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  1. #31
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    If you think identifying factors on fragrance bottles is fun you have to get to know the obsessive/compulsive types in the guitar hobby. Try googling Rickenbaker and serials especially.
    I think it's a mild form of OCD. I like a guitar that's been set up by a pro and has proper intonation along the neck. The great serial numbers on most things are spoken for during production. There are limited editions of everything now, instant collectables that show up on ebay within a week. Like printing money.

    a 4 digit code doesn't seem like a big deal to me. Whether I trust the seller is more important and I can't quantify that. A trustworthy seller will not sell you a bottle which has been diluted. What good is a tester with a recent serial number if it's been diluted.

  2. #32
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by G Man View Post
    (I know you were referring to me as ONLY ONE MEMBER)Maybe I worry because I pay 65 dollars for it and money doesn't come out of nowhere and I worry I spent my money on something that is old and not quality. How am I supposed to know if Macy's kept it in good conditions? I come here to get information and found a topic that I want to go into further detail.

    I'm sorry if posting concerns is wrong. Maybe I should go google "when does chanel cologne go bad according to the date code"

    I wont find it anywhere else and if I did, it won't be in open discussion like a forum.

    I don't see how i'm harming anybody or creating problems. I am getting discreetly bashed here for asking questions and being concerned.
    Gman, my post wasn't directed at you, but you were the one to whom I was referring, since you are the only one on thread overly concerned about your bottle. That's not bashing; it's just pointing something out. You are so quick to jump every time somebody might have a criticism... or how somebody rates your thread... instead of looking at whether or not it actually IS a criticism (and, as for the ratings, I don't know of more than a handful of members who even look at the rating when viewing a thread; until about two weeks ago I didn't even know there WAS a rating system, so really it doesn't matter if you get 1 or 5 stars... the content within it speaks for itself).

    The best suggestion is just trust your nose; if it smells good to you, then it is good. You will know if it has gone bad, just because you'll ask yourself, "Is Chanel PE supposed to smell like rancid cheese?" Despite the fact that many companies say all of their juice from all batches smells the same, it just isn't the case (especially with smaller companies). I've had two different bottles of L'artisan Patchouli patch that smelled quite different, but were from two different batches. I tended to wear the one that smelled better to me, regardless of which one was technically "newer."

    Also, Frederictoo, I don't think it is compulsive just to be curious about your own items. A date code isn't a serial number... it's a date code. Most of my experience with this comes from friends who work for some of the big Luxury goods makers (LV, Prada, etc.), where date codes are a big part of the game. With fragrances, this isn't as much the case, but it is still just fun to know something extra about a product on which you are spending lots of money. Does it really mean anything? No, not really, but quite frankly just the sort of discussion it GENERALLY provokes makes for a much more interesting thread than, "I think 4711 smells just like Chergui," "Please recommend me some Creed," or "Where do I buy authentic GIT?"
    Last edited by rach2jlc; 18th March 2007 at 09:12 PM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  3. #33
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    sorry, I don't think a thread with a few folks talking about deciphering the codes on Chanel bottles is OCD. Going to stores and looking at all the bottles probably would qualify though.

    I'm going to start a thread on soon about RFID chips and are they showing up and where. I've encountered one on a box of Farenheit. Are these boxes with early chips going to be collecters items because most folk are probably going to smash theirs so Dior isn't following the box around.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by fredricktoo View Post
    I'm going to start a thread on soon about RFID chips and are they showing up and where. I've encountered one on a box of Farenheit. Are these boxes with early chips going to be collecters items because most folk are probably going to smash theirs so Dior isn't following the box around.
    Lol; fred, I can always count on your posts to make me laugh and think at the same time. Although, I'm still waiting for one to top your retort to shiver's anger about getting a low thread rating. You said something like, "I've seen some five-star threads, and this isn't one of them." I'm still trying to find a time to use that one somewhere. It has something of a "I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. You, Senator, are no Jack Kennedy" vibe to it.
    Last edited by rach2jlc; 18th March 2007 at 09:30 PM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  5. #35

