Deola Paul-Inyang is a Scent Strategist and Perfumer who truly understands the art of composing scents. She is the founder of Scents of Africa®, a home-grown scent strategy and artisan scent creation business in Lagos, Nigeria. A walk into her perfumery studio located on the Lagos Mainland tells of a woman with a unique olfactory and innate passion for scents and its psychological impact on human mind, mood and emotions. At the perfumery, Deola interprets her world through scents.
What problem does your company solve?
Scents of Africa® is fundamentally an artisan fragrance creation house, inspired by scents and the psychology behind it. Scents of Africa’s thinking and creation are an expression of all things inspired by the nature of scents; from aromatic composition, distillation, psychological impact and creative expression of scents.
Scents of Africa® in September 2016 launched its pilot artisan brand Àbélà by Scents of Africa®; a Luxury Home Fragrance and Aromatherapy brand handcrafted in Lagos. Its comprehensive range of on-shelf and bespoke living space fragrance and aromatherapy products are for use in the home, office, spas, hotels and personal care.
What ignited the spark in you to start your business venture?
Àbélà by Scents of Africa® was created from passion for scents, psychology and a throwback memory of happy moments in Paul-Inyang’s childhood where her grandmother would light up candles all over the house to usher in a new year. Indicative of lighting their lives for a glorious new year, her grandmother would say: “e lo tan Àbélà” –Yoruba sentence meaning “Go and light up the candles.”
The business was conceived in December 2015 and was born in the home kitchen of its brand creator, Deola. Inspired by the alchemy of exotic scents, Paul-Inyang desired to create a sensational brand of cosmic proportions inspiring a fusion of African creativity and its global influence. She sought to create a brand that is a beacon of product excellence from out of Nigeria, changing the narrative of how Nigeria is perceived as regards creative product delivery and excellence
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be a successful entrepreneur?
Amongst many skill requirements, my most fundamental are Tenacity, Resilience, Intuition and Curiosity
How did you respond to failure as an entrepreneur?
To fail forward. It’s tough to fail and the reality is that as entrepreneurs, it is inevitable. I have had a few failures, and in hindsight, I am absolutely proud of my failures and shortcomings at the time because they prompted me to dig deeper to solve daunting problems.
How long do you stick with an idea before giving up?
I never give up on an idea; I would always find a way to make it work no matter how long it takes. My seemingly failing ideas are always curated in a Keep- In- View box until the right time for their unleashing. In my opinion, there is never a bad idea, there is just bad timing and wrong location.
What motivates you?
People, Nature and its revolving events
How would you define success?
Success is being happy in your own element. Loving what I do everyday even if I am not paid for it. Being the difference people can feel and not necessarily see.