It’s no secret that everyone wants their perfume to be one-of-a-kind.
We all want something special, something memorable. The irony is that most of us often look for fragrances at world-renowned perfumeries — just like everyone else. Sure, you may think that Chanel No. 5 is made for you, but so does the next person and their mother.
If you really want something unique, try one of the fragrances made right here on our shores. Singapore is home to an array of perfumeries — some niche, some traditional. All of them bring a distinctive touch to their craft, whether by producing their scents locally, or using ingredients that are native to our island.
Their fragrances, which draw from Singapore’s history and culture, also tell a story that the offerings of other, much bigger perfume ateliers cannot. In many ways then, these homegrown fragrances are truly something to call our own. What could be more special than that?
That’s why we’ve put together a list of Singapore-based perfumeries worth knowing by scent and by heart. Discover them all below.
Header photo credit: Singapore Memories
The heritage-inspired fragrances of Singapore Memories will make for a thoughtful gift — both for yourself, or someone you know who loves our sunny island as much as you do. These are carefully crafted perfumes that you can’t find anywhere else, with names like “Peranakan Oud” (a rich blend of oud, tonka bean, praline and green tobacco leaves), “Singapore Girl” (an award-winning citrusy scent for women) and “Orchids By The Bay” (a fragrance made with the rare orchid, Singapore’s national flower). You can try them all by getting them in a stylish bundle, or check out Singapore Memories’ equally exquisite line of room fragrances at their various outlets.
(Photo credit: Singapore Memories)
Another brand that is heavily rooted in Singaporean heritage is Sifr Aromatics. Founded by a third-generation perfumer, the brand is one of the oldest in the business here — and one of the best in Southeast Asia. Their scents, which nod to history, travel and literature, are locally blended with natural ingredients and produced in small batches. You can get them in one of Sifr Aromatics’ beautiful bottles, or as soy-based candles, essential oil blends or home fragrances. For a unique experience, we recommend checking out the brand’s offerings at their old-school shophouse in Kampong Glam.
(Photo credit: Sifr Aromatics)
If you’re big on personalised perfumes, you’ll love Maison 21G. The brand, housed in a stylish boutique on Duxton Hill and another at ION Orchard, gives you the chance to create your own fragrance. It lets you choose from over 30 different scents such as Oud Outshine, Tuberose Tribute and Cannabis Cloud, which you can blend together for a one-of-a-kind concoction. Get it in a perfume bottle (Maison 21G offers free engraving), as a roll-on for an alcohol-free purchase, or even as a hand sanitiser. For a more hands-on experience in creating your bespoke scent, try one of Maison 21G’s many expert-led perfume workshops.
(Photo credit: Maison 21G)
Code Deco takes the exuberant spirit of the Art Deco movement and applies it to perfumery. The homegrown label combines luxurious ingredients from around the world (think oud, bergamot and even leather) with top-notch craftsmanship (Code Deco founder Gauri Garodia has been making perfumes for over 21 years). Each bottled fragrance is a complex concoction that will certainly leave others in your company intrigued. You can decode the nuances of their many fragrances with the brand’s Discovery Boxes, which delivers a handful of smaller bottles for you to try out.
(Photo credit: Code Deco)
Travel may be removed from our plans for the foreseeable future, but you can still discover the world through the fragrances of Scene by Six. It was founded by Jason Lee, who had four years of perfumery experience under his belt from a stint at Givaudan. His offerings, like Tribeca, Puka and Hikaru, capture the essence of different landmarks around the world. In other cases, they’re dreamed up, like in the fragrance 2065 Ujong, through which the brand expresses their idea of “Singapore in the year 2065”. You can take home each experience with you with Scent by Six’s signature black bottles, or as an air purifier or reed diffuser.
(Photo credit: Scent By Six)