BOY SMELLS talks Italian Kush, CBD & More

Boy Smells founders Matthew Herman and David Kien

Boy Smells is one of our unashamed brand crushes so we were super happy to partner up for some press activity on 420 Day to celebrate the launch of their new Italian Kush Candle. We also chatted with founder Matthew Herman to discuss the inspiration behind the brand and the new Kush scent.

What does Boy Smells stand for?

Boy Smells stands for boundless identity.  Coming in a pink package but labeled “boy”, the brand pokes fun at scent being assigned to gender, and more largely it is permission to make your own rules in life and celebrate what makes you unique. Boy Smells is conceived beyond the gender binary, reinventing personal care into objects, essentials and ethers that burn up expectations and make loving yourself a daily ritual.

We see ourselves as a unisex brand, but we’ve heard you describe Boy Smells as a Genderful brand, which we love. Can you tell us a bit more about this?

Each fine fragrance or candle scent combines traditionally masculine and feminine notes together, which encourages you to explore, express and embrace the full spectrum of energy within ourselves.  We respect the terms unisex and genderless; but for us, living and thriving in our authenticity is best described as GENDERFUL.  It is the crux of the Boy Smells value system.  Mixing femininity and masculinity at every turn.

Until very recently personal products have lived in a homogenous market of either male, female or genderless.  So, genderful is our neo-inclusivity, acknowledging that one’s full spectrum of self is always unfolding and developing. If you want, you can think of genderful is the antonym of genderless; if genderless is a blank canvas, genderful is painting with all the colors in the paintbox.

Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting your brand?

That is impossible to say because I have enjoyed the process of learning what I don’t know.  If I knew it all before we started, it wouldn’t be fun. 

The reward is working with our team and finding our way, making our own path the path.  It is not the destination.  That is something I have learned!!!! And I wish I knew that earlier.  Turning ideas into products or experiences is my success, seeing the brand come to life.  Not profits or praise. 

There are so many things to be proud of with Boy Smells; are you able to pick a proudest moment?

So many things. Building an organization of people that love to work together.  Being able to contribute to the conversation around gender.  Our non-profit donations.

As a busy hands-on founder, what does a typical day look like for you? What are your top tips for maintaining some balance?

Someone please give us some tips, we need them.  Balance is probably the most difficult and most important thing.  And I have not mastered it.  But, I’ll let you know if I figure it out.

I go to the gym, which keeps me sane.  My favorite and beloved yoga studio closed during the pandemic, which has been a big blow.  I was following Katonah Yoga, and I still try to when I can with Sky Ting TV or my favorite LA teachers’ business ‘Home for the Weekend’.

How do you enjoy down time? Do you have any evening rituals?

CBD + Foam Roller + ENYA

What’s your personal sleep story?

I like a cool room with a body pillow and CBD oil.  Also we have a hybrid mattress that mixes foam and coils….Life changing. 

If I am traveling, and there is a time difference to get used to, I will double down with the white noise app on my Ipad.  My personal mix (which I have spent more time on than you would think) is rain and thunder all the way up, with traditional white noise at medium, and lastly heartbeat and a singing bowl sounds at low.  It’s my sleep jam.

And how would you describe your experiences with CBD oil?

I would say that I feel GRATEFUL for CBD.  Since we started this business, finding ease and comfort, and the tools to handle stress and anxiety, are very very important.

We’re big fans of your cannabis scented candle Kush and can’t wait to try the new Limited Edition Italian Kush. Where did the inspiration come from for this new fragrance?

Italian Kush was inspired by the (very real) desire to transport ourselves somewhere exciting and new. We want this scent to take you away without having to leave home. It exudes effortless Italian opulence of the Amalfi coastline and the lush groves of Tuscany. The scent has bright Italian citrus notes of Lemoncello, Pomelo, and Bergamot.  There are notes of Black pepper on top as well.  The heart is filled with basil, oregano and fresh cannabis. There is a tiny bit of an espresso note in there too.  All of this is grounded in earthy base notes of patchouli and fresh cypress.  It’s molto herbal.

You branched out from candles into underwear and wearable fragrance. What’s next for Boy Smells?

While I can’t share many details just yet, we have some really exciting new products and collaborations launching later this year, so stay tuned! 

And finally, does Boy Smells have any brand crushes? 

We have brand crushes, photographer crushes, activist crushes, musician crushes, stylist crushes, drag crushes, political crushes, store crushes, font crushes.  You name it, we’re crushing. 

And we’re beyond lucky to get to work with some of those, like Kacey Musgraves and GANNI.

Big thanks to Matthew for the interview and all of the team at Boy Smells for adding the most divine scents to our daily rituals.  

Boy Smells Italian Kush Candle