Molecule 01 honest review

Molecule 01 is a perfume that seems to have come from the 22nd century when perfume houses decided to make not only attractive perfumes for men, but also for sexy cyborgs. There is only one fragrant substance in this perfume, but my oh my, what a substance it is. Iso-e-super has the scent of fresh computer equipment, mixed with wood and a note of lemon and as it was created for developers, engineers and other smart is the new sexy types.

molecule 01

Is Molecule 01 even a perfume?

Some call it an anti-perfume and I can’t say that they have no justifiable reason for it. True, Molecule 01 is as much perfume as a C major is a symphony. But there is one significant BUT in a rational approach to this perfume. Molecule 01 really smells incredibly good.

Yes, many things about this perfume are pure marketing at play. The story of a scent that smells different on everyone, that draws out the natural scent of everyone’s skin, that it’s pheromones that drive women and men crazy alike… it’s all, well, bullshit.

New kind of fragrance

What is true and certain is that Molecule 01’s main and sole ingredient, the synthetic component iso-e-super, has long been used in many perfumes to give them a woody base and robustness, as well as to prolong their life on the skin due to its fixative properties. Terre d’Hermes and Lalique Encre Noire are some of the most well-known perfumes that contain extremely high levels of iso-e-super.

However, the first to come up with an ingenious idea (borderline fraudulent, but certainly ingenious) to sell pure iso-e-super as perfume was the very talented perfumer Geza Shoen. He launched the Escentric Molecules brand and the concept always featured two editions. One that contained a pure substance in an alcoholic solution, and the other that was a classic interpretation of that main note, accompanied by numerous others. In the case of iso-e-super, these were Molecule 01 (pure iso-e-super) and Escentric 01 (a mixture of iso-e-super with other fragrant notes).

geza schoen

Astronomical success was accompanied by astronomical earnings since the price of iso-e-super is very low. Namely, a liter of pure substance costs a paltry 20 euros, as opposed to some other substances that can cost several tens of thousands of euros per liter.

Is it art, science, or a con?

I must admit that I did not want to like Molecule 01. I deeply refused to accept that the sophisticated and almost mystical, alchemical science and art of perfume making was reduced to selling the pure substance.  It must be skillfully and measuredly combined with others, like a composer who creates harmonies of notes in the head, and then transfers it to paper, and not simply packing the aroma chemical in a minimalist bottle and selling it for 120 euros, right?

The verdict

My deep rejection did not stop me from falling in love with this perfume, or whatever Molecule 01 is if the perfume is not. Like millions of others around the world. One anecdote is interesting when my friend and his sister chased a chic lady in New York for a long time because they were trying to figure out what an enchantingly magical perfume she was wearing. When she finally walked into Tiffany’s store, they waited for her in front and after she came out with bags full of expensive jewelry, they asked her what perfume she was wearing. She answered briefly – Molecule 01. A woman who could have all the perfumes of this world chose it… and rightly so. Two people from the other side of the world followed her for a few blocks just to breathe in that irresistible scent trail once more.

In time, I found a way to justify to myself why I like Molecule 01 so much. I accepted it as a kind of abstraction. What Kazimir Maljevic is in the world of fine arts, Geza is in the world of perfume, and Molecule 01 is the Black Square. Truly a perfume for the 22nd century!

[Fragrance notes] iso-e-super

[Fragrance group] wooden

The creator of the perfume is Geza Schoen.