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Boyz on Smell, Pink, Coconut Oil and the Unexpected

Boyz on Smell, Pink, Coconut Oil and the Unexpected

Boy Smells is a Los Angeles brand, born from two design experts and produced locally in Pico-Union. They’ve started with candles, but you can expect a whole menage of products to compliment your lifestyle coming up on the horizon. Beyond the divine scents, which the creators have curated from a pool of memories, the minimal pink packaging is meant to target a wide audience. The boys boast that their product is for “anyone who gets it.” What’s not to get? A premium product with super sleek branding meant to stir up your emotions and enrich your environment— count us in! The creators are admirers of Tom’s work, and are the perfect rosy compliment to the leather and muscle. I got to talk to the creators and get some of their story...


Boy Smells is an evocative title, how did you decide on that name?

The logo includes "Boy," but the packaging is pink. It’s purposely conflictive and misdirecting.  Scent is genderless.  Buying a candle to make your time at home more enjoyable is an expression of how you value your environment.  And that is open to everyone.

“Beeswax and Coconut Oil” — can you tell us a little about the recipe? What makes these candles so special?

Coconut wax is a very delicate, creamy wax alone. Beautiful as it is, the ingredient needed some firmness. Enter beeswax, which has a higher melting point.  Both waxes are premium ingredients.  Many candles tout soy wax, but we have purposefully avoided it in favor of ingredients we prefer.



Why is it important to you that the product is Made in Los Angeles? Is there any significance to Pico-Union?

We live in Los Angeles. Keeping production close to us is sensible. Pico-Union is where we live. If you notice the top of each candle package, it states "B S P U."  Say the letters out loud. We love the double entendres associated with scent.

You mention on your website that scents have been plucked from a personal catalogue of memories, would you care to share details on any particular scents? We want the juicy details.

Scent can powerfully trigger memories.  So, mixing different scents that hold special places in our own narratives makes each candle semi-autobiographical.  Yet, these scents may evoke personal memories for anyone smelling them.  The customer projects their own story onto what we developed.  Scent is extremely personal. 



The name, the soft pink, the chic minimal branding; how do you define yourself? Is Boy Smells a queer brand? Is it subversive? Who is your audience?

The brand is designed to appeal to anyone who gets it.  The mis-directive nature of the branding shows we do not believe in labels— queer, straight, or otherwise.  We believe in inclusiveness above all else. 

The vibe of Boy Smells is a beautiful contrast to the hypermasculinity of Tom of Finland, how did you get connected to the ToF Store? What is your relationship to ToFS?

We were approached by Tom of Finland Store. We've long admired his body of work and its cultural impact.  We are proud to list Tom of Finland as a stockist.

What is your relationship as business partners, David and Matthew? Which roles do each of you have at Boy Smells?

We live, work, and create together.  We have different points of view, but the aesthetic of Boy Smells is the common ground of our tastes. 



As design and fashion production experts, why did you decide to produce scents?

Scent is a medium we found immensely expressive.  It can transport you, move you, deceive you.  It’s magic.

You instagram says “Things that smell, and soon, things that don’t smell.” Care to divulge?

Boy Smells is evolving to be a lifestyle. Next is underwear.  The idea of lounging around in your intimates at home surrounded by burning candles is just the beginning.

What does the future of Boy Smells look like?

It looks and smells great.


Jamison Karon is the author of How to Be a Faggot, and creator of the series and short film Sorry You're Sad. He is a screenwriting fellow at the American Film Institute.


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