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Parfumado: how it all started

As you may know already, Parfumado is co-run by myself (Martijn) and my sister Floor. Like most young companies, we (co-founders) are still at the heart and soul of everything we do. From new product launches and ad campaigns, we get our hands dirty. After all, that is why we wanted to start our own business!

More often than not, a company's story gets lost or reimagined over time. So before that happens, I thought I would take the time to explain how Parfumado came into the world.

Unlike my big sister Floor, I illustrated little business instincts before leaving university. I distinctively remember my mum saying something like; you are definitely not the type [to become an entrepreneur] because you’ve never sold anything to anyone ever.

Floor relished negotiating from a young age, taking opportunities to do so every holiday and back home. When she was younger, she would indulge in the Dutch tradition 'heitje voor karweitje' where children knock on doors offering to do small tasks for money. This type of initiative is ingrained in my sister today, and it is an attribute to our company.

My first step towards Parfumado came after I finished my studies. I teamed up with perfume expert Yvo van Regteren Altena to build his brand YVRA (available in our collection). During this period, Floor was already making her way up the corporate ladder at one of the Dutch largest retailers.

This experience exposed me to the world of perfume, and I quickly became obsessed. It was here that I began to notice some flaws in the industry. There was (in my opinion) a lack of digital innovation within the perfume world. So while I was still working behind an YVRA desk, I began sketching out my ideas. Throughout this process, Floor and my other sisters filled the role of my think tank. Wisely they shot down the names Scent Supply, Scent Collective and Fragrance Family. We settled on Parfumado. ‘Parfum’ is perfume in Dutch, and the ‘ado’, well that makes it sound nicer.

So I had the idea, I had the name and approval from Yvo, but most importantly, my big sisters. Now I just had to start.


As you tend to do when you are starting, I did almost everything myself those first few months, with the help of an intern or two. Fortunately, within half a year, I was becoming too busy to run things alone.

As you may have guessed, I take Floor’s opinion very seriously. And with her additional corporate know-how, she was the obvious choice as co-founder. But before she committed full-time, we entered a partnership on an interim basis. The 'interim basis' lasted a couple of weeks before she and I decided to roll the dice and go all in.

So now I had the name, the idea, approval and a small team, including a co-founder. As all entrepreneurs know, a business is not complete until you have your first breakthrough moment.

We are fortunate to say it is hard to pick a few, let alone one. We have had many ‘pinch me moments’ along our scent journey. Reaching 100 new subscribers a day was huge, and so were our first celebrity collaborations. However, Floor, I and our team are positive our best moments are still to come.