lunedì 21 febbraio 2022

The unfinished articles, part 3: Chanel Egoiste (June, 2015)


(We are going to illustrate here the notes taken in 2015, relating to an article about Chanel Egoiste " be published in future". It can be fragmented and incomplete, nevertheless we think that even after so many years the information provided can be useful for many enthusiasts and collectors. Enjoy the reading.
Old friends from Raiders of the Lost Scent)

The Beginning, as an experiment:
Bois Noir (1987)

In the mid-80s, perfumer Jacques Polge had the idea of ​​creating a new masculine perfume entirely based around the note of sandalwood, and named it "Bois Noir". It had a very limited circulation (1987-1989), and was essentially the masculine counterpart of "Bois des Iles" (a feminine perfume launched in 1926). It was a scent sold only in Chanel boutiques, and it gained great appreciation, so then Chanel decided to produce it on a large scale. It seems that the name "Bois Noir" was not "strong" enough for the world market, because Chanel wanted an outrageous, provocative, shocking name, so they chose the word "Egoiste" and paid for rights (actually, "Egoiste" was a magazine). Basically, Bois Noir and Egoiste are the same scent: today Bois Noir is of interest as an item for collectors.

The scent:
Egoiste (1990)

Egoiste was a very peculiar "woody" scent, far from the stereotypes ("Powerhouses") of the 70s and 80s.
One of the most interesting features of Egoiste is its rich note of creamy sandalwood, which is considered among the best ever made. Indeed, Egoiste is still considered a sandalwood masterpiece nowadays. 
Jacques Polge used an high amount of natural sandalwood, mixed with minor quantities of several types of artificial sandalwoods (Sandalore, Ebanol, and others), He did so in order to always have the same sandalwood note (twisting the amount of syntethics), regardless of the availability of raw material, that was becoming more and more difficult to obtain.
Egoiste was launched in Europe (april 1990), then in Japan and USA (spring 1991) and finally in Australia (autumn 1992), using slightly different packaging.
Chanel Egoiste was launched as an AfterShave and Eau de Toilette:
- 50 (1.7oz), 100 (3.3oz) ml Spray/Vaporisateur bottles:
- 75 (2.5oz), 125 (4.2 oz), 250 (8.4oz.) ml Splash bottles.
Unfortunately for Chanel, after the initial enthusiasm, Egoiste was not a great sales success.
It is interesting to note that the TV commercial was a huge success and is still remembered even more than perfume.

The Flanker:
Egoiste Cologne Concentree (1992)

Due to poor sales in USA, Chanel tried to revamp the perfume, with a "flanker", produced in USA and targeted to the US market:  Egoiste Cologne Concentrèe (year 1992), characterized by an heavier sandalwood note. It's pretty similar to the original, and, again, it was not very successful. (50ml/100ml spray; and 75 ml/125ml splash)

Early splash bottle Made in USA

Late spray bottle Made in USA

The follow up:
"Platinum" (1993)

Despite all efforts, Egoiste was not an huge success, so, in an attempt to revitalize sales, another flanker followed: "Egoiste Platinum", in 1993. Curiously, despite the similar name, it is a completely different scent. It's somewhat "metallic", fougère-style, and a modern scent even today.
"Egoiste Platinum" was much more successful than Egoiste, and after a few years, in 1998, it was renamed "Platinum Egoiste". 
Nowadays Platinum is more remembered than Egoiste: it's one of the rare examples where a "flanker" is more popular than the original.

Platinum Egoiste (since 1998)


No, it isn't a fake. Chanel had troubles in exporting Egoiste in Australia, New Zealand and Britain, because "Egoiste" was a registered brand. So, avoiding legal issues, it was launched as "L'Egoiste".
"L'Egoiste" bottles report the line "Chanel, London" and/or "Chanel W1X3DA" on the box and/or the bottle.

note the line Chanel (or London)WX13DA

Chanel discontinued all splash bottles during years 2008 and 2009 (relatively late compared to the other manufacturers), so it's possible to find splash bottles dated back to 2006,2007,2008.... 


Egoiste was marketed in at least three different packagings (if not more...), each for each geographical area.

1) The first and main packaging  -aimed at European markets and a few international ones- has the indication "Made in France", and is characterized by a batch code of 4 numbers, on the bottom of the box and on the back of the bottle.

2) The second packaging it was made in the USA, in the New Jersey factory, and shows the indication "Made in USA" and/or "Chanel New York Inc. ", has a batch code of three digits (letters and/or numbers), and reports alcohol, fragrance, and dyes.

USA packaging

3) The third packaging was made for UK and Oceania, the scent was  rebranded "L'Egoiste" for copyright issues, and reports the line "Chanel London" or "Chanel W1X 3DA". Four-numbers batch codes, usually applied with a sticker.

English packaging: note the line Chanel London WX13DA

Later, over the years, there were other changes in the design, so that in the end we have an huge number of different boxes and bottles.
Unfortunately, these different packagings have encouraged the proliferation of fakes, which turn out to be much more common than the originals.
Be very careful when buying a Chanel perfume!


Incredible to say, but true: it seems that in bottles for extra-European markets there were problems with the ink applied to the glass: the letters faded very easily. For this reason, stickers were applied to some bottles. Unfortunately, this low-cost trick also served counterfeiters to create fake bottles. making them look "authentic". 
So, again be very careful when buying Chanel perfumes!


dissecting BOXES and BOTTLES
(only for main packaging : "Made in France")

from the beginning, and until year 2015, 
there are 5 different versions.
1- years 1990-1994
2- years 1994-1998
3- years 1998-2004
4- years 2004-2015
5- years 2015- ????

