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Understanding Chanel Batch Codes

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Chanel batch codes help you identify when their perfumes were manufactured.
The House of Chanel has always gone to great measures to ensure the quality of their products. Whether it's clothing or perfume quality control is a priority for them. One of the ways they ensure this control over their line of perfumes is by engraving the back near the of each bottle of perfume with a four digit number or batch code that tells you the month and with a little detective work the year the perfume was mixed. Sounds simple enough,right? For example if the first two digits were 01 and the last two 01 you would logically conclude that the perfume was mixed in January of 2001 but Chanel doesn't use this type of system. In fact there really is no rhyme or reason(except to them) as to the way they assign batch codes. Chanel batch codes aren't easy to understand because they are monthly-based instead of yearly based, i.e, the batch changes with "months", instead of "years". So we could have "00" for March, "01" for April, "02" for May, etc. At "99", the cycle restarts and takes roughly 9 years to complete. Lets say a bottle of Chanel No. 5 has a batch code number of 8510 you only need to concern yourself with the first two digits. The '85" is indicating the month and it could be May or June or any of the other 10 months but in this example lets say the "85" is for May. So we know the month but what about the year?

Figuring out the year takes a little detective work but really isn't that difficult. The first thing that will help is if you know the exact year the fragrance was launched. If your perfume has:
Barcode + Greendot + The long ingredient list :
this means since Year 2004

and the codes, dating back to 2004, are: if --------- it means:

00xx ---- april 2016

90xx ---- june 2015

80xx --- august 2014

70xx ---- october 2013

60xx ---- december 2012

50xx ---- february 2012

40xx ---- april 2011

30xx ---- june 2010

20xx ---- august 2009

10xx ---- october 2008

00xx ---- december 2007

90xx ---- february 2007

80xx ---- april 2006

70xx ---- june 2005

60xx ---- august 2004
If your perfume has the following symbols on the box:
Barcodes and Greendots, but without the long list of ingredient (allergens),
this means Years 1990-2004
and the codes, dating back to 1990, are:

if------- then

50xx ---- october 2002

40xx ---- december 2002

30xx ---- february 2002

20xx ---- april 2001

10xx ---- june 2000

00xx ---- august 1999

90xx ---- october 1998


(roughly 1998-2004: short ingredients list, i.e "alcohol, water, perfume")

80xx ---- december 1997

70xx ---- february 1997

60xx ---- april 1996

50xx ---- june 1995

40xx ---- august 1994

30xx ---- october 1993

20xx ---- december 1992

10xx ---- february 1992

00xx ---- april 1991

90xx ---- june 1990


(Greendots since 1992, short ingredient list only during 1998-2004)
(note: be aware, since 10xx could mean 1992 or 2000, so you should know the year of launch, the edition, the shape of the bottle, the writings, labels, short ingredients, or have some extra clue)
If your perfume is without any symbol on the box (no barcode, no greendot),
this means Years 1981 - 1990

and the codes, dating back to 1981, are:

if----then

80xx ---- august 1989

70xx ---- october 1986

60xx ---- december 1987

50xx ---- february 1987

40xx ---- april 1986

30xx ---- june 1985

20xx ---- august 1984

10xx ---- october 1983

00xx ---- december 1982

90xx ---- february 1982

80xx ---- april 1981

According to some, Chanel restarted the batch codes in January 2000, so "January 2000 = 01". Differences with the code described here is 4 months, since year 2000. This action has been discussed and appears to be a bit unfounded.

So why use batch codes? Sometimes when perfumers mix fragrances they might not interpret the scent exactly as it was originally formulated. Usually the difference is miniscule but people who wear the same fragrance day in and day out for years years will most certainly notice it and the batch code will aid them in bringing it to the attention of the perfume company. The company may elect to pull that batch completely off its shelves and the shelves of the retailers they sold it to. The other reason is perfume can go bad just sitting around and if these bottles make it into the hands of consumers then complaints will certainly follow and that batch will usually get pulled out of circulation. Name:  Chael-bottle-batch-code-.jpg
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Here are some more ways to help you identify the year your bottle of Chanel was produced.

All Chanel perfumes appear in the signature Chanel bottle based on the original Sem design.
  1. All Chanel bottles have been made by Verreries Brosse and usually the bases will be embossed with a VB or BR logo.
  2. From the 1920s until 1951, the small "o" used in any perfume beginning with No. (number), will have a dot underneath it, after 1951, the dot disappears.
  3. From 1970-1987, all Chanel's pure parfums will be marked with the word Perfume underneath the fragrance name. Starting in 1988, we see the word Parfum used instead.
  4. Starting in 1987, the words Paris/New York are added to Eau de Parfums.
  5. Black striped boxes used up until 1958.
  6. The words "New York Distributor" was used from the late 1940s and into the 1950s.
  7. The familiar black and gold cologne sprays were introduced in 1958, they were metered to expel 800 sprays in each bottle. Light and sturdy, designed by Chanel for the age of air travel.
  8. Cologne and talc was used from 1939 - onwards
  9. If there is a barcode on the box, this perfume dates to after 1989.
  10. Starting in 1992, the Green Dot recycling symbol will appear on the box.
  11. From 1998-2003, a short list of ingredients are listed on the box.
  12. By 2004, there will be a long list of ingredients listed on the box.


Hopefully this clears things up a little bit.

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