– By Vyjayanthi Vadrevu


Note: This article was first published on June 6, 2016, here on BONNE New York


“You also make your own luck by showing up, by reaching out to people who may not respond right away, by being proactive, and by building relationships.”
How much of your success to do you attribute to luck vs hard work?

I would say Scentbird’s success is seventy percent hard work and thirty percent luck, in my opinion. But you also make your own luck by showing up, by reaching out to people who may not respond right away, by being proactive, and by building relationships. All the best “lucky” moments happened to me because of the relationships I built with people. And I do think my team and I can out work most people, you know, it’s kind of our strong suit! But I think hard work really only pays off if you love what you do because if you work hard at something and you are miserable, I don’t think it is ever going to work.

When I show up to work every day, I am living my passion, so I never really want to go home. I once was on the phone with a software vendor pitching to me on a Friday night and he goes “well thank God it’s Friday, can’t wait till the weekend” and I was at a loss for words because that was not how I felt. I mean it is the weekend, but I will probably keep working. Friday is amazing, but I like Mondays just as much.

How does being socially conscious or a good global citizen play into the fashion of cosmetics you use?

Being socially conscious makes a lot of sense to me, but being organic is not my only criteria when I make my purchasing decisions; it also has to look good. I am trying to find a balance. I try to be conscious but I don’t want to feel like I am depriving myself of anything. Overall I’ve started buying less stuff and that has been mind-blowing, just decluttering, giving away a lot of stuff, it freed up space for creativity. I used to shop like crazy all the time, but then I realized I was not wearing 70% of the stuff I owned. This change came about two years ago, but it didn’t happen overnight. Initially, I had to force myself to give away things and stop spending money, but then it started happening organically and now getting rid of things just brings me a lot of pleasure and joy. In general, it makes you realize how little you need to be happy.

What are your thoughts on self-esteem, personal style, and being an entrepreneurial woman?

It is very important as a woman and it is challenging to not compare yourself to others. I think that is the main thing about self-esteem. To get here, I first had to face everything that I felt was imperfect about me, then I had to accept the imperfections. I realized then, that I am this unique being with a soul, but it was not an overnight thing. Once you get there, you are giving yourself the right to be you!

I wish that every woman can be in that safe spot where she doesn’t have to compete with anyone ever and she can just live her truth.


“I wish that every woman can be in that safe spot where she doesnt have to compete with anyone ever and she can just live her truth.”


How would you define your personal style now and how much would you say it changed since launching your company?

I define my style as very New York, very cosmopolitan. It’s kind of style plus function. I need my clothes to live with me throughout the day without making me feel self-conscious, or needing a lot of adjustments. I used to wear a lot of accessories like bright scarves as an example and I still love them, but I don’t wear them if they need fixing or move around too much.

When I think of my favorites, I do have this Helmut Lang blazer that I wear often and I like my pair of J Brand jeans – skinnies – which I have a couple of in different shades; I like them all equally. I’m Russian, and I do borrow certain items from my Russian closet, like my crazy winter Russian fur boots. I have a couple favorite dresses, those from Ted Baker comes to mind because they’re very functional. My favorite shoes are my Valentino studs, they are very comfortable as far as shoes go. I have owned pairs of very uncomfortable, very expensive shoes before and it is such waste of money, so I am never doing that again.”

What is your beauty routine like?

I recently built a makeup and skincare corner in my apartment. It makes me very happy because I can sit down and take care of myself before starting my day. It is very much a ritual before going out to work and before going to bed every night.

In terms of products, I recently discovered Son & Park Beauty Water, it’s a Korean product and I have grown very fond of Korean beauty products overall. It looks like water in a jar and it cleanses as it moisturizes. I always love the products that are two in one because I can skip or combine some steps, so these products help.

Oh and I love eyeliners! My new favorite is by Kat Von D- her tattoo eyeliner- it stays forever and I totally recommend it. I like my chubby sticks from Clinique for contouring because it is impossible to mess up. I like Lorac for eye shadows just because they are very pigmented. I really like Guerlain for mascara, they are a little on the expensive side, but nothing makes my eye lashes look better.

For scents, I always find new favorites and scents are so easy to get excited about. I really love Juliette has a Gun as a brand, they started their perfume line with this scent called “Not a Perfume,” which is a really fun way to start your line and it is basically a one ingredient scent; a very fresh and simple scent. I am also a huge brand of Montale, they are an Arabic line, also niche, but have a strong French influence and they use a lot of rose.

I love Tom Ford Private Blend, they are kind of limited distribution but they are just so beautiful. In terms of mainstream scents, I like Givenchy Ange ou Demon. It’s very sparkly in the beginning but it does have that two sided personality, so when it dries down, it’s a serious fragrance, kind of office like. I have grown to love a lot of the deep, woodsy scents with a lot of sandalwood and spices in them, but that didn’t happen overnight. I actually had to train my palette to recognize and enjoy those scents. I love niche scents by Serge Lutens or Annick Goutal for very special occasions. I always have three scents in my bag at all times- little packages- and sometimes I apply one scent in the morning and one at night. I break all the rules when it comes to fragrances, and that is what makes it so enjoyable.

Mariya was photographed by Markus Kalina in New York City on October 24th, 2015 wearing looks from H Fredrikksen and Susana Colina. Makeup by Kiara Garcia.