Fragrance review: Escentric 01 by Escentric Molecules

Escentric Molecules Escentric 01 fragrance

Escentric Molecules, a relatively new perfume house created by Berlin-based perfumer Geza Schoen. Molecule 01 consists solely of the aroma chemical Iso E Super. Escentric 01, the subject of today's review, is...

...an homage to a single scent ingredient. It consists of 'Iso E Super' in an unprecedented concentration (65%), together with other ingredients (including pink pepper, green lime and balsamic notes like benzoin, mastic and incense) in a new balance — rather than the traditional formula of top, heart and base notes, Escentric 01 moves quickly from top to bottom...It is as though the fragrance has no heart, but an enormous amount of soul. (via the Escentric Molecule website)

The above is so accurate a description of the experience of wearing Escentric 01 that there is little I can add to it. It starts with a lovely burst of lime and pepper that recalls Ormonde Jayne Isfarkand, then rapidly dries down to a cushiony-soft blend of vague woods. International Flavors & Fragrances describes Iso E Super as a...

Smooth, woody, amber note with a 'velvet' like sensation. Superb floralizer. Used to impart fullness and subtle strength to fragrances.

That just about covers the rest of the story. There is the slightest suggestion of iris root and smoky incense, and not much else.

Perhaps because Iso E Super is widely used as a base note, there isn't really anything strikingly unusual about Escentric 01, but all the same, it is a lovely smell, very warm and comforting. It has a subtle presence, but lasts nearly forever — easily 8 to 10 hours. However, if you enjoy the drama of watching (smelling?) your fragrance unfold over the course of the day, it is sure to disappoint, as there is basically no development once the top notes evaporate. Despite several tries, I still haven't really made up my mind about it. For the price, I think I'd rather have the Isfarkand.

Escentric Molecules Escentric 01 is $135 for 100 ml; for buying information, see the listing for Escentric Molecules under Perfume Houses.

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38 Comments

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  1. Anonymous says:

    My good friend was really liking this when we tested it last Saturday at Barneys. I am rather neutral towards it.

    Anyway, a very Happy Mother's Day to you, darling!

    Hugs!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I got a eNewsletter about this from Harvey Nicks today, but it certainly wasn't in the store on Wednesday, when I did my last fumecrawl. Damn, I'd love to smell this just to identify what scents I've smelled it in before! Am I right in thinking that this is the one with other stuff in it – not just the Iso E?

  3. Anonymous says:

    I think that it is very enjoyable, and although initially I had qualms about the lasting power, I have to correct myself. It does last quite well.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And the same to you R, hope it is a wonderful day!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Yes, Molecule 01 is the fragrance with nothing but Iso E Super. If I remember correctly, it is hard to smell Iso E Super until it has warmed on the skin, so Escentric O1 gives you something to smell while you're waiting.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The “no-development” aspect is what made me bored to (almost) death. And the boredom was accentuated by the fact the fragrance took over my car, desk, clothing, bloodstream…such overpowering strength (with only about 5 spritzes)! Kevin

  7. Anonymous says:

    Actually, I find it darn hard to wash off.

  8. Anonymous says:

    LOL — 5 spritzes of anything is 4 too many for me.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Aye Aye Aye! Then donate your perfume collection to the Smithsonian…you'll never live long enough to use it all! ONE spritz????????? K

  10. Anonymous says:

    Its always interesting to me how people keep innovating in perfumery.

    Happy Mother's Day Robin, for Sunday.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So true!

  12. Anonymous says:

    And a very Happy Mother's Day to you too L!

  13. Anonymous says:

    This sounds wonderful. I've had a sample of it for ages, and haven't tried it. Must do so now!

    Happy coming Mother's Day, R!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Will be curious to hear what you think of it M. And a very Happy Mother's Day to you too!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Robin, I found it ultimately a little dull on its own, but I have used it to “bury” some semi-scrubbers — it has the interesting ability to morph them into something I can tolerate. If it were less $ I would be tempted to purchase it.

  16. Anonymous says:

    It isn't cheap, M, especially if you're only going to use it to layer.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I love both of these fragrances! Escentric is just right for the summer with its sharp aroma containing pink pepper and lime.

    Molecule is the best though… when you spray it on you do not smell much but then you are enveloped by the most wonderful aromas. I have never worn a fragrance that has been commented upon so much.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Sadly, I couldn't smell either of these. I've heard it happens to some folks. Just didn't register at all with my nose.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I'm with Beth here. I have only tried Molecule 1, and I could not smell anything at all. I might as well have applied another readily available molecule, H2O.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I understand Iso E Super is hard to smell until it has warmed on the skin, so it makes sense that you can't smell Molecule right away. Haven't smelled it yet but somehow don't feel the need to smell the unadorned chemical — don't know why.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Well, B, you've saved yourself some cash :-)

  22. Anonymous says:

    Did you wait awhile? I understand that you can't smell Iso E Super right away. I've heard it takes up to an hour (?)

