Imagine if you could create a fragrance that was based on your personality, preferences and mood; Aromachology founders Kristen Menkes and Ashlee Firsten created their bespoke fragrance company with that very vision in mind. Closing the gap between art and science and having a little fun along the way; these divinely scented partners in crime are out change the way you wear, think about and now, design fragrance. Recently, Scent Rebel had a chance to chat with the ladies behind the brand about their goal to connect you to scent in a unique and personal way.
SR: The Aromachology brand was created around the idea that psychology and scent are interrelated; affecting human behavior and mood. How do you think Aromachology perfumes will benefit and affect the wearer in a positive way?
AC: Aromachology was designed to help inspire, connect and motivate its creator to achieve the best version of themselves. Whether that be to start their day off on a ‘happy’ note, give them more confidence on a date or connecting to a fond memory from the past – the creations can really help dictate and enliven any mood even if it’s the psychological connection knowing that the scent is meant to make the creator feel a certain way. The affect of Aromachology is one that promotes positive, unique and creative expression. We hope each and every scent makes the creator feel better about who they are and what they what out of their days, lives, moments, etc.
SR: You craft personal and original fragrances for your clientele; how is this been rewarding? Any challenges?
AC: The most unexpected part about starting Aromachology has definitely been the interaction with our clients. I didn’t anticipate or foresee this being the most rewarding aspect, but it really has. When we’re blending for people it really becomes such a personal experience, unintentionally, almost like a therapy session. We always ask the client what they’re looking to get out of their scent, and from there all the walls break down (in a good way!). We absolutely love getting to know our customers and feel fortunate to have such personal interactions with a lot of them. We keep in touch with so many, and get testimonials from mothers, daughters, husbands, talking about how their scent has changed their lives…it’s inspiration and motivation for Ashlee and I’s progression and development on a daily basis. The most challenging part of our business is staying unique and deciding on what products are best to develop. We’re both very creative and enjoy thinking out of the box, but it’s always a risk not following typical ‘trends’…but, it’s more important for us to stay unique and offer fresh ideas and products that truly capture our audience.
SR: Tell me about the Aromachology process of creating a personal fragrance. I think Scent Rebel needs a signature scent- where and how do I start?
AC: It’s SO easy, fun and unintimidating to create your signature scent with us. We made the process simple, yet personal – you can know nothing or everything about scent to enjoy the experience. The best way to begin is to start by filling out our “Scent Profile”, which is an easy 10 questions. We don’t have you revealing too much, just enough to give us a glimpse into who you are. After you decide on your base fragrance (there are 5 different options), the next step is selecting top notes. Each customer has the option of choosing up to any 3 notes out of our menu of 15. All are very different and distinct in smell and how they’re meant to affect your behavior and mood. All of the top notes are labeled as attributes, such as Empowering, Sexy, Graceful, Inspiring…customers can choose their notes based on the smell or the word. Each blend used for each top note is meant to bring that out in your personality. It becomes a very aspirational and inspirational process that essentially helps put all of our customer’s positive characteristics into perspective.
SR: You’ve mentioned before that the perfume industry is “lackluster”. How so? And, more specifically, why do you think this is?
AC: The fragrance world has become so saturated with different scents that it’s hard to identify what it is people really like. Big name brands are constantly coming out with new scents and in between that you have a different celebrity launching their own fragrance. Scent is the most personal accessory a woman or man can own, and the connection and personal relationship with our fragrance has become less of a priority and completely out of focus. Consumers are blinded by the marketing fluff that is associated with all the big campaigns, which don’t get me wrong is really difficult to avoid, but I think we’ve come back to a time where people want more meaning brought back into their spending and buying routine. Aromachology is about providing our customers with a unique experience, where they can get lost in enjoying the art of perfume and discover the incredible power of scent.
SR: One of the things that inspired you to start Aromachology was the motivation to find synergy between the art and science of fragrance. I agree- it is both an art and science; do you think you’ve successfully achieved this or are you constantly striving to build upon your concept?
AC: I think we’ve definitely achieved that with our custom fragrances and educating people that there’s so much more depth to perfume than its smell. It has so many added benefits that should be taken advantage of. We are constantly working on translating that same idea and concept with our other products. We want to provide the same one of a kind experience and personal connection with our candles and our new bath & body line. Everyday we’re trying to figure out new ways to make our products ‘custom-inspired’ with providing the best ingredients and formulations.
SR: Ashlee is a chemical engineer that worked Estee Lauder and Kirsten a pr professional with experience at People.com and InStyle to name a few; it sounds like the both of you are the “art” and “science” of Aromachology personified! Tell me about your different backgrounds that make Aromachology such a successful and innovative company
AC: The success of Aromachology thus far has everything to do with how different Ashlee and I are – it’s what makes the company and the brand what it is. Not only do we have such different backgrounds, but we think in such different ways, which really does provide the perfect synergism between articulating a story based around art and science. I find that we give consumers just enough information to intrigue and excite and tell a story that makes them yearning for more. It’s a perfect balance between education, fun and that personal connection. Ashlee studied sciences and went on to become a chemical engineer. She worked at Estee Lauder in R&D and has the Operations and Development background. She went on to get her MBA in Luxury Goods, which gave her the knowledge of creating a brand and really understanding everything involved with doing that. Her education, experience and network really gave us our ability to launch Aromachology into something more than just an idea. The custom process was streamlined and developed with her brains.
My background exposed me to a completely other side of development – the creative side. I always knew I’d end up in product development because my mind is always racing with unique ideas and visual concepts. I worked in pr, sales and marketing in D.C., NY and Toronto and my understanding of that world and the intense power of the media has been an asset. Although Ashlee and I exercise the opposite sides of our brains, we speak the same language at the end of the day. We’ve been on the same page since Day 1, in terms of our ideas and where and how we want to take Aromachology.
SR: What’s next for Aromachology? Any cool projects that you are working that you would like to share with us?
AC: Everyday is always so fresh for us – literally each new morning brings new experiences and adventures. We’re always thinking of new ways to stay unique and how to connect with our consumers. We’re very particular about each and every new product we develop – it has to be different, it has to feel, look and smell special. We don’t want to come out with products that re-tell a ‘same old’, stale story. We are adamant about tweaking whatever it is we’re working on and changing it until it’s perfect…our customers deserve nothing but the best. We just launched a bath and body line – which we are SO excited about! All of the products are natural, everything from hand wash, body lotion, room spray and mini ‘soap bites’, which are meant for individual hand washing. It’s hitting shelves at the beginning of March in all of the 5 ‘personality’ scents. Stay tuned for what’s next!