This Dad Next Door (And Dad Of Four!) Makes Perfumes For A Living
STORY: Diane Lam
23 November 2021
Have you ever smelled something that transported you to a specific scene from your life? Jason Lee - entrepreneur, father of four, and “The Perfume Man” on Instagram – has just the story:
“Years ago, during winter, I travelled to Hokkaido with my ex-girlfriend," he told us, recalling the scents that are most sentimental to him. "Everywhere we walked, we could smell hints of Japanese lavender, green tea, cedar wood. It was all so embracing and romantic. I wanted to remember those emotions. When I came back, I re-created all those scents and contained them in a perfume bottle. Then I knelt down, presented it as a gift, and proposed.
Now, that ex-girlfriend is my wife. And this scent was the reason why she said yes.
(I hope that was not the only reason why she said yes!).”
And as if that weren’t spoil market enough:
“This scent became our wedding favour,” Jason says. “Encouraged by rave reviews, I also then launched into this perfume business. Now, as a father of 4 and owner of three outlets, I still love this scent: calming, soothing, fulfilling.”
Jason’s business is none other than SIX, an artisanal fragrance label that launched in 2016. In late 2021, SIX was newly recognised under the Made With Passion initiative, which showcases exemplary local lifestyle brands.
Today, SIX’s mission encompasses so much more than just smelling good. They aim to promote mental wellness through the sense of smell (and given the ever-changing safe distancing measures, mental wellness is more relevant to young parents than ever).
We chatted with this busy dad about child-rearing, mental health, and how scents can alleviate the stresses associated with both:
Apparently, the sales of SIX's home fragrances went up since people have been homebound more than ever over the past couple of years. Which kinds of fragrances have people been gravitating toward this period, and why do you think that is?
Hikaru [which has notes of Japanese Yuzu, dandelion, and jasmine, among others] and “Sleep Returns” [described as woody, aromatic, and citrus-y]. Both of which are scents loaded with fragrance intelligence. Hikaru can uplift your mood while “Sleep Returns” can give you a better sleep. It has been a tumultuous two years and it is clear that customers want something more than smelling nice.
These fragrances marry olfactive beauty with functional benefits, backed by scientific evidence and test data.
On top of running your company, you’re a father of 4! To what extent do your kids understand what you do for a living?
My eldest son is always involved in the final evaluation of the scent. He gets the final say!
Can you recommend some scents/fragrances that can help a home feel cosier? Or what about some that help kids calm down/fall asleep (haha)
27 °F Biei [notes of coriander, orange blossom, and mandarin orange, among others] is really popular, especially for the home. Good old lavender is still my go-to when I want to calm the children down before bed and then “Sleep Returns” will be there to enhance the quality of their sleep.
What advice would you give to your children, if they decided to follow your footsteps and go into fragrances?
Find your purpose and manifest it in your works. Remember to give back. And giving back is not just about making a donation, it is about making a difference.
Singapore has ranked high on lists of most overworked countries and most fatigued cities. How can we use scents to either help us power through our work, or to recover from all the stress?
Mindfully place appropriate fragrances at different places at home. A good device to consider will be our mini nebulizers. It is USB chargeable and you can set timers or adjust intensity to suit your requirements at different parts of the home or car.
You’ve also created a scent, Ujong, as “an interpretation of Singapore in the year 2065.” Can you share with us a little about this scent and the creative process that went into crafting it?
Ujong is all about the scent of home, timeless and memorable. I have always wanted to craft a scent for Singapore, however, instead of reminiscing the past, I would like to imagine the future, the future of our home in the year 2065 or SG100. As I think about how we have come so far since independence, as we progress, we are still anchored upon certain values: reliability, incorruptibility, inclusivity. This scent is my imagination of Singapore in 2065, prosperous and still deep rooted with these values.
Find out more about Scent by SIX here
You can also catch Jason on Uniqlo SG's IGTV on 25 November, where he will share about how the "world's most fatigued country" can rest up through the power of scents