Former top Ralph Lauren and Ticketmaster exec hopes to revolutionize fragrance with digital-first Phlur.
One of Phlur’s six fragrances, Hanami, comes with its own visual story on the website, the images evoking subtlety, serenity, and intelligence.
What Warby Parker did for eyeglasses, Austin-based Phlur hopes to do with fragrance. Launched this summer by Eric Korman, the former Ticketmaster president who most recently ran Ralph Lauren’s Digital & Global eCommerce division, Phlur features six unisex fragrances available exclusively on its website. Online-only scents might seem risky, but Korman wants to change the consumer experience: “You have this amazing product—fragrance—that goes back to ancient Egypt, yet it’s a category that hasn’t been touched since WWII. Digital provides a whole new medium for discovery.”
Each Phlur fragrance has its own story, complete with photos, a playlist, and tips on how to wear. (The scent Hepcat, described as “the warm wool jacket enveloping you,” features photos of two casual urbanites and songs like Shakey Graves’s “Dearly Departed.”) Customers pay $10 for a pack of two samples, and if they like what they smell, the $10 goes toward the $85 purchase price for a 1.7 oz. bottle, with a portion of each sale going to charity.
Why leave New York to launch a fragrance line in Austin? Korman, who visited the city as a RetailMeNot board member for six years, explains: “It was evident how much growth had occurred and how much excitement and energy there was across the city—not only the business opportunities, but the amazing lifestyle that Austin presents to everyone.”