Thursday, 20 February 2020

INCENSE CITY by AllSaints

The idea of a clothing company expanding their range to include a fragrance line is nothing new. From the early days of Chanel right through to a more modern Missoni, giving the customer the opportunity to own something more than just fashion or makeup encourages them to fully immerse themselves in the brand. Now, this has been done with varying degrees of success, mainly down to the quality of the final scent, and it’s widely recognised as a bit of a risky enterprise. However, for every failure there is also a triumph and that can certainly be said of AllSaints and their remarkable Incense City.

When AllSaints launched in 1994 it was the brainchild of Stuart Trevor and Kait Bolongaro. The original company was founded on the idea that they would create premium clothing that could be placed in luxury stores such as Harvey Nichols and Harrods. The range very quickly developed a dedicated following and, because of its commitment to quality manufacture, it is still managing to maintain this following over twenty-five years later. The continued demand for the clothing eventually saw the company launch their first standalone boutique in London in 1997, and the future was secure.

The following years would see some ups and downs for AllSaints as they expanded into a worldwide market. Not every decision was as thought out as it could have been but, by 2013, the company was back on top form. It continues to be incredibly proud of its British heritage and, as such, are very vocal about the amount of design talent that can be found in the United Kingdom. They also invested both money and time in the “Not For Sale” organisation which helps to fight human trafficking. Corporate responsibility is often mentioned by companies, but AllSaints really are trying to give something back.

When they decided to launch a fragrance range in 2019 it did, as I mentioned before, follow in the footsteps of other clothing brands. However, AllSaints wanted the collection to feel as though it was a premium free-standing series that borrowed the name but could exist on its own merits. The trio of scents launched with Sunset Riot, Metal Wave, and Incense City before being joined by Flora Mortis and Leather Skies. All five fragrances are designed to “express your individuality with confidence” and, whilst all are definitely worth hunting out, top spot has to go to the “provocative and hedonistic” Incense City.

The fragrance opens with a rush of aromatic exuberance thanks to a bergamot and lavender immediately beginning to grab hold of the citrus qualities of the sappy cypress. Imagine a torn section of pine tree with the mix of green notes and cedar wood dryness and you’re in the right area. There’s a very delicate floral heart in here, with touches of geranium and rose, but the star ingredient is the incense accord that’s waiting to come through. This heavenly resinous aroma with notes of myrrh, benzoin, and labdanum mix with a wash of vanilla to create a sensuous fragrance that is devilishly provocative.

Incense City is available from the AllSaints website at allsaints.com and also from the boutiques priced at £49 for 100ml. [Sample provided by AllSaints]

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