So: Molecule 01. This was the original perfume from Escentric Molecules’ radical perfume designer, Geza Schoen, who isolated the aroma-chemical known as Iso E Super (a base note traditionally added to perfumes to make them more alluring.) In Molecule 01 it blends with the wearer’s own pheromones to create a completely bespoke scent. It’s strange, sometimes you can’t actually smell it on yourself – but others always can – and just when you think it’s worn off, it suddenly reemerges. I’ve never had so many people ask me what I’m wearing, and when I say it’s Molecule 01 they go “ahh I thought I recognized it!” because it’s somehow different, and yet familiar.
Sexy sexy Molecule 01
If I was forced at gunpoint to give you actual adjectives to describe the smell (rather than the effect it has on people) I suppose I would try “fresh, woody and velvety” which isn’t much help, but it’s so subtle it’s really tough to capture in words. Basically, it’s really sexy, quite androgynous (a 21st century CK one if you will!) and chic – like a girl with super smooth, shiny hair and a Celine bag, all cool, minimalist and intellectual. I posses neither smooth hair nor a Celine bag, but at least I can smell like I might. £64, cultbeauty.co.uk
And now onto other perfumes that mean something to me:
My first boyfriend wore Cool Water (what? It was the ‘90s, ok?!) so that always triggers bittersweet feelings when I smell it on a random man on the street now. My mum’s favourite in the ‘80s was Cacharel's Anais, Anais (£26, boots.com) so that wooshes me right back to childhood. Ahhh! I just read an interview with Geza Schoen where he says this is one perfume he wishes he’d created! Great minds Geza, great minds…
And Agent Provocateur’s classic eau de parfum (£54, agentprovocateur.com)reminds me of days spent lacing ladies into corsets! I love this cologne that we buy whenever we go on holiday to Spain (or to the Spanish shop R.Garcia & Sons on Portobello Road that stocks it) but it makes Mr Phoebe feel ‘melancholy’ so I don’t wear it out of courtesy. I’m so nice.
Some of my perfumes
There’s a gorgeous, heavy, navy blue glass bottle of Bvlgari’s Jasmin Noir (£61, selfridges.com) on my dressing table which smells terribly grown-up – like something I can imagine a black-negligee-clad Monica Bellucci languidly spritzing, but it gives me a mild headache and makes me feel a bit cross, so I feel like I’m not grown-up enough for that one yet. And finally, GAP’s Dream in its minimalist little aluminium canister is the most powerfully evocative scent I know and brings up memories of my mid-teens so effectively that I almost can’t bear it.
So tell me, which perfumes, colognes and eau de toilettes trigger moods and memories for you? Do you deliberately avoid some scents because they have too powerful an effect on you? Share!