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  1. #1

    Default Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Well, in the spirit of the earlier L'artisan Date Code inquiries (which bore some useful info from a number of very logical B-noters, I think), I thought I'd start another with Chanel's coding. What can we decipher that might help us tell good stock from bad as to the 4-digit codes printed on many of the bottles and boxes? I'll start:

    On my bottles of the following is inscribed the following numbers:
    1. Cuir de Russie EDT: 7401
    2. Bois des Iles EDT: 7101
    3. Antaeus: 7401
    4. Egoiste: 6202
    5. PM Eau de Concentree: I can't find one (but I don't have the box anymore, either)

    Any thoughts or possibilities? All of my bottles of the above fragrances were bought after 2005, so I don't think that the second number is a year of make...

    So, what do you think? Please post your other Chanel fragrance numbers and opinions on what they might mean.
    Last edited by rach2jlc; 17th January 2007 at 03:59 AM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  2. #2

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Actually, my Allure Homme Sport has a series of / and ', the 's being in four different heights in the line of code.

    So if l' is the bottommost, lm' is just above it, m' is in the middle, and t' denotes one in the same place as the other l' ones with another one near the top of the slash, mine looks like..

    /m'm'm'/lm'l'l'/ t'/l'

    Weird..?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    From past email communications with Chanel "Consumer Relations":

    The code, either 2 letters and a number or 4 numbers, represents the production date and place of origin.

    Chanel identified the following codes for me from my Egoiste bottles:
    5401 = June 2004 France
    2002 = August 2001 (they didn't tell me the origin on this one)

    I don't know if there is a pattern that can be discovered just by looking at a few codes however.

    According to the posts so far, the last two digits - '01' and '02' - may represent the origin, '01' probably being France. Anybody know where a second manufacturing plant may be and if there are more? In my examples, '54' must represent June 2004 and '20' must represent August 2001 but I don't see a pattern to use to extrapolate rach2jlc's dates from his codes.

    genvy5, I don't know what's going on with your AHS.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Mad Scientist, if you are correct, it may be that each successive month has the number represented by the first two digits increased by one.

    As an illustration - if August 2001 is month '20' then 34 months on from that would be June 2004 which is, hey presto, number 54.

    No idea if this is correct, but it would suggest that we should be looking for the highest possible number represented by the two digits beginning the code if we want the 'freshest' bottle.
    Last edited by Dante; 17th January 2007 at 05:28 PM.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    That makes a LOT of sense, Dante. According to your model (and madscientists initial post), my Chanels would be... and please double check my math...

    1. Cuir de Russie EDT: 7401: February 2006, France (or 54 months after code "20"= August 2001)
    2. Bois des Iles EDT: 7101: November 2005, France
    3. Antaeus: 7401: February 2006, France
    4. Egoiste: 6202: February 2005, (Location?)

    That would all work logically, seeing as how I got all of them after those times.

    ThANKS for the hints. I think we just may be on to something here as well...
    Last edited by rach2jlc; 19th January 2007 at 02:00 PM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  6. #6

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Very nice. We need more Chanel codes!

    Chanel isn't secretive about it though. I don't know if they'd explain the pattern to you if you asked but I didn't have any trouble at all getting them to tell me the manufacture dates from the codes I gave them. You can contact them through their 'contact us' page at their website.

    But it's more fun if we can figure it out ourselves

    BTW, I purchased the August 2001 Egoiste (code 2002) in August 2005 from Perfumebay.com. Chanel said this was significantly past "shelf life"; I sent it back. I purchased the June 2004 bottle (code 5401) in September 2006 from Scentmonkey.com. Chanel said it was within its shelf life (just barely I suspect).
    Last edited by MadScientist; 17th January 2007 at 05:36 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Just wanted to bump this up again, since I think it could be helpful to many members with Chanel stuff.

    August 2001 is code "20"... , so that would mean that January 2000 is code 00 (right?) Therefore, the first two numbers of the code SHOULD be the number of months AFTER January 2000.

    So, my CdR starts with "74", which is 74 months after January 2000 (or 54 months past August 2001, which we know is code "20") or February 2006. That fits with when I would have purchased mine.

