Scentbird fragrance subscription service

Image 1 of 2

"Oh this smells like grandma, I really hate it."

That's something Scentbird hopes you never say again.

The New York City-based subscription service lets you date fragrances before you marry them, sending you a different 30-day sample every month.

Rachel ten Brink, CMO and co-founder, calls Scentbird the Netflix of perfume. Sign up, pay $15 a month (you can cancel anytime) and you get to say "I want this in January, this in February, this in March."

Change your mind? You can go back in and change it up.

If you're not into subscriptions, you can buy sample scents a la carte for $16.95 or pick a three-fragrance gift set for women or men for $59.95.

Sergie Gusev, the COO and co-founder, Mariya Nurislamova CEO and co-founder, and ten Brink created Scentbird out of their own frustration. Nurislamova says they really hated shopping for fragrances and being sprayed in the face, or walking into Sephora, seeing a wall of fragrances, and not knowing where to start.

They started with a fragrance algorithm to help make it easier to identify what you like. Nurislamova says they wanted to figure out what words women use to describe their favorite scents to their girlfriends or their mothers.

The most popular with Americans are "sexy," "fresh," and "clean," according to Scentbird. Scenbtird customers then use those familiar words on the site and are matched with, or can search for, fragrances that suit them.

The site offers over 600 perfumes and colognes, and they're adding more each day. Nurislamova says there is a lot of sniffing involved.

Scentbird started with just 100 customers but has grown to over 45,000 subscribers, 20 percent of them are now men. Gusev says they launched men's fragrances in August of 2015 and the division is growing fast. He laughs and says that men love Scentbird.

The brands Scentbird works with also love that the company is helping to solve the problem of selling to millennials, many of whom don't like department store shopping or sticking to one scent. According to ten Brink, 54 percent of millennials actually switch perfume in the middle of the day. She says they'll use one in the morning, then switch and use something else when they're going out, so Scentbird makes it easy for them to match their mood.

Scentbird samples come in a glass vial housed in a protective aluminum case. Each month you swap out the vial for a new one. And you can learn a lot about perfume application from that vial. They're designed to last a month, so if you run out you're going a little too heavy.

The Scentbird team suggests 2 to 3 sprays. They also advise that you dab your wrists together, don't rub them or you're crushing the scent molecules. And finally, wait 20 minutes after applying a fragrance to decide how you feel about it. You need at least that much time for the scent to develop on your skin.