  23. Anonymous says:

    I probably did not, and now I think I'll have to get another sample as I passed this one on already. I am learning that I should hang on to samples a little while because interest gets renewed. I'm glad that you reviewed these two. I find them kind of cool despite my quick dismissal.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Well, then try the Escentric instead….at least you have something else to smell while you're waiting for the Iso E Super to heat up!

    And completely agree on hanging on to samples — it is astonishing how many things I've fallen in love with after dismissing them initially.

  25. Anonymous says:

    Oh yes, same here! I used to judge on instinct and pretty much immediately. Initially, I did not like the Escentrics fragrances at all but when I tried them one evening before going out I fell for them… strange, eh?

    Another, I did not like at first was Holy Champa by Antoine & Lili. It was created by Mark Buxton (he came up with some of the Comme de Garcon scents). I thought it smelled too much like church and dead mouse ;-) Now, I love it… must be my old age.

  26. Anonymous says:

    And Holy Champa is one that is waiting patiently for a second try. I didn't hate it, but I didn't find it very interesting either. Will give it another go soon.

  27. Anonymous says:

    This is what I have searched for in a fragrance for years. It is at hauntingly familiar and refreshingly strange, not trying to sound hyperbolic. One tiny spray opened up like a bouquet on my skin… woodsy, animalic, and the opening pink peppercorn and lime and spice held for much longer than I expected given the other reviewers' comments. Beautifully crafted. Used correctly (one spray only, center chest), it whispers quiet sex all day long.

    This scent is perfect for layering, even given the cost of nearly $150. Iso E Super seems to be an “exhalter” of other scents that creates symbiotic notes not part of any individual notes: Feminite du Bois by Shiseido used it to round out and temper cedarwood, rose and violet. Abercrombie and Fitch use it to round out the coniferous juniper/cypress/tarragon in Fierce to a fresh unmanned territory.

    I can't say enough about my experience with this scent. If it's overwhelming after a while, you're using too much. Just one spritz center chest will do. I'm almost worried that it will be mass marketed and lose what is so different about it.

    One downside, a small one. Close to the skin, I detect a dull caraway or carrot seed extract smell that I don't particularly enjoy. Kind of like a flat rye bread-y scent. I don't even think it's noticeable from more than six inches away from the skin, but I'm a wrist sniffer.

  28. Anonymous says:

    You might want to try the Ormonde Jayne line, many of the scents use Iso E Super in large amounts also — especially the Isfarkand, which is similar in some ways to Escentric 01.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Sure, after plunking down $150! No, seriously, I didn't realize that the IsoE is what I also love about Dolce & Gabbana Light Blue, which is passing it on as “granny smith apple.” It was hard to place this familiar scent, until I asked a friend to wear some I nailed it immediately. The tragedy is that every Philipina nurse I wear with is wearing light blue. Every one of about 20. I think they must have caught onto it at a church function. And light blue sells for $45 on sale. I love it, but DANG!

    Do I need Isfarkand now that I have Escentric 01?

  30. Anonymous says:

    No, probably not, it just might be interesting to try it…and Isfarkand, unfortunately, also isn't cheap, although you can buy samples.

  31. Anonymous says:

    01 is clean and lovely, but is similar to Cartier-the unisex version. Actually, after comparing both, I prefer the latter, it's pretty perfect. And a lot cheaper.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Guessing you mean Eau de Cartier? I remember liking it but need to revisit it, it has been a long time since I've smelled it.

  33. Blimunda says:

    I don’t know why I’ve only just read these reviews now! I tried them back in ’07 and loved them. They were my introduction to the world of niche perfumery. I was in NYC, and read about them on the BECCA website (it is the only perfume she sells in her make-up shops). I searched online, and came across the Escentric website and asked where I could find them in NYC. Geza himself responded, which was pretty cool, and sent me to Aedes. We traded emails back and forth about the scents as I was trying them. His enthusiasm was infectious, and I was very impressed that he had such an easy, personal connection with his ‘audience’.
    I need to try them again, now that my nose is a little more experienced. I loved Escentric 01, because it was more immediate and you got the kick from extra notes. But now that I think about it, Molecule 01 might appeal to me more now. It was extremely subtle and unexpected, and kept changing, disappearing, resurfacing, morphing. I would be sitting on the subway, catch a sudden whiff of something glorious – then realise it was ME! At the time, it really was a novelty. I found them to be very modern and cool and fun. Definitely time for a revisit…….

    • Robin says:

      How nice that Geza Schoen corresponded with you — that’s a great introduction to niche perfumery!

  34. Owen says:

    it says at harveynichols.com that it smells different on each person.
    so I thought it didn’t actually have a smell but worked with your chemistry to create one. ??
    molecule 02 sounds better.

    • Robin says:

      It has a smell. And everything smells different on each person :-)

      • Owen says:

        yes that’s true, but not so differently that you can’t tell what it is, though there are a few exeptions = Britney Spears midnight fantasy and sometimes Angel.

        I thought this would sort of amplify your own scent and add some pheromones or chemicals or something like that to create a truly unique scent.

        • Robin says:

          It is an aromachemical that is in many perfumes. It will not do that any more than anything else…

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