Thursday 13 August 2020

INFINITE by Ilsa Fragrances

In the current climate of transparency within the perfume business it’s becoming more acceptable for the unseen creatives to finally step forward and take a bow. This long overdue change is introducing many more names to the eager fragrance community, and it’s also seen a lot of those creatives branch out and launch their own perfume brands. However, finding the theme to ultimately hang the fragrances on is no easy task. It will be the perfumed persona that customers will latch onto, and it needs to resonate. Ilsa Fragrances has taken female empowerment as its cornerstone and woven it into Infinite No.1 and Infinite No.2.

When Ilsa Manning decided to launch Ilsa Fragrances back in 2016 it followed the birth of her daughter. A previous career with Givaudan and Coty had already introduced her to the power of scent, but she wanted to try to utilise it in a way that could offer empowerment and confidence. “I hope to teach my daughter, and her little sister, that their capabilities are infinite and that if they can imagine it, they can do it.” The task of creating the fragrances was given to Jessica Reichert-Weber of Premier Specialities, and she has skilfully managed to accentuate that affirmative inspiration.

The duo of scents definitely have a female customer in mind but, in the current climate for perfume experimentation, I can't see any barrier to these being adopted by men. One of the reason for the feminine focus is because a percentage of the sales goes to Girls on the Run. The charity’s goal is to encourage girls to fulfil their potential and pursue their dreams. When the gender balance in business is still far from equal, it’s initiatives like these that can actively help to redress the balance. So, with the promise of empowerment and inner-strength, it’s time to discover Ilsa Manning’s powerful duo.

Infinite No.1 was launched in September 2016 and takes the classic oriental style as its foundation. It opens with the expected uplifting rush of bergamot but, very quickly, it settles on a smooth floral pairing of jasmine and ylang. However, it’s the combination of the woody cedarwood, sandalwood, and patchouli notes that really show Jessica’s skill. The cedarwood is given prominence at the beginning, so that a feeling of elegance comes flooding through initially, but the patchouli's dominance later is perfectly accented. With a sweetened amber accord in the base, it definitely fulfils the brief of “sophisticated and sensual.”

Infinite No.2 was launched in August 2019 and this time veers into a slightly more gourmand area. It opens with a citrus blend of bergamot, grapefruit, and mandarin, and these almost fizz as they escape from the bottle, but it’s the heart that is intriguing. The combination of rose and red berries links through to a resinous styrax, which imparts a delicate honey note, but the perfume always retains a crispness thanks to the tea accord in the background. The fragrance sits effortlessly upon a finely balanced suede note and, just in the background, there’s even a touch of chocolate for you sweet toothers.

Both fragrances are available from the Ilsa Fragrances website at priced at $28 for 10 ml and $110 for 50ml. [Samples provided by Ilsa Manning]

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