Many fragrance entrepreneurs look to memories and tradition when crafting a new scent, but Geza Schoen has other plans. Training at Symrise and work with brands including Diesel, Ormonde Jayne, and French Connection taught the perfumer a lot about his preferences in scent, but ultimately it was a single molecule that would bring his name to fame. Upon smelling Iso-E Super, an aroma molecule born in an IFF lab in 1973, Schoen realized what he beheld was the key to all the fragrances he liked, and when he spent a night out wearing nothing but the ingredient, those he encountered confirmed his suspicions of its overpowering allure. He turned the molecule into two fragrances, one exclusive and the other at 65% concentration, effectively launching Escentric Molecules in 2006. From that point forward, the Berlin-based nose has been a fixture in the niche fragrance world's coolest sector.
Escentric Molecules now has four editions, each of which come in pairs just like the first. The latest, 04, debuted in 2017 and highlights the radiance and endurance of Javanol, which resembles sandalwood but with an added degree of transparency. Resembling fragrances with notes like grapefruit and rose, the molecule keeps the wearer and passers-by guessing as its potency comes and goes. There's obviously a lot to unpack about such a unique creation, so Schoen made some vivid comparisons to help the world understand.
What first sparked your interest in fragrance?
I guess my parents' first perfumes sparked it initially. Then, the mere fact that I was able to order perfume samples with a simple postcard (in the '80s). I guess companies don't do this any longer unless you pay for them. So my collection grew.
How did you end up coming together for this collaboration?
As usual, the molecule dictates the direction for the fragrance. Molecule 04, Javanol, is an unusual aroma chemical which besides the obvious sandalwood note has a rosy shade and a grapefruit note. So the briefing was set. The fragrance has a very sparkling pink grapefruit burst to start with and a shiny almost silvery rose note and rounded off with a warm sensual woody dry-down with soft sandalwood notes.
If your fragrance was the star of its movie, which actor would play the starring role?
Clearly Harvey Keitel!
What color does it smell like?
Pink and yellow.
If you had to place Escentric Molecules E04 in an iconic decade past, which one would it be?
I see it very much in our decade and the next, it smells quite futuristic I think.
What item from your wardrobe would you compare it to?
Definitely a bright, colorful shirt!
What genre of music do you think Escentric Molecules E04 most aligns with?
Danceable deep house music.
If your fragrance had a night out on the town, what drink would it order at the bar?
A Moscow mule with a slice of pink grapefruit!
If you were to relate Escentric Molecules E04 to a book, what would it be? Why?
That is too difficult to say; books have their own dynamics, that would be too far fetched for me.
If your fragrance had a soundtrack, what three sounds would play once you spray the scent?
Metallic spheric sounds with soft Drums and a Xylophone.
If it wasn’t called Escentric Molecules E04, what would it be called?
Hahaha, well it is called Escentric04, no changes to that equation.