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“You smell amazing,” a friend of mine told me last weekend. “What are you wearing?” she asked. I reached for my bag, pulling out a travel size bottle of Escentric Molecules Molecule 01. “Oh my god, no way,” she replied, obviously recognising the iconic fragrance. “That smells SO different and SO good on you!”
This right here is the reason I have had a near-ten year relationship with Molecule 01. Tired of the Santal’s, the Pomegranate Noir’s and the No.5’s of the world, I have often looked to perfumes that offer something unique, even if largely undetectable. Molecule 01 is perhaps the only scent that is worn by many but when on, recognised by few, due to its chameleon-esque ability to smell different on everybody.
I first started wearing Molecule 01 nearly ten years ago, and have had a bit of a ‘will-they-won’t-they’ relationship with the spritz ever since. After a good few years where it got left on the shelf collecting dust, 2023 has seen our relationship entirely revived – and stronger than ever. It’s now become my go-to, with a new 100ml bottle sitting on my perfume table for home, and a travel size for on-the-go.
Escentric Molecules Molecule 01: my verdict
- Notes: a single note, Iso E Super
- Price: starting at £43
- Smells like: different on everybody
What is Escentric Molecules Molecule 01?
Escentric Molecules broke the mould when it was first launched in 2006 by ‘rebel’ of the fragrance world, Geza Schoen. Disillusioned with the perfume market, Schoen wanted to do something bold to shake things up – and that he certainly did.
He launched Escentric 01 and Molecule 01 first, both of which centred around a single note: Iso E Super. However, while Escentric was bulked out and complemented with other ingredients, Molecule featured just the note itself. Succeeding launches (02, 03, 04 and so on…) have taken the same idea but with different notes.
What does Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 smell like?
The idea of Molecule 01, my favourite, is to blend a singular note with the natural pheromones of each individual person to form an entirely unique scent. Because of this, it smells different on different people (as my experience above shows). Brands like Phlur might be killing it now with this concept (‘Missing Person’ perfume, I’m looking at you), but remember: EM did it first.
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If you’re looking for a bold, fearless scent, this may not be for you. Molecule 01 is subtle, low-key and pared-back. It’s also sometimes undetectable on yourself, only smelt by others instead.
Is it true you can’t smell Molecule 01 on yourself?
For me, this is not the case; I can smell it on myself and to be honest, this is important as part of my enjoyment of fragrance is being able to sniff it throughout the day at my wrist or neck.
On me, I often think it smells a bit like gin. Weird, I know, but I use this analogy to highlight how cool and sexy it makes me feel. I honestly can’t get enough.
How much is Molecule 01 and where can I buy it?
You can buy Escentric Molecules perfumes at a number of retailers, including Cult Beauty, Liberty and Selfridges.
The brand now consists of a whole line of fragrances, from the OG 01 to 05 (in both Escentric and Molecule scents), along with a line of Molecule+ supplementary options.
The best Escentric Molecule fragrance buys
As well as the fragrances, you can also shop for shower gels, which I find really help to amplify the scent of each.
Molecule 01 starts at £43 for a 30ml bottle, while the 100ml bottle is £79.