The Fluid Nature of Escentric Molecules Molecule 01

13 May 2016

 Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 Review

Escentric Molecules Molecule 01. The singular note Iso E Super, diluted and bottled. Hailed as something extraordinary, this minimalist take on fragrance has been noted as something of a cult classic. Created by Swedish perfumer Geza Schöen in 1990, in an attempt to create the ultimate skin-scent, people have even been stopped in the street because of it.

Iso E Super which is the trademark name of aromachemical 7-acetyl, 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8-octahydro-1,1,6,7-tetramethyl naphthalene, is a synthetic ketone molecule that creates an aura close to the skin. It has a natural cedar-like scent and is often used in fragrances to give off a velvety impression, although for the most part, it is virtually scentless. It relies on the skin's heat to release its scent, which is why it doesn't have any kind of wow-factor when sprayed on a blotter.

Iso E Super is said to react the body's natural pheromones, meaning it will smell different on everyone, however that is nothing new. All perfumes do this to some degree. How many times have we smelt a scent on a friend, loved it and bought it only to find out it smells like cat piss on ourselves?

 Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 Review
credit: Escentric Molecules

Some people are anosmic to Iso E Super, meaning they are unable to smell it at all, and some are hypersensitive, with it triggering headaches and migraines. Iso E Super is used commonly in modern perfumery, yet fragrance site Fragrantica only lists 30 as having it as an "official" note, which could prove tricky if you find yourself sensitive to it. Iso E Super enhances and softens other notes, it creates depth and subtle strength, as well as working as a floraliser in men's fragrances particularly.

Molecule 01 (from £27 for 30ml) plays a game of hide and seek with the wearer. Often, the scent will disappear from the skin, only to return hours later. This effect is due to how the molecule bonds and is released by your olfactory receptors. When you first smell Molecule 01, you are greeted with a buzz of velvety wood a hint of citrus and a slight iris note. When the receptors are saturated, Molecule 01 appears scentless until the receptors become free again. This can take hours, and so the cycle starts again, and you suddenly find you can smell Molecule 01 once more.

 Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 Review

On the first spritz of Molecule 01, I was largely unimpressed. It smelled masculine, and woody and seemed to just sit on my skin. Yes it played a hide and seek act, but lacked magic. It's a scent that you can't overly smell if you set out to smell it. Sounds weird? It's when you don't expect it that you will get a whiff. I was a little irritated by the scent all day. I didn't hate it, but didn't love it either. It reminds me of the base notes of Diptyque Philosykos, which sometimes emerge in full force over the figgy green-ness and rather annoy me.

I'd pretty much written off the scent by the end of the day. It wasn't until I was lying in bed that I had an epiphany and realised it smelled rather sexy. Very hard to describe, but the best way of describing it is that it had that Hollister/Abercrombie vibe about it. Coincidentally, Abercrombie & Fitch cologne Fierce also contains a high concentration of Iso E Super. Molecule 01 has really grown on me and I'm looking forward to layering this with some of my existing favourites.

Is Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 worth the hype? Honestly, probably not. It really depends on your body's chemistry whether you'll enjoy it or even smell it. If you're really into fragrances, it's a fun one to experiment with, but it isn't essential otherwise. Whilst I can't say I've ever been stopped in the street because of Molecule 01, for me it works perfectly as a light daytime scent. To my nose at least, it isn't obnoxious in the slightest, being a sensual cocoon that leaves a delicate trail that hopefully tricks people into thinking is my natural skin scent...

Have you tried Molecule 01?
I'd love to know what you thought!

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