You might say we’re obsessed with scents. We literally live and breathe all things related to smelling good. Our product development team spends countless hours perfecting our wide range of scents, crafted exclusively from essential oils and botanical extracts. But there’s more than meets the eye when working with plant-based scents. Developing high quality, transportive aromas is more complex than simply making something smell good out of the package.
To truly amplify your daily body care experience, we believe scents should be unobtrusive, balanced, and mesh with your body chemistry—not to mention, leave you feeling incredible. Let’s dive in and talk about how we achieve smells that bring lasting good feels.
Our original scents
The Humble Brands story begins in founder and CEO Jeff Shardell’s kitchen. It was here that he developed our magical four-ingredient Original Formula Deodorant. Thrilled with the result, an aluminum free deodorant that truly worked, he started blending essential oils to create invigorating plant-based scents for his new product. The inaugural scents were Lavender, Lavender & Holy Basil, and Texas Cedarwood & Grapefruit, plus an unscented option.
Ingredients straight from nature
For thousands of years, essential oils have been revered for their therapeutic properties. They offer a pure, clean natural scent. Essential oils and botanical extracts have complex properties that, when layered with other oils, produce gorgeous complex scent profiles. There is a real art in creating blends that are balanced, nuanced, and downright transportive. One drop can make the difference in a blend.
Sourcing is everything
Because they’re derived from nature, essential oils can have a lot of variation. Everything from harvest time, rainfall, growing region, and the extraction process can all impact the end result. It takes a lot of research and careful selection to ensure that what we share with you is perfectly nuanced and responsibly sourced.
Coming up with new scents
Ideas for new scents come to us in a number of ways. We may be inspired by the season, a place we visit, recommendations from customers, essential oils we’re loving, or simply a feeling we want to evoke. Say we want to create a gourmand sweet scent. First, we begin by working with oils in this scent category to narrow down a selection. Then, we’ll sample our favorites together to find the perfect blend. Sometimes it comes together rather quickly. Other times, it can take dozens of combinations to find the winner. We dive deeper into this process in our post about our scent creation process.
Our scent testing process
We are nothing if not perfectionists. Before a scent is released into the world, it undergoes a lengthy development and testing process. In fact, some scents take up to a year to develop. For each new scent, we do extensive testing to see how the scent will evolve on the skin, under different conditions, and over time. We go back to the bench multiple times, with numerous iterations, until we feel certain that we love it and think our customers will too. While inspiration for our scents comes in many forms, every scent is finessed and perfected until it’s ready for its official debut.
We take pride in the fact that some of our scents are quite unique. There are some real gems that we find customers may overlook because they’re not the ubiquitous, marketable scents that so many of us are familiar with.
Geranium Vetiver is perhaps our most misunderstood deodorant scent. Vetiver is one of the oldest sources of perfumery, and was used in some of the first men’s colognes. While vetiver is derived from a flowering plant, it is not so much “floral” as it is herbaceous and earthy. It is the perfect example of a scent that is perfectly unisex.
Another scent that surprised our team was the limited edition Rosemary & Mint. We were worried the combo of these common kitchen herbs would feel too run of the mill, so we put our own creative spin on it with the addition of a few unexpected essential oils.
A range of scents
We look at scent creation objectively. While our team members are each naturally drawn to certain scents, we understand that our own preferences are not shared by all. Plus, variety is the spice of life! So, we offer scents that cover all of the basic scent categories: woody, citrus, fresh, green, smoky, earthy, resinous, floral, spicy, and herbaceous.
Additionally, every person’s body chemistry is unique. We encourage our customers to try multiple scents, because you never really know if you’ll truly love a scent until it's on your skin.
As our Director of Product Development, Kristin Moore, has notably said, “Scent is mood.” It is believed that aromatherapy can be quite powerful. Maybe you’re having a stressful week, lavender or patchouli may help calm you. Getting ready for a date night? Create some real sultry energy with palo santo and frankincense—or a romantic vibe with Moroccan rose. Having an arsenal of deodorant and soap scents at your disposal gives you options to create or change a mood.
What scents could be next?
If you’re drawn to Forbidden Tonka Bean or Sweet Orange & Cinnamon because they elicit a nostalgic response to foods you love, then you’ll be pleased to hear we’re tossing around the idea of something in the gourmand category, such as warm chai—envision a heady blend of cardamom, ginger, and clove. Or perhaps something rich and decadent, like almond, vanilla, chocolate, or cognac. Our wheels are always turning and we’re always experimenting. If you’re curious about how our scents will smell on you, try a range of our most popular scents in travel size with our Discovery Kits!