The anti-perfume perfume every fragrance wardrobe needs

At Cult Beauty, we’re in the throes of a long-standing (TEN YEAR!!) love affair with {Escentric Molecules} – the game-changing parfumier whose innovative scents ripped up the rule book when they burst onto the scent-scene in the noughties. Developed by enfant terrible of the fragrance world – globally celebrated ‘nose’ {Geza Schoen} – these anti-perfume perfumes celebrate synthetic molecules; showcasing the subtleties and intricacies of lab-derived olfactory ‘experiences’. None more so than the original (and arguably best) {Molecule 01}.

More an ‘effect’ than a fragrance, the molecule Iso E Super is commonly used as an ‘anchor’ in typical head-heart-and-base perfume blends – adding an allure that defies characterisation. Which is why, when Geza sought to bottle pure Iso E Super, the perfumery world rolled its eyes. But now, this ground-breaking creation – known as {Molecule 01} – is one of the most-wanted perfumes in the world. Universally bespoke, it smells different on (and to!) almost everyone.

Cult Beauty were early adopters, as Co-Founder Alexia explains: ‘When Jessica and I were setting up Cult Beauty (from the spare bedroom in her basement flat in Islington) Jess had a wonderfully flamboyant Brazilian neighbour who managed a chic fashion store in Mayfair. One evening he arrived banging fervently on the front door, “Let me in, let me in, I have found the best perfume in the world!!”… and what self-respecting beauty obsessive wouldn’t drop everything with this call to arms!?

‘Once he had calmed down (and been given gin) the story unfolded. Earlier that day a certain Naomi Campbell had swooped into the store smelling absolutely captivating, and after subtly following stalking her around the shop for an hour, he finally mustered the courage to ask why she smelled so incredible: “Darling, it’s {Molecule 01} and it’s British”.

‘We scoured the internet for the name, it was not for sale anywhere, but we finally found it was made by ‘This Company’ and called the registered number from Company’s House. Jeffers, the co-founder, picked up the phone and was hugely bewildered as to how we’d heard about it. We told him the Naomi story and it turned out they were good friends – he had given her a bottle to get supermodel feedback.

‘Escentric Molecules was the first brand we launched on Cult Beauty and we were their first retailer. I still wear {Molecule 01} almost every day and it will always have a special place in my heart…’

Magically ‘pheremonic’, this amplifies your powers of attraction. Warm and slightly woody with the merest hint of musk, some find that they can scarcely smell it on themselves (if at all!) – ideal for those who find most perfumes headily headache-inducing. And, because it adapts to your chemical make up, it smells just like ‘you’ – only sexier. Just spritz this and wait for the legions of rapt followers to tail you ’round the restaurant or nightclub… you’ve seen the film Perfume? Think that (sans the weirdness). 



Verity Douglas

Verity Douglas

Content Editor

Cult Beauty’s Content Editor and a Cult Beauty OG, Verity loves nothing more than the marriage of language and lip balm. A quintessential Libran, she’s a self-professed magpie for luxury ‘must-haves' and always pursuing the new and the niche — from the boujee-est skin care to cutting-edge tech. Balancing an urge to stop the clock with her desire to embrace the ageing process (and set a positive example for her daughter), Verity's a retinol obsessive and will gladly share her thoughts about the time-defying gadgets, masks and treatments worth the splurge...