Smell of Success

Austin-based company debuts an entirely new way to shop for fragrances

Austin-based company debuts an entirely new way to shop for fragrances

Phlur fragrance Hanami
Phlur uses strong imagery to give you a feel for each fragrance before you smell them. Photo by Adam Voorhes
Eric Korman founder Phlur fragrance
Founder Eric Korman moved to Austin to launch Phlur. Photo by Nina Westervelt
Phlur fragrance bottles
The current lineup includes six unisex fragrances. Photo by Adam Voorhes
Phlur fragrance Hanami
Eric Korman founder Phlur fragrance
Phlur fragrance bottles

A new Austin-based company is changing the way you shop for fragrances. With Phlur, the days of an overwhelming trip to the department store, with too many scents and overpriced products, are a thing of the past.

Founded by former Ralph Lauren executive Eric Korman, the online company aims to make finding your preferred fragrance a personal experience — it's not about a celebrity endorsement, it's about finding the scent that speaks to you.

Phlur creates a story, complete with imagery, music playlists, and eloquent descriptions, to introduce customers to each of its six unisex fragrances — Hanami, Olmsted & Vaux, Moab, Greylocke, Hepcat, and Siano.

Hanami, for example, "is bold without being loud, weightless but grounded," reads the website. "It has a reverent subtlety and a warm embrace, inviting and complex at the same time." Accompanying Hanami are tunes by Lucius, Philip Glass, and Tosca.

Each fragrance also features a chart that breaks down important information, such as how long the scent lasts and how to apply it. Phlur also encourages customers to opt for a $10 sample kit to get better acquainted with two scents before committing to a 50-milliliter bottle for $85. The $10 sample fee can be applied to a future full-bottle purchase. 

The fragrances are as sustainable as they are thoughtful. The team sources ingredients from environmentally conscious providers and avoids adding any chemicals that would be harsh on the skin. And $5 from each sale is donated to a cause Phlur believes in; the Olmsted & Vaux scent supports Central Park Conservancy.

Things are moving fast for the young Austin company. Phlur became a full-fledged operation in less than two years, and products hit the market just a few weeks ago. Looking ahead, Korman hopes to fine-tune the online fragrance buying process.

"Our immediate next steps are learning from our customers, see what's working and what's not, then adjust accordingly," he says. "Then working on some new things later in the fall around the website that we think will help people find fragrances as well as help them around the holiday period."

Phlur also hopes to add additional scents and expand product categories.