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post
    With fragrances, this isn't as much the case, but it is still just fun to know something extra about a product on which you are spending lots of money. Does it really mean anything? No, not really, but quite frankly just the sort of discussion it GENERALLY provokes makes for a much more interesting thread than, "I think 4711 smells just like Chergui," "Please recommend me some Creed," or "Where do I buy authentic GIT?"
    I couldn't agree more, rach. I'm relatively new to Basenotes, and it amazes to see serious treatment given to threads like "should I buy these frags, cozz my Mom is going to be so mad if I do".

    I don't understand why a thread, like this one, that is just chugging merrily along gets cold water thrown on it by someone who finds their keen sensibilities offended. If the thread isn't your cup of tea, move to another. Just like I do when Skippy needs group permission to make a purchase.

  6. #36
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post
    Lol; fred, I can always count on your posts to make me laugh and think at the same time. Although, I'm still waiting for one to top your retort to shiver's anger about getting a low thread rating. You said something like, "I've seen some five-star threads, and this isn't one of them." I'm still trying to find a time to use that one somewhere. It has something of a "I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. You, Senator, are no Jack Kennedy" vibe to it.
    Left Dan Quayle speechless, not that it was a hard thing to do.

  7. #37

    Smile Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code


    Again, any offense to anyone by previous post was not intended. I am just trying to inform others through the benefit of my experience and particularly to assuage any anxiety.

    G Man, if you ever need any help or advice, please send me a private message me. I'd be happy to help out and certainly don't ever feel that you can't post questions to the forum.


    Furthermore, I didn't mean to imply that an interest in the date of production is irrelevant. That certainly wasn't my intention, and I fully understand where MadScientist and rach2jlc are coming form, and I respect that. If fact, knowing an approximate date of production can keep one attuned also to formulation changes. I wish there was a lot more information about such formulation changes and the dates they occurred than is otherwise available.
    What I was really getting at was the unnecessary worry about anything older than one or two years and the mistaken belief that if anything is old it’s no good. A further point: the recommendation of designer houses and even those who work in the retail end of the fragrance industry about the shelf life of fragrances should be take not with a grain of salt but rather with a teaspoon of salt. I've heard everything from advice to use up a bottle within two years to even a year. Sorry but that's just BS of the first order. I will hazard this observation. A bottle standing under shelf lighting in Sephora will go off quicker--say in a week or two especially if it doesn't contain benzophenone--essentially a sunscreen for fragrances--than a bottle that's been carefully stored in its packaging and away from light for years. It’s always best to test fragrances out in retail establishmentw that keep their testers boxed or at least when that tester is full rather than close to empty. You don’t know how long it’s been sitting around exposed to light. Close-to-empty testers that have been sitting in shelf or overhead lighting for weeks will give you a false reading about the nature of a fragrance especially its top and middle notes. Basically, most bottles are safe if stored correctly and especially if they’re boxed and come from reputable e-retailers. If there is a problem, most of these reputable e-retailers will not give you problems with returning the said bottle. Be firm and clear that you’re not happy with the product and that you want to return it. Tell them you are familiar with the fragrance and how it’s supposed to smell and the tell the bottle you have from them does not smell like it supposed to smell. I have found calling the said retailers on the phone if it’s an e-retailer, works better than email.

