A Fragrance as Unique as You: Q/A with Founder, Alana Shlenker

A Fragrance as Unique as You: Q/A with Founder, Alana Shlenker

 We sat down with Founder & CEO, Alana Shlenker to talk about her inspiration and process behind creating Maya Fragrances.

Read what she had to say below

What was the process like in creating Maya Fragrances?

When you put on a fragrance, it becomes part of your identity. I've always found it frustrating that even when I thought I'd discovered a new, unique fragrance, sooner or later I'd smell it on someone else. It felt like looking at my credit card statement and seeing a bunch of purchases I never made and takes the joy out of wearing a fragrance. 

I started thinking about the possibilities of creating a unique scent - one that I wouldn't smell on anyone else, that could preserve the feeling of that first beautiful moment of discovery every time I put it on. The real concept for the product didn't hit me until I went on a trip to Thailand, when I was sitting on the beach on Maya Bay. I was struck with the desire to create something that truly embodied the beach in a bottle - not sickeningly sweet, but complex, textured, with notes of sunscreen, coconut, florals, woods, maybe a little ocean. Something that inspires a feeling we all know - being on the beach. 

I asked myself - how could I make something nostalgic and unique? With my product development background, I had built close connections with the best perfumers, labs, and formulators in Los Angeles. We spent the better part of a year working on what would ultimately become Maya Base and Maya 1 - mixing ingredients that transport you to the breezy tropical beach that waits in your memory, while still allowing your unique body chemistry to add its own notes.

We talk a lot about how the fragrances react to your unique body chemistry to create a custom scent, can you tell me a bit more about how it does that?

My favorite part of Maya is how it lets your body express itself. We all have a natural fragrance based on our skin chemistry, pH balance, and environmental elements. Maya's blend of proprietary ingredients, musks and amber complement and amplify those variables, resulting in a fragrance only your body can create. The most important ingredient is you!

What does Maya base smell like to you?

Maya Base elicits the natural, fresh aroma of clean skin, the way your body smells when you step out of a luxurious shower. The body is beautiful in so many ways, but I think we under-appreciate just how amazing we naturally smell, so I really wanted to capture that with Maya Base. 

What does Maya 1 smell like to you?  

With Maya 1, I wanted to create something that balances the truly infinite variety of fragrances Maya Base can elicit. Maya 1 is warm, sexy, sweet, and a little woody, meant to capture the feeling of a sunny, breezy afternoon on the beach - the way the sun warms the skin, radiating the natural smell of your body and the sun tan oil or sunscreen, while a cooling breeze carries the smell of tropical flowers and maybe just a hint of salt. 

Application tips to make it last longer? 

Personally, I can't get enough. Both fragrances use the same base, so they blend seamlessly and I recommend using them together, but either one stands alone.

I roll both Maya Base and Maya 1 onto my inner wrists and forearms, my neck, pulse points and belly button area - the spots that generate the most heat. This helps activate the ingredients. I also roll some oil onto the palms of my hands, rub together and scrunch into the ends of my hair. The oils hydrating your hair, giving it luster and volume, and your hair acts like a diffuser, making the scent waft into the air when you walk.

Unlike traditional fragrances, using a lot won't make you smell like you just spent an hour in the fragrance section at the department store. Maya wasn't built to mask or overpower - it doesn't sit on top of the skin, but instead blends into it.