Scentses + Co seeks to build trust in perfume subscription while eyeing SEA expansion

By Hui Ling Dang

- Last updated on GMT

Scentses + Co is authorised to repackage branded perfumes into its in-house atomisers. ©Scentses + Co
Scentses + Co is authorised to repackage branded perfumes into its in-house atomisers. ©Scentses + Co

Related tags Perfume Fragrance Product safety Authentication

Malaysia’s Scentses + Co says that it is armed with authorisation letters to provide assurance of product authenticity and quality, as it seeks to regain consumer trust following past scandals involving other perfume subscription firms.

The company was started in 2020 with the intention of increasing accessibility to perfumes for consumers such as students and young working adults.  

Currently, its platform houses over 700 perfumes for customers to choose and add to their subscription. It also has a form on the website for perfume requests.

Scentses + Co works with authorised distributors, who have permitted the firm to repackage the perfumes into its in-house atomisers. The letter of authorisation serves as proof of authenticity as well as of product safety and quality.  

“We ensure that during repackaging, the fragrances have no exposure to air. In order to give confidence to consumers and brand partners, we get third-party auditors to come in and test. They will randomly choose an atomiser repackaged by us and test if the content is exactly the same as the original perfume,” ​co-founder Sadira Yeong told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​.

Citing a headline-making case​ involving a Singapore-based online luxury scent subscription company that “betrayed the trust of customers” last year, Yeong emphasised that Scentses + Co is here to play the long game and aims to “set things right”.

Building credibility and strengthening brand trust in the perfume subscription model are of top priority to the firm, especially since Singapore is one of its key target markets.

“A perfume may retail for $300 to $500, but if a platform sells it for only $100, you know it’s too good to be true. Consumers today do their own research when choosing products. One thing that our team take pride in is the amount of positive Google reviews from our customers and community.

“We genuinely hope that consumers are educated and equipped with the tools and knowledge to differentiate between authentic and fake perfumes.”

Growing presence in SEA

Scentses + Co is now focusing more attention on the Singapore market, which it entered last February, after its Malaysia customer base has stabilised.  

At present, its subscriber count is about 40,000 per month. 

“The future plan for Malaysia is to go offline, such as doing roadshows. Most of our local customers are new to perfumes and in a way, we have lowered the barrier for people to try more fragrances. Generally, they lean towardssweeter and heavier scents.

“On the other hand, consumers in Singapore know a lot more about perfumes. In fact, they have introduced us to many new niche brands, which we are trying to add them into our selection specially for subscribers in this market. In terms of preferences, there are also distinct differences as Singaporeans tend to go for fresher, lighter scents,” ​Yeong shared.

Furthermore, its Singapore website is designed to be more interactive, after taking into account the feedback collected from consumers in both countries.

“We made adjustments based on localisation, depending on how the local consumers react to the user interface and their user experience.

“Besides Singapore and Malaysia, we definitely plan to expand into neighbouring countries. For instance, we are looking at Indonesia and Thailand right now due to the demand — consumers have been asking us to be there.”

In the near future, the firm intends to introduce other items, such as bath and body products and scented candles, into its subscription portfolio.

Partner, not competitor

Yeong admitted that initially it was challenging to convince distributors that the subscription model would work, as they were seen as “another competitor” selling the same product albeit in different packaging.

“They were naturally concerned about the way we repackage a perfume, and whether it would jeopardise its quality and affect the brand perception or image. In our early days, we had to build a lot of interpersonal relationships with distributors and brands, and constantly let them see the values that we are bringing.”

Scentses + Co strategically positioned itself as a partner for these companies.

“If a consumer can afford a full-size perfume priced at $300, they will definitely buy it. But what about those who cannot afford but want to try? That’s where we come in.

“Let’s say if a subscriber pays $20 for a different perfume every month, by the seventh month, they might decide to commit to the perfume received on the third month because they like the scent most. We also sell the full-size versions on our platform. This way, it boosts sales for the brands and they actually love the idea.”

One of the firm’s most poignant projects so far was a collaboration with Italian luxury brand Furla.

“When they launched their first fragrance line in Malaysia, they approached us to run a marketing campaign together. They sponsored all the fragrances for us to repackage into our bottles, and provided a lot of freebies and samples that were given to our subscribers during the period of campaign.

“It showed that brands recognise us as a complementary marketing arm for building their brand.”

Related news

Show more

Follow us


View more



Beauty 4.0 Podcast