Shooting from the Lip
My rip-snortin’ jaunt from ballet girl to punkette to pop singer to TV host & all the messy stuff in between
Perfumes: The A-Z Guide
Witty and provocative reviews of 1,800+ perfumes
What the Nose Knows
A fun and quirky romp through everyday smells
A cultural history of smell
The Emperor of Scent
Maverick Luca Turin's entertaining tussles with perfume and science
The Perfect Scent
An insider's look at the creation of two bestselling fragrances
A Natural History of the Senses
An aphrodisiac for all five senses
The Secret of ScentLuca Turin's scientific look at perfume
Essence and AlchemyThe voluptuous history of natural perfume.
...perfect for the yacht.
For me, vetiver is the smelling salt of the perfume world. I find even the most delicate bunny sniff of the stuff eye-watering, and it reliably clobbers fellow ingredients in just about any composition. I'm impressed by the way vetiver moirés between roots, dirt, smoke and grass, but does it have to be so gosh-darned emphatic? Like, all the time?
Well, no. Fortunately for us vetiver pantywaists, the root oil of this tropical grass is a loud talker that can occasionally be urged to use its inside voice. I've snuck up on a qualified love of vetiver through perfumes that harmonize its raw charms with refined plushness (Etro Shaal Nur, Guerlain Vetiver pour Elle) or odd minerals (Nasomatto China White, The Different Company Sel de Vetiver.)
Through these “training wheels” vetivers, I'm built up my stamina for the ALL-VETIVER-ALL-THE-TIME of Chanel Sycomore. The first whiff of Sycomore reveals the richest reduction sauce version of vetiver...ever! (I told you vetiver was emphatic.) It's a surround sound vetiver, a cold plunge pool of rooty shock. But it's Chanel, dammit, so Sycomore's not going to leave you crawling around in the dirt for long.
Soon enough, an evergreen breeze blows off the dirt, and a warm cushion of sandalwood softens the edges. It's bone dry, but not skeletal. Sycomore turns into the perfect perfume to wear on your yacht. Or the perfect perfume to make you smell like someone who owns a yacht.
Fumies, what's your favorite "yacht perfume?"
Sycomore is available from Chanel.com starting at $110 for 2.5 oz