I’m new to the world of Escentric Molecules. With so much noise in the world of perfumery, it’s understandable that many scents and in some cases, entire brands, will pass me by. Escentric Molecules is one such brand and whilst I’d always been aware of its existence I’d never spent much time exploring what it had to offer. Luckily for me, I now get to discover what all of the fuss is about for the first time as I sniff the latest pair of scents from Escentric Molecules: Molecule 04 & Escentric 04.
Escentric Molecules is the brainchild of German perfumer Geza Schoen. Now, you’ll know Geza from his work with Ormonde Jayne, Clive Christian and 4711, just to name a few of the illustrious houses he has lent his nose to. The idea behind his Escentric Molecules is simple (and really cool if you ask me). Fragrances are launched in pairs, with one Molecule scent and one Escentric. The Molecule is simply an aroma-chemical diluted in alcohol, whilst the Escentric boasts the material in a high concentration amongst other notes to create a more traditional composition. The idea is to pair chemistry with and personally, I think it goes a long way to demystify how fragrances are actually made as well as to showcase the beauty of the perfumer’s materials in isolation.
Following the brand’s famed use of molecules such as Iso E Super, Ambroxan and Vetiveryl Acetate, the latest duo to launch is an essay in Javanol, a sheer sandalwood molecule that is known for its intense freshness. “Imagine a sandalwood stripped of its heaviness to reveal a soft and sheer wood radiating silvery freshness” says Escentric Molecules “that’s Javanol”. In their latest binary pair, Escentric Molecules explore this unusual freshness by presenting Javanol in isolation as well as at the heart of a composition. The results are fascinating.
“What I love about Javanol is its almost psychedelic freshness. It smells as if liquid metal grapefruit peel were poured over a bed of velvety cream-coloured roses.”
– Geza Schoen
How Does it Smell?
Javanol is a pretty hefty molecule which means that it’s not that easy to smell in isolation. In fact, I must admit that I find it incredibly difficult to sniff on first application. Initially, once the bit of alcohol has subsided, Molecule 04 gives off a hint of a milky sandalwood that is ever so slightly metallic. I don’t detect much of a grapefruit facet because after a few moments, poof, Molecule 04 is gone. Never to be see again? Well, not quite! Throughout the day, Molecule 04 appears briefly, offering up a creamy, zesty sandalwood aura that is treads a tight rope walk between subtle and imperceptible. It’s a fascinating thing to wear in all honesty.
My experience with many of the Molecule fragrances is that they wear very differently to most perfumes because, in honesty, they aren’t fragrances in the way we would typically understand them. These scents are here to showcase a material in a pure state so that one can get to grips with its many facets. Yes, they’re wearable but it feels as if the primary objective isn’t to make something that is, it’s to educate and demystify by showing the real ‘magic’ that goes on behind the scenes when creating a perfume. This is why I think it’s best to enjoy these fragrances in pairs because then one really gets a sense of the artistic statement that Escentric Molecules are trying to make.
Top: Pink Grapefruit Peel, Juniper, Pink Pepper & Marijuana
Heart: Orris & Rose
Base: Javanol & Polysantol
How Does it Smell?
Escentric 04 is a WHOLE other kettle of fish in comparison to its molecular counterpart. By gosh is this stuff perceptible! It opens up with a tart, acidic grapefruit that has this wonderfully offbeat, milky texture – I don’t think I’ve ever smelled a grapefruit note so satisfying yet so unusual. Pink pepper adds a mineral touch, one that serves as a link to the metallic aspects of the Javanol in the base. Speaking of Javanol, Escentric 04 has tons of it and whilst it’s almost an enigma in Molecule 04, it comes across boldly in this composition, adding a nutty sort of creaminess in the base that is unmistakably sandalwood.
Escentric 04 is SO pleasant. It’s like wearing sunshine – but not the sunshine during the day, this is the burning orange glow of a sunset that fills the entire sky, like bright orange roses. There’s so many interesting things going on in Escentric 04: the milky grapefruit against a crackle of dry pepper, metallic minerals, creamy sandalwood and something ever so slightly powdery. It’s a truly fascinating fragrance and you know what? It might just be my favourite thing I’ve smelled this year so far. How’s that for an endorsement?
Molecule 04 and Escentric 04 are available in 100ml & 30ml Eau de Toilette.
Samples, notes and quotes via Escentric Molecules. Images are my own.