Contradictions in Ilk

Seeking to showcase the fundamental duality of our personalities, Contradictions in Ilk invite you to layer their provocative, passionate fragrances – and discover your very own ‘me in a bottle’ moment…

This exciting niche fragrance house was founded in 2020 by Creative Director, Annabella Fasano-Leslie – a free-spirited creative and perfume-lover, with a background in human psychology and eight years of advertising industry experience – and Holly Hutchinson (already known for her luxury niche line, Memoize London). Melding their skills and passions, together they came up with Contradictions in Ilk, taking inspiration from the fact that none of us can easily be summed-up by just one character trait alone.

We are complex beings, they remind us, and the scents we wear should express and celebrate that – not seek to trap us in a box! Because we chose fragrances emotionally, don’t we? Especially when, increasingly, we’re researching and reading about them first online. We feel a kinship with the description – something draws us toward them, eventually, picking up a particular bottle that, hopefully, becomes part of us – an invisible accessory that says so much about who we are (or who we’d like people to perceive us as being that day….) Now, more than ever, we need guiding toward that initial encounter, and Contradictions in Ilk felt it was time to address who we really are.

Talking about how they came to choose their unique name, and the concept behind it, the house explains that ‘Ilk is an old Scottish word with varied interpretations over the centuries, our interpretation is “the essence of who you are”. Contradictions in Ilk refers to the contradictions in who we are – which is exactly what we wish to celebrate with our collection of layerable scents inspired by human nature.’

So they seek to inspire us to use their perfume in order to ‘experience significant moments more deeply, to capture vivid emotions, and to help tell stories by engaging all the senses.’ Most importantly, they want us to reconnect with our emotional selves, and the way we use fragrance to enhance these (often confusingly opposing) aspects of our personalities; because… ‘Perfume doesn’t have to be a Christmas gift, a huge bottle you tire of before you reach the end, a footnote in your beauty regime. It can and should be more – express yourself with scent.’

The collection comprises gender-free fragrances poured at powerful extrait de parfum strength for extra longevity on the skin, and grouped in pairs of deliberately, sometimes provocatively contradictory ‘scent stories’. These, of course, can work beautifully if you choose to wear them alone, but really come alive and enhance each-other (in surprising ways!) when you dare to layer.

‘Each perfume in the collection is intended to reflect the many nuances of human nature,’ the creators say, with the layering ‘allowing the wearer to play up or down different facets of the scent depending on their mood, environment, and caprice.’ And you needn’t limit yourself to two personality types when choosing your perfume combos – Contractions in Ilk explain you can be playful, perhaps deciding on a third ‘or even a fourth scent, depending on which way around [you] layer…’

Depending on how you feel that day, they suggest, you might be both Sincere (‘an enrobing expression of a mothers profound love’) and Devious (‘an exploration into the sour edge of one’s mind’). Perhaps you could allow yourself to be a Fantasist (‘a delectable treat for the senses with an enchanted night at the circus’) while simultaneously seeking to be a Realist (‘in the mountains of Japan, we follow a monk’s quest to achieve enlightenment’). Being Infatuated (‘the all-consuming experience of a lovelorn teenager’) is something we can all empathise with, while secretly striving to be more Nonchalant (‘a glimpse into the glamorous cool of Paris’s most notorious Femme Fatale.’) One, two or several of these scents? The decision is yours alone to make – and to have fun experimenting with!

Gender-free, cruelty-free and planet friendly the fragrances have received PETA certification, and almost all components and packaging are recycled or recyclable, with the manufacturing and production all done within an 80-mile radius in the UK. And hallelujah – there are three sizes available in each fragrance, designed with practicality and portability in mind.

What strikes us most, smelling Contradictions in Ilk, is that we do very often try to fit ourselves into one role or another – conscientious work colleague, caring parent, compassionate friend, passionate lover – when in reality, we’re any number of these people and more, all at once. So why should we restrict ourselves to being one scent ‘type’, when all of our personal stories are multi-layered? Let’s agree, from hereon, that we’ll dare to be any number of ‘types’ of people, all at once – and let Contradictions in Ilk be our scented stepping-stone to discovering our own moment of recognition. Our path to ‘me in a bottle’…



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