First things first:
Platinum, today extremely valuable and appreciated, both in technology and in the jewelry segment, was, like so many elements, far ahead of the time of its former discoverers.
This gray-white metal received its name in the age of colonization, more precisely, the local contemporaries used the term "platina", a diminutive of the Spanish word "plata" for silver.
At that time, this metal was considered a troublesome guest in the search for gold and so one or the other ancestor, without even wasting another thought on this concomitant, this unwanted "platina" unceremoniously, carelessly plop back over his shoulder into the river.
Today, platinum forms one of the many cornerstones and pillars upon which our civilized (capitalist) world is based, exists, prospers and prospers.
Apart from jewellery production, platinum is valued and technically processed due to its high melting point, its inert behaviour (chemical resistance) and its good catalytic properties. Platinum (along with other elements of the platinum metals) can be found in laboratory equipment, resistance wires, thermocouples and all kinds of catalysts. The best-known examples are detoxification catalysts such as Pt/Pd/Rh catalysts for car exhaust gases. (Nitrogen oxides, cat, lambda probe, environment, ring a bell?)
Now that the history and chemistry crash courses are over, it's on to the nitty gritty.
Chanel, a name, a traditional house and company, as familiar and prestigious; revered and cherished; storied and avant-garde as only a select few have managed in this big wide world.
We are in the middle of the confused 90s, a time of upheaval, turmoil, a partial renaissance, but above all an era of progressive digitalization and mechanization (SNES, Nintendo 64, Sega Megadrive, PlayStation, Game Boy and not to forget, the magnum opus of handhelds: Game Boy COLOR - inventions, with which even the kids of today are tangent from time to time).
In the midst of this globalization, the prêt-à-porter market is becoming more profitable and popular by the day. P-à-p, nothing new really, has been wafting around the fashion industry for over 60 years at that point. But the parity of society is picking up speed around the globe: Those who have money would also like to spend it again with full hands.
The quintessence behind Chanel's drumbeat lay (and still lies today) in the fact that while all those who scream for bread, just this bread was served by the baker, at Chanel, on the other hand, with the finest confectionery quality are served: Keyword Baumkuchen.
Neither Chanel nor Polge resign themselves to mere fare, it is composed, created, arranged and constructed.
Back to the 90s: while some find their way back to the old greatness and launch opulent and extravagant P-à-p collections (Tom Ford and Gucci send their regards), Chanel dedicates itself to the matter-of-fact purist style, both in terms of couture as well as olfactory.
Platinum Égoïste fits perfectly into this scheme: neither too experimental, nor too daring, but puristic and perfected in the highest form: ergo a symbiosis of haute couture and prêt-à-porter: available for the masses, but of the quality of a carefully manufakturell, from exquisite ingredients, created tailor-made suit: luxury off the rack, or in this case the drugstore or perfumery (globalization and commercialization can be warmly recommended at this point).
Why now the epithet Platinum?
Just as the market segment of luxury bar clothing is experiencing a flight of fancy, so are collectors, investors and lovers of platinum intoxicated by the steep breakthrough on the stock markets.
Platinum is experiencing a renaissance in the jewelry industry, this so costly extracted and presented (production in pure form) precious metal, once still displaced by (recently discovered) white gold in the 20s of the 20th century, is once again highly valued and loved by smiths, watchmakers, (coin) collectors and shareholders.
Contrary to (yellow) gold, platinum has always been considered the more demure precious metal.
The play of colors is more discreet, cooler and brighter, and above all, the maxim applies here: Understatement, which layman is able to distinguish from afar whether the wearer is adorned with noble platinum or silver suitable for the masses ? Even today, many people can not identify with the conspicuous presence and color of gold.
Platinum as a piece of jewelry appears more purist, more straightforward, and (in my humble opinion) far more sublime than any other precious metal. On top of that, it is also more multi-faceted and complementary with the entire color palette that the fashion world has to offer.
I feel the same way about Chanel's Platinum Égoïste:
It is not the most complex fragrance that has ever seen the light of day, it does not have to, because it fits seamlessly into the zeitgeist of the 90s, exemplary for Chanel's direction at that time (contemporaries hands up!).
A fragrance as puristic (keyword: dignified), stylish and multifaceted as the precious metal itself, a composition consisting of delicate (keyword: soft) components that in their entirety are more than the mere sum of their parts. An olfactory creation that represents a masculine (keyword: hard), sophisticated, yet entirely unobtrusive presence (catcalling was already uncool back then, at least that's how my mother taught me).
A composition which is accessible to the masses (keyword: prêt-à-porter), but sublime to all representatives of mass appealipng crowdpleasers (keyword: bread/tree cake or silver/platinum).
Actually, I'm borrowing from the concept of gender-typing fragrances, however there are (whether historically or socially) subjective associations to certain scents.
The ladies may be indulgent with me, but this so specific fragrance personifies a charming (no charm stud and also no charmer in casanovaschen manner), neat, well-read, balanced grand seigneur of the modern age.
Even if the 90s are long past and whose children now, with a bottle of wine in the designer tote bag on an e-scooter hurtle into the Big 30, the fragrance is by no means outdated.
Au contraire! Especially in the current era of fabric softeners and mop water, the organic juices they want to literally push on us as the olfactory grandeur of the 21st century, as they bring us good cheer and compliments compliments on immature school desk pressers, especially now it is important to stand up for yourself and express your character, or is all the tolerance and love of diversity only available on Instagram and Co. adorned with a cute hashtag?
Who can identify with understatement, purist elegance and individuality, this fragrance will snuggle like a second skin and dress him for Wahr in the aura of a Gentilhomme of modernity.
Young gentlemen listen up, the gentleman of today is still considered such in the hoodie and sneakers, as long as he behaves like one, the clothes are always secondary.
Stay gentle, stay humble, stay kind.
(full version on the blog)