matthew herman & boy smells

matthew herman & boy smells

From Fashion Design to Candle Innovation

we're creating space for the brains behind the brands we love, and asking good questions along the way. the result is a deep dive into the how and why of brand-building, from blueprints to launch day, customers as community and the detours in between. big lessons, easy listening.

In this episode of Read Receipt, we are delighted to welcome Matthew Herman, co-founder of Boy Smells, a brand that has redefined the world of candles with its unique blend of masculinity and femininity. Matthew's journey from studying fashion at Central St. Martins and working in high-end fashion to creating Boy Smells is a tale of creativity and passion.

Founded in 2016, Boy Smells has gained a cult following for its affordably priced, luxury-quality candles that elevate the everyday. Join us as Matthew shares his story, the mission behind Boy Smells, and the challenges and triumphs of building a brand that resonates with a diverse audience. Learn how Boy Smells combines high-end design sensibilities with accessible pricing to create products that are as beautiful as they are functional.

Tune in to discover Matthew's entrepreneurial journey, the evolution of Boy Smells, and the future of this innovative brand.

Sit back, relax, and enjoy the conversation!

the Show Notes


Matthew Herman, co-founder of Boy Smells, shares his inspiring journey from fashion design to creating a groundbreaking candle brand. After studying at Central St. Martins and working in high-end fashion, Matthew co-founded Boy Smells with his partner David to create luxury-quality candles that blend masculine and feminine scents. The brand quickly gained a cult following for its unique approach to home fragrance. Matthew discusses the evolution of Boy Smells, the challenges of starting and scaling a business, and the importance of inclusivity and authenticity. The conversation explores his entrepreneurial experiences, the development of Boy Smells' products, and his vision for the future.


luxury candles, entrepreneurship, fashion design, brand building, inclusivity, home fragrance, Boy Smells, Matthew Herman


  1. Matthew Herman’s journey from fashion design to founding Boy Smells is driven by a passion for creativity and inclusivity.
  2. Boy Smells focuses on creating high-quality candles that blend masculine and feminine scents, challenging traditional gender norms.
  3. Building a brand involves understanding market needs, listening to consumer feedback, and maintaining a clear vision.
  4. The COVID-19 pandemic presented unique challenges, but also opportunities for brands like Boy Smells to adapt and thrive.
  5. Matthew’s dedication to inclusivity and authenticity drives the success of Boy Smells.

Sound Bites:

  • "We started Boy Smells to create candles that blend masculine and feminine scents in a unique and beautiful way."
  • "Our goal is to make high-quality candles that are accessible and resonate with a diverse audience."
  • "Building a brand requires understanding market needs and staying true to your vision."
  • "The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of adaptability and authenticity in business."
  • "Boy Smells is about challenging traditional gender norms and celebrating inclusivity and individuality."


00:00 - Matthew’s Background and Journey-
Matthew introduces himself and shares his journey from studying fashion at Central St. Martins to co-founding Boy Smells.

08:01 - The Inspiration Behind Boy Smells-
Matthew discusses the personal and professional experiences that inspired him to create Boy Smells and the early days of the brand.

12:30 - Transitioning from Fashion to Candles-
Matthew explains his transition from high-end fashion to starting a candle brand and the lessons learned.

23:17 - The Importance of Inclusivity and Authenticity-
The conversation delves into how Boy Smells emphasizes inclusivity and authenticity in its products and branding.

25:30 - Challenges and Opportunities During the Pandemic-
Matthew talks about the challenges of pivoting during the COVID-19 pandemic and the opportunities it presented.

27:26 - Commitment to Quality and Design-
Matthew highlights Boy Smells' dedication to high-quality materials and innovative designs.

31:23 - Building a Strong Brand Identity-
The discussion explores the importance of a strong brand identity and connecting with consumers authentically.

36:02 - The Vision for Boy Smells-
Matthew shares his vision for the future of Boy Smells and his goals for the brand.

47:37 - Patience and Persistence in Entrepreneurship-
Matthew emphasizes the need for patience and persistence in achieving long-term success.

51:43 - Final Thoughts and Insights-
Matthew wraps up the conversation with final thoughts and valuable insights for aspiring entrepreneurs.

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