Monday, 9 March 2015

The Holy Grail: How I Found My Signature Scent

Hands down, I am the fussiest person I know when it comes to perfume shopping (for those who wish to challenge me, you know where to find me!)

Before it was discontinued....*wails*....Armani White For Her was my signature scent (c. 2007 to 2009. Just checked online and it's currently selling on Amazon for £399?!)

Then late in 2009, whilst on holiday in New York and snooping around my friend's place in Brooklyn, I stumbled across Jo Malone's White Jasmine & Mint. It was love at first sniff (sorry) and I've been mesmerised ever since.

Five years on the thought of finding a new scent, one that could potentially replace White Jasmine & Mint (gasp) appeared an insurmountable task. That was, until I was introduced to Molecule.

Don't be fooled by the rather minimalist, masculine packaging

Game Changer
I'd read about Escentric Molecules in magazines and overheard people whisper in hushed tones about its ability to react to your own pheromones (Woah). 

Then back in November of last year, whilst at a makeover event for a law firm I was working alongside friend and fellow makeup artist Kelly. She smelt so ridiculously divine I literally had to stop her in her tracks. "What perfume are you wearing?!" 

Later on that evening, over a celebratory cocktail (we'd been doing makeovers for four hours) she pulled out a travel atomiser and she sprayed Escentric 03 on me. Sweet LORD.

A case of The Emperor's New Clothes or the synthetic
equivalent of an aphrodisiac?

The Rise of the Synthetic Fragrance
If you've never heard of the brand, Escentric Molecules is the wonder child of Berlin-based perfumer Geza Schoen. The established perfumer wanted to challenge the way fragrances are produced and sold by producing what we would consider a typical fragrance - a combination of several notes - but also the purist version of that fragrance; a perfume based on a single note.

His original scent, '01', was released as two perfumes: Escentric 01, a combination of the key scent 'Iso E Super' (65%) together with knee-knockingly sexy notes of pink pepper and green lime, and Molecule 01, a scent entirely based on 'Iso E Super'. It is the latter which caused the biggest stir, a perfume, which upon first sniff, appears to not smell of anything until the wearer reports having people literally stop them in the street to ask what the heavenly scent is that's enveloping them.

Escentric Molecules have since gone on to develop fragrances 02 and 03, both in combined (more obviously scented) and purist forms.

No Going Back
The one I personally fell for is Escentric 02, which uses an "unparalleled concentration of ambrosian [identical to the traditional and highly revered substance, ambergris, which has been used in perfumery for thousands of years and which is produced by sperm whales??] combination with vetiver and muscone [a synthetic but totally gorgeous musk].

In the brand's own words Escentric 02 is 'a clear, clean scent, [which] dries down to something warm, sexy and elusive." (That's me! Haha).

Perfume Shopping Tips
If you're not careful perfume shopping can give one quite a headache. I'd recommend these handy tips for a stress-free perfume quest:
  • Pick somewhere you trust. Both Liberty and Fenwick have fantastic (and relatively unintimidating) fragrance rooms.
  • Only ever smell up to five perfumes at a time and preferably sniff some coffee beans in-between (kitted out department stores should have pots of these)
  • Once you like the smell of something sprayed onto a card spritz once onto your skin (doesn't really matter where although I like the inside of my elbow)
  • Ask for a sample (not always available but occasionally they'll have some in stock depending on when the fragrance was launched)
  • Continue to smell the fragrance over the course of several hours. The big test is whether or not you love the fragrance as much as you did first time you smelt it, several hours later. Another good test is your partner's reaction to the scent (i.e. are they turning their nose up or dry-humping your leg?) :)

Escentric Molecules: Where To Try or Buy
Escentric Molecules is available at Liberty, Harvey Nichols and online at

Prepare to fall in love!

30ml with travel case: £39 (refill: £27)
100ml: from £66

Credits: images and my own


  1. lucky of you to find your signature scent. This is what I am working out these days. I simply cannot find the one for me that I will stick on for a long time.

    1. Hi Julie! Remember it took me 4 years(!) to find a new 'one'...! (But I am super fussy. Too fussy for my own good!) I agree with you...finding one that lasts makes the perfume search doubly challenging. The Molecules fragrance lingers and becomes like a soft talc smell. Clean. Hope you find something that ticks all the boxes soon xx

  2. I understand how important it is for many people to find the scent that suits them and make them feel great. I love floral and oriental scents.I invest in fragrances especially those that keep me satisfied and fragrant even with just a small drop.