martedì 14 gennaio 2014

How to recognize CHANEL perfumes.


** UPDATE March 2022 ** 
all Chanel batchcodes decrypted 
(including the "american", and rare letters-and-numbers codes)

below: how to decode the main ("French") 4-number batchcode

Chanel is one of the most difficult perfume houses to understand when dating a perfume.
This is due to the fact that the batch code is based on 4 numbers which apparently have no reference point.
Actually, Chanel adopts a method that is based on the passing of the months, without any reference to the year.
You start with 00, get to 99, and then start all over again, so in these 99 months, just over 8 years have passed.

Let's try to explain: Chanel bottles have a four-numbers batch code. The only important numbers are the first and second one.
Example: on the bottle you can read the following code:  "9510".
Well, you have to consider only the first two numbers, i.e "95" (don't consider other numbers) 

These two initial numbers (in this case "95") are indicating the month, and "scroll" one after the other.
For example, number "95" could mean "May".
So, 96 means June.
97 means July 
98 means August 
99 means September  
and so on.
When you arrive at 99, the cycle restarts:
00 means October, :
01 means November
03, and so on.
So -roughly said- every 8 years, a cycle is completed (00 to 99)

Where is the problem?
The problem is that there is absolutely NO reference for current or past years. Are we speaking about 1985 or 1997 or 2003 or 2011? It's impossible to know it. 
So, you MUST know clues on the box or bottle, to date (with a minimum of accuracy) your vintage perfume.
It's important to say that -since there are no correlations with years- you will never have 100% accuracy....unless you get official statements from Chanel.

Using this method and other clues, you can date back at least to year 1980 the most of Chanel perfumes.

Let's START!

The Clues:

- the wording "EMB" plus 6 numbers on the box (example EMB 123456): created in 1976, and used since the following years. if you don't see the EMB clue (i.e "EMB" plus 6 numbers) your perfume is really old, dating  "before 1975".
- Alcohol : until 1980 the symbol is "°" , after 1980 the symbol is "%"  
   (Example: 80° and 80%)
Barcode on the box appeared in 1990, so a generic date is : AFTER 1990.
Greendot on the box appeared in 1992, so a generic date is: AFTER 1992.
- Wording "Eau de Toilette/Cologne" written above the word "Chanel": before 1995
- Wording "Eau de Toilette/Cologne" written under the word "Chanel": since 1995
Short list of ingredients on the box appeared in 1998 (approximatively) until 2004, so generic date is  BETWEEN 1998 and 2004.
Long list of ingredients (allergens) on the box appeared since 2004-5, so generic date is: AFTER 2004.
The new lines "Chanel Paris,"and " Chanel New York", and "Neuilly sur Seine"  appeared both on the box and on the back of the bottle in 2005.
- ...and finally, the batch-code.

Anyway, if you are in a hurry, you can obtain generic dates simply looking at the box.

if you don't see the EMB code, it means "before 1976"
if you see the alcohol "°" symbol (instead of "%"),  it means "before 1980"
if you see the printed barcode it means "after 1990"
if you see the greendot, it means "after 1992"
if you see a short list of ingredients ("alcohol, water , parfum"), then it's 1998-2003
if you see a long list of ingredients, then it's after 2003
if you see the wording "Neuilly sur seine" somewhere, then it's after 2005.

The wording EMB plus 6 numbers: 
it was adopted in 1976
("1726" is the batch code)

this is the "Greendot", adopted since 1992.

remember not to confuse bar-code with batch-code: 
these are different things!

This is a Bar-code, it's printed on the box

this is a batch-code (2065), it's engraved on the box
(from checkfresh. net)

This is a Batch-code (3401),
engraved under the Bar-code on the box

Batch-code? Where?
Chanel batch codes  are usually on the bottom of the box, or engraved on the back side of the bottle near the base.
You have to twist the bottle under light to see it.


