I purchased a 200 ml splash bottle of Egoiste in 1990 when it was first launched and completely fell in love with it.
So much so that I went back two days later to the Chanel counter and got 2 bottles of the 100ml atomiser.
I cannot remember having done that for any other scent..... ok, perhaps Habit Rouge!
I can vouch that Egoiste was redolent of sandalwood back then.
Real sandalwood. Creamy, spiritual, intoxicatingly smooth sandalwood blended in with that amazing rose, ambrette seed and only Jacques Polge knows what else.
Real sandalwood oil made up a huge percentage of the formula. It has become a bit of legend the amount of sandalwood oil used in both Egoiste and the original Samsara.
It has changed over time definitely... I stopped using it for a few years (maybe 3-4) but it has always been reformulated in an acceptable fashion.
It has lost that creaminess, that stunning swirl of layer after layer of cloud. That thick glow, that veil of the natural oil that is inimitable.
But all the great sandalwood fragrances have suffered from the well-justifiied Indiian government's ban on the harvesting of Mysore Sandalwood... Samsara, Tam Dao, Egoiste, Santal Mysore.
Now the synthetics rule but not always badly...
Egoiste although changed is not spoiled.
It is still stunning, unique, sexy and ..... yes compellingly centred.
For me, the sandalwood is not so centre-stage anymore.
But that's just me. I am 51 and grew up in Singapore where in early days we could get our hands on pure sandalwood, burn the wood itself as incense....
I still use Egoiste with fervour and most happily.
I can smell the so-called substitutes but its a great re-formulation.
Perfume is a living art.
I am happy that the sandalwood is still noticed by so many!