Phlur Fragrance

The Center is expanding its brand portfolio.

The Los Angeles-based beauty brand incubator and investor has acquired Phlur, the clean fragrance company.

“The former owners of Phlur did a phenomenal job at building awareness and were really pioneers in the concept of transparency in fragrance,” said Ben Bennett, founder of The Center. The brand was launched by husband-and-wife team Eric and Cynthia Korman out of Austin, Texas, in 2014.

“Phlur was really one of the first brands to say, you know, ‘We understand that this essentially gives other perfumers the recipe to re-create our fragrances, but we’re OK with that. We think it’s more important to fully disclose every ingredient in our products including in the construction of fragrance oil,’” he continued.

Ben Bennett

Ben Bennett  Courtesy

Bennett, who cofounded HatchBeauty Brands before selling his stake to Lion Capital LLP in April 2019, launched The Center that year with the goal of incubating beauty and wellness brands “from scratch” or to “reset them and relaunch them for their next evolution of growth.” The latter is the strategy for Phlur, which also produces candles and body care products. The goods — labeled cruelty-free, vegan, sustainably sourced and packaged using recycled materials — are available at retailers Credo and Sephora, as well as through direct-to-consumer at Phlur.com (which offers consumers specials like the ability to choose three 2-ml sized scents for $18 with 30 days to apply the cost to a $96 50-ml fragrance).

“Our hope is to broaden the relationship that we have with our retail partners, and to expand distribution,” Bennett said of plans moving forward for the brand. Along with Phlur, The Center’s portfolio currently includes brands Naturium, Make Beauty and an up-and-coming addition he has yet to disclose. “The d-to-c business with Phlur is an important one, so we will continue to grow the d-to-c business, and we’ll invest in building awareness for the brand in the digital space. We have several new fragrances that are in development. My hope is that we will launch one of those before the end of the year.”

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He’s also looking to expand the range into new categories of products, he added.

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