Batch number is engraved (5410)
on the back side or bottom of the bottle

the clues are alcohol as "°" (80°)  and the very tiny EMB code.
This could be dated around 1976-1980

The clues are: the EMB code and the alcohol percentage as "%". 
No barcode and no batchcode.
Actually it's a vintage box and it could be dated from1980 to 1990. 
check for a batchcode!

Batch code engraved on the bottom of the box (0113),
without barcode.without greendot.
it could be dated from 1980 to 1990.



1-First, check for clues 
(Bar-code? Greendot? list of ingredients?)

2-Then, check for batch-code numbers: considering 

3-Finally, check this table below, and calculate the actual date.
(please, keep in mind that, in some cases, old boxes without symbols could have been "recycled" and used later)


THE classic ("French") 4-numbers


If your perfume is WITHOUT any clue on the box (no barcode, no greendot, no ingredients),
then it dates between  YEAR 1980 and 1990,
and the dates are:

10xx ---- june 1975
20xx ---- april 1976
30xx ---- february 1977
40xx ---- december 1977
50xx ---- october 1978
60xx ---- august 1979
70xx ---- june 1980
80xx ---- april 1981
90xx ---- february 1982
00xx ---- december 1982
10xx ---- october 1983
20xx ---- august 1984
30xx ---- june 1985
40xx ---- april 1986
50xx ---- february 1987
60xx ---- december 1987
70xx ---- october 1988
80xx ---- august 1989
(...and now the Barcode appears...)

if your perfume has barcodes and/or greendot, but it's WITHOUT the long list of ingredient (allergens),
then this means YEARS 1990-2004 
and the dates are:

if------- then
90xx ---- june 1990
00xx ---- april 1991
10xx ---- february 1992
(in these months the Greendot appears...)
20xx ---- december 1992
30xx ---- october 1993
40xx ---- august 1994
50xx ---- june 1995
60xx ---- april 1996
70xx ---- february 1997
80xx ---- december 1997
90xx ---- october 1998 
(between 1998-2004: short ingredients list, on the box i.e "alcohol, water, perfume") 
00xx ---- august 1999
10xx ---- june 2000
20xx ---- april 2001
30xx ---- february 2002
40xx ---- december 2002
50xx ---- october 2003

if your perfume has:
barcode + greendot + the long ingredient list :
it dates after YEAR 2004
and the dates are: 

if  --------- it means:
60xx ----august 2004
70xx ----june 2005
80xx ----april 2006
90xx ----february 2007  
00xx ----december 2007
10xx ----october 2008
20xx ----august 2009
30xx ----june 2010
40xx ----april 2011
50xx ----february 2012
60xx ----december 2012
70xx ----october 2013
80xx ----august 2014
90xx ----june 2015
last number is 96xx= December 2015, then a reset occurred

Chanel reset the batchcode at the end of 2015, so this method should be used until 2015.

(Let's make a detailed example, going backwards:
70xx: October 2013
69xx: September 2013
68xx: August 2013
67xx: July 2013
66xx: June 2013
65xx: May 2013
64xx: April 2013

63xx: March 2013
62xx: February 2013
61xx: January 2013
60xx: December 2012
59xx: November 2012
58xx: October 2012
57xx: September 2012
56xx: August 2012
55xx: July 2012
54xx: June 2012
53xx: May 2012
52xx: April 2012
51xx: March 2012
50xx: February 2012
and so on)


Recognizing reformulations is possible only after year 2004: simply check the order of allergens on the box, one after the other. When they change, there has very likely been a reformulation

Previously we recognized, batch-by-batch, year-by-year:
-GUERLAIN perfumes ( here )
-YVES SAINT LAURENT perfumes ( here )
-CHRISTIAN  DIOR perfumes  ( here )
-ARMANI perfumes ( here )
-VAN CLEEF et ARPELS perfumes ( here )



Antaeus batch 5562, with long list of ingredients
date : July, 2012

Antaeus batch 2262 with barcode, 
without list of ingredients,
date: February 1993

Allure Homme, batch 0109, it was launched in 1999
Date:  September1999.

