I've been hearing snippets about Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 since it was launched in 2005, when there was a rumour that it was a pure pheromone with the power to make Ryan Gosling or Mila Kunis (delete as appropriate) fall helplessly in love with you. In actual fact the fragrance is a single molecule, 'Iso E Super', with water and alcohol. So it is an unusual, if slightly gimmicky, fragrance - but you'll still need your own pheromones and a love of dogs to snag the Gos. Sorry about that.
More recent rumblings about Molecule 01 have come from Lily and Anna who have both reported strangers collaring them for a sniff and to ask what they're wearing. However it wasn't the thought of strangers sniffing me that pushed me to purchase, weirder things happen on my usual bus route, it was a tweet from Cami saying she smelt like Diptyque's Feu de Bois when wearing it. I've been hunting for a decent woody fragrance for a very, very long time so it was music to my ears.
This woody obsession probably stems from a trip to South Africa sleeping quite literally under the stars in a game reserve. The caveat was that we had to take turns to do night-watch incase a lion decided to stroll by and turn us all into teenager tartare. Sitting there with a torch, alone, in the pitch black while everyone else slept was slightly terrifying for the most part. However the campfire was kept stoked all night and in amongst the firewood there were usually a few branches of tamboti wood. When tamboti burns it releases an intensely woody, sweet and spicy aroma that has subsequently become ingrained in my memory, as scents seem to do, as something really comforting. I've been trying to track down a whisper of it in a fragrance ever since. So I bought Molecule 01, unseen and unsniffed from Cult Beauty and hoped for the best.
The single molecule alone is a gentle sandalwood scent (tamboti is also know as African sandalwood) which is definitely unisex, but not overly masculine due to a slightly sweet and spicy edge. The general idea is that this fragrance mixes with the natural musky scent of skin to produce your own spin on Molecule 01. I really just smell the fragrance itself, which I think is divine. I feel like it is quite weak and stays really close to the skin, however I've read that the wearer becomes desensitised to it pretty quickly so it is most noticeable to other people - hence the stranger effect I suppose. It does seem to last quite well on me however, it will suddenly become more noticeable in the afternoon before seeming to hide again and reappear later on. I've also tried it layered with a small amount of Narciso Rodriguez For Her and also with Stella Eau de Parfum and both add a layer of floral to Molecule 01 without crushing it. Likewise Molecule 01 gives a nice complimentary wood base to both perfumes.