01.07.16

Maximum Minimalism
With Escentric Molecules, Geza Schoen has taken minimalism to the max. He explains how his love affair with less led to a whole new niche fragrance trend.

Minimalism has been a huge influence on me. My father was into Bauhaus and I grew up in a house that was grey, white and black with classic Le Corbusier furniture. It was totally different from the houses of my friends’ parents. Sometimes I wonder what Escentric Molecules would be like if I’d grown up in a pink and gold Baroque environment.

It’s important not be carried along by conventions. When I discovered Iso E Super, it was only ever used in combination with other ingredients. It was considered to be a fragrance material, not a fragrance. It wasn’t a big step to turn that convention on its head, it was just that no-one had stopped to think about it. Luckily, my paradigm allowed me to say, “this smells great on it’s own, so why not reduce a fragrance to this one molecule?”

Alongside Molecule 01, we brought out Escentric 01, which is the same molecule plus eighteen other ingredients that amplify its effect. Nineteen is a lot more ingredients than just one, but that’s still a short formula in perfumery. The average fragrance formula is 25 to about 50 ingredients. And some are four times as long, or even longer.

Minimalism’s time has come. We are bombarded with technology and information; it has become an addiction, something that was once seductive but is now controlling us. The result is that we are starting to appreciate things that detangle the complexities of our lives. We are starting to value minimalism in a new, deeper way.

Things that used to be so normal feel like luxuries now. Last weekend my girlfriend and I went to a little house we have out on an island. There’s nothing there. No technology, no wifi. We sat outside looking at flowers instead of a computer screen. To choose everyday things that make you happy, that’s modern luxury.