No. 21 Amanda Lintott
It’s our great pleasure to introduce to you our club member Amanda Lintott, Founder and CEO of Autonomy Co. – an Australian brand of quality car products and accessories. Amanda is a firm believer that simple and sustainable products are the best way to protect and enjoy cars for all of our unique lifestyles. And we couldn’t agree more!
Let’s hear more about her as she takes us on her Perfume Playground journey that leads her to the creation of the signature scent for the Autonomy brand.
Amanda, tell us about yourself?
I am a big dreamer – literally. I am really good at remembering my dreams and I’ve lost count of the number of great ideas I’ve had from dreams at night. I think I do my best thinking when I’m asleep.
We love hearing about and sharing the creative energy that exists within our Perfume Playground community. What fuelled (pardon the pun) the creation of your innovative venture, Autonomy?
I am from the car industry – born and bred. After years of working in and around cars, I realised that I couldn’t think of a single trusted brand of car products and accessories. I could also see how quickly the industry was changing and how outdated and fragmented existing products had become. My range is still tiny but one day, I want anyone who needs anything for their car (scents, storage, tech, car care) to think of Autonomy. The products are high quality but also sustainably designed and affordably priced.
Why natural fragrance and why Perfume Playground?
I wanted a signature scent for the Autonomy brand. I knew it had to be of the highest quality, completely natural and formulated to compliment the interiors of some of the world’s most beautiful cars. It also had to be unisex, fresh, comforting and sophisticated. Basically – as far away from synthetic coconut and fairy floss as possible. A friend recommended Perfume Playground and they went on to become my very first supplier.
We were thrilled to work with you and help bring your Car Scent Cards to life. Can you tell our audience a little about this fantastic product and the scent notes?
I wanted to re-invent the cliched car air freshener experience. I considered dozens of solutions but ultimately wanted something that was simple, sustainable and beautiful with a modern scent that everyone would love. As a driver, I didn’t want anything that would obstruct my windscreen vision or clash with my interiors. I also didn’t want anything rattling around or interfering with my air vents. I just wanted a fresh and sophisticated fragrance to elevate my everyday drive.
The scent cards are all these things – they come as a small box that contains 40ml of pure blended essential oil, 10 olive green, highly absorbent cards and a simple kangaroo leather strap. Users spray the oil onto a card when they need to and tie it around their headrest stems. The best thing is the user gets to control the strength of the scent and the entire package lasts for up to 18 months.
In terms of the fragrance, my brief to Perfume Playground was to design a scent that was somewhere between young and old/male and female. It also had to be modern and fresh but also comforting in an old leather kind of way. More than anything, it had to be as far away from the coconut and strawberry synthetic options already on the market as possible.
After months of testing, we settled on notes of Juniper Berry, Rosemary, Cedarwood and Lime with a touch of cognac and have the most wonderous fragrance that completely hits the brief.
What was the most exciting part of the scent design development process?
Designing a scent in the middle of lockdown via zoom was interesting. Yes, I was excited but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was worried that it wouldn’t work. Not only was I isolated, but I had zero experience with scent design and very little understanding of the process. It was completely crazy in hindsight. The process involved months of sample swapping via mail and then opening and talking through each one together online. Sam wanted me to wait for our zooms so that I could give her real-time feedback but I never had the patience for that. I was basically waiting at my mailbox every day.
Delivering a touch of Cognac, we love Autonomy’s Car Scent cards. What’s the response been like so far?
I haven’t met a single person who doesn’t love the Autonomy signature scent. In fact, it is often customers’ first impression of the brand and sets the tone and quality for all other Autonomy products. I would say it is my hero product. Earlier this year, I ran a few market stalls and sprayed the scent every hour or so around my display. It was wafting throughout the markets all weekend and curious customers could not help but come and look.
I know my brand is still new but I could not be prouder of the Autonomy scent cards and the scent in particular.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt along your entrepreneurial journey?
Just keep moving. It is so easy to feel defeated by daily obstacles, but once you get through them, they are nothing in hindsight and help you prepare for the next ones to come.
At Perfume Playground, we’re big advocates of wellbeing. What’s your approach to wellbeing?
Starting a new business alone is isolating and I deeply miss the everyday exchanges with people at work. Never take that for granted. For me, wellbeing is a combination of things but there is no better way to keep perspective in life than to ask and receive help from others. Conversation is everything.
No.1 dream car, road-trip destination and who’s sitting next to you in the passenger seat?
My dream car is always a clean one…. preferably with some decent power. My dream road trip would involve an uphill winding, country road with no traffic – I imagine a light drizzle as well just to keep things moody and interesting. In the passenger seat, there will be someone I love asleep with their head on an Autonomy cushion, wrapped in an Autonomy blanket.
What are you most excited about this season?
I am most excited by the potential for the Autonomy brand. I have a major new product launching in February and am in active conversations with several car dealers and car companies in Australia about more high quality, sustainable car products and accessories.