We’ve all experienced that wave of nostalgia when we get a whiff of a certain something and it brings back a multitude of memories. From mom’s cooking, to the stench of formaldehyde during your grade 10 frog dissection; smells convey a variety of meanings and emotions. For William Yin, of Scent Trunk, scents are more than just odours. They are “emotional, unique and personal” experiences. That right there is the basis of the Queen’s student-founded company, Scent Trunk.
Scent Trunk was born out of long, unsatisfying days at William’s engineering job. As a man who likes to dress based on his own style, he felt limited by the conventionalisms and mundaneness of his work. “I was told I had to dress a certain way, and I didn’t like that.” So, being the inspired Queen’s student that he his, he decided to turn that energy into a business. Bada-bing bada-boom, Scent Trunk was born.
I was lucky enough to chat with William and get the inside scoop on Scent Trunk.
What exactly is Scent Trunk?
Scent Trunk is a personalized fragrance subscription service, where we use machine-learning technology to make sure you get the perfect scents.
But what does that mean? In the form of an online survey, Scent Trunk uses advanced analytics to match your personality and lifestyle to a “scent profile”. Questions from “where would you rather be right now?” to “choose your favourite drink” work to form your scent personality. The information is then used to find fragrances customized to you.
If I wanted to try out some perfumes from Scent Trunk, how would I go about doing that?
You would start by filling out our online Scent Survey. Then, for $15/month, we will send you 3 deluxe samples to try. You rate your samples every month, and based on that data we tailor the scents to your changing preferences. There is also the option of a quarterly box, for people who don’t wear fragrances as often.
Do you think there is a market for this online store since people can just go to the drug store and pick up a fragrance? Most people usually pick a perfume and stick with it, how would you convince people to turn to Scent Trunk instead?
There is actually a huge trend towards owning multiple scents. It is similar to clothing. People used to all wear the same stuff, now you’ll see a lot of different styles of clothing. The scents we offer also cannot be found in drug stores because they are niche fragrances tailored to the customer. This also solves the problem of being online. Fragrances are customized and modified each month, so you are bound to find one you enjoy.
Scent Trunk is very male focused. Have you considered opening up to the female demographic?
We are actually planning on launching the women’s box May 1st! In fact, if there are any female readers who would be interested in subscribing, email me at email@example.com and I will add you to our pre-order list. Those on the list receive the first box 50% off!
As an engineer, why did you choose to get into the fragrance industry?
I feel like we’re often told to be a certain way, to act a certain way and I didn’t agree with that. We’re all unique and have unique styles. I decided to start a fragrance company because fragrances are as unique as we are. It was the perfect medium to get our vision across. People should be confident with who they are, it is positive to be different. We try to make people happy. And we only offer niche fragrances, I mean, who wants to smell like someone else?
What scent are you wearing right now?
I’m wearing Billy Jealously Illicit. It’s a lighter scent—good for the spring.
What are Scent Trunk’s plans for the future?
We’ve managed to prove that there is demand for our product, which was our first step. Now we’ve hired students to intern for the summer and we hope to get investment by the end of the summer as well. Moving forward, we want to get our story and our vision across to our potential customers. We want to build a community of likeminded people. I think there are too many profit-focused companies that don’t care about what is most important: making people happy and giving them a great experience.
Each Scent Trunk box includes 3 (2-3mL) samples of fragrances tailored to your personality and lifestyle. The box also includes descriptions of the fragrances as well as tidbits of information.
If you like what you see, the code SPRING20 will get your 20% off your Scent Trunk purchase.
You can get more information on Scent Trunk by visiting https://scenttrunk.com or liking them on Facebook.
Shanelle Furtado, Online Contributor
Images: Scentruck.com with permission