Nice reviews! Thanks!
OK I own these and after months of wearing and experimentation, here's the story:
Understanding the chemistry
Regarding Molecule 01 (Iso E-Super) and Molecule 02 (Ambroxan) - These are basenotes, meaning that they are heavy molecules. They are so heavy that after letting my bottle of Molecule 01 sit, I saw that the bottom of the bottle was more viscous and oily than the top, meaning the oil had settled on the bottom. I shook the bottle and it turned into a milky white color, but then after an hour it was again a crystal clear liquid. To prevent that sort of settling from happening, shake your bottle regularly and keep it in a warmer (80 degree plus) area. There's no harm if the oil does settle.
Since they're heavy, these two aroma molecules won't jump off of your skin and onto your nose like a citrus top note. You could spray these 100 times and they will never be that strong. Rather, they slowly pop off of your skin from the heat. That's why they say that you can't smell these until they've been on your skin for a while. They need heat and time to start popping off.
Regarding Molecule 03 - This apparently isn't that heavy because it will blast your nose with synthetic vetiver from first application. This stuff is strong, and frankly disgusting. Do not buy this. I won't talk about this anymore, because it's terrible.
What do they smell like?
After it's been given time to heat up on your skin, Molecule 01 smells like velvet. I know, velvet doesn't have a smell but that's the best explanation and it's one that others use. It does not smell like sandalwood at all. Rather, it sort of smells like clean and strong velvety skin. It's very mysterious and interesting.
Molecule 02, on the other hand, smells like minerals, like salt. It doesn't really smell like the ocean at all though (this is synthetic ambroxan, not real ambergris like you find in Creeds). There is nothing organic about it. It's pure, dry and cold salt. There is also a very faint hint of sweetness to ambroxan, which reminds me of nutrasweet.
If Molecule 01 is an emotionally warm and inviting scent, Molecule 02 is an emotionally cold and distant scent. One youtube reviewer called Molecule 02 "reptilian." While Molecule 01 is comforting, Molecule 02 is a little disconcerting. Molecule 01 is a human like smell but Molecule 02 seems like something a robot would smell like. But Molecule 02 is interesting nonetheless and I'm going to wear it more often to understand it.
They're both fantastic scents for people who don't want to smell like perfume. However, again, stay away from Molecule 03 it's awful.
Last edited by Cerel9; 26th November 2011 at 12:47 AM.
Thanks for the good read. I read so many contradictory views on these scents.
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Closest I've got to 01 is tdh and encre noir. I'd like to sniff the actual molecule.
Very thorough and informative reviews, although don't know if my views have changed regarding them.
Nice reviews Carel9. If you'll have the chance, put your hands on some Velviona by Helmut Lang (extremely hard to find though), which was a sort of prototype for this kind of fragrances...
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Interesting writeup, and I have to say your description of Molecule 02 is gratifying to my ego--I've thought for some time that ambroxan had a very 'mineral' smell, so it's nice to see someone out there agrees.
But I would suggest that if you want to really get to know the smells, why not purchase some Iso E Super, ambroxan and vetiveryl acetate for yourself? Then you can smell them at different dilutions, play around with them and have a full understanding of the material. Iso E Super is great for blending things (and for giving the velvet impression): ambroxan is one of those bombastically strong materials that is so strong you can't really smell it neat--it's also a solid. you could even buy other ambergris materials like Grisalva and compare. As for vetiveryl acetate, at 100% I found it a nice representation of the dry, fuzzy, smoky aspect of vetiver oils. In Molecule 03 I don't recognize it at all, and like you I find it distinctly unpleasant.