“Just when you run out, a new scented treasure arrives in the mail.” -Mariya Nurislamova, CEO & Co-Founder of Scentbird
Mariya Nurislamova (image courtesy of Scentbird)
Anyone who has ever chatted beauty with me knows that I have mixed feelings on subscription services. Scentbird, however, is nothing short of brilliant. Think of it as Netflix for perfumes; create a monthly queue from the company’s vast library, and enjoy a new designer scent each month. Each vial slips into a sleek, purse-spray shell that’s a breeze to refill (and doesn’t contaminate your new selections). There’s a quick scent preference quiz to get you started, but you can browse past your suggested results. The monthly “samples” are a good size too, each holding about 30 days of perfume. For $14.95/month, it’s a nice way to rotate your fragrance with the seasons—I began with Hermès Un Jardin après la Mousson, a juicy, rain-soaked blend of cardamom, coriander, pepper, ginger, ginger flower and vetiver accord.
For the scoop on what makes Scentbird tick, I caught up with CEO and co-founder Mariya Nurislamova, who graciously answered all my questions on beauty staples, signature scents and her business philosophy.
On the inspiration behind her company:
“We have always wanted to build an alternative to the status quo fragrance counter. Fragrance is an art form; it was meant to seduce and delight your senses. A regular fragrance counter in the department store just doesn’t communicate that. It is non-private, pushy, confusing and at times, repelling. As much as I love fragrance, I noticed how I would quite often flee from sales assistants spraying me in the face with the hot new thing. Instead, I wanted an experience I could savor at my own pace. But I also knew perfumes tell stories, and current in-store sampling options don’t allow scents to speak up and come to life in a way that I know they can. Blotters, little free samples, just didn’t feel luxurious enough.”
On selecting new perfumes:
“We take great pride in curating a portfolio ranging from long-admired classics to the little starlets that have just been launched on the market. We love holding blind sniff tests, measuring the overall likability of fragrances under consideration and documenting associations that women have with them. This data helps us determine which fragrances should be featured on Scentbird. I should also mention that our community has been very forthcoming in voicing which new scents they would like to see on Scentbird.”
On her fragrance of the moment:
“My fragrance of the moment is Eau de Pamplemousse Rose by Hermès. It’s a refined, leathery rose with a slight citrus hint at the top. To me, it is decidedly modern—the feminine notes are gently intertwined with the masculine, creating an olfactory sensation like no other. Wearing this fragrance is like horseback riding in a a lavish rose garden: you can smell the freshness, the sweetness of the petals, but the leather of the saddle and the boots remind you that the best things are yet to come as long as you keep riding. Adventure in a bottle—if you haven’t smelled it, you are missing out!”
On her three beauty essentials:
- Bobbi Brown Bronzing Powder to give my skin a sunkissed tone when it’s feeling dull after a long day’s work.
- An assortment of lipsticks and lipbalms. I never know if I’ll be in the mood for bright and defined or toned-down and lightly moisturized, so I have a little lip product gallery with me at all times.
- I never leave home without a portable fragrance spray. I love refreshing scents during the day, so I keep it handy in my bag. Sometimes I would also carry a few droplets of one of my favorite essential oil blends, depending on the season. They help me relax, and make my day a bit brighter.
On signature scents:
“Back in the Marilyn Monroe days, having one signature scent was deemed fashionable, but a modern lady is more versatile, more daring, more free-spirited. All of her whims cannot be communicated through one perfume bottle. I have over five fragrances that I consider to be my signatures, for different moods, for different seasons. All of them communicate a different facet of my personality and I will always have them on my vanity table. But I value exploring, there is always a new sensation waiting for me, a new adventure that is calling my name from the depth of a perfume bottle. I do not think that I will ever grow tired of discovering new scents.”
What’s your take on beauty subscriptions? Would you try Scentbird? Which perfume are you wearing today?
Full disclosure: This post contains press samples and affiliate links. All opinions are my own. Please see the disclaimer section of my About page for my full posting policy.