Tapping Tech and Data to Stand Out in Niche Fragrance Market


An emphasis on tech and data is crucial for indie fragrance brands to become trendsetters in the increasingly saturated niche market, claims a Singapore start-up that is tapping AI and social media research.

The firm’s ambition is to develop perfumes that solve the Asian consumers’ biggest pain points with fragrances, while also delivering tangible benefits to them.

Founder Joyce Lian is a chemistry graduate of the National University of Singapore (NUS) and has previous experience working with some of the biggest fragrances houses.

Speaking on the Indie Pioneers Podcast by CosmeticsDesign-Asia, ​Lian explained why she emphasises so much on scientific data like a typical skin care brand would, even though she primarily trades in perfumes.

“Scientific innovation is super important because we want to be a brand that brings out innovation rather than following a trend. We want to be the trendsetters.”​

For instance, the company utilises functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study the effect its scents have on consumers.

“Our fragrances are formulated with fMRI technology, which uses AI to measure the emotions and brain waves whenever a consumer smells a particular kind of ingredient and how they perceive a certain accord,” ​Lian explained.

Beyond that, the company also sends out samples to loyal customers and uses their feedback to finalise a formulation.

“We are ultimately creating a fragrance for the consumer, not just ourselves,”​ said Lian.

To keep up with what’s trending in the perfume world, Lian conducts research on social media. While TikTok may be what’s in vogue at the moment, she believes YouTube is a more valuable platfom.

“I find that long-form content gives a lot more information as compared to short-form content like TikTok or Instagram. YouTube is good for studying other brands and finding out more about new fragrance launches,” ​she said.

With the popularity of perfume content on TikTok, also known as PerfumeTok, Lian is optimistic that more people will learn to appreciate the art of perfumery and help niche brands thrive.

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