Sophie Marshall has found a way to box the scent of summer at Australia’s iconic beaches in a collection of incense sticks. There’s one called Bells Beach, another called Yamba, one for Noosa, Margaret River, Tasmania, Bondi Beach and Byron Bay. And, to help support those affected by the floods in the Northern Rivers region, there was also a special fundraising release created in collaboration with bespoke design agency Peppa Hart.
Each one has a story, says Marshall, founder of This is Incense. “To create a bespoke scent for each place, I really went back to my experiences that I had in each of the places, the way it made me feel, the memories it evoked,” she says.
The former global head of women’s product at Rip Curl started her new brand to capture her memories. “Everything is driven by intuition and love for making new scents. I have always lived a salty lifestyle, so I guess the vibe comes pretty naturally,” she tells Broadsheet. “My long-term vision is to create a sustainable brand called Gentle Habits. [It’s about] creating positive outcomes, feelings and moments in your day.”
The Bells Beach scent is a memory of experiencing a smoking ceremony at a wedding; the Margaret River one recollects her teenage years spent surfing at Margaret River. A scent close to Marshall’s heart is Yamba, named for the NSW town where she lives.
“It’s a beautiful community of like-minded individuals who value everything that’s important to us and aligns with us as a family,” she says. “My most favourite part is seeing our boys ride around the streets barefoot, surfing and fishing with their new mates and being kids outside. This makes my heart sing.”
But it’s not all about capturing the best moments of our lives. In response to the recent flooding in the Northern Rivers region in NSW and Queensland, This is Incense joined forces with Sophie Bell from agency Peppa Hart for a special release (its Noosa scent in a designer box) that raised $25,000 in 72 hours. “I am so passionate about helping people where we can, so this was the least we could do,” she said.
Each box of 60 incense sticks lasts for approximately 30 hours. They’re made with blends of essential oils, such as cedarwood, tea tree, eucalyptus, orange, sandalwood and white cypress. Plus they come in neat monotone boxes that make beautiful gifts. In addition to the $39 incense packs, you can also shop a range of metal and ceramic incense holders from a selection of Marshall’s favourite local makers on her website. Each pack of This is Incense is hand-dipped and packaged in Torquay, Victoria, and ships across the country for a $5 flat rate.