Where to start
Why Make Smells?
I started of my career as a graphic designer. Somehow, that eventually brought me to designing my own smells.
If you're not familiar w/ Misc. Goods Co.'s origin, take a look at our History Page and you'll learn that this company was born from a fortunate happen-stance. I (Tyler) was a free-lance graphic designer and I had no intention to start a product company. But after a monstrously successful Kickstarter campaign for designing a deck of playing cards, in many ways my path was set.
From that point forward I started testing my skills and designing in new materials like wood, leather, concrete and ceramic. The early success of our Keep It Slim Wallet and our Ceramic Flasks motivated me to do more …
“When I first started dabbling in graphic design I never could have known that it would lead me to designing smells”
We run the trade show gamet via NyNOW, Liberty and Shoppe Object
That's when I started traveling to trade shows (a market for selling wholesale to retailers) and meeting more and more creators, business owners and, of course, retail buyers. You may be confused as to why I'm explaining this for a journal about smells ... the reason is that without trade shows I would have never even thought to design a fragrance.
It was 2015 and I was in LA for my first west coast trade show. The show, was ... well, not good. We were losing money and discouraged …
As a result of the show being under-attended, I began wondering around the space looking at the other vendors’ tables. It was then that I came across a table lined with more than 20 tea cups covered, inviting curiosity. A woman walked up to me and began telling a story ... the story was random and I was having a hard time understanding the context, but then, all of sudden she hands me one of the small, ceramic cups and asks me to smell. I do and then I understand. Her story was her smell. Her smell was her story. The woman's name was Sarah McCartney and I was inspired.
Once I got back to my home in Louisville I began thinking. I had never in my life had a "scent" -- I didn't have a cologne, deodorant, soap or any smell that I identified with. They always felt like someone else’s smell that I had to adopt. This was my chance to make my smell. I started creating my scent story -- considering the smells that I would want remember throughout the day. I shared my vision with Sarah and after working through 13 prototypes we were finished. The fragrance of Underhill was completed and I released it first as a Solid Cologne.
The product launch wasn't met with a ton of fan-fare for several reasons ... at that point our customer base was mostly for playing cards and solid colognes were a new concept. For those two reasons it was hard to sell ... but we were so pleased with them and so we persevered and eventually developed our second smell w/ Sarah, Valley of Gold.
After a few years of selling the solid colognes it was becoming clear that we had developed smells that people really loved and the only thing getting in our way from helping more people experience them was that they only came as solid colognes. That's when we went all-in and developed 3 new categories to experience the smell: our Natural Deodorants, Roll-On Colognes and Incense.
This is when the full realization of what we had made was known. People now had access to our fragrances in all these different ways and the feedback was amazing. It took years of development and perseverance but now we had the support to continue creating. So we did. In 2020 I started designing our newest smell, Grasslands, and the excitement grew.
What was the next step? How could we elevate our fragrance oils even higher? …
I had stayed away from spray colognes, also known as atomizers because the concept had always reminded me of ... well ... department stores.
Do you remember walking through the mall as a kid? Going by the kiosk of colognes and perfumes feeling the overwhelming sensation of smell overload. This, to me, was not a fond memory and because of that I wanted to stay away from atomizers. The problem with that logic was that those smells, from the mall were not for me. The truth is that an atomizer such as our Eau De Colognes bring a new perspective to our designed smells. They open up the fragrance in ways that our other applications can't while also giving you an opportunity to spray fabric w/ out staining.
Bringing our fragrances to our Eau De Colognes gives us the opportunity to fully express the nuances and design of the smells we worked so hard to create. The smells that I identify with.
The most satisfying result of the history of our fragrances is that our smells have become a part of so many people's lives. That there are people for whom Underhill, or Valley of Gold, or Grassland is "their smell" -- they own it. It expresses who they are. That is a privilege.
What comes next? I'm not sure. But I do know that whatever it is, I will give it my full attention. To make it as good as everything else we've made. The smells that our community has come to love.
Owner, Misc. Goods Co.
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