    Any other codes people want to submit to test this some more? For those of us who order discount online, it could really help us tell if we're getting a good deal or just getting stock "past its shelf life."
    Last edited by rach2jlc; 19th January 2007 at 02:03 PM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  8. #8

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Well my egoiste is 6501. Bought in the UK so 01 for france makes sense and 65 would be jun 2005. I bought it online in mid 2006 so its perfectly plausible. The evidence is not contradicting the hypothesis so far, but that is not the same as proof!

    I would love to know if madscientist/dante have got it correct with their rather excellent deductions.
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

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    reviews

  9. #9

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    I just received a 75ml tester of Chanel PM today from bigdiscount.com.

    Here are the particulars...


    Label on side of box:


    POUR MONSIUER
    CHANEL
    PARIS

    EAU DE TOILETTE CONCENTRE
    VAPORISATEUR - SPRAY
    DEMONSTRATION - TESTER

    NE PEUT ETRE VENDU - NOT FOR SALE
    027452
    75ml 2.5 fl oz.
    EMB 60159 B Made in France

    There is also a barcode on the top of the box, which looks newer than the Chanel label:

    *BD00001683*
    “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”

    ~ Robert Brault

  10. #10

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Well, I have to bump this. i've been looking for a cheap bottle of Egoiste for a friend who said he couldn't find it anynmore. I bought a bottle off of ebay cheap. $26.99. Of course it was listed as brand new. Well, it doesn't look very used but it is old.
    I compared it to my bottle:

    8002 August 2006

    ebay bottle:
    0527 May 2000

    It smells the same so no major complaints at the price I paid. Just thought I would throw some more dates up for people to see.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Here's a stumper for you...My bottle reads;
    50 ml 1.7 fl oz 1
    I guess it's safe to assume it was made in France

  12. #12

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Well thats not as bad as my bottle of Allure that says "Made in the U.S.A" on the bottom and on the bottle of Platinum Egoiste that only has a '7' directly under the 1.7 oz on the bottom of the bottle. I picked both of them up from Macys not even a week ago...

    I'm still looking for a cheap, new date code on the bottom, lol, bottle of Egoiste. Anyone know where I can get one ??

  13. #13

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Scentsibility,

    You don't seem to mention anything from the bottom of the box. See below.


    snakesandladders,

    0527 does not look like a valid number based on the pattern deduced above.


    CuyahogaJoe & 1280adam,
    That looks like information from the bottom of the bottle. See below.


    The code you are looking for is not on the bottom of the bottle. It is near the bottom of the BACK of the bottle and it may be difficult to see. The code should also be stamped into the bottom of the box.

  14. #14

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by MadScientist
    The code you are looking for is not on the bottom of the bottle. It is near the bottom of the BACK of the bottle and it may be difficult to see. The code should also be stamped into the bottom of the box.
    MS is correct; it is a four digit code stamped onto the bottom of the box. On the bottle, also, it seems to be lightly stamped/marked. It MAY wear off over time or with usage (after using my Antaeus for a while, it is now getting harder to see), so definitely check the box.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  15. #15

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    there is no stamp on the box for PE for me. It is on the bottle in the back bottom though..very hard to see..must be at a right angle.

    ps mine is 1347. is that old? i will take it back if its past shelf life. i went to chanel.com but the contact us section is not working.
    Last edited by G Man; 18th March 2007 at 06:50 AM.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    My Egoiste is 5902.

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

    my Anataeus bought directly from Chanel USA is 7401 purchased last summer
    Egoiste purchased on the web, fall early winter 2006, from a retailer is 7201

  18. #18

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by MadScientist View Post
    Scentsibility,

    You don't seem to mention anything from the bottom of the box. See below.


    snakesandladders,

    0527 does not look like a valid number based on the pattern deduced above.


    CuyahogaJoe & 1280adam,
    That looks like information from the bottom of the bottle. See below.


    The code you are looking for is not on the bottom of the bottle. It is near the bottom of the BACK of the bottle and it may be difficult to see. The code should also be stamped into the bottom of the box.
    The 0527 bottle is definitely legit but the bottle appeared to be super, super old. Perhaps starting at 2000? As I had mentioned, I was picking up that bottle cheap for a friend that missed owning it.
    The one thing I noticed was the color was darker than my fresher bottle. Smells just as good.
    Last edited by snakesandladders; 18th March 2007 at 04:58 PM.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Last week I ordered two from FragranceX.com.

