Zen fragrances: Japanese brand Sholayered eyes potential with ‘slow living’ trend in the US

By Amanda Lim

- Last updated on GMT

Sholayered is preparing to launch in the US. ©Sholayered
Sholayered is preparing to launch in the US. ©Sholayered

Related tags Fragrance Us Japan

Japanese fragrance brand Sholayered is preparing to launch in the US where it believes consumers are beginning to embrace more minimalist lifestyles.

The brand was founded in 2012 by Sho Ishizaka, who wanted to translate the concept of zen living into fragrance products.

“The idea behind the brand is to layer different fragrances. For example, you can use one scent as a body lotion and then layer another on as an eau de toilette. It’s about encouraging people to create their own unique scent,” ​said Ronna Zur, marketing, Sholayered US.

Currently, Sholayered is available in Japan, China, the UK and will be launched across the US this July.

Zur told CosmeticsDesign-Asia​ that the firm believes there is a huge opportunity for the brand in the US market right now as consumers have begun to embrace the slow living movement.

“In the US everyone is always on-the-go, especially in places like New York City. But in recent years they are starting to gain an understanding of zen and slow living.”

Zur continued: “They are now learning to embrace the rituals, which is what Sholayered is all about. It’s not about putting on one perfume then starting your day at work – it’s about taking the time to think about what you want, what you feel.”

The firm expects the slow living trend to accelerate in light of the circumstances brought about by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“This situation has made people more understanding of the concepts like zen and mindfulness. They realised that its not just about work all the time – you can take time for yourself! People are now more stressed out, stuck at home, so even if they weren’t into this lifestyle before, they are open to embracing it,” ​said Zur.

Selling scents online

The outbreak of COVID-19 in the US delayed the company’s plans to launch the brand earlier this year.

Additionally, the pandemic has also forced the company to rethink its entrance strategy into the market.

“Before COVID-19 really hit, we had orders from buyers already and we were planning to be in retail stores. Because of this chaos, a lot of things have changed. From being more focused on retail and wholesale, we have shifted to focus online more,” ​said Zur.

The brand has just started its advertising campaigns on social media and is looking to engage key influencers to help it reach its target audience.

Zur acknowledged that it was tough to sell fragrance online, especially for a small brand just entering the competitive US market.

“One thing about our scents is they are easy to understand with names like Lemon Peel and Sugar Lychee. It very clear what kind of smells they are, and we also try to describe as much as possible.”

Additionally, it hopes to leverage on its price point to get more consumers to try its products.

“We have a range of products starting at $15 for a 10ml body spray. It’s smaller and not so expensive so you can buy more than one and play around with the scents,” ​Zur explained.

She added that the company is currently experimenting and trying to find ways to sell its fragrances online.

“We’re learning as we go. Right now, we’ve started to give out free samples with purchases so they can try more of our products. We also have an idea to give out little cards with fragrances that you can keep in your pocket or bag so you can live with and experience the fragrance. This hasn’t been launched but we’re thinking about it.”

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