How local perfume brand Scent Journer started

Founder of Scent Journer Joyce Lian (right), with Melanie Oliveiro from CNA 938 (left)

Discovering Passion for Perfumery

In an interview with CNA 938, Joyce Lian, the founder and fragrance designer of the local perfume brand Scent Journer, shared how she started her own perfumery business. She unveiled the origins of her passion for perfumery, a craft she perceives as an intriguing blend of artistic expression and scientific chemistry.

Education and Early Inspirations

Joyce's journey into the world of perfumery started during her study of Perfumery and Cosmetic Science at Singapore Polytechnic. Her fascination grew as she delved into the history of perfumes and experienced sensory sessions that allowed her to immerse herself in a myriad of scents.

Melanie: Tell us about your beginnings, Joyce. Because I understand it all started when you were studying perfumery and cosmetic science at Singapore Polytechnic. But what made you choose that in the first place?

“When I discovered perfumery, there’s the art of storytelling behind it. You learn the history of perfumes, and we get really cool sessions for exams where you get to smell the different raw materials, so you have different vials in front of you, you smell you recognise it and you write down your answer and really describe the scent of how it smells like. So that's really where my passion in perfumery really started, because to me it's the perfect combination of chemistry and art.”

Joyce Lian, founder of Scent Journer, presenting her business pitch to industry mentors as part of the NUS and ESG venture building programme.

Venture Building Program: The start of Joyce’s entrepreneurial journey

Amidst the COVID era, Joyce made a pivotal decision of transitioning from a banking career to embark on the entrepreneurial path. Scent Journer began taking shape during the pandemic. Joyce's journey was further enriched by her participation in a Venture Building Program facilitated by NUS and supported by ESG.

A: It was during COVID where Scent Journer really started. I actually quitted my job in the bank and then I realized there's this venture building program hosted by NUS and supported by ESG.

Market Research and pitching for the SG startup Founder Grant

Joyce learned that starting a business is about problem-solving for consumers rather than personal preferences. The foundation of Scent Journer was laid upon extensive market research. Conducting over 300 surveys and interviewing more than 100 individuals, Joyce and her team discerned the precise desires of Singaporean perfume enthusiasts, paving the way for a more consumer-centric approach. Persistence and dedication led Joyce to pitch for the SG Startup Founder Grant, which her team managed to secure funding that propelled their vision into reality.

A: Through there (the venture building programme), I really learned about entrepreneurship, about funding, about creating a business more to solve a consumer problem rather than just something that you like. We actually interviewed more than 100 people and did about 300 surveys to really go deep dive into what people in Singapore are really looking for in their perfume. At the end of the program where we actually pitched for the SG startup Founder Grant. And I'm very fortunate that out of 30 teams in my batch, I was one of the teams that got funded.

Now, Joyce aims to create fragrances that are mindfully-formulated, with the ability to transform and uplift your mood, while empowering you to feel your best.

Mindfully-formulated creations: 

  1. Ingredients with Purpose
  2. Backed by Research & Consumer studies
  3. Safe for Daily Routine
  4. Better for Our Planet
  5. Unisex

Crafted from sustainable and ethical ingredients, Scent Journer's perfumes are over 85% natural origin (according to ISO 16128). Each fragrance undergoes meticulous design, rooted in extensive research exploring the profound connection between scent and emotions, aspiring to enhance consumers' emotional well-being with every spritz. Joyce ardently believes that fragrances should uplift rather than compromise well-being, thus ensuring formulas remain devoid of any harmful elements. As a local perfume brand, all the production and formulation are done in Singapore to reduce environmental footprint. Embracing a cruelty-free ethos, Scent Journer's fragrances are 100% vegan. Joyce also believes that no one should be judged by the fragrance they wear, hence at Scent Journer all fragrances are free from gender constraints and you are free to wear what you love.

Listen to the full interview with CNA 938 here: Daily Cuts - A Scent journey with Scent Journer

Listen to this article on our Instagram: How Scent Journer started

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