”, but that is some good “l’eau” – sandalwood, tobacco, pink pepper, violet, and surprisingly, aldehyde.


Author: Victor Wong

A perfume lover - niche, designer, modern, vintage, I love them all. I am also the owner of Zoologist Perfumes, a small Canadian perfume house. Please visit or for more info!

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