    Having said all that though, I will say this about buying Creeds, which an altogether different proposition. Buying a Creeds is a lot trickery. Two years ago, or even year ago, I wouldn't have said this, but having bought at least 40 bottles over the last two years from all kinds of retailers, I will conclude on the basis of my experience, limited as it might be, that buying Creed is indeed tricky. The date is mostly irrelevant, though not wholly irrelevant (see below). One thing is for sure. Every time you buy a 8.5 oz or 16.9 oz flacon, you're taking a huge risk because of the crappy glass stopper Creed uses to secure the contents of their flacons. One pays 300 to 400 dollars for one of these bottles and a glass stopper is the best they can do? Basically, there is large failure rate in terms of the glass to glass fit being air tight. Glass to glass is not a good idea. If you buy a new Creed flacon and you can smell the fragrance when you open the box, that's not a good sign, and with many Creed flacons, this is a not uncommon problem. This includes flacons I've purchased from Neiman Marcus. I went to purchase a flacon of Angelique Encens from Neiman Marcus before Christmas, and when the sales person handed me the 8.5 oz flacon, I could smell the fragrance. I immediately informed him that wasn’t acceptable; he agreed, although somewhat bemusedly, and then proceeded to bring me a flacon that had no discernable smell. It's not from where one purchases them; it's the design of the flacons themselves. All Lutens bell jars come with a plastic stopper that ensure an air-tight fit. I don’t think I’ve ever heard even one person in all my years at Basenotes speak of a bad Lutens’s bell jar.

    If you’re buying Creed from e-retailers, some are better than others, and some are worse than others, but there’s never a guarantee that the bottles will be fresh. I’ve bought from perfumeworldwide.com, fragrancenet.com, and scentiments.com mostly but not ever without problems. In most cases, the surest bet I’ve found are the boxed 2.5 oz bottles, with the boxed 4.0 oz being slightly less of a surer bet, and the 8.5 oz flacons the worst bet and the larger ones being a little more secure than the 8.5 oz flacons. I would never buy an unboxed Creed from anyone.

    Here’s the real point though, instead of spending an inordinate amount of time stressing about purchases gone wrong or posting about yet another dud Creed bottle, I immediately contact the seller and tell them I am returning the bottle because it’s not fresh. I’ve never had any problems in that regard, and I have had my money refunded each time, even with ebay sellers; although, I buy very few Creeds on ebay; there are just not enough sellers I trust to do so. One thing I’ll never do though is act like I am surprised when I get a dud Creed or like some one owes me an explanation or worst still a shoulder to cry on. It’s clear that it’s caveat emptor with buying Creed. It has more to do with sloppy inventory control and glass stoppers and less to do with dates. For company that touts it’s uniqueness, there are so many Creed bottles floating around that one never knows whether a 2006 bottle will be a safer bet than a 2002. You don’t know where they’ve been and how they’ve been stored and transported. Although, I don’t know this for a fact, I also think that Creeds generally don’t contain preservatives so this also adds to the uncertainty and problems with purchasing them. A case in point: when I replaced a perfect 2002 bottle of Creed Original Vetiver 3 months ago, I received a 2006 bottle from one of the e-retailers. It was off. No sparkle at all in the top notes, and the heart notes were dull. It eventually ended up smelling like Original Vetiver, but eventually isn’t good enough. I emailed the e-retailer and sent it back immediately and got a refund. Just another day in the game of buying fragrances at less than retail.

    As I said, especially with Creed; it’s crapshoot. If you can afford the price, buy from the Neiman Marcus of parfumraffy.com; if you can’t afford full retail price or don’t want to pay full retail price, buy from reputable e-retailers, but always expect the unexpected. It’s that simple; there’s no need to turn the experience into a saga of Da Vinci code proportions were dates become the basis of cabbalistic-like speculation and study. Finally, I won’t dignify the absurd notion that there are vintage years that are better than others with any further words, except to say that such a notion is absurd and no self-respecting perfumer would ever own up to it. All modern perfumes are standardized to smell same, unless of course the formulation changes. That’s why aromachemicals are used along with natural components, and that’s why you’ll find on all 2006 Creed packing a list of the IFRA potential aromachemicals listed in full, just like all the other mass produced fragrances of today.

    Here are some further tips, I’ve picked up along the way. Although, as I’ve said before a lot of this has been posted before and can be easily found with a little effort and the search function.