    Egoiste: 5702 = Sept. '03 \ If my calculations are right
    Antaeus: 6601 = June '04 /

    So I guess they're a bit old but smell fine.


    Serendeep

  20. #20

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    I'm adding my Chanel dates here for your sleuthing pleasure.

    Bois des Iles EDT - 7401 - purchased at Chanel Boutique Jan2007

    Cuir de Russie EDT -7401 - purchased from rach2jlc

    Coco EDP - 7401 - purchased retail from boutique drug store Feb2007

    Coco Mlle - 8101 - purchased retail from boutique drug store Feb2007

    Bois des Iles Parfum - purchased from Chanel Boutique Jan 2007, no embossed code on the bottom of box, but there is a printed code 120.011

    So.... the 7401 would be Feb 2006, which doesn't surprise me. The 8101 for Coco Mlle would be Nov 2006, which fits as well.

    No idea about the Bois des Iles Parfum, though.
    I'm simplifying my life. For Sale Thread (some niche, some designer):
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  21. #21

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    This is very disappointing! I must have a bottle made in like in january 2002 (1347 is the code)! I just bought it a month ago! URGH! If i contact chanel, could they give me some type of receipt saying I can return it? I bought it at macy's. not sure if i still have their reciept.

  22. #22

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Quote Originally Posted by dimples View Post
    Bois des Iles Parfum - purchased from Chanel Boutique Jan 2007, no embossed code on the bottom of box, but there is a printed code 120.011
    I have a similar code on the bottom of my Egoiste box just below the date/location code.

    Quote Originally Posted by G Man View Post
    This is very disappointing! I must have a bottle made in like in january 2002 (1347 is the code)! I just bought it a month ago! URGH! If i contact chanel, could they give me some type of receipt saying I can return it? I bought it at macy's. not sure if i still have their reciept.
    You should definitely try to contact Chanel and let us know what you find out because the second two numbers do not seem to fit our coding-scheme theory. Neither does snakesandladders' code. Maybe there was a different pre-2000 scheme. I have 2124 printed on the bottom of my Antaeus mini box.

    If Chanel says it's really old, you could try taking that information back to Macy's to get your money back. I don't know what their return policy is (w/wo receipt).
    Last edited by MadScientist; 18th March 2007 at 04:41 PM.

  23. #23

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    omg..PRE-2000?!?!

    I hope it's more like.. 2007 scheme. hehe. I did just email them. It wasn't working last night, but the page loaded today.

    By the way, not sure if i said this already, but the "1" looks like the letter "I" Does any body elses "1" in their code on the bottle look like the letter "I"?

    and I am sure it reads exactly like this..used 3 people's eyes and a magnifying glass. "I347" looks just like that on the bottle in the back in hard to see engraving.

    I have a deodorant stick that says "8106" on the bottom. so i suppose that's much newer than my bottle of PE.. I got them at the same time in early 2007.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    I don't see what the problem is. I know a guy with a 14 year old bottle of PM by Chanel. It still smells great. 2002 is not that old, believe me, they're gonna last a long time if you take care of them. Chanel isn't going to replace them if you bought it from Macy's, Macy's will have to replace it.
    - Rich
    As always, disregard most of what I say. It's not worth your heart health to actually worry about what a 23 year old guy from Kansas thinks. Even if he is really ridiculously good looking.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    it may smell great but is the power of longevity/sillage the same?

  26. #26

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code


    This whole dating thing, IMO, has gotten way out of hand and has become quite absurd, and for that we can, mainly, thank the poor quality control and careless distribution of Creed.

    How about asking if the fragrance smells okay rather than looking at the date and immediately getting the urge to contact Chanel, who in my opinion couldn't care less about any bottle that wasn't purchase from an authorized dealer?

    I've posted extensively on what makes fragrances go off, and I'll repeat the upshot of all my experience based on 30 years of buying fragrances and having purchased, at last estimate, over 2500 bottles during that time:

    Fragrances don't go bad because they're old. They usually deteriorate because of improper storage and especially because of exposure to light and air. There are multiple threads on this and related topics for one's edification, all of which can be accessed with a little effort.

