Égoïste / L'Égoïste 
Chanel (1990)

Average Rating:  224 User Reviews

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Égoïste / L'Égoïste by Chanel

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About Égoïste / L'Égoïste by Chanel

People & Companies

Fragrance House
Jacques Polge

Launched in 1990. A woody, spicy fragrance with a vanilla and sandalwood drydown.The fragrance was originally launched in the USA as a limited edition called 'Bois Noir' in 1987.

Fragrance notes.

  1. Top Notes

  2. Heart Notes

  3. Base Notes

Where to buy Égoïste / L'Égoïste

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Reviews of Égoïste / L'Égoïste by Chanel

There are 224 reviews of Égoïste / L'Égoïste by Chanel.

I don't precisely remember why I purchased a bottle of this stuff, but I had it in my head that is was a little challenging. Somewhere along the way I think someone said it was a fougere. Not sure.

Coming from my olifactory memory, this is a grandma scent. It's dominated by a feminine fruity rose.... It just screams grandma's makeup cabinet when I first sprayed it.

The syrupy grandma smell dissipated in drydown and left me with a cloyingly sweet rose/ fruit. I tried it again next day just to be sure I wasn't missing something in my initial assessment. I was. Largely the same experience, grandma's rose perfume followed by a sickly sweet rose/ fruit/ baby powder.

Just about finished a 50 ml bottle. It's the rectangular bottle with the continuous (longer vertical) black cap. I believe this version has a more challenging opening as the citrussy tangerine clashes with the smooth sandalwood and gentle spices. The opening had been 'cortected' in the reformulated (horizontal cap) version. But it is all part of the charm and adds interest.

My general feeling is that this comes off as an almost Sandalwood Soliflore. The buttery, spicy (cinnamon), floral (rock rose) aspects feel like an extension of the characteristic of the Sandalwood. Even a slight dark cherry feel and images of antique french-polished mahogany furniture. Quite an ingenious exploration / extrapolation of the sandalwood note.

Uber smooth and sophisticated and always done with a gentle touch. Very Chanel. Could sound heavy and dense but is in fact airy and ephemeral. Great for formal / special occasion wear. One idiosyncratic image that comes to my mind is a classic Jaguar car with a lacquered rosewood dash.

Objective qualities aside. Unsure if I'll replace my bottle. Most of the magic is within the first hour and then becomes a slightly flat, close, warm (sweaty?)Sandalwood. Maybe it's just not quite 'me'. Maybe hindered by the limitations of artificial sandalwood.

Overall a timeless classic well suited to the right gentleman. Subjectively, not quite hitting masterpiece status.

No man is an Island.
And, to extend the John Donne metaphor,
Égoïste is not entire of himself
he is partly Antaeus.
And both have roots elsewhere.

Jacques Polge was wont to repeat himself - like many perfumers: Ernest Beaux with his Arctic bouquet of aldehydes, and Sophia Grojsman's Hug Me accord, developed across a whole career spanning Trésor, Paris and Sun Moon Stars, for example.

There is no shame in this, there are valid reasons for doing so.
Repetition allows an idea to be worked out, and techniques honed. Without repetition artists would have no signature style.
By repeating Mont Sainte-Victoire, Cézanne didn't have to think about what subject to paint and was free to discover new facets of the subject, and hone his impressionistic pre-cubist vision at the same time. Lowry's narrow palette and repeated subject matter make his landscapes of early industrial England highly distinctive. Picasso repeated himself many times over, with his collages, Blue and Rose Periods, harlequins and Cubism; he excelled in each.

Repetition is comprehensibility on a meta scale. Where ...
Comprehensibity is coherence on a large scale (or structure) and
Coherence is legibility on a small scale (an accord).

Luca Turin says coherence is akin to concentration in the martial arts, the ability to do miraculous things with the same materials as everyone else.
Jacques Polge was a master of coherence (he could make great accords), as well as comprehensibility (he knew how to string them together artfully), and was no slouch where repetition was concerned, all of his fruity woods are excellent.