    Don’t ever buy unboxed bottles from ebay sellers, unless you are willing to take the chance that there is a very good likelihood that the fragrance will be attenuated with exposure to light. Now as with e-retailers, some ebay sellers are to be trusted more than others with unboxed bottles. I have bought many unboxed testers from scentiments.com, but they are about the only e-retailer from whom I would buy unboxed bottles without the expectation that there will be any problems. Why? Because having done so I have never received a dud. I can’t say that about some other e-retailers, but then I’ve just simply stopped buying unboxed bottles from them. Again, it depends where and how that unboxed bottle was stored. It’s not simply a matter of a fragrance being unboxed that is the problem; it’s almost always a matter of how that bottle has been and subsequently is stored. For instance, whenever I get an unboxed bottle, the first thing I do is check it out for freshness, and if it’s okay, I place it in a larger light proof container where I store unboxed bottles till I can find boxes for them. Even then, I store those newly boxed bottles and all my boxed fragrances for that matter in light proof storage or refrigeration. I had a large 6.8 oz bottle of Guerlain Vetiver EDC I purchased in 1980 that was good to the very last drop. It was unboxed when I bought it.

    I always decant Creed flacons into smaller, usually 4 oz aluminum containers that have a special, non-reactive coating, and I always refrigerate all my Creeds and all Annick Goutal fragrances (another house that doesn’t use preservatives) and all older bottles to maximize their shelf life. Wine coolers defeat the purpose if they let in light. Any regular fridge will do; just set the settings to the lowest possible setting which will usually provide the optimal temperature for storage, around 10 degrees Celsius. I also always refrigerate predominantly citrus fragrances, and, if I have space, everything for matter that I can fit into my refrigerators.

    There is very little mystery to all this; it’s mostly common sense. Like I said, if you’re not sure about a fragrance, offer to send a sample to a more experienced member. I for one, would be happy to help, or, even more simply, contact your seller and ask for a refund.

    scentemental



    Last edited by scentemental; 18th March 2007 at 11:48 PM.

  8. #38
    rach2jlc's Avatar
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Makes perfect sense, Scentemental. Thanks for the clarification and very informative post!

    Regards,
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  9. #39

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by rach2jlc View Post
    Makes perfect sense, Scentemental. Thanks for the clarification and very informative post!

    Regards,
    Now, that's much better, John. I trust we won't soon see you "cluttering up the board" with any more "quite absurd" threads on manufacturing date codes.

    I do have to agree with you, though. Scentemental's second post was very informative, and should be required reading for all who purchase and store their frags. Too bad it wasn't his first post.

  10. #40

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    For anyone still interested in Chanel dating codes, here are mine:

    No. 5 Parfum 3.5ml bought in January off Ebay: 2011

    Vintage 70s-80s era No. 5 Parfum 7ml: 87Y

    No. 19 EDT 3.4oz bought NIB in fall '09: 9401

    No. 5 EDT 3.4oz bought NIB in Jan. off Ebay: 2114

  11. #41

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Hi, I just posted my Chanel date codes above, and for any other geeky people out there who are interested, I think I've cracked a different part of the Chanel code puzzle. We established pretty well that with regards to the modern 4 digit Chanel code, the first two digits are the month....and the last two digits were thought to be the place. But actually, I believe only the very last digit is the place. The third, or second to last, digit actually seems to indicate the cycle of 99 months. The first cycle, which appears as zero (0) in the code, was from Jan. 2000 to March 2008 (<when 99 was reached in the first two digits). After the first two digits reached 99 in March 2008, the second cycle began, and it is signified by the third digit in the code going from zero to one. Thus we arrive at these dates for reference purposes:

    0101 = Jan. 2000
    9901 = March 2008
    0111 = April 2008
    1311 = April 2009
    2011 = Nov. 2009
    2111 = Dec. 2009