    Of all the bottles I've bought over the years, I've had only a handful, and I mean that literally (at the most five) that were off. All of those were unboxed bottles. I have at least twenty bottles that are over 30 years old, about 80 that are over twenty years old, and hundreds that are anywhere from twenty to zero years old and all of them are okay. Many of those bottles are Chanels.

    I wonder what the value of starting a thread or posting to the main board is every time someone has anxiety over a purchase. Personally, I don't think there is any value to it at all. If you're not sure about a purchase, message a buddy and swap samples and compare. Don't clutter the board with another OMG, my Creed/Chanel is two years thread or post.

    I'll be happy to be one of those people to swap samples for comparison purposes if you think your bottle is off, which in ALL likelihood, it's not.

    I am not singling out any one person in particular. I am talking in general about the profusion of what I consider pointless threads and posts. I at least have suggested a way to solve this anxiety over dates and date codes etc. I'll put my money where my mouth is: again, if you're unsure, send me a sample. If I have what you're unsure about, I'll be happy to send you a comparison sample.

    scentemental

    Last edited by scentemental; 18th March 2007 at 04:41 PM.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    I could not agree with Scentemental more.
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  28. #28

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Personally, my interest lies in that we have cooperated in possibly deciphering Chanel's bottle/juice identification scheme, not that they have been secretive about it. A true BN forum collaboration that has resulted in something useful. IF ONLY we could do this with Creed.

    I agree that in most cases, if the perfume is properly stored by the retailer, we shouldn't need to be too concerned about how old it is - within reason. However, a lot of times it comes down to principle for me. If there is a manufacturer-specified 'shelf life' for a perfume, then a responsible retailer should follow the manufacturer's guidelines for removal/return. If I see a bottle of Egoiste made in 2007 next to a bottle of Egoiste made in 2005, I'm going to buy the bottle made in 2007. If you went to buy a Caddy and there were two identical models on the lot, both brand-new, both the same price, but one was a 2006 and the other a 2007, which would you buy?

  29. #29

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    Scentemental, as usual, is very correct.

    As the starter of this thread (and the L'artisan code one), it was more my point just to give us more info about our bottles for the sake of knowledge than to worry about the juice. I, too, go by smell and not by date, because I have lots of older bottles that are fine. Having once received an old bottle of Caron PuH smelling like something that crawled up my chimney last winter and died (but had bathed in lavender just before doing it), I can tell when a bottle turns regardless of what the date on the bottom says.

    But, just for curiosity sake, I think it is interesting to know when a bottle was made because it makes one more knowledgable about a product for which they're paying lots of money. Same with knowing Vuitton's coding system when buying a bag, it just makes one a more informed citizen and lets you know if a deal might be too good to be true (for example, if a salesperson says about an item being charged at full-retail, "oh yes, you should buy this, it just came off the truck!" but is really seven years old).

    Of course, I didn't really intend it to become a "OMG, can I return it? It's 5 years old!" hysteria. But, as far as I can see, it's only one member who is worried.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  30. #30

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    (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.

  31. #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.

  32. #32

    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 10:12 PM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  33. #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.

  34. #34

    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 10:30 PM.
    Is there any point in saying everything? -Basho

  35. #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.

  36. #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.

  37. #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; 19th March 2007 at 12:48 AM.

  38. #38

    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

  39. #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.

  40. #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

  41. #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 05:13 AM.

  42. #42

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

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

  43. #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 10:44 AM.

  44. #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.

  45. #45
    smeller
    Guest

    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.

  46. #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. ;-)

  47. #47
    smeller
    Guest

    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?

  48. #48

    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.

  49. #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 09:55 AM.

  50. #50

    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.

  51. #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.

  52. #52

    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 10:24 PM.

  53. #53
    smeller
    Guest

    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.

  54. #54

    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 10:31 PM.

  55. #55
    smeller
    Guest

    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.

  56. #56
    smeller
    Guest

    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.

  57. #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 10:34 PM.

  58. #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

  59. #59

    Default Re: Cracking the Chanel Date Code

    double post
    Last edited by gourmand; 5th May 2010 at 12:52 AM. Reason: double post

  60. #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; 5th May 2010 at 12:54 AM.

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