Scentbird’s CEO Is Also a Spiritual Guru. Not All Customers Are Pleased.

Scentbird co-founder and chief executive Mariya Nurislamova is well-known for her entrepreneurship insights. She frequently speaks at business events and features on podcasts, sharing her strategies on fundraising, marketing, branding, and product management at Scentbird, a subscription service offering fragrance samples from brands such as Burberry and D.S. & Durga.

Simultaneously, Nurislamova has gained attention as a spiritual guru, amassing a following of 300,000 across YouTube, Spotify, TikTok, and Instagram. She discusses subjects like extraterrestrials and life within “the Matrix,” along with wellness practices like meditation, chakras, and crystals.

These two facets of her identity rarely intersected until recently. But her more controversial spiritual beliefs have begun circulating on social media, reaching over 670,000 views on YouTube. This has led many Scentbird customers and brand ambassadors to see her views for the first time.

And the reaction has been largely negative.

“I won’t be working with them moving forward if they offer me anything in the future,” wrote YouTuber Zachary Michael, an influencer previously associated with Scentbird, in a comment under a video on the channel Keya’s World, which critiques spiritual guru claims. The channel and others like it have analyzed Nurislamova’s content, including 603 videos since 2020, where she discusses healing from cancer or AIDS in seven days, describing miscarriage as a “choice,” and attributing negative karma to abortion. Her statements on topics like these, along with unusual health beliefs, have sparked significant backlash.

Particularly controversial are her views on “the Matrix,” in which she claims humans live inside a virtual reality. In a May 2022 video, she referred to Hitler as “one of the greater sources of knowledge of 3D planet earth warfare,” which she clarified later as being taken out of context.

Nurislamova states that her investors are likely unaware of her spiritual activities, emphasizing she keeps them separate from Scentbird’s operations. Despite this, her content being linked to her company has led to complaints, especially given that Scentbird markets itself as the “Netflix for fragrance,” a straightforward subscription service without new-age marketing.

The company, which was founded during the 2010s subscription box boom, has seen consistent growth and profitability since 2019. Nurislamova has maintained that she does not infuse her beliefs into company culture.

As she reckons with the public reaction, Nurislamova remains adamant about her dual roles, stating, “I think it’s a good thing that this whole convergence is happening. I’m glad that it’s coming to the surface that I’m both of those things.”

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