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 was a phenomenon. Schoen followed the first pair of fragrances, 01, with 02, 03, 04, and in 2020, a fifth pair, Escentric Molecules 05. Each pair focuses on those rare aroma-molecules that have the radiance and depth of character to stand alone.