How can digitization improve men’s experience of identifying their ideal scent?
The fragrance industry embraced customized colognes and perfumes for quite some time but it is far from being digitized. Most scent stores rely on the fact that people need to physically visit a store, sit down with a representative and sample colognes or perfumes. Scent Trunk wants to challenge this commonplace experience by combing a handful of emerging experiential components: the subscription service model and a touch of analytics. According to an email we received from their co-founder, William Yin:
When men shop for fragrances, brands are vigorously competing for our attention, through media, retail and salespeople. The sample process in these stores are ineffective. This is because, the smell of a fragrance changes over time, and it responds to our skin chemistry. This is why fragrance smells different on everyone. A quick sniff at a department store, is not a good indicator of how the fragrance will smell on you. This leads people to make poor choices, to stick to the status quo.
Scent Trunk is a subscription service looking to help the fragrance industry shift to becoming more digitally savvy. For $15 a month, the male-focused start-up will send their customers 3 custom fragrances to kickstart the process of helping them identify their favorite fragrance.
This is accomplished by having them fill out a survey that uses a simple algorithm to determine Scent Profiles. The company then sends men monthly samples until they find their desired scent, allowing them to finally purchase full bottles. Taking a tailoring quiz that asks questions like “Where would you rather be right now?”, “Who do you relate to the most?”, “what’s your favorite drink?”, “what’s your favorite season?” The quiz closes with more product-oriented questions where the quiz-taker identifies some preferences and their skin type.
For a detailed breakdown of what Scent Trunk will send you, check out this review video created by Fragrance Bros.
They’re currently working with about 15 brands including Billy Jealousy, Demeter Fragrances, Michel Germain, Olympic Orchids, Esscentual Alchemy, Ilum Dean New York, Atelier de Geste, Cognoscenti, Dueto Parfums, Eau de Nerd… etc. Each brand offers a variety of scents, so there over 100 scents in their library currently, and they plan to continue expanding this library. Scent Trunk seems to be focused on working with fragrance brands rather than the indepedents that a shop like MiN New York would work with. Their business model is superbly set-up to accommodate many of the perfumers found across Europe and especially in France. This would further bolster their competitive edge in comparison to the relative flat approach taht department stores take in selling fragrance.