House of Asia: Maison de L’Asie poised to take on global players with luxury Asian-crafted perfumes
Maison de L’Asie was founded by Elizabeth Liau, who has a background in finance and was previously in the art industry for a decade.
She told CosmeticsDesign-Asia that her experiences living and travelling in Europe and the Middle East exposed her to a “wonderland” of perfume and elevated her appreciation for fine fragrance.
This newfound passion led Liau to conceive Maison de L’Asie – House of Asia in French. It develops its perfumes locally with ingredients such as ginger, green tea and saffron sourced from the top suppliers in the world.
Last December, the brand launched with its first collection, Chapter One, which consists of three luxury fragrances inspired by Liau’s own life experiences. “I wanted to sell emotions and stories; it just so happened to come in a form of a perfume.”
She believes her mission will resonate well with consumers today that are growing weary of mass-market fragrances. “People are sick of just buying a product because there's so many products out there. Now they are starting to appreciate the different stories behind the product.”
Liau highlighted that the idea of luxury has been shifting the past few years in favour of younger niche brands, not just in perfumery, but across the luxury goods market in Asia.
“It's hard to deny the growth of the Asian market. There's an elevation of tastes, and an appreciation of finer things now with the increase in wealth from Asia. Specifically, for perfume, I think we've seen that there is a very distinct shift in people starting to want to be more unique, wanting to sort of stand out more.
“Wealth doesn't necessarily translate to buying the most expensive thing in the market sometimes. Now we are starting to see them wanting to look for what's different in the market. There is a definite shift in the appreciation of fine fragrances. Growth is coming from Asia no doubt, and I think this will continue in the next years to come.”
The appreciation for perfumery is also growing in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has strengthened the link between fragrance and emotions.
Liau believes the brand can tap into this shift with its perfumes which aim to evoke memories and emotions.
“There's a very positive purpose for me in my perfumes. I genuinely do want people to sort of pause and to reflect on these emotions that I want to tell; the stories that carry that narrative. Just for that minute, just be in that moment and appreciate certain things that I feel are often overlooked.”
The first collection especially, draws inspiration from nostalgic memories, with fragrances such as Mother x Love, a white musk scent inspired by motherly love.
“When my mother passed in 2018, I couldn't seem to articulate the emotions, of love and nostalgia. I couldn't write, I couldn't say, I just didn't know how to express it. But I could create a perfume in memory of her, of what she represented to me. There was an emotion that I captured through perfume that was both enveloping and comforting in a way that I felt others could relate to as well.”
From Asia to the world
Currently, Maison de L’Asie is available via its official website. The company is looking to expand its retail footprint to support its digital presence.
“[A physical location] is very important because perfume is still one of those products where people have to try it first. That will be supporting our very aggressive online campaigns that we'll be launching,” said Liau.
The brand will be launching in Tangs, a department store located in the shopping district, in the third quarter this year. It is also on the lookout for another location.
Liau also has her sights set on a global expansion. She told us that all the fragrances have been tested by people all around the globe to ensure they function at their optimal level regardless of geography.
The company intends to begin its international expansion in 2022 and is targeting top cities such as London and Paris. Liau expressed confidence that her brand will resonate globally.
“Because my brand is from Asia, I feel like the stories are told from a different perspective, which speaks to a global audience and allows them to interpret Asia differently because of the way the perfumes are crafted and how they capture relatable scenes of Asia.”