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EXCLUSIVE: Scentbird Acquires Car Air Freshener Company, Drift

The deal marks the subscription fragrance company's first acquisition to date.

Scentbird has made its first acquisition. 

The subscription-based fragrance company has snapped up Drift, a company founded in 2016 by Ryan Baylis and Christian Thrapp that seeks to elevate the car air freshener experience with clean ingredients, thoughtfully crafted scents and minimalist, functional design. 

Also based on a subscription model, Drift boasts more than 60,000 subscribers who, for $8 a month, are shipped the scent of the month (recent ones being pine, cabana, amber and teak) in the form of their choosing; either a metal, wood or stone freshener, all of which come with attachable metal clips. 

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“I hate to use the phrase ‘makes sense,’ because it’s such a cliché for both brands, but it just does,” said Baylis, who is also Drift’s chief executive officer, of the deal. “We do the same thing basically, but in a different vertical.” 

It was Baylis who approached Scentbird cofounder and CEO Mariya Nurislamova about a potential deal earlier this year, and while Scentbird was not necessarily looking to acquire a company, Nurislamova immediately saw the synergies the two could forge together. 

“I’ve always felt that fragrance needed a digital destination that would be focused on fragrance specifically and not just be category agnostic,” she said. “For [Scentbird], fine fragrance was just a stepping stone. It was a doorway into fragrance at large, and I think it was only a matter of time before we started expanding into other adjacent categories.” 

While Scentbird and Drift will maintain their separate subscription models, a bundle subscription including offerings from both companies is in the pipeline, slated to launch in 2023. 

The newly inked deal, terms of which were not disclosed, will also allow Drift to scale in terms of manufacturer relationships and foray into potential limited-edition collaborations with Scentbird’s fragrance partners. 

“Our communities are incredibly compatible — if somebody is a scent lover, they’re going to be a scent lover in the car, in the home, they’re going to love putting scent on their body,” Nurislamova said. 

This past spring, Scentbird rebranded with a new logo, monogram and neutral color palette, also testing an expansion into candles that has now officially rolled out on the platform.

Drift, too, is taking aim at the home fragrance category, having recently launched candles, room sprays and reed diffusers. 

“We’ve looked up to Scentbird as leaders in this space around fragrance,” Baylis said. “As we grow, we want to go into home and be the leader in home air care as well as the car and I think this is the perfect partnership to take us there.”

Together Scentbird and Drift seek to continue subverting expectations of their respective categories, while expanding the scope of their inventive approaches as they look to break into additional ones.