Chanel Sycomore in Les Exclusifs Collection (2008) {New Fragrance}

Photo © Chanel 

Chanel will add an eleventh fragrance to its collection of "niche" perfumes titled Les Exclusifs which debuted last year with both classic Chanels and six new creations: Bel Respiro, 28 La Pausa, No 18, Coromandel, Eau de Cologne, and 31, Rue Cambon.

The new perfume by in-house perfumer-composers Jacques Polge and Christopher Sheldrake is called Sycomore after an earlier Chanel fragrance from 1930.

The fragrances belonging to Les Exclusifs collection generally feature more select ingredients that are easier to source at a smaller scale, more intellectual compositions, and to further distinguish them from the more mainstream Chanels are only distributed through the brand's boutiques......

Sycomore is said to be a composition centering on vetiver while the remaining notes play supporting roles to the main ingredient. Jacques Polge reportedly insisted that he did not want the vetiver to be overtaken by other facets.

The vetiver (Vetiveria Zizanoïde) used in the perfume comes from Haiti. It is a varietal that presents a smoky and dirt-like facet in its natural state.

Sycomore is priced at $190 

(via Chanel press release)

Please see our review of Sycomore by Chanel

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13 Comments | Leave a comment

  1. Does the press release say when it will be released? A specific date?

    Billy D
  2. I can't wait to smell this one.

    I am wearing Bel Respiro today (I have finished my sample). I want to get a full bottle of something nice for my birthday. (Although I got the Encense Flamboyant a few weeks ago). For the Chanels I am undecided about what I would want: Bel Respiro, Chanel 22 or 31 Rue Cambon. I wish I could afford them all. Maybe instead of buying a full bottle I should get decanters ...
    Has anybody tried the Sycamore? It sounds nice. I am getting into Vetiver. I liked the Lubin. How is the Guerlain Vetiver? I have only found the men's Vetiver and I guess there is something called Vetiver sport? Any opinions?

  3. Billy D,

    The press release just says "available at Chanel boutiques".

  4. I smelled the tiniest dab of this from the minis that were given out at the Chanel couture shows, so it's hard for me to judge it properly, but it comes off as a soft, smoky vetiver on a wood base. And definitely more "masculine" than the other Exclusives: I think they must have needed something that didn't scare male clients off by being non-gender-specific, as are the other ones.

  5. Carmencannada,

    I have heard that Sycomore is marketed as a masculine fragrance but am not able to confirm it. It sounds like the "marketing" will be more subtly displayed through the play of notes.

    It would be interesting to compare Sycomore to that other soft masculine vetiver perfume that Givenchy Vetyver is. It is very refined and a stunner.

  6. Arwen,

    I highly recommend the Givenchy Vetyver. It is beautiful.

  7. This is exquisite, longlasting, subtle.
    The birch tar gives it more smokiness than Vetiver Haiti by itself.

    A bit less linear and more peaty than Vetiver Extraordinaire, which I find delightful.
    [Both are worth having !]

  8. Chaya,

    I am sure that both are worth having:)

    I have not reviewed Vetiver Extraordinaire, i.e., smelled it more in depth. My impression of it is that it is a bit on the "perfume-y" side and I was more impressed by the Givenchy rendition of a Vetiver fragrance.

  9. Thanks for the recommendation about Givenchy Vetiver. Is this going to be re-issued? I cannot find it anywhere.
    Can anybody give me a second choice if I cannot find the Givenchy?
    I tend to like perfumes that are either discontinued or not available in the U.S. oh well...

  10. It will be available in mid april, I was told at Chanel Boutique Rue Cambon. So ... just a few weeks left. :)

    Octavian Coifan
  11. I bought a tiny bottle on Ebay last week and can report that this is a dark, earthy immediate hit of vetiver... as I remember it from essential oils in the 80's. It is not lightened up with citrus or powdered down with musky fillers. I am not a girly floral girly and I love it. As I recall vetiver being a sedative ( I used to put it on my baby's clothes at bedtime), I have taken to putting it on my hands before I go to bed! Lovely way to go to sleep, even at silly $$$ per drop!

  12. After trying all the new Les Exclusifs fragrances, I can say that Sycomore is my favorite. I love the smell of smoke on my wrists and the joining of earth and air that it conjures. Really beautiful and mysterious. This is a seriously sophisticated fragrance. I've always been a floral lover, but this is what I'll wear when I'm feeling darker and deeper. I imagine Jeanne Moreau would spritz this on generously. A fragrance fit for Edith Piaf herself. Perfect with loads of black eyeliner and a raspy French accent. Love it.
    And I concur that Guerlain Vetiver is an incredible fragrance. The best-ever vetiver fragrance for men. Bright citrus dries down to a woody vetiver wrapped in tobacco. Plus, the bottle's cool.

    • I wholeheartedly agree with your characterization that Sycomore is "a seriously sophisticated fragrance." The drydown is particularly complex and protracted, the rarest of things these days.

      Guerlain Vetiver is also great for women, of course :) Elle McPherson, for example, has made it her lifelong signature fragrance.

      Chant Wagner

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