Until recently, millennial entrepreneur Killian Wells disliked the smell of weed. "When people smoked around me, it smelled like a skunk," he said, "or worse—like skunk and B.O." The New York native had just recently moved to Los Angeles where he visited his first cannabis dispensary.
Wells was diagnosed with anxiety. His doctor hooked him up with a California medical card and prescribed cannabis. Upon visiting the dispensary, he was overwhelmed with the aromas of sativas, indicas and hybrid strains in rows of apothecary jars. "I had no idea there was a good side to marijuana smell," he said.
Wells was inspired by the many wonderful terpenes and nuances of each bud. It was at that moment he changed his mind about the smell of weed and decided to make a fragrance. A little market research revealed there was not a single cannabis fragrance made by anyone. So Wells created Xyrena (pronounced Zuh-rehna) offering 3 different fragrances.
All 3 scents are uni-sex selling for $74 in 1.7 fluid-ounce bottles.
The aptly named Reefer Madness scent isn't made with actual cannabis, which allows him to sell it over state lines anywhere in the country. But he says it smells quite a bit like devil lettuce. Another scent, Blue Dream has notes of "a sweet blueberry aroma with just a hint of skunk." And the third scent, OG Kush is named for the famous west coast strain featuring a complex bouquet of "signature sour lemon and pine aromas and drives down to an earthly cedar fragrance with a hint of burnt rubber." Yum?
"The fragrance industry is stale—it just has no innovation," Wells said. "It's stuffy and pretentious for no reason at all. Mainstream fragrances aren't necessarily bad, but for the most part I find them watered down for no reason. They're mass-produced.
Fragrance-industry vet Raymond Matts sounded skeptical. "Personally, I can't understand why someone would want to smell like marijuana," he said. Matts spent over thirty years in the fragrance industry developing scents for companies like Clinique and Tommy Hilfiger. Matts ironically is working on a marijuana related product of his own that is a room spray meant to hide the smell of pot smoke much like Febreeze.