In case the name Anston Singh isn’t ringing a bell, the name AlmostGuilty may do it. The entrepreneur, stylist and all-around creative has captured and styled some of the most recent, iconic moments in fashion, making a name for himself both here in the United States and in his native, Canada. But now, he’s adding the title fragrance creator to that long list with the launch of Internal Affairs.
The unisex fragrance, which has already sold out once in a matter of moments, should be a staple on everyone’s vanity. Here’s why.
What inspired Internal Affairs?
ANSTON SINGH: I started as a stylist doing music videos, fashion shows, and other events. I also started doing a lot of photography as well. Last year, while I shooting at Paris Fashion Week, I began to notice that there were a lot of new beauty products being created that were inspired by fashion. So I took it upon myself to create something new, with my community in mind. So I created a fragrance that would be affordable, but still luxury as well as for everyone. I noticed that a lot of the unisex fragrances out there are kind of dated, and I wanted to reinvent the new standards for that category.
Have you always been moved and inspired by fragrance?
SINGH: So many fragrances have inspired me throughout the years. It’s pretty much that one item that everyone can wear that compliments each and every outfit. For me and who I am, fragrance was the perfect product to launch.
How long did the production process take for the fragrance?
SINGH: It took a really long time. The idea first came to me almost two years ago, but we didn’t start like the actual process of working with a lab until a year and a half ago. It took some time because I didn’t want to base it off of any fragrance out there. I wanted it to be like a brand new standard. So we worked on probably over 20 different samples until we finally got the right perfect one. Once I finished the sample, that’s when I started conceptualizing the bottle. I wanted it to be something that stood out, but still elegant, and not tacky, something that would age amazingly and would look good, even when it’s empty. It had to be something that people will look at as not only as just a fragrance bottle, but a piece of art.
Can you describe the aroma of the fragrance?
SINGH: The top notes are lemon, blackcurrant and apple. The middle notes are pear, raspberry, jasmine and patchouli. And the bottom is vanilla, oak moss, and musk. So it’s very universal. It’s perfect for that date night when you want to feel sexy, you want to feel desirable, but it’s also good because it has that freshness of that lemon. So if you want to, you could also use it as an everyday scent. It doesn’t smell like anything else out there, and that’s the whole point.
The campaign is absolutely stunning. How did you conceptualize it?
SINGH: We didn’t start developing ideas for the campaign until the product was already done. So I definitely wanted it to look like how it smells. This is the digital age we’re living in and a lot of people are going to be interested in buying it, but they can’t smell it beforehand. I wanted to make sure that the campaign was strong enough so that people had that confidence to purchase it. It had to be genuine so I chose two models that I believe are what real models look like. They’re very, very close friends of mine. In so many fragrance campaigns that I’ve seen, none of them really highlighted dark-skinned black women, that was a problem for me. It was very natural, it was very genuine and every shot that we worked on came together exactly as it was intended.
Will there be another fragrance to follow?
SINGH: I wouldn’t call myself only a fragrance designer. I’m definitely a multi-disciplinary creative and I definitely can’t say that another fragrance will be following this way. It could be something completely different. I always want to keep moving forward and be innovative and push my creative boundaries. So I definitely would say it could be a fragrance, but it also could be something very different as well.
Why do you think Black creators are so underrepresented in the luxury fragrance space?
SINGH: Honestly, I thought about that for like a really long time. When I started this, I really wanted to do my research and look into how many of us are actually represented in this space. I quickly realized there wasn’t many. I think it’s because a lot of times when you’re developing a fragrance on luxury level, it takes a certain amount of backing by certain companies and luxury houses. I just want to make it known that it is in fact possible to do it without that. Whatever it is you believe in, you can get it done.