Wellness makeover: Singapore fragrance firm reveals new brand purpose to champion mental health through scent
The brand was founded in July 2016 by Jason Lee and offers a range of fine fragrances and home scents.
Since then, the company has expanded the business into ambient scenting, working with Singapore Airlines, Fullerton Hotel and ASICS to help craft their signature scents.
Founder Jason Lee told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that the decision to embark on a new mission was driven by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“What came to me after this whole pandemic was the increased importance to have a purpose as a brand in whatever we do. I found that Scent by SIX was lacking in communicating its purpose to the people.”
Additionally, the stress of the COVID-19 outbreak highlighted the importance of taking care of mental health to the former Givaudan exec.
“I myself grew more aware of mental wellness. I realised I was not paying attention to the mental wellness of my colleagues, for instance, because I was plagued by a big palette of worries for the business and how it will carry on in the uncertainty of the pandemic,” said Lee.
To mark the unveiling of this new brand purpose, the company has launched the Hikaru, a Yuzu-themed scent collection comprising of four products including a fine fragrance and pillow mist.
To create the signature Hikaru scent, the brand worked with Japanese fragrance house Takasago to tap into the firm’s Magnetiscent technology, which is said to be able to activate the dopaminergic pathways to bring feelings of joy and happiness.
This technology was developed by studying the effects of fragrances on the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging (FMRI), a technique developed in collaboration with Dresden University of Technology in Germany.
To raise awareness of mental health, the company has also partnered with the Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
To better understand the effects the collection would have on the users, the company involved SAMH in the development process.
“We held a workshop with three youths with serious mental challenges. When you are afflicted, which such issues, you tend to lose interest in many things. So, I was surprised and humbled when I saw that display significant interest during the workshop,” said Lee.
The company gathered feedback from the workshop and improved on the fragrance.
“Initially, I wanted yuzu to be the centrepiece. However, during the workshop, it was pointed out that too much citrus can make it smell too functional, too forthcoming. So, we pulled back on it and softened the whole thing with white florals, giving it a more unique balance,” Lee said.
He added: “This was absolutely priceless. It gave me the additional pat on the shoulder and told me that this was the right direction to go.”
SIX has pledged SGD10 (USD7.43) from the sale of each Hikaru item to support SAMH and aims to hit the targeted amount of SGD10,000 (USD7,432).
Moving forward, the company intends to further its partnership with SAMH.
“We have spoken to SAMH about continuing this. Ultimately, I want to have them involved in the production and creative process. We want to make sure this is sustainable,” said Lee.
An experiential journey
In addition to the new collection, the company will also be unveiling a new boutique on Orchard Road, Singapore’s shopping district.
The brand recently launched its second standalone boutique in Bugis, another downtown shopping destination.
The latest storefront would be different from other boutiques launched by SIX so far.
“I wanted this space to be a sanctuary, a cocoon that people can come by to feel lost in the moment. I hope that this experience will help people forget their responsibilities and accountabilities,” said Lee.
To create this experiential space, the firm worked locally creative firm, We Are In The Wild to design the space.
Despite the slump in the brick-and-mortar retail market, Lee stressed the importance that the company have a strong retail presence.
“Scent by SIX will never just be an online store, it will always be omnichannel. We need a physical space to showcase our scent. At the same time, its more than just putting a diffuser in front of you. We are here to bring you through a journey. This includes using visuals, textures… ultimately, we are here to sell art. I wouldn’t know how to do this online.”
Lee aspires to make the boutique a must-see stopover for tourists as well.
“We have plans to work with the Singapore Tourism Board to see how we can work together to bring out the best of Singapore through this store.”