Monday, August 23, 2010

Sycomore on the First Day of School

School started today.  Tonight's weather is cool, and the crisp air smells of nostalgia and new beginnings.   

Scent of the Day is Sycomore by Chanel.

I first encountered Sycomore in Seattle, then bought the huge-ass bottle in NYC a couple of weeks later.  

When I mentioned to the sales associate in Bergdorf that I had tested Sycomore in Seattle, she questioned me repeatedly, eyes squinting, 'really?'  'Are you sure it was Sycomore?'  Like some classified military UFO file had been exposed.  Like no one else on earth but Bergdorf had top secret clearance.  Like I was a freaking moron.

Yeah, I'm sure.

At Nordstrom, in Seattle, a woman I had never met was also shopping for perfume and we became Sniffing Buddies for an hour or so.  I sprayed Sycomore on a paper strip first.  Not sure that I loved it, I continued with the other Les Exclusifs (yes, Nordstrom was carrying those, too - really - all except Beige, which I have yet to sample).  For whatever reason, Sycomore kept inviting me back until I had to try it on my skin.

Total Perfume Porn. 

Instead of the bitterness that is sometimes associated with vetiver, I get honey smoke, burning autumn leaves and incense.  

My new buddy, overhearing me rave about Sycomore, tried it on her skin, too. Honestly, it didn't even smell like the same perfume.  On her it was grassy, green and more bitter with a touch of fresh cut hay.

Of course, if I was going to pay the outrageous price for the hilariously large bottle, I had to wear it for several hours to see what happened when the base notes showed up.  Luckily, they held true, adding just a touch of sandalwood. 

Today, Sycomore is reminding me of another time.  

Hikes in the Canyon.

Dutch oven dinners.  

First day of school. 

That magical space where memory and scent reside.

Pictures from Fotosearch and


  1. Incense, leaves and smoke.. that sounds perfect! I have to get over to the Chanel Boutique and try that. I hate that they only sell the huge bottles though.

  2. I have a decant of Sycomore which I respect more than love. A bit too incensey for me, and tbh I am not a huge fan of vetiver as a note. That said, its green smokiness perfectly fits with the early autumn scene you paint, and I can totally see why this speaks to you.

    Love the UFO-exposing analogy! : - ) In my experience, it is Chanel boutique SAs especially who find it hard to credit that a person might have managed to try their Exclusives by some other route...

  3. kjanicki, I absolutely love Sycomore and would be interested in your thoughts once you try it!

  4. Hi Flitter - I can imagine Sycomore not quite being your thing. Vetiver seems to work really well on my skin.

    Yeah, the Chanel SAs need to take a deep breath and relax a bit. I was a bit puzzled as to why she was so interested/appalled about this discovery. A very serious matter indeed!

  5. Hi Josephine, What a beautiful post. "The magical space where memory and scent reside..." I love that.

  6. Haha! Perfume Porn!!! Our fragrance habits are truly salacious...

    Love your posts!!


  7. Hi Molly, thanks for visiting! And for your kind comments.

  8. Geordan, hello! I know, we're totally perfume sluts (well, I am). Glad you like my blog - thanks for visiting!



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