Have you ever had one of those perfumes which you use until you have about three sprays left of it, you throw the bottle into a drawer and vow to save those precious last drops for a special occasion? I do. I did that with Molecule 01 from Escentric Molecules. This cult fragrance was my go to fragrance until I reached the end and banished it to a drawer. A few weekends ago I found the near to empty bottle as I was rummaging around and instantly pined for the fresh, clean scent that the likes of Kate Moss favour from the cult brand.
At £27 for 30ml, Molecule 01 isn’t the most expensive perfume of all time but then again it isn’t the cheapest either. At this moment in time I’m not exactly flush with cash (when am I ever?) and I’m not sure my bank manager would allow me to justify a purchase.
Molecule 01 is a magical perfume that changes from skin to skin, and demonstrates a pheromonal effect. The thing about Molecule 01 which makes it different from other perfumes is that it is made using the single component, Iso E Super.
Iso E Super is an aromachemical. A molecule that is used in a number of other fragrances fragrances and is trademark of International Flavors and Fragrances. You know how beauty bloggers are often on the hunt for the “your lips but better” shade of lipstick? Well Iso E super is esentially a ‘your-skin-but-better’. Similiar to other aroma chemicals, Iso E Super has very little smell by itself (due to the large molecular size) but when diluted and used in perfumes it affects the overall smell in subtle ways. It pulls the perfume together so to speak.
When on the skin Iso E Super has a very clean and simple scent, you would even be forgiven for thinking there is little to no fragrance, but once it develops the woody and floral smell as described by IFF comes to the forefront. There’s a tinge of syntheticness to the scent but overall it is soft, dense and pillowy with amber undertones.
So here’s the thing…. Iso E Super can be bought itself for much cheaper than Molecule 01. It’s well known that a lot of the time when it comes to products (not just beauty) that you’re paying more for the branding and marketing of a so called “cult product” rather than the actual product itself.
After Googling Iso E Super I came across a seller on eBay who sells this magical aromachemical which makes up Molecule 01…for a fraction of the price. Sure you don’t get the fancy packaging that you would with Molecule 01 but when it comes down to it, as long as it smells the same and has the same longevity/affects surely that aesthetic isn’t an issue?
Dubious of the price difference I bought a 10ml sample bottle to compare against those sacred few sprays left in my perfume bottle. And the result?
It smells very similiar to the original. No, ifs, buts or maybes about it, the scent itself is difficult to tell apart, the Molecule 01 may smell a little more synthetic on the skin once applied but that’s about it. Iso E Super is designed to cling to the skin, swapping itself between opulence and simplicity and sometimes being quite noticable, sometimes undetectable. It’s easy to feel as though, even with Molecule 01, that the staying power of this fragrance is poor. After applying first thing in the morning by mid day I feel as though it’s faded, if not disappeared completely but that’s because it mimicks the skin when reacting with your pheromones so quite simply, you can’t really smell yourself – I have been assured that even at the end of the day the scent is still present.
Most definitely. It may not have the fancy bottle and branding of Molecule 01 but the main premise is that Iso E Super works in exactly the same “invisible perfume” and the scent itself is very similiar if not identical. I’ve just placed an order for the 50ml bottle with the view to decant into a pretty atomiser for my dressing table/Travalo for on the go fragrance.