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Kismet Olfactive is a New York City-based independent fragrance studio founded by bohemian-perfumer Shabnam Tavakol. Born and raised in California, Shabnam—Farsi for “morning dew”—is the daughter of Iranian-immigrant parents who escaped the violent 1979 Revolution in Iran, relocating to the U.S. by way of hard-won efforts and a string of good fortune. Recognizing this fortuitous past, Kismet—from the Persian qismat, meaning “fate,” or, “what is meant to be”—translates the serendipitous moments that make up our lives into wearable scents.


Kismet bridges Persian heritage and Western upbringing through a range of influences that overlap and transcend both worlds: 1960s revolutionaries in music, film, and fashion, experimental storytelling, psychedelia, nostalgia, poetry, human connection, theories of time, morning hours, sensuality, synesthesia, moodiness, eastern philosophies, free spirits, and a general revolt against the establishment at large. 

Likewise, Shabnam looks to olfactive genealogy and its cycles, as well as the interconnections between ancient Eastern scent practices, classic French perfume style, and contemporary trends, to help define Kismet’s offering of bold, unisex fragrances.

Kismet represents custom small-batch formulation, hand-selecting only the finest oils and ethically sustainable raw materials in its dedication to artful olfactive storytelling.

about our perfumer

Shabnam Tavakol studied fragrance creation at the Grasse Institute of Perfumery in South France. After graduating, she worked professionally with large-scale fragrance houses and master perfumers in Paris and New York City before founding Kismet Olfactive.

Our Team

Cody Koester

Cody Koester earned an MFA in poetry from New York University’s Writers Workshop in Paris and was awarded an Academy of American Poets Prize. He works closely with Shabnam on the storytelling and written-related aspects of Kismet Olfactive.

Melia Tandiono

Melia Tandiono is a Brooklyn-based designer, art director, and is the creative director of Kismet Olfactive. She developed the brand’s identity, art direction, packaging, and digital executions, and manages all visual-related aspects of the brand.