Is this fragrance witchcraft?
Bibi Lynch was the first journalist ever to try out Escentric Molecules – as we celebrate our first decade, she recalls what happened when she spritzed on Molecule 01 ten years ago.
• Grazia rang and asked if I’d like to write a piece about this perfume that was supposed to be irresistible. Something to do with pheromones they said. I assumed it was all marketing hype, but I said, ‘sure, send it over’.”
• I was going out to a gig that night… I sat at my dressing-table getting ready and picked up the fragrance. The packaging was the first thing – space-age. I’d never seen anything quite like it. I took out the bottle and sprayed some on. There was this joyous moment when the scent filled the air. It smelt purple somehow. I thought ‘I bet Prince wears Molecule 01, it’s so sexy’. Then it vanished.
• I remember a handsome guy shouting ‘bonjour’ at me outside the venue, and inside, my friends complimented me on my fragrance. I realized then that it was still there, though I couldn’t smell it. As the gig got underway a good-looking muso kept looking over in my direction. Unfortunately ‘my direction’ turned out to be where three genetically superior teenage girls were also standing. But the scent was working its magic on someone – my best friend, Siobhan. She couldn’t stop nuzzling into me murmuring that I smelt amazing. Not exactly the result I was hoping for.
• Normally the most attention I got watching football in my local was from men resting their pints on my head. So I wasn’t expecting Molecule 01 to have much effect when I headed to the pub the next night. And I wasn’t far wrong. One guy seemed to be looking my way but then his eyes wandered to the barmaid’s cleavage. I sauntered up to another bloke who said ‘you smell nice’ before his attention was riveted once again by Thierry Henry.
• It was while I was waiting for a bus that something happened. A guy walking past stopped, turned, and said ‘Hello’. I said ‘do I know you?’ and he smiled and told me I was beautiful. Then he asked if I’d like to go for a drink. I remember thinking ‘Is he mad? Talking to a stranger on a street in London?’ And then I thought, ‘hold on, is this Molecule 01 witchcraft?’
• The maddest thing was when I went in to the shop below my flat. The man in there had a thing against me. Some complaint I’d made in the past. But now he said ‘you look well’ and winked at me. Then he asked me if I had a boyfriend.
• I don’t know how Molecule 01 works – whether it’s down to the gorgeous smell or the ‘good underwear’ syndrome, where you act differently, more confidently, because you know that underneath your clothes you are wearing amazing underwear. All I know is, it works.