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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Particle Beam: Escentric Molecules Escentric 03

By Tom

Escentric Molecules is an interesting concept. Each of the numbers has two scents in the line. Escentric are scents that are based around a particular scent: 01 is Iso E Super, a woody accord that's pretty instantly recognizable. 02 is Ambroxan, the minerally synthetic version of ambergris. 03 is Veteveryle Acetate, which you, clever boots will know as vetiver. The single note Molecule line are just these notes with alcohol, which elicit responses ranging from "I pay you for a few ounces on one chemical when I could buy this by the gallon" to "(perfumer x) is a hack! He got most of (perfume x) by adding to things to this chemical!)

To the former, I'd say "sure, but are you going to do that?" You could also make yourself a hamburger but sometimes it's easier to speak clearly and direct your order into the clowns mouth. To the latter (to continue the food analogy) I've cooked a lot of salmon and it's always been pretty darned good. I've had a piece however cooked by David Bouley that made me think I'd never tasted salmon before. I'm a good cook, but I'm no David Bouley. I could mix some ingredients with alcohol and perhaps come up with a wearable scent, but that doesn't make me Edmond Roudnitska..

The other side of these is that it's interesting to see how much depth there is in these single notes. Molecule 03 really does have its own journey as you wear it. You can definitely smell how much Guerlain Vetiver relies on this accord; the brilliance of Guerlain isn't the way that they have masked to it, it's they've allowed it to sing by supporting it with other notes that like a dish by the redoubtable Chef Bouley, add sear and spice and sauce but never, ever get in the way of the star ingredient.

Escentric 03 also lets the star ingredient sing. It adds unexpected aspects of ginger and peppercorn to liven the expected citrus (a delicious and startlingly true Mexican lime) opening. Light jasmine and white tea adds tone to the grassy vetiver heart while woods and a wonderful skin musk (Iso E Super and Ambroxan?) smooth out the drydown. Oddly the additions end up being subtractions: all of them shave some of the raw edges off of Molecule 03. Molecule is the Bad Boy of the two. He's like, totally hot but your parents will cut you off if you bring him to tea dance the club. Escentric sends him to charm school: he's still the bad boy, he just learned to cook salmon..

Molecule 03 and Escentric 03 are available at LuckyScent and Aedes, $145 for 100ML. I received my samples from ScentBar.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, I agree, sometimes it is interesting just to smell something so complex in isolation!

8:17 AM EST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was very curious when the first molecule was launched. I guess this would lure me more, if I loved Vetiver a bit more. I loved your cooking simile though, a great cook (perfumer) is indeed more than someone who can follow a recipe.

12:53 PM EST  
Anonymous Marian said...

You're right- someone gifted me some ambroxan and the powder is just sitting, untouched, in the vial. I doubt I'm ever going to add it to alcohol, though I contemplate doing that every time I walk by the vial.
I'm aware that many individual essential oils and absolutes are incredibly complex, but I always assumed that their chemical "equivalents" weren't nearly as deep or interesting. Now you've peaked my curiosity. Perhaps it's time to dig out that ambroxan!

1:39 PM EST  
Blogger Ducks said...

I have some Ambroxan in my lab and it's gorgeous, truly. But dilution is, itself, an art form -- achieving the right degree of dilution of any given EO or absolute is tricky. I find that I enjoy some at more concentration than others.

1:58 PM EST  
Anonymous Flora said...

Now I have to go find my sample of Escentric 01! I have been doing some reading about what synthetics can achieve, and it's just fascinating. You make this one sound delightful indeed.

4:08 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


It really is!

4:28 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


If you're not a vetiver fan this definitely won't be up your alley.

4:29 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


Let us know how that works out!

4:29 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


That's interesting; I think there are a lot of processes (like making pie crust) that depends upon the skill of the person doing it.

4:31 PM EST  
Blogger tmp00 said...


I think you'd like it!

4:31 PM EST  
Blogger Ducks said...

Oh God, pie crust. I make perfect cakes, if I do say so myself, but pie crust -- well, I make my partner make the crust for all our tarts, pies, and quiches. I've made exactly three good pie crusts so far and have been cooking now for ... oh, about 35 years.

1:51 AM EST  
Blogger Undina said...

I enjoy Molucule 01 much more than Escentric 01. I wonder which 03 I should try...

3:45 AM EST  

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