    This accords well with my own Chanel bottles that I listed in my other post above; I'll demonstrate here:

    No. 5 Parfum 3.5ml bought in January '10 off Ebay: 2011....<this code signifies November 2009 (20th month of the second cycle, made in France)

    No. 19 EDT 3.4oz bought NIB in fall '09: 9401...this code signifies December 2007 (96th month of the original cycle, made in France)

    No. 5 EDT 3.4oz bought NIB in Jan. '10 off Ebay: 2114....this code means December 2009 (21st month of second cycle, made in USA which is confirmed by reading bottom of bottle)

    And all these code interpretations match well for when I actually purchased the bottles. Anyway....enjoy your weekend, everyone!!!
    Last edited by tourmaline; 10th April 2010 at 04:13 AM.

  12. #42

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    What about 0301?...This is on the back of my bottle of Platinum Egoiste

  13. #43

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Wait, I put my money on March 2000 Made In France!
    Last edited by EarNoseThroat; 10th April 2010 at 09:44 AM.

  14. #44

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by EarNoseThroat View Post
    Wait, I put my money on March 2000 Made In France!
    Yes, that's correct as far as I can tell!

    In my post above from last night I suggested among other things that the final digit "1" means made in France, and final digit "4" means made in USA. Probably though, the final numbers don't just refer to the country it's made but rather to specific facilities within the country. So probably "1" as the final digit refers to the main facility in France, maybe 2 would refer to a different facility in France, 4 refers to a specific facility in the US, etc. Just a hypothesis.

  15. #45
    smeller
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    It does not make any sense to me.
    I have little patience to math, so if anyone can help me to analyse these codes, just to see if my conclusion is correct, I would be glad.

    9424
    7201
    0201

    After the answer, I will reveal what is the older bottle. Perhaps you will be surprised.

  16. #46

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by smeller View Post
    It does not make any sense to me.
    I have little patience to math, so if anyone can help me to analyse these codes, just to see if my conclusion is correct, I would be glad.

    9424
    7201
    0201

    After the answer, I will reveal what is the older bottle. Perhaps you will be surprised.
    Okay, if one of your bottle says 9424 then my theory is very wrong. I have no idea what that 2 in the third digit of your code would mean, but its presence totally contradicts my hypothesis . Sooo...I give up. ;-)

  17. #47
    smeller
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by tourmaline View Post
    Okay, if one of your bottle says 9424 then my theory is very wrong. I have no idea what that 2 in the third digit of your code would mean, but its presence totally contradicts my hypothesis . Sooo...I give up. ;-)
    Tourmaline, I honestly wish you were correct, because it makes some of my bottles older...


    But the 9424 bottle is a vintage Égoïste made 1998 or even earlier, so it doesn't fit... any thoughts?

  18. #48
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    9401 on my bottle which makes perfect sense. now, if only someone could crack the pre-2000 codes.

  19. #49

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by smeller View Post
    Tourmaline, I honestly wish you were correct, because it makes some of my bottles older...


    But the 9424 bottle is a vintage Égoïste made 1998 or even earlier, so it doesn't fit... any thoughts?
    Aha...Well that's interesting. Because the system of dating that is laid out in this thread ONLY applies to Chanel bottles made AFTER the year 2000. So maybe my theory is still correct. Your code for your pre-2000 Egoiste does not factor into the date codes that we are dealing with in this thread which are all after Jan. 2000 (when the code 0101 began). So unless someone can provide a Chanel code for a bottle that was DEFINITELY manufactured after the year 2000 and which contains a number HIGHER than 1 in the 3rd digit.....then I think my hypothesis may still be correct. :-)
    Last edited by tourmaline; 11th April 2010 at 08:55 AM.

  20. #50
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by smeller View Post
    But the 9424 bottle is a vintage Égoïste made 1998 or even earlier, so it doesn't fit... any thoughts?
    this site calculates that as 10/2007, which is the same as my bottle 9401. so, according to their info these last digits do not seem to matter. but then again, it seems like they don't have the pre-millennium code's either. and all the post march 2008 codes give an error as well, so i can't confirm this theory either.

