Modern perfumery began with the synthesis of the first aroma-molecule in 1868. Ever since, it is the invention and isolation of new molecules that have pushed the boundaries of the art. Escentric Molecules embraces this modern heritage where art meets science. Taking a minimalist approach, it focuses on a series of exceptional aroma-molecules, some unknown in nature, others nature-identical, and offers two ways to explore the allure of each one.
Escentric fragrance – a formula
Molecule fragrance – a molecule
The Escentric fragrance in each pair focuses on an exceptional aroma-molecule. The other ingredients in the formula are chosen to enhance this aroma-molecule, amplifying its key qualities.
The Molecule fragrance in each pair takes a more radical approach, one that breaks all the rules of perfumery. It contains no fragrant ingredients other than the aroma-molecule, pure and singular. This is fragrance at its most minimal, its most purist.
The Escentric and Molecule fragrances in each series are sold separately.
Escentric Molecule fragrances are designed to be worn by men and women.
Escentric Molecules owes its existence to an aroma-molecule that does not exist in nature. Iso E Super was created in a laboratory at IFF in 1973. It remained unknown outside the world of perfumery until the launch of Escentric Molecules, though its elusive presence hovers at relatively low concentrations in the background of many fragrances for both men and women. Among perfumers, it is prized for its velvety, cocooning effect.
When perfumer Geza Schoen first smelt Iso E Super in isolation, something clicked. “I realised that the common denominator in all the fragrances I liked was that they contained a large dose of it. Iso E Super is highly unusual. You can never get enough of it. One sniff and you want the whole bottle. It’s like a drug.”
Schoen began to experiment, creating fragrances that contained Iso E Super in unheard-of proportions. One night he went further. Heading out for a drink with a friend, he suggested they spritz on nothing but the aroma-molecule itself.
The effect was immediate. No sooner had they sat down at a bar, than a woman came up to ask about their fragrance. As Schoen talked with her, it became clear that the connection between the fragrances she liked was also a large dose of Iso E Super. Schoen realised he was on to something.
His proposal was bold. He would create two fragrances in homage to this enigmatic attractant. One fragrance would contain an unprecedented 65% of the molecule. The rest of the formula would consist of ingredients designed to underscore its low-lit mood.
If this was a radical move, the second fragrance was totally non-conformist. It would contain only the molecule Iso E Super. “I thought, this one will appeal only to the artists, the freaks, the outsiders.”
He was wrong. From its launch in 2006, Escentric Molecules quickly grew to become a phenomenon. Schoen followed the first pair of fragrances, 01 with a second pair, 02 and a third pair 03. Each pair focuses on those rare aroma-molecules that have the radiance and depth of character to stand alone.
Perfumer Geza Schoen has a reputation as a rebel in the fragrance world.
In 2001, disillusioned with the industry’s increasing commercialisation, he resigned his job at fragrance manufacturers, H & R in Paris and moved to London. Here he met designers, Brian Kirkby and Zowie Broach of Boudicca, working with them over several years to create their fiercely individual scent, Wode.
It was in London, in 2006, that he launched Escentric Molecules: Often described as the ‘anti-fragrance fragrance brand’ Escentric Molecules confounded expectations to become an exponential success. In 2009 he launched The Beautiful Mind Series, working with outstanding women in different creative fields to construct fragrances dedicated to the power of the female mind.
Throughout his career Schoen has collaborated on conceptual projects such as Paper Passion, a fragrance with Steidl, Wallpaper* and Karl Lagerfeld; and worked with artists such as Wolfgang Georgsdorf, for whom he made 64 odours for Smeller, an olfactory organ that spectators can play like a piano to make aromascapes.
In 2005 he returned to his native Germany where he lives and works in Berlin.