Antaeus batch 3426 with greendot, 
Date: beginning of 1994

Antaeus, batch 7335 without any symbol, 
date: beginning of 1989

Antaeus, batch 5506, with longlist of ingredients
Date: beginning of 2012

(from Ebay) Pour Monsieur, barcode plus short list of ingredients
batch code 5207, actual date = end of 2003

(from ebay) Pour Monsieur, with long list of ingredients
generic date = after 2004

Antaeus, batch 6727, without any symbol
date : July,1988

Antaeus, batch 2262, with barcode, 
without long list of ingredients
Date: mid of 1993

Antaeus, batch 9146, with barcode,
but without greendot 
Date: mid of 1990.

Antaeus, batch 8501, with all symbols plus
long list of ingredients
 plus wording Chanel Paris Chanel NewYork,
date: end of 2006

Pour Monsieur, batch 5410, without any symbol on the box
date: mid of 1987

Egoiste, batch 9408, with barcode, without greendot
Date: end of 1990

Egoiste, with barcode and greendot, without ingredients,
batch 4116,
date: mid of 1994

(from basenotes)
Egoiste, without greendot.
batch code 0907
date: beginning of 1991

Chanel Nr.5, batch 6081, long list of ingredients 
wording Chanel Paris, Chanel NewYork
Date: end of 2012

Nr.5, batch 0608, with barcode, without list of ingredients
Date:  end of 1991 

extra clues : Nr. 5 Bottles, through decades

Antaeus, batch 1726, no symbols.
Date:  mid 1984

Antaeus, batch 4514, no symbols
actually = mid of 1986
(thanks to Andrea Bissoli)

From Ebay, Antaeus, short list of ingredients,
batch 4403
Date:  beginning of 2003

(thanks to Noggs from Basenotes)
Antaeus, short list of ingredients,
batch nr. 1702
date = beginning of 2002 

Nr.5, batch 6106, with barcode and greendot,
without long list of ingredients

actually = mid of 1996

Platinum Egoiste, batch 8715, with barcode
without long list of ingredients

Date: mid of 1998.

Allure, batch 1402,  with longlist of ingredients
Date: beginning of 2009

(From Ebay) Allure, with long list of ingredients
batch code 5301, date : mid of 2012.

from Ebay, Coco, long list of ingredients
batch code 4527
date:  end of 2011

UNUSUAL BOTTLES with 3 digits batchcodes

batch number 09K
(thanks to hedonist222, Basenotes)

batch number FJ1
(thanks to Caoleus, Basenotes)

17 commenti:

  1. Great job as always Andre. My bottle of PMC is quite similar with the one in the last picture just it doesn't have any letters and the number is 8. So an unusual one !? Ciprian

    1. Well I hope it's not fake smells great. I omitted to say that CHANEL is embossed on the bottle .

  2. Hello,
    This is a great blogpost, thank you very much for researching and sharing this information.
    About the Chanel batch codes, a few years ago there was a thread on Basenotes in which some members figured out the modern-day Chanel batch code. Although you and I are in agreement about the first two digits of the batch code representing the counting of months, I believe your dates might be off by some months. According to this Basenotes thread, we discovered that in January 2000, the batch code started over again from 01xx. This was confirmed when someone posted two Chanel batch codes and said that the Chanel customer service told him the date of those batch codes, which fits in with the code starting at 01xx in January 2000. Here is the quote from the poster in the Basenotes thread:

    “Chanel identified the following codes for me from my Egoiste bottles:
    5401 = June 2004 France
    2002 = August 2001 (they didn't tell me the origin on this one)”

    The Cosmetic Calcuator website seems to be wrong because it doesn’t factor in the fact that Chanel started their code new again at the start of the millenium.
    So it seems like your batch code might be off by a few months. For example:

    You have batch code 70xx = Oct. 2013, I have batch 70xx = January 2014.

    You have batch code 20xx = August 2009, I have batch 20xx = November 2009....etc.

