Scent-sational growth: Singapore start-up Lynk Fragrances opens first retail store, expands product range to body and hair care

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Lynk Fragrances' line-up has expanded to include body care and hair care products. ©Lynk Fragrances
Lynk Fragrances' line-up has expanded to include body care and hair care products. ©Lynk Fragrances

Related tags Fragrance scents Body care Hair care Personal care Singapore

Singapore brand Lynk Fragrances has recently made several expansion moves, including renaming and rebranding, diversifying its product line-up to include body and hair care, and opening its first retail store.

The brick-and-mortar debut at the newly renovated Changi Airport Terminal 2 comes three years after its launch.

Besides a name change from Lynk Artisan to Lynk Fragrances, the brand’s line-up has also gone beyond candles, hand sanitisers and bathroom deodorisers to capture a bigger share of the personal care market — its REVITALYNK series consists of body wash, body lotion, shampoo, and conditioner.

“We started from home during the pandemic to a studio in the industrial area, where we put in place more protocols to ensure product safety and raise efficiency. We will be moving to a space that is twice the size of the current one, and that will be equipped with additional manpower and machinery to handle the increased capacity required due to the store.

“With the rebranding and the REVITALYNK range, we wanted to encapsulate a more holistic concept of wellness and focus on how fragrances can benefit well-being. Our goal from the start was to eventually have a portfolio that provides a complete scent experience from home to smelling good from head to toe,” ​Datina Wee, co-founder and CEO of Lynk Fragrances, told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​.

Yet, Wee admitted that it is a whole new ball game when it comes to body care and hair care, as the products are applied directly onto the body.

While she recognises that there are various specific needs when it comes to skin and hair, the brand is targeting consumers with normal skin and hair types for now.

“The R&D process was ongoing for almost two years because we deep dived into all the different ingredients to make sure what we use ticked all the boxes in terms of safety, efficacy, and regulatory approved. For instance, our shampoo does not contain sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), our ingredients are responsibly sourced from Singapore and overseas, and our products are cruelty-free​.

“The range could have been introduced a long time ago, but we tried to be more careful because the brand is not just about scents anymore. We did more than 200 rounds of testing to ensure that the formula is suitable for normal skin. At the moment, we are not zooming into specific problems, but we definitely plan to cater to more targeted hair and skin types in the future.”

An example is the “daily-use version” of its Coffee Body Scrub, which the brand is currently working on. It is expected to be made with a gentler formulation so that it would not trigger skin sensitivity.

“We regularly go through HSA regulations to confirm our products are appropriately labelled. Apart from that, we are also trying to obtain a number of certifications, including Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), to show that we fulfil certain standards of quality and hygiene when handling and making our products. We will aggressively try to improve all aspects of the business,” ​Wee added.

Consumer-centric strategy

Some 70% of Lynk Fragrances’ customers are females, with floral and herbaceous scents, such as Rose Blush and White Tea, taking the best-seller ranks.

The brand’s “scent direction” is largely driven by Wee’s brother, also a co-founder.

“He draws inspiration from YouTube, bigger brands, and visiting fragrance stores to have an idea of global market trends. We also bear in mind the preferences of local and Asian consumers. Ultimately, everyone in the team must agree on a scent before further developing or launching it,” ​said Wee.

In addition, the brand conducts consumer sampling prior to a new launch.

For the body and hair care range, samples were included in the orders of existing customers for about six months. Subsequently, the team reached out to these consumers for feedback on the texture, scent, and other product properties, which were then communicated to the R&D team.

Calling the retail store “a big step forward”, Wee shared that it cannot just rely on walk-in traffic, and that several marketing campaigns are in the pipeline to boost awareness and footfall.

These include participating in Changi Airport Group’s initiatives such as staff incentives, and rewarding existing customers with “huge discounts” as part of the opening promotions.

“We incorporated little elements into the store, making it as engaging and welcoming as possible so that consumers would come in and experience our scents. We also plan to set up a fragrance bar to give people the freedom and fun to mix and match the scents, while having staff around to provide explanations.”

Plans for next phase

Although only 5% of its online sales comes from overseas, Wee said that the brand has not officially started marketing in countries beyond Singapore.

In fact, one of the firm’s long-term ambitions is to expand into other Asia-Pacific markets.

“We have identified a few key target markets in South East Asia. Previously, we had an event in Malaysia and were very well received there. Thailand is another potential market, though it already has a lot of players. We have to really understand the local consumers’ preferences and market gaps [before proceeding].

“Perhaps Australia will be next. We’ve had enquiries from as far as the US, but we will focus on Asia for now. As much as we want to extend our reach to many different places, we want to stay grounded as well, because gaining the faith and trust of Singapore consumers is our priority. We aim to establish Lynk Fragrances in the local market before spreading our wings — there is no point losing our popularity and market share here just to branch out to other countries.”

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