The FIRST version
("Egoiste-only", years 1990-1994)

1) on the box you can read EGOISTE 
without the line "pour Homme",

2) the line "Eau de Toilette" or "After shave/Après rasage"
is written above the word CHANEL


Bottom of the box.
(the batch-code is "engraved" inside the rectangular space)

the bottle, with the line "Eau de Toilette"
 above the word CHANEL (1990-1994)

(thanks to Salvatore Piccerillo)
bottle batch 14xx = year 1992



The SECOND version
("Pour Homme", years 1994-1998)

1) in the front of the box you can read a new line: "pour Homme".
2) important: "Eau de Toilette" shifts under the word CHANEL.
Greendot printed on the box, but No ingredients.
Interesting to note: the line "Pour Homme" appears only on the box, never on the bottle.


note the new line "pour Homme"
and the line "Eau de Toilette" under the word CHANEL

Bottom of second-version bottle, with the Greendot

Second- version bottle 
"Eau de Toilette" line is under 
the word CHANEL (since 1994)


The THIRD version
("Alcohol, Aqua, Parfum", years 1998-2004)

1) You can read the short list of ingredients
 (i.e. "Alcohol, Aqua, Parfum") on the box.
2) During years 2003 and 2004 you could read
the long ingredients list on the box


Ingredients on the back of the box


The FOURTH version
("Neuilly sur Seine", years 2005 - 2014)

1) The long list of ingredients/allergens appears
on the back of the box

2) The new line "Neuilly sur Seine" 
appears somewhere on the box and  bottle.
Remember: During years 2008-2009 Chanel discontinues all splash bottles

Splash bottle 75ml

Splash bottle, back of the box with the
long list of allergens/ingredients and new line "Neuilly sur Seine"

on the back of the bottle there are etched 
 new lines including "Neuilly sur Seine"


100ml vaporisateur spray, year 2009


The FIFTH version
("almost-square 50ml and 100ml bottles",
since 2015)

new, almost-square bottles, vaporisateur/spray only.
Sizes: 50 ml (1.7oz) and 100 ml (3.4z) 
All other bottles discontinued

The new, almost-square bottle, since 2015

Fifth version, bottom of the box (since 2015)

Fifth version, year 2015. Back of the box.


A few facts about "Platinum Egoiste".
Actually, it deserves a separate discussion, because over the years it has been more successful than Egoiste. 
Egoiste Platinum (1993-1998)
Platinum Egoiste (since 1998)

First Version- Early bottles (years 1993 and 1994 only):
"Egoiste Platinum" with the the line "Apres rasage/ Eau de toilette" above the word Chanel.

Second Version- years 1994-1998: 
again, "Egoiste Platinum" but with the line "Apres rasage/ eau de toilette" below the word Chanel.

Third Version- 1998-2015 : "Platinum Egoiste".

Fourth Version: since 2015, Platinum Egoiste,
almost-square bottles.

Egoiste Platinum, early bottles, first version, 1993-1994

Egoiste Platinum, 125ml splash, second version (1994-1998)

Advertisement year 1998: new lines "Platinum Egoiste"
(third version)

 Platinum Egoiste, third version (1998-2015)

Platinum Egoiste, 100ml, fourth version (year 2015)

An early Egoiste Platinum, Made in USA.

Interested in Egoiste ?
Read here:

Now Smell This  (Bois Noir)
Now Smell This  (Egoiste)

A curious misunderstanding: many people think Egoiste has a strong cinnamon note, alongside the sandalwood. Actually, as Chanel has repeatedly stated, there is no cinnamon note. 

How to recognize Chanel batch codes? 

Reformulations? This is a difficult question....

From 1990 to 2003, you have to rely on your nose only. 
Anyway, in an old interview, a Chanel speakerperson stated that being able to "adjust" the quantities of different sandalwoods, the perfume always remained the same. Some people disagree. Others say that Egoiste has remained more or less the same.
Since 2003-2004 you can look at the long list of "ingredients" on the box, and observe any changes in substances or in their order of apparition, and guess if a reformulation occurred (unfortunately Chanel is one of those perfume houses that does not show a real formula code, just numbers identical for all scents).

So briefly:  
EGOISTE had the same formula between 2004 and 2009, so you can assume the scent remained the same; then there was a change in 2010 (you can read now "benzyl alcohol" shifted in the last line) so: a reformulation occurred in 2010. No differences in the list appeared between 2011 and 2015.
PLATINUM EGOISTE had the same formula between 2004 and 2010, then a change (you can read now "limonene linalool citral" in the first line) so a reformulation occurred in 2011

Egoiste, 100ml, year 2005

Egoiste,100ml, year 2015

Plstinum Egoiste, year 2004

Platinum Egoiste year 2015

Exhibition: just a few bottles

50ml spray, batch 93xx = 1990, september

125 ml splash, batch 94xx = 1990, October.

50ml spray, batch 41xx = 1994, September

125 ml splash, batch 35xx = 2002, July

 100ml spray, batch 85xx = 2006, September

75 ml splash, batch 09xx = 2008, September

50 ml spray, Batch 13xx = 2009, January

50 ml spray, batch 25xx = 2010, January

100ml spray, Batch 85xx = 2015, January


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