Elegant, atypical and often tailored to local preferences, these scents smell good and also stand out from the crowd.
You may not think of Singapore as a perfumery hotbed. But the demand for local artisanal fragrances is growing as consumers start looking beyond familiar brands for something different.
Prachi Saini Garg, founder of Singapore Memories (the retail label of the Je T’aime Group which runs perfume customisation services and workshops), says: “Big perfume brands play it safe and may not focus on any one country, especially Singapore, as the market is too small. They create scents that sell. We create memories. When customers smell our scents, we want them to feel and remember.”
For Oo La Lab founder, Terry Jacobson, fine fragrances have been dominated by European and American tastes for far too long. “We wanted to bring an Asian sensibility to fine fragrance and create a ‘local’ brand that people can get behind. It is time for us to sharpen our sense of smell using our own backyard as our inspiration,” he says.
These artisanal perfumes are hand-blended in Singapore in small batches to maintain quality control over the ingredients and development process. They also tend to be designed with Asian preferences in mind.
Freda ’D, for instance, curates notes to suit local tastes (which it says lean towards the very sweet) and formulates its perfumes to blend well with skin and perspiration so they can last in humid weather. And Singapore Memories launched the light floral Vanda 1981 and the oriental fresh Aranda 1965 as it found that Singaporeans generally prefer clean, uplifting scents.
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