An interview with the founders of Luckyscent.com and Scent Bar…
Perfume aficionados will never agree on what the ultimate fragrance is. But there is one thing they can all consent to; Luckyscent.com is the best online source for perfume. Whether you know exactly what your looking for, or only have a vague idea that you want something that smells like _____ (name anything), only here will you find 500+ scents, searchable by brand, keyword or note, brought to you in clever, totally unpretentious fashion. You can (and I do) spend hours browsing, getting totally lost in descriptions that are so narrative, you can practically close your eyes and smell the fragrance.
As if that’s not enough, two things really set them apart. You can order samples of almost any perfume that they sell. So very helpful when you’re about to drop the money for something truly fabulous. And, after you smell something you love, you can also create a wishlist, either for you to catalog future purchases or as subtle or totally obvious hint for anyone who may be shopping for you.
If you live in Los Angeles, you have the added bonus of being able to visit the retail outpost of the site, Scent Bar. Which is exactly what Tyna and I did recently and spent some time sniffing the wares and talking to the lovely and helpful Angela. Her knowledge was vast and it was incredible to discuss my favorite notes and have her pull bottles from the beautiful rows on the shelves for me to sample. But perhaps most amazing, the absolutely non-pushy atmosphere. She was about as far from a department store fragrance peddler as possible (who hasn’t been accosted by one of those?)
So, it’s safe to say that we were delighted when Franco Wright agreed to let we heart this interview him. He, along with partner Adam Eastwood, are personally responsible for most of our perfume purchases. We thought it only fitting to feature the companies who have us smelling so good…
wht: Which came first, Luckyscent or Scent Bar? When and why did you decide to start both?
Franco: Our website started first, really as a ‘concept’ to see if it would take off! 4 years after, we launched a retail brick and morter!
What are your backgrounds? Have you always worked in perfume?
Both our backgrounds are in graphic design—and no, we had very little experience in perfume, just a passion for products, merchandising and keen sense of direct marketing.
How do the two of you know each other?
We met at a design firm in Venice, CA. We’ve been friends and business partners for 10+ years now!
How many scents do you have on the site vs. in-store?
Online, easily over 500 (and counting!)…and in the store, about 200.
Who writes your description for the site? They are amazing!
Thank you! I wish we could take credit but we have some amazing writers that work with us.
The fact that you can buy samples at LuckyScent is genius. Why did you decide to offer them?
Really it was a service in the beginning, we had to fulfill the burning question, ‘what does that smell like’… and then it became an integral component of our service and selection.
Do you have any exclusives?
One of our specialities is having a handful exclusive brands—customers have come to rely on us for being either the only source in the US for a brand, or at least, for our exclusive launches, exclusive previews, etc. One of our latest US exclusives from the UK is Boadicea the Victorious (The very same line Michelle Obama bought three scents from on a recent trip to Harrod’s ~wht)
What are your best sellers?
Big brands: L’artisan Parfumeur, Comme des Garcons, by Kilian, Serge Lutens. Indie brands: Monyette Paris, Kai, Costes, Le Labo.
What do you think are your most unique scents?
Boudicca Wode, it sprays disappearing blue paint! Fraaagola Saalaaata, a salt and strawberry exclusive Italian scent for us here in the US. L’artisan Parfumeur-Dzing! is inspired by the ‘smells’ of a circus. By Kilian-Love, inspired by the scent of marshmallow, decadent!
Any chance of a Luckyscent perfume in the future? What would it smell like if so?
We have had a few scents created for us in the past, one of which is a gourmand Leather fragrance, by Indult, called Reve en Cuir. But yes, we hope to have more Luckyscent creations in the future.
What are your favorite lines and why? (either for a man or a woman)
We both love Escentric Molecules right now, it’s so simple, linear; yet it is really captivating. Truly a less-is-more concept that really wears well. Also, Comme des Garcons…they continue to evolve and their creations are still so avant garde.
What is the best way to apply scents? (i.e. to rub or not to rub?) Are there different rules for oils vs. sprays?
Oils, generally…pulse points. And sprays, its really up to the individual. I hear more and more how people like to spray their hairbrush, and comb the scent through the hair. On lighter scents, I tend to spray my clothes as it will help with the longevity.
What can you do when you go crazy and over apply?
Wash, wash, wash!
Can you give our readers a crash course on notes?
Don’t be afraid of musk or patchouli, both notes are VERY common in a lot of fragrances and might give you a whole new experience on a particular perfume.
And synthetic ingredients are a good thing– They are stable, good for those customers with specific allergies in perfumes, and synthetics are good for the environment.
How about some tips on finding the perfect scent for you?
Keep an open mind, sample and don’t try too many at one time. Never feel pressured or in a hurry when searching for your new scent; the experience should be enjoyable—at the end of the day, we want you to be sure you wear what you love.
Any recommendations on how to jump in and become a full-fledged perfumista?
There are online training course, lots of resources in fact… and I recently read about a new school in NY that offers certified training. Of course, it would be great if you can go to Grasse and study there!
And no we heart this interview is complete without a trip to the potluck vault…
Me in a nutshell: curious.
I heart: music, wine, laughter, friends and family.
What book do you think everyone should read? The Perfect Scent.
You can have front row concert tickets to see anyone, who do you choose? It would have to be someone legendary that is no longer with us…I’ll go with Bob Marley.
Favorite TV show(s): 30 Rock, Three’s Company.
My favorite room in my house and why: My deck…I love the view as the sun sets over the mountains at dusk.
Five people alive or dead I’d invite to a party: Will Arnett, Morrissey, Picasso, Janis Joplin, my Dad. Quite a party, eh?
If I were an 80’s movie/tv/music star, I’d be: probably D-list by now.
What’s your sign and do you fit the traits of it? Gemini. Any surprise there? And yes, I certainly follow the traits of a Gemini, all two of me.
What are 3 things you can’t live without? Mountains, sea, fresh air.
If you had a spare $500, what would you do with it? Let’s see, probably a smattering of things: lottery tickets, flowers for my wife, a night out at Dan Tana’s, and maybe if there is a little left over — start a college fund for my newborn son!
Tell us some your guilty pleasures: Blink 182, vanilla cappuccino, peanut butter, photography, the Food Network, vintage cars, architecture.
Love Luckyscent and Scent Bar? Let ’em know in the comments! And thanks again to the whole crew for taking the time to speak with us.