Thursday, 28 April 2016

My Two Signature Scents: Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 and Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium

Fragrance is always going to be a bit of a funny one to write about. Who am I to tell you how you should smell?! After all, it's your nose that has that scent under it for the duration of the day. I'm not a fragrance fiend, it has to be said - too long dilly-dallying near the perfume department in Boots and I'm left with quite the headache. But when that magical, unicorn-rare, eureka moment happens with a scent, I'm hooked for the long run.

Escentric Molecules burst on to the scene with Molecule 01 a few years ago, and this has been a firm favourite in the slightly-more-haute-perfumier category for many ever since. I found out about this on Vivianna Does Makeup quite some time ago, and was really intrigued. Also - many of the reviews on this are beyond glowing, we're talking obsession territory here. I had to find it to give it a test run. I stumbled across Molecule 01 some time later in a tiny little boutique stockist in Cambridge, but I'm told you can try this on for size at both Liberty and Harvey Nichols before making the plunge.

The blurb on the actual scent is that it is largely formulated from one molecule, Iso E Super, traditionally added to perfumes as more of an afterthought than the main event, to make the scent "more alluring". It is supposedly malleable, and will smell slightly different on everyone. It also claims to disappear and resurface sometime after application.

To me, I smell woody, musky base (not in a skunk way, let's be clear) and parma violets. It is a delicious, surprisingly complex scent. I have to say I notice no departure or miraculous re-appearance, but I couldn't care less about that-it's beautiful. Light enough for daytime, unobtrusive, and certainly not over the top. I've had people genuinely ask me which perfume I'm using when wearing this - I used to think that was just something reviewers said to plug a perfume, but it has been a genuine occurrence with Molecule 01! And the best thing? No awful queasy fragrance-overload headache. Winning.

I always buy the travel size bottle from Cult Beauty - partially as I'm a cheapskate, partially as I do travel frequently, and partially as you can re-fill the super-sturdy black metal travel case with replacement travel bottles afterwards, which is super convenient.

The second scent is quite a different creature - the heady, seductive, full-throttle glamour that is Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium. It's punchy, it's loud, and a little goes a very long way - if strong scents make you feel a bit queasy, go easy on this one. The packaging is seriously luxurious - all of the glitter - and you won't want to throw the rose gold and black box away either.

 The official "tasting notes" say black coffee, white florals, and vanilla - and I'd pretty much agree with that assessment. Don't worry, it's not the I've-spent-too-long-in-Starbucks type coffee note, more of an alluring, warm, rich twist on the standard white floral fragrance. 

Not for the faint-hearted, but it is a truly beautiful evening scent. Just don't go too crazy. You can find this velvety number for £44 at Boots

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