It was almost twenty years ago since I purchased my first bottle of Ēgoïste. Well, technically it was Mom who purchased it for me the first time. Although my memory is now deteriorating at a much faster pace than I would like, I still remember that purchase quite distinctly. Our family was on an international flight back from a holiday and I was allowed to buy a single in-flight duty free item as a treat. I was terribly excited and without even a prior sniff, I immediately begged for Ēgoïste. Why? I blame their sleek TV ads that filtered into my subconscious. And somehow, even at that young age, I knew that it was Chanel.
Thankfully, it was love at first sniff and I’ve never looked back since. In fact, it was probably Ēgoïste that piqued my curiosity and led me down the rabbit hole. I’ve read how Ēgoïste has changed ever so slightly over the years but I think the general consensus is that today’s formulation has held up pretty well. It blasts off on my skin with an explosion of alcoholic powdery greens and spices. The alcoholic aspect soon fades away and it continues on me this way for the next hour or so. I normally spritz this under my shirt near my collarbone as I find this initial phase can be quite overpowering for others around me. It is the next stage that I love the most. I’ve often read that Ēgoïste is primarily an oriental sandalwood scent. Whilst I do detect woods peeking through, on me, it only acts as a base for the rose and the gourmand notes that emanate from my skin. Many of my friends used to say that I smelled like apple pie whenever I wore this. Frankly, after so many years of wear, all I do smell now is “deliciousness”. The dry down comes only several hours later, a seemingly musky vanilla base which I find comforting. Ēgoïste never ventures into the “dirty scent” nor “grandma floral” territory but does smell a tad dated compared to the sheer freshness and edge of recent years’ new releases.
Despite delving into the world of niche perfumes since, I have repurchased Ēgoïste many times over the years. I reach for it almost automatically when I can’t decide what else to wear and even wear it to bed.
I adore Ēgoïste. Maybe because it evokes such great memories and emotions. Maybe because it was the first perfume I ever owned. Maybe it is a truly great scent. I will never know.