Antaeus (1981) and Égoïste (1990) are, as quite often happens in perfumery, both derived from a feminine source. Polge took the floral bouquet and fruity woods of Ungaro (1977), and adapted them to a masculine agenda.

In the light of this Égoïste and Antaeus are inevitably similar. You could liken them to tonic wines brewed by an order of monks on a remote hillside in Italy. Where Antaeus is the more straight-up woody-fruity one, dressed with a light powdery sweetness, Égoïste is more of a rich liqueur, with herbal-bitters, a prune-like fruitiness, mahogany and a myrrh-like balsamic.
It's more hearty, rounded, deeper; very nice; but myself, I prefer the softer drydown of Antaeus.

[Vintage sample from miniature square bottle]

If you want a good spicy fragrance you should try this. Egoiste composed of strong warm spices along with a gentle smell of rose and carnation on an elegant woody base. The dominant aroma of this fragrance is a combination of coriander, cinnamon, cardamom and chili peppers; (just like curry powder). It can't be said that it's a sweet scent (in the sense that sweetness prevails in it), its sweetness is only due to sweet spices, there is even a little sourness in it. Its smell evokes dark red color. Suitable for middle-aged people.

Egoiste by Chanel, for me, is one of the great and timeless classics that brings me straight back to my childhood. In 1990, when it came out, I was just over 6 years old and I still remember that smell.

1st version, 1990-94
It is a wonderful, warm, creamy, enveloping perfume, with a pungent and cutting aspect given by the citrus notes, very spicy and with a slightly sweet base. For sure when it came out it was an absolutely revolutionary perfume, perhaps the one that started all that vein of new spicy and sweet men fragrance that led, unfortunately, in an aberrant way, to those modern chemical bombs of coumarin and vanillin that make you smell like a walking cupcakes. What must be said is that, despite the tendency to be sweet, Egoiste never really becomes so, it maintains a spicy and woody connotation that is never overwhelmed by sweetness; the latter, in fact, remains constant but acts only as a base for the note of sandalwood and cinnamon that characterizes the perfume. Equally important are the floral notes of the heart, wonderful and brilliant. The new one, which I had the opportunity to smell a few months ago in perfumery, is not bad, on the contrary ... given the composition of the mixture I was expecting something scandalously obscene and instead ... it lets itself be appreciated. Of course, it is the "watered down" and a little dull version of the original, but I must admit that if I didn't have a decent stock of the first version I would buy the new one without too many worries. Finally, as for versatility, for me it is an evening perfume, for going out, for dating, when you are (as a rule should be) well dressed and ready to spend the evening in the company of a woman. Discrete performance, nothing exceptional, but it can be appreciated and spent the evening quietly; let's say 5-6 hours on skin quietly and discreet projection for the first hour, then it settles down to a skinscent or a little more.

I found the current and vintage (original formulation) to be different. To my nose the current formulation, my large decant is from 2014/15, was difficult to wear. Specifically it was rather disjointed, unsmooth so to speak. It had the elements of Egoiste there - you could identify some of the notes like the vanilla, spices, florals, woods, but it just didn't feel natural. Early on after application it wasn't appealing at all, it wasn't until several hours after did things kind of fall into place where I get the familiar Egoiste base. Now for the original formulation from the 1990s, all of the notes :vanilla, spices, tobacco, rose, and sandalwood were all distinctively noticeable at different stages of the scent. It was smooth, comforting, pleasing to the nose. With the vintage, I enjoyed the entire aspect of the scent from start to finish with the drydown being excellent. Fortunately vintage Egoiste EDT bottles are still readily available to come by and good deals can be found with a little patience. It's cousin Egoiste Cologne Concentree is another beauty. If you want the spice notes to be amped up a notch higher this is worth looking at it. The dry downs in the EDT and Cologne Concentree are comparable. For more vanilla the EDT is the one to look at, for more spice the cologne concetree is the one to look at. Cologne Concentree has a slightly higher premium but the scent compositions are different enough to justify owning both. Egoiste is quite versatile, it's one of my stables at the office or casual going out during the day.

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