Meet The Maker - Sophie Marshall of This is Incense

It is a super exciting day here at Love After Love HQ as we launch new brand to the site, This is Incense. To celebrate, Jessie sat down for an exclusive Q&A with Sophie Marshall, founder of This is Incense, to chat all things scent, surfing and serenity in isolation...

Sophie, tell us the story of This Is Incense…

The idea came to me in the shower which is bizarre in itself.

This thought popped in my head “You need to make Incense” so I jumped out and, told my husband we were going make Incense and the rest is history. Some back story to this...

I’m a full time working mum of 2 young boys, I was travelling a lot for work and bought some random Incense in New York. At the time, I was really looking for any way possible to be able to de-stress and walk in the door and transition from “crazy work life” to "mum life" and found the Incense helped me and calmed the kids so I wanted to help others feel the same by making essential oil Incense.

How does story find resonance in your work? What does storytelling mean to you?

It's everything. The true reason and passion of any brand is the story and the reason it exists. It’s essential to be raw and true in our story telling of our brand to allow people to connect.

When are you happiest?

A few weeks off up in our Surf Treehouse in Yamba with my boys, being creative and being around rad, like-minded people.

What was your first great love? What does Love mean or look like to you?

My first great love was fun and really shaped who I am today. My love now is exactly the same – full of fun but now its learning to evolve together.

I’m so interested to know more about how you discovered incense and also what made you decide to take the leap and turn your interest into a business?

I have always been obsessed with scents especially the memories of them. I have always been the person who bought the random perfume from the perfumery and I think this came with the travel I did from a young age. Being a 1990’s  teenager, I burnt Incense when I was listening to The Tea Party down in Margaret River surfing so I was always fond of it. Luxe candles I also love but I rediscovered Incense again as a way of bringing calm into my life.

We are mega fragrance enthusiasts here at Love After Love and part of that enthusiasm comes from an interest in how our olfactory systems are so linked to memory and lived experience. Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration behind your three scents?

These 3 places are very close to my heart and have some botanicals that are specific to these regions.

 Margaret River – I am from WA so I spent my teenage years down south surfing. I love the smell of the sea spray amongst the huge sandalwood trees.

Bells Beach – This place is spiritual and magical. We got married on the beach here and the scent of Eucalyptus in this scent reminds me of the walk out to Bells via the track.

Byron Bay – Dreamy Sunsets on hot summer nights spent here gives me all the feels. I tried to capture this memory using Rosalina and White Cypress with a hint of Cedarwood for a delicate and sexy scent with a hint of earthiness.

What are your favourite ways to use incense?

In the evening after work to calm the family down, Sunday morning in bed with a coffee reading the paper and just recently yoga sessions!

You live in Torquay in Victoria, can you tell us what a typical day looks like for you?

I'm so grateful to live in Torquay – a typical day for me has definitely changed!  First thing is getting Duke on the bus and Ace to childcare, I then love grabbing a coffee from Ginger Monkey. I then spend my day at Ripcurl where I am the Global Product Manager and work with my awesome team. I grab Ace on the way home, cook dinner then get the kids to bed. After that I am then working on This Is Incense at night, maybe some Netflix and a wine if I am lucky!

What would a dream day in Torquay look like?

A favourite day for me would be a rare hot day, glassy and two foot swell I would surf with the kids and have a beach day. Late lunch at Fishos with the family, a margarita with friends at home with a BBQ and an early night!

At the time of writing this, both NSW & VIC have gone into various states of COVID-19 related lockdown. Can you share with us some ways you will be spending your time at home? What are you reading/watching/listening to/creating?

I am mastering the art of being the ultimate multitasker! My husband and I are both working from home with both kids home-schooled.

I am waking up, doing Yoga to keep sane, the boys and I are surfing when we can, I bought a bike for evening rides with the boys and madly packing orders and doing post office runs in between! 

I have watched Tiger King, listening to “Offline” by Alison Rice and trying not to drink every night but every working parent home-schooling would be trying not to do this!

Can you leave us with your favourite book/excerpt/quote?

My life Motto: “You can’t be good at everything”.

Shop This is Incense here.

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