  21. #51

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    this site calculates that as 10/2007, which is the same as my bottle 9401. so, according to their info these last digits do not seem to matter. but then again, it seems like they don't have the pre-millennium code's either. and all the post march 2008 codes give an error as well, so i can't confirm this theory either.
    Yes, that code calculator seems to have been set up to only calculate the dates of the original post-2000 timeline from Jan 2000 to March 2008. When I enter the very old code on the bottom of my vintage Chanel No. 5 Parfum (87Y) it tells me March 2007 which is the date that 87 would be in the original post 2000 timeline - as if it had read 8701.

  22. #52
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    mm. the 87Y code probably does not work in the same way. if the letter shifts every time they reach 100 months, your bottle must date about a century from now into the future. possibly there is no obvious relation with dates, they are likely just batch codes. or not?

    it could help if lots of people would post their older codes along with dates. finding a method to date vintage chanel would be sweet. :)
    Last edited by gido; 11th April 2010 at 09:24 PM.

  23. #53
    smeller
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    I believe this is one of the best threads ever, because people keep discussing recent vs. older reformulations without even noticing the real production year of their bottles.

    My 0201 bottle was bought last week, and I was assuming it is recently produced. I hope it isn't, because it seems like I got an older formulation by chance.

    I wish someone could crack other houses' codes.

  24. #54
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    the link i provided has a list with many houses. i noticed that with at least some of them (i remember guerlain and chanel) only more recent (say post-2000) codes are working. entering a few codes and then studying the outcome, then entering a few more et cetera, will likely reveal the key.
    please report back to basenotes if you do. ;)
    Last edited by gido; 11th April 2010 at 09:31 PM.

  25. #55
    smeller
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    the link i provided has a list with many houses. i noticed that with at least some of them (i remember guerlain and chanel) only more recent (say post-2000) codes are working. entering a few codes and then studying the outcome, then entering a few more et cetera, will likely reveal the key.
    please report back to basenotes if you do.
    That's great! Now I see your link, thank you.

  26. #56
    smeller
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    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by gido View Post
    the link i provided has a list with many houses. i noticed that with at least some of them (i remember guerlain and chanel) only more recent (say post-2000) codes are working. entering a few codes and then studying the outcome, then entering a few more et cetera, will likely reveal the key.
    please report back to basenotes if you do.
    Gido, your link is great and seems to work perfectly with Dior, Chanel, Givenchy and Guerlain. Unfortunately I can't say the same on YSL. Great finding, anyway.

  27. #57

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    This is some fascinating reading! My mind is all aboggle here...

    I have just bought a very vintage 250ml bottle of No5 EDC.
    The bottom of the box reads:

    M.M.
    No.1484 75° Made in France

    Has a pre-2000 code-cracking formula been discovered yet?
    My guess is that this bottle is 60's (ish)

    To further add to the mystery... there is a large printed number on the bottom flap INSIDE the box which reads:
    25068200

    Would anyone even like to try to take a stab at that one?
    Last edited by Sorcery of Scent; 4th May 2010 at 09:34 PM.

  28. #58

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    I don't get it, according to that site, my platinum egoiste is almost ten years old. I just purchased this recently from sears. ;/

    The serial is 0901

  29. #59

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    double post
    Last edited by gourmand; 4th May 2010 at 11:52 PM. Reason: double post

  30. #60

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by gourmand View Post
    I don't get it, according to that site, my platinum egoiste is almost ten years old. I just purchased this recently from sears. ;/

    The serial is 0901
    My PE read a code that said it's from 2001 also. I bought it in 2007. Weird. I doubt that's right. Still smells amazing though.
    Last edited by G Man; 4th May 2010 at 11:54 PM.

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