HOBOKEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – If you’re from New Jersey, you’ve likely heard the jokes from those outside the state about its smelly reputation.
Two young entrepreneurs behind a new fragrance line are doing their part to disprove the stereotype.
United Scents is a fragrance line creating a signature, unisex scent to represent each of the 50 states – starting with New Jersey. The company is the brainchild of co-founders Samantha Sherwin and Sasha Bertran, both N.J. residents.
The two women were both working at a fragrance distributor, dreaming up ideas for scents while on their lunch breaks together. One particular day, Sherwin, who once lived in California, mentioned how the smell of suntan lotion always brought her mind right back to the West Coast – no matter what part of the country she was really in.
With that, the idea for their company was founded.
They set out to include all 50 states in the collection, concocting the scents based on the feelings and reflections of those who call that state home.
By interviewing state residents and delving deep into their favorite memories and roots, the pair packages the thoughts and expressions of those surveyed into something tangible – a 1.7 oz bottled aroma.
“We host focus groups of people with in different sections of the state,” Sherwin told CBSNewYork. “After about 100 questions, we decipher the most common answers and head to the lab to develop our next scent. “
Instead, the Garden State’s signature fragrance is meant to elicit memories of summers spent down the shore. The aura includes elements of cotton candy, caramel and coconut – the types of scents you likely encounter on the boardwalk. It’s currently one of the only – if not the only – fragrance on the market that features a fresh, buttered popcorn element.
The perfume/cologne inspired by the Big Apple is topped off with just that – the scent of apple. New York’s scent features the fruit not only because of the city’s nickname, but because of the apple trees in upstate New York. At the heart of the fragrance are the sophisticated smells of jasmine, basil and lily.
Additionally, United Scents of America has launched scents representing Florida, California and Texas. Next up: Hawaii.
“We’re one of the few brands trying to associate scents with memory,” Sherwin said.
Calling celebrity scents “generic,” the pair behind the product are all about getting personal.
“We want [our customers] to be brought back to a childhood memory, a favorite vacation, their home state or any special time in their life that they can associate to a specific place. “
The company is based in Hoboken, and appropriately, United Scents is completely manufactured in the United States.
“We are hoping that our movement will catch on and people will start to make initiatives to buy American-made products,” Sherwin said.
The team is looking to utilize social media to interact with young men and women across the country, gathering memories of all fifty states in order to concoct each individual, perfectly-augmented aroma.
United Scents is currently for purchase at 10 stores – including several boutiques in the Tri-State area. For information on where to shop, visit ShopUnitedScents.com.