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A deep dive into a 1970s vintage Chanel

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If you have a largish collection of perfumes, especially one too big for everything to be kept out on display, chances are you've misplaced an item from time to time. It's happened to me more than once. In fact, right now I'm trying to figure out what became of an old spray bottle of Chanel No.5 eau de parfum in a goldtone metal case. I sure do want to find that thing.

Sometimes it works the other way, and you rediscover an item you sort of forgot you had. This happened today as I searched for that No.5 EDP. I became reacquainted with this vintage 19ml bottle of No.5 eau de toilette.

The bottle is unusual in a number of ways. For one, it's missing the familiar label on the front that shows the name of the fragrance and the house.




If you're thinking that it does seem to have a label of some sort, you're not wrong. In this case, it's a transparent plastic sticker. After all these years, though, it's not doing much, because the text has vanished completely.




But that's not a problem. The scent is instantly recognizable, and even if it weren't, there's a sticker on the back that tells us the name of the fragrance. It tells us some other things as well.




You could even say that I bought the item because of this sticker. The reason is because it shows the name of the distributor. Yes, this little bottle of Chanel No.5 was distributed by Liebermann Waelchli & Co.
Impressed, huh?
No, I don't suppose you would be. But assuming you've made it this far, let me explain.

A Swiss trading company, Liebermann Waelchli & Co. became the exclusive agent for Chanel in Japan in 1969. They acted in that capacity for roughly 10 years until Chanel established its own wholly owned subsidiary in 1980 (Chanel Japan, or Chanel K.K.). I'm loath to use words like "always" and "never" when discussing vintage fragrance packaging, but if you see an old Chanel bearing the Liebermann Waelchli name (in Japanese, that is), it's a good bet that the item was produced between 1969 and 1980. Like, a really good bet.

While giving this bottle a good look-over this afternoon, I noticed an interesting mark on the bottom. It looks to be a manufacturer's mark, but I've had no luck identifying it thus far.




It's not clear to me which side is up. I'd say the "8" next to the mark looks right-side up in the image below.




The thing is, it doesn't look like any mark I've seen used by Verreries Brosse.
Prolly means my Chanel is fake.
(Kidding. It's not.)


Well, I hope this has been of some interest. Thanks for stopping by, and please feel free to comment below, as I'd love to hear from you. I do screen comments before publication to keep spammers at bay, so your comment may not show up immediately.

Take care out there, folks.

roro

Updated 28th March 2020 at 08:49 AM by roro

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Comments

  1. Cook.bot's Avatar
    Are you joking or serious about thinking it might be fake? And does the disappeared label text influence your thinking?

    That is an odd bottle mark. It looks like a number 8 and a human ear.

    You didn't mention the smell of it. Is it good?
  2. roro's Avatar
    Good to see you, and thanks for the comment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cook.bot
    Are you joking or serious about thinking it might be fake? And does the disappeared label text influence your thinking?
    That bit about the bottle being fake was an attempt at humor. A bit arch, perhaps. It was a jab at a well-known guide that declares "All Chanel bottles have been made by Verreries Brosse". You know the one I'm talking about.

    Regarding the label -- I don't follow you. Influence in what way? (edit: Never mind! I see what you meant now.)

    That is an odd bottle mark. It looks like a number 8 and a human ear.
    Ha! I didn't make that connection. "That's a human ear all right." - Blue Velvet
    I've since found the same mark on other 19ml bottles, but not on any other sizes.
    I'm not sure how to describe it. "S in a lens"? "Snake in a boat"?

    You didn't mention the smell of it. Is it good?
    Ah, I didn't, did I? It smells fabulous. I was getting whiffs of the most gorgeous sillage while photographing the bottle with its cap off.
    Updated 27th March 2020 at 11:22 AM by roro
  3. Bavard's Avatar
    Most excellent post on your vanishing sticker-label No. 19 edt with Swiss connections. 19-ml is a good size for that one. I'm thinking of doing No. 19 as my fragrance in Monsieur Montana's discuss-a-fragrance-for-three-days game.
  4. roro's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Bavard
    Most excellent post on your vanishing sticker-label No. 19 edt with Swiss connections. 19-ml is a good size for that one. I'm thinking of doing No. 19 as my fragrance in Monsieur Montana's discuss-a-fragrance-for-three-days game.
    Thanks, Bavard. I was pretty excited when I figured out the significance of those Liebermann Waelchi stickers.

    19ml is a goodly amount.

    Those mini bottles of No.19 parfum that you presented in Monsieur Montana's thread are something I have never seen over here. Really interesting.

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