    Just wanted to let you know of this ‘alternative’ date timeline which began anew in the first month of the new millenium.
    I really love your blogpost though and I will be using parts of it for reference, so thank you.

    1. Thank you for your compliments!
      Let's go and see the cosmetic calculators, today january 16th 2014.:
      check cosmetics net : 70xx = october 2013
      cosmetic wizard :70xx = october 2005
      check fresh 70xx = october 2013.
      I think all calculators messed up dates and batches...
      Probably you are right, Chanel restarted countduring year 2000. Anyway difference between your data are +/- 3 months only. so, for our purposes in determining "vintage" perfumes, it's still okay.
      Thank you for your precise and detailed post!

  3. ciao ho trovato una bottiglia 125 ml splash di egoiste ha solo il batch code senza green dot ,non reca lista ingredienti ,batch code 3313 ....sbaglio o secondo i calcoli sarebbe del 1993 ........ credo di aver fatto un bell'affare non deludermi...

    1. infatti dovrebbe essere del 1993, e trattarsi di una vecchia scatola ancora non aggiornata. In ogni caso se è del 1993, sulla scatola la scritta sul frontale "Eau de Toilette" dovrebbe essere immediatamente al di sopra alla scritta CHANEL. Dopo il 1995 la scritta Eau de Toilette va a finire in basso, sotto a CHANEL.

  4. la scritta eau de toilette sul frontale sta sopra chanel l'ho comprato apposta per questo ,felicissimo perchè non pensavo proprio di trovarlo in una profumeria

    1. quello che si dice avere una gran fortuna! Comunque, è assai probabile che i profumi Chanel degli anni 90 non abbiano subito pesanti riformulazioni, quindi -almeno negli anni 90- i flaconi con le scritte "sopra" o "sotto" siano assai simili tra loro.

  5. Hey
    I have a bottle of Egoiste Platinum number 1920. Which one will be the year 1992?

    1. Hi, "1920" could be dated to the end of 1992 (regarding "Platinum Egoiste", it's one of the first bottles produced, and sold in 1993, the official year of launch), or 2001, or 2009.
      Check details on bottle and box to know the exact date.

  6. Hi,

    I have a splash bottle of Cristalle EDT, box is similar to the No. 5 from your pictures, with London and some postal code written at the bottom.

    There's also a bar code but no green dot, and no list of ingredients, so it should have been produced between 1990 and 1992. But the batch code is 3612, which leads me to April 1994 ? Am I doing something wrong ?

    Many thanks for your blog !


    1. Hi Kristina,
      You are right: it's year 1994. Simply, Chanel used old boxes until the end of stocks. This is quite a common practice in perfumery in order to save costs.

  7. Hello

    What a fantastic post - thank you So much! I have a bottle of Cristalle EDT which I would love your help with! I have a 100ml bottle of Cristalle EDT, black plastic lid, no box. I can’t find a batch code on any of the sides near the base, but the bottom is embossed with ‘CHANEL’ and then underneath that ‘100ml’ and under that ‘3.4 FL. OZ.' and then finally, underneath that simply the number ‘6’. I own many Chanel bottles, but I have never seen anything like this although it certainly smells like the real perfume. I would love your help!

    Thanks very much,

    1. Sorry, there are too few elements for evaluting such a bottle.... anyway, a strange thing it's the missing code on the rear of the glass. Regards, Laura.

  8. Buongiorno Andre e buongiorno a tutti.
    Ho trovato ieri in una profumeria un Pour Monsieur. Non ha barcode,sul retro c'è scritto CONT. 118ml e davanti c'è scritto dall'alto verso il basso: EAU - Pour Monsieur - CHANEL - Paris.
    Avete un'idea di che periodo è?

    1. Buongiorno a te!
      Se sulla scatola dek pM non leggi da nessuna parte la sigla "EMB" seguita da cinque o sei cifre, il profumo è sicuramernte prima del 1980 e merita l'acquisto a occhi chiusi. Se trovi EMB ma senza codice a barre, è 1980-1990. Vale sempre l'acquisto!


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