Listening to our customers has really helped us out a lot, because they’ve told us they don’t want a battery-operated device, they want something they can plug in, really easy to install, and that’s where we’re at today.

I’d like to tell you a story about The Egg. The Egg was our house’s automatic air freshener: white, oval, and programmed to release fragrance every 15 minutes or so. The only problem with The Egg was that it was terrible at its job. It couldn’t sense when people were nearby, which meant I was sprayed (on numerous occasions) like the victim of a better-smelling skunk. Sometimes, The Egg would malfunction and go rapid-fire with its fragrance dispersion — you think air fresheners smell good until you’ve sprayed an entire bottle into one room, then it just sucks. Other times, it would just stop doing its job altogether and the normal (and abnormal) smells of the household would slowly take over.

So here’s the moral of the story: air fresheners are pretty cool (until they don’t do their job), which means there has to be a smarter way of using them. Luckily for us, there is.

“I was sitting around the table with my mother-in-law, wife, and her three sisters and I was talking about internet-connected things,” Richie Stapler, co-founder of Pura Scents, told Beehive Startups in a recent interview. “I said, ‘Your sprinklers are now connected to wifi and will shut off if it’s about to rain, there’s Nest thermostat, there’s all these kind of things. So what have you thought about in your life that I’ve never thought about as a guy?’ And my mother-in-law said, ‘I want my whole house to smell good all the time.’”

Stapler, along with fellow co-founder Bruno Lima, came up with the initial idea for Pura Scents based on that initial request, finding a more advanced way to make a house smell good all the time. With differing professional backgrounds (Lima in manufacturing engineering, Stapler in graphic design, photography, and videography), they combined skills and knowledge to create the first version of a smart fragrance dispenser.

“We’ve pivoted quite a bit to get where we’re at today,” Stapler said. “Listening to our customers has really helped us out a lot, because they’ve told us they don’t want a battery-operated device, they want something they can plug in, really easy to install, and that’s where we’re at today.”

The process of installing and syncing a Pura Scents dispenser is simple. Plug it into the wall, connect each dispenser through your phone (living room, bedroom, bathroom, etc.), and then program a schedule for each individual dispenser. There are two fragrances per dispenser and you can program them to alternate depending on time of the day (something fresh for the morning, something spicy for the night) so all your needs will be fulfilled.

“It’s smart in the sense that if you leave the house, it’s connected through Nest so it shuts off and there’s no waste in that respect,” Lima said.

With a Kickstarter campaign set to debut later this month, Stapler and Lima are both confident in the concept of Pura Scent and ready to turn it into a full-fledged business.

“The app side hasn’t been built yet, we’ve talked with a handful of developers and engineers, they said this is all plausible and very easy to do,” Stapler said. “We’re waiting until we launch our crowdfunding campaign and then once we have the necessary money, we’ll have those engineers build it out.”

As nearly every industry becomes smarter and smarter, there’s no reason fragrance dispensers should be left behind. Nobody should be forced to fight losing battles against The Eggs of the world when there is a easier, more efficient, and technically-savvy way of making the world smell good. That’s why Pura Scents is ready to blossom.

“The B2B side is very intrigued by this, especially real estate,” Stapler said. “They no longer have to go from property to property making sure their demo units smell good, they can save time by just releasing fragrances from their phone.”

Published 7/2/2015