Named for a legendary Himalayan kingdom and originally released by Lancôme in 1971, Sikkim was reissued last year along with Climat, Magie, and Sagamore as part of La Collection, a special edition series of fragrances celebrating "70 years of perfume excellence". Sikkim’s original composition had notes of aldehydes, ylang ylang, bergamot, galbanum, gardenia, thujone, carnation, jasmine, narcissus, orris, rose, amber, castoreum, leather, moss, patchouli and vetiver.
Sikkim is a surprising chypre of monumental proportions, and I found it stunning right from the start. At first floral, by turns green and earthy, and finally, rich and spicy, this is such a heady and unusual scent that I’m surprised it was launched as a women’s fragrance.
Sikkim is the scent of an Oriental bazaar — at first a whiff of white petals blooms as you walk through a garden towards the market on an ancient afternoon. Green grasses scent the breeze as the smoke of cooking spices and incense beckon you closer. As you enter the market, the scent of artisans’ creativity mingles in the air — worked wooden instruments, balms and dried herbs, leather curing in the heat of mid-day — and caresses your skin, permeating your robes as you slowly pass through the stalls. Upon exiting, all of these Eastern aromas come together in a rhapsody and then slowly fade as your journey continues.
Well-blended and expertly crafted, Sikkim could easily be worn by either a man or woman. The thujone, a chemical found in wormwood (think absinthe) and castoreum (a musk-like glandular secretion of the beaver) create a slightly animalic and bitter effect found in the opening and midnotes. The basenotes of orris and patchouli add a rich earthiness while the moss, leather and galbanum firmly establish the fragrance as a chypre.
Sikkim has tremendous lasting power and sillage, and of the four fragrances in La Collection, I find Sikkim to be the most interesting. Something that I would expect from Victoire Gobin-Daudé, Sikkim is a must try for serious chypre lovers or those looking for something dry and earthy.
Sikkim is $100 for 50 ml of Eau de Parfum. For buying information, see the listing for Lancôme under Perfume Houses.
What a stunning review, R! Sikkim is amazing, but I prefer the greener Climat. Magie did not work on my skin at all.
It doesn't matter, because I think that one is bound to love one of these four fragrances (including Sagamore) because they are so well done. I wish I could have smelled the original fragrances. I bet they were even more stunning!
R, that is Marlen's review
The only sample I have is Climat, and still haven't gotten to it!
Floral, then green, then spicy — I'm in love unless the spicy is like cinammon. The bottle is absolutely gorgeous, as is the color of the juice, so the aesthetics are reeling me innnnn…..
MREENYMO – gotcha! LOL! I understand about the green Climat and Magie…I was actually surprised to find that I loved all four of the scents, though Sagamore was the least compelling of the group.
ANYA – No cinnamon in this one, more like musky animalic with earthy vetiver and patchouli!
Obviously, I never learned to read properly in all my years of schooling! LOL!
Good one, Marlen. Cheers!
And, R, open up that Climat sample and let me know what you think. :):)
Hugs to you both.
I still haven't gotten around to this rerelease, unfortunately, but it sounds terribly compelling. I do hope more houses take note of this effort by Lancome though – there are so many worthy scents out there deserving of revival, and would be a nice counterpoint to all the wan fruity-florals everyone and their dog is trying to sell us on lately.
For now I am happy starting out with these reissues with Climat, since its a Gerard Goupy creation (I'm currently having a mild obsession with his work.) But this goes next onto my list I think
I have asked my local Lancome counter girls if this release has been successful. No one can give me any useful info. I just hope and pray that 2000 et une Rose is next to be relaunched. That would make my year!!!!
I would just LOVE to get a set of the four of them. They sound just wonderful. Marlen, you make that Sikkum sound heavenly.
Annie – I wish salespeople would just get on the phone and get some info! Most likely, these scents can be ordered through any Saks or Nordstrom store (though with Nordies' service, I would recommend them).
Kim – Thanks…the set was very tempting, but I resisted after having spent $350 at Jasina in Singapore the day before. But I still dream about it!
I had to buy this one now after reading your review, Marlen. Great review, man.
Mando – thanks, buddy…I only got to test it and don't have a bottle myself…not yet anyhow!
I just got a bottle off Ebay this evening. I look forward to trying this one out soon. I also got a decant of Magie from the same dealer. I had smelled both back in October of last year. I really liked Climat out of the 3 but I'm willing to give this one a try since I really do love Rose scents bests when it comes to florals. And I'm not a floral type of guy here.
You write up some good reviews on here. Glad you're on this blog of Izzy's. This site rocks!
I can't remember what Sikkim smells like. I know I should.
It's supposed to be very very similar to Rumeur by Lanvin. I have a bottle of the latter. I'd like to compare them. Must try and get a sample. Thanks for the review.
I received my bottle of Sikkim. Man, I'm in love! This stuff rocks my world. It's a rose scent a man can wear w/out any concern of feeling like a delicate little flower. You review hit this one right on the money!