Scent support: Singapore’s Scent by SIX leverages fragrance tech to tackle the tough issues

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Scent by SIX is using fragrance technology to support the mental health of those that have been marginalised by society. [Scent by SIX]
Scent by SIX is using fragrance technology to support the mental health of those that have been marginalised by society. [Scent by SIX]

Related tags Fragrance Singapore functional fragrance

Singapore-based Scent by SIX is using fragrance technology to support the mental health of those that have been marginalised by society.

The brand was founded in 2016 by ex-Givaudan exec Jason Lee with a range of unisex fragrances. As the COVID-19 pandemic raged on in 2020, the brand embarked on a new mission to champion mental health.

Since then, the brand has launched two scent collections, Hikaru and Sleep Returns. The first scent claimed to evoke feelings of happiness, while the other promoted a good night’s rest.

Working with organisations to highlight the challenges facing those that have been marginalised is a major focus for the company.

SIX had previously partnered with the Singapore Association for Mental Health (SAMH) and similarly involved them in the development of Hikaru. According to Lee, this collection ended up doing very well, with sales inching close to that of its bestseller, 27°F Biei.

This July, the company announced the launch of the Care scent collection; a range of three scents designed especially for caregivers and co-developed with non-profit organisation, Caregivers Alliance Limited (CAL).

“I spent a few months with caregivers and through these workshop sessions, we deep dived into some of the challenges they face as caregivers of persons with mental health issues,”​ Lee told CosmeticsDesign-Asia.

Lee highlighted that caregiver burnout was a common occurrence, as a caregiver must often juggle caring for a loved one and other commitments like a full-time job. Even a simple thing like a good night’s sleep and five minutes of me-time, are luxuries that are hard to come by.

Leveraging technology from fragrance houses Givaudan and Takasago, the firm developed the range to support caregivers’ need for relaxation, sleep, and focus.

“The Focus scent, for instance, will influence your mental state of mind. Let’s set the scene, imagine during the Circuit Breaker, you have back-to-back Zoom meetings, during which, your heart rate would be elevated and sustained for a long period of time, which is very bad for your focus.

“What we try to do is bring down your heart rate to a state of equilibrium – not all the way down to a point of relaxation, but equilibrium to allow you to segue to another point of focus. The effect is very much like taking afternoon nap, but without actually having to take one.”

In addition, the firm developed the scents with inputs from 10 caregivers. Lee personally led these sessions with the caregivers, finding out their scent preferences and learning how each of them perceived fragrances.

“I wanted to make sure that at the end of the exercise, the scents that come out of it will really resonate with what they believe in and be aligned with what they like. In the end, they had quite a big input in the creation. They were free to create their own versions of each scent and I took them down in detail and finalised the products with the findings.”

In return, a portion of the sales proceeds of this range will be donated to CAL to enable them to continue providing training and support to caregivers of persons with mental health issues.

Moving forward, Lee revealed to us that the firm is currently in talks with Singapore Prison Service (SPS), to explore how fragrance can benefit people who are trying to reintegrate into society.

“For beneficiaries who are staying in halfway houses, going through rehab, we want to see how scent can help to set them in the right frame of mind. Hopefully, a scent them help them to find themselves again, and get the right bearings.”

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