Asian Perfume Houses, all the Magic of Asia Under a Scented Roof

2023 . 09 . 21 | written by Laurence Arrigo Klove

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Fragrance lovers

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We step inside the scented universe of five beautiful Asian houses inhabited with a common cultural background and inspired by different philosophies. We start with Maison de L’Asie as we were introduced to the brand during the Esxence 2023 edition and we indulged in a stimulating conversation and a stunning open door session.

Maison de L’Asie flagship boutique in Singapore
Maison de L’Asie scented shop atmosphere

Maison de L’Asie is the Artistic Creation of a Cosmopolitan Woman.

Laurence: I must start by asking the founder, Elizabeth Liau, about her cultural mix. It is quite special to be a Singaporean, with Malaysian Chinese-Indonesian background, how does it work?

Elizabeth: As a land of immigrants, Singapore has traditionally been a melting pot of ethnic cultures, both Asian and European. A bridge between the East and the West, the country allows for a unique perspective, diverse, open, respectful about the past and yet young at heart. I believe I fit in nicely within this Singaporean global platform which thrives on the seamless integration and rich exchange between different cultures.

Elizabeth Liau, the founder of Maison de L’Asie

Laurence: Beyond fragrances, I know you embrace different arts, the cinema, music, painting... Can you describe your love for the arts?

Elizabeth: For me, the arts are a platform for our subconscious. They offer us a different gaze upon our world, one more in harmony with our desires. Arts don’t tell us how to think but provide questions for us to think about.

The Lady of the Fragrance House Welcomes You Home.

Maison de L’Asie welcoming space at Esxence

Laurence: Let us travel to Esxence as it was your first-time participation. Can you depict the Maison de L’Asie interior design you imagined for the stand?

Elizabeth: I always envisioned Maison de L’Asie to be more than a product. My aim is to showcase the beauty of Asia, its caring for details, with an understated and yet impactful luxury. I want it to be a platform for experience, memories, and storytelling. So, my concept for Esxence was to create a welcoming space, where people could get lost in the narratives I had created. There was no focus on highlighting products, but on having a space that stimulated conversations with a live audience.

Laurence: Tell us how with Maison de L’Asie, you bring forward a ‘modern’ interpretation of Asia.

Elizabeth: I want to elevate the interpretation of Asia – by that, I mean, to move away from the stereotype of what Asia is. Progress is made in tiny steps, where there are links made across the increasingly blurred lines of identity. For me, modernity is to remain relevant, respecting unique traditions while going against an official order. It is also to have a balance between the individual preference and respect for heritage.

Elegance, the Art of doing the same thing differently.

Laurence: How do you apply your modern-classic approach onto your perfumes?

Elizabeth: Yes, I want to reinvent classicism, to shape a new classic full of elegance. Elegance never goes out of style and for me it is the art of doing the same thing differently.

Maison de L’Asie perfume collection

Laurence: Can you explain how you marry an understated elegance with a ‘super charged’ perfume concentration?

Elizabeth: It appears as a contradiction as most people translate a high concentration parfum into an over the top, explosive scent. I would beg to disagree on that point. All our fragrances are extraits de parfum* which slowly and subtlety open on the skin, without an overpowering and flat linear notes experience. Our perfumes are understated in the way they project – akin to a slow conversation where the more time you spend discussing, the more you understand the story being told.

*35% concentrate

A Slow Conversation Taking Time to Tell a Story.

A story encapsulated inside a perfume bottle

Laurence: Tell us about your perfume collection chapter’s stories…

Elizabeth: We have three-chapter stories with each one highlighting a specific country in Asia -Singapore, Bali, Bangkok- and providing a unique inspiration for the setting of the philosophy and stories behind the chapters. While being inspired by Asia, our fragrance house foundations are made of universal emotional themes to stimulate a reflection of the perfume user. Every individual experiencing a Maison de L’Asie perfume is the hero, responding to the themes in their own way and telling their single story. Our experience covers both personal fragrances as well as room scents, an inspiring way to create an atmosphere…

Universal Emotional Themes, the House Foundations.

Laurence: I understand your role as creative director also encompasses designing the beautiful illustrations of the packaging…

Elizabeth: Yes, I do lead the creative direction for both parfums and the packaging – the devil is in the details and our stories are told even on our boxes and bottles. In the future, we will be looking forward to limited edition collaboration with artists.


We leave the beautiful interior of Maison de L’Asie in Singapore as it is time for us to travel to Thailand and visit Prin, a special, opulent and rich house in Bangkok.

Prin, the Opulence and Magnificence of a Tai House.

Prin was founded in 2019 by