One Thousand Scents

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Getting There: Escentric 01 by Escentric Molecules

In May I wrote about Molecule 01, which consists entirely of a molecule called Iso E Super. I wasn't in love with it: no development, just a sandalwood-like note which, while undeniably appealing, is too uninteresting for the price.

The companion scent, Escentric 01, is decidedly better, I'm pleased to discover. It's still primarily that one scent molecule, but it's been added to; constructed, like an actual scent. When I put my nose to my skin, my first reaction was, "Lemon pepper!" Pretty close; it's actually lime and pepper, and it adds a fresh zing that the scent desperately needs. The top note also contains that soapiness that I thought I detected in Molecule 01, so I'm guessing it's really there and not just my imagination or the smell of just-showered me.

The sandalwood note doesn't take long to emerge, but here it's joined by a thick orris-root note that adds complexity and nuance to the otherwise simplistic Iso E Super. (There's supposedly a balsamic incense note, as well, but I don't get it at all; maybe my nose isn't sufficiently finely tuned, or maybe it's drowned out by the other notes.) After that, it doesn't develop or change any more; it just stays on your skin, and stays and stays. There's something to be said, of course, for an attractive scent that lasts a long time, but there's a lot more to be said for an attractive scent that seems to have some real thought put into it.

If a scent is a painting, then Molecule 01 is a bucket of paint--in a lovely colour, mind you--thrown at a canvas, and Escentric 01 is that same splashed canvas with a few complementary colours dabbed on afterwards. I like Escentric 01, but I don't love it, and I can't see how it's worth what's they're charging; nothing about it, not even that vibrant bottle, makes me feel as if I need it, and that's a fatal flaw for a non-essential consumer good. Nevertheless, I'm looking forward to whatever else the company cooks up; they've apparently given us their first couple of experiments, and I want to see what they produce when they get really good at it.


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