Hello Posse! Portia from Australian Perfume Junkies hoping that your year is shaping up to be lovely already. Fingers crossed. Sycomore? The first time I heard the word was watching Pocahontas, the Disney film, where they sing the lines, “How high does a sycamore grow? If you cut it down, you’ll never know.”
So when I first tried Sycomore I was a bit disappointed because I expected it to be woods, woods, woods. No it’s not so simple. This is a complex and lovely look at one of my favourite notes, vetiver….
Sycomore by Jacques Polge + Christopher Sheldrake CHANEL 2008
Photo Stolen Fragrantica
Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Vetiver, sandalwood, aldehydes, tobacco, violet
So my skin makes vetiver smell like the feeling of a salt rim on a margarita cocktail! It’s a grimy and crusty, end of the day at the beach, tired and happy smell. Though yes I get the woodsy, earthy, watery grassiness of it all what I really feel like doing is going home to dinner prepared by my Mum. That’s right, what a WUSS I am but for me vetiver often brings forth a yearning to be with my Mum and the comforts of home. It is also one of my favourite notes for other associations. I love that vetiver is being used around the world to leach toxic chemicals from waterways, to hold banks that are unstable, to create a stable beach environment, for turning human waste into fertiliser in eco houses. It is a very versatile plant, in life as well as perfumery.
Photo Stolen Flickr
Jacques Polge + Christopher Sheldrake homage to vetiver for CHANEL opens salty, sweet and slightly metallic for me, a little oily even. It is a luscious fragrance so magically blended that most notes completely pass me by in a haze of sheer intoxicating, eye rolling, deep sniffing, pleasure. After the initial rush Sycomore dries out noticeably and a very earthy, incense note flows through. It’s much like the incense in the box before its burned, a cool and dark incense but here it is treated with such finesse that it wears sheer with loads of air between the notes. Calming and still captivating it’s at this point that Sycomore becomes a softer version of itself. A soft warm & woodsy wash that comes and goes from my ability to smell. Every now and then surprising me with a small intimate huff. I can see how CHANEL wanted this to smell like being under a huge trees shade and maybe the salty tinge could be the briny water of an oasis.
sycomore (sycamore is the American Plane Tree)
Circa 1350, from Old French sicamor, from Latin sycomorus
1. A type of fig, Ficus sycomorus, native to the Middle East; the sycomore tree of the Bible.
Photo Stolen Wikipedia
I love how a couple of hours in Sycamore seems to sink into my skin and become a part of it. Clearly my skin doesn’t really smell like this but if I didn’t know that then I would think me the loveliest smelling person naturally. Once the levels sink this low I find it very hard to tell when I’ve completely lost the scent or if I have just become anosmic to it.
Have you spent time with CHANEL Sycomore? Do you love the Les Exclusives line or noy? Why?