Akins, who is married to country singer Thomas Rhett, tells PEOPLE how her Daisy & Cowboy Perfume Collection came to be
Lauren Akins’ journey to fragrance entrepreneur started with a healthy dose of flattery.
As she met with members of her team at Love One International — a charitable organization that provides care for children in Uganda — to discuss creating another candle for the holiday season this year, and when the time came to decide on the scent, her colleagues voted unanimously to have it smell like...her.
“Someone in the room was like, ‘Can we try to figure out Lauren's scent and make that into a candle?” she tells PEOPLE exclusively. “They were kind of joking, but kind of not. I don't know what it is, because you can't really smell yourself, but it's been a bit of a running joke.”
Akins, who is married to country singer Thomas Rhett, adds that her friends often compliment her on her scent, which she says is a combination of shampoo, deodorant, laundry detergent, lotion and fragrances she usually wears.
“I wish I knew what I smelled like, but you get nose blind,” she says.
Rather than turn her scent and turn it into a candle, Akins and the teams at Love One International and Nashville-based fragrance house Ranger Station dreamed big and created a fragrance.
When Akins couldn’t settle on just one scent, they made two. “[While creating the fragrance] I enjoyed smelling notes that aren’t what I smell like,” Akins, 34, says, adding that she was drawn to more “masculine” notes that, when presented to those who know her best, didn’t as obviously remind them of her.
The result: the Daisy & Cowboy Perfume Collection by Lauren Akins, named for the couple’s horses who are featured in the photoshoot.
Daisy is a warm blend of ambergris and sandalwood, while Cowboy is an outdoorsy combo of ambergris and leather. Akins says that throughout this process, she learned that amber notes were what she was drawn to most, so she wanted to make sure they were incorporated in both all-gender scents.
“Daisy is what people say it smells like when I walk into a room, and Cowboy is all the things that I had added to [Daisy] that I had to take out because my friends were like, 'that’s not it,'” she says with a laugh.
There’s one person, though, who would truly know if the fragrance is spot on, and that’s Thomas Rhett.
“When we created Daisy, he was like, yeah, that's it,” she says. “He knows me the best. So I think when I had his approval I was like, all right, we've done it, my husband says we nailed it.”
And Akins tells PEOPLE that not only was he supportive all along the way, he's also currently wearing the Cowboy scent.
As for the rest of her beauty routine, Akins considers it pretty simple: a swipe of mascara, a messy bun. Above all else, the mom of four — she shares four daughters with the country music singer — likes to smell good, and considers fragrance to be her “staple” before walking out the door.
“It's important for me to smell good because I'm such a hugger,” she says. “I'm very touchy, I always have been. That's the first thing I notice about people, not what they're wearing, but the way they make me feel and their smell. I want people to remember how I make them feel — and scent is so tied to that.”
With the way scent conjured up emotions and memories, Akins can only hope that the fragrances she’s created will bring her friends joy because it’ll make them think of her.
“If I can make someone feel at home being around me, that would be the greatest compliment anyone could ever give me,” Akins says. “I love that my friends feel like the scent really does smell like me — their reaction feels like a good thing. I’m excited that we landed on something that smells good and will make them feel peaceful and pleasant.”
Daisy and Cowboy are available for purchase now from Ranger Station online and at the flagship store in Nashville. Fifty percent of net proceeds of sales will benefit Love One International. Akins is the vice chairman of the board and says it’s “so fun” getting to not just create this duo but also contribute to an organization that she cares so much about.
“I’m really proud of it and it’s so much fun getting to [experience] life this way with these people.”
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