Salma grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. She moved to the UK to study Chemical Engineering 12 years ago. I had a pleasure working with Salma on her brand and I wanted to share how and why she started Scentimental Home.
BH: When and how did you decide that you wanted to break into business of functional fragrances?
SB: My interest in fragrances is largely strong influenced by my mum.The first time I ever considered functional fragrances was in 2011 when I wanted to start a business that included bath and body products as well as home fragrances. However, I got ‘side-tracked’ and decided to do something else.
A few years later, I recognised a gap in Nigeria so I I started working on it and launched the business with offerings of 3 products and 4 fragrances.
BH: You have an online shop in Lagos that sells your own product but you are now entering the UK market – how this new venture is going to be different?
SB: Fierce competition in the UK makes me more creative and working harder and using different business model. I believe I have my own unique story that I can tell through the fragrances I create which will hopefully resonate with my future clients here in the UK . I am a new mum now so this venture is taking a baby steps at the moment.
BH: What was the obstacle with the business and product development that you felt was missing so as you sought Zaga’s assistance?
SB:Yes, I have attended consulting workshops with Zaga and I have to say tha’st been one of the best business decisions I’ve ever made. I have learnt a lot on my own over the last few years but I am one for structured, targeted education and that was what I wanted from Zaga.. I wanted to learn more from a professional and also be able to ask as many questions specific to me and my brand to make sure I got what I wanted from the course.
I also wanted to understand the UK market from someone that has had experience working with various brands here and can guide me in the right direction based on my vision and story.
BH: You created your own signature brand fragrance working with Zaga through a perfume making workshops. Could you take us
through that journey on the day – give us a brief overview of the workshop?
SB:It was an awesome experience for me though this was not my first time at a fragrance blending workshop, it was by miles a much better experience. I liked that we first went through a bit of history and then into the technical aspect of fragrance blending. We then delved into learning how to smell like a professional and understanding the differences between natural and synthetic fragrances before then finally into creating my own fragrance which started with coming up with a theme (memory, experience or place) I wanted to base the fragrance on.
I like working with Zaga because she is honest and supportive and I don’t worry about not getting the truth from her. She is really good at providing guidance and giving her honest constructive feedback where she can usually by asking you the right questions!
BH: Anything you want to share with those budding candle entrepreneurs?
SB:On this I will say is that you have to know why you want to go into this industry and what will make you stand out from other brands. Then of course, you have to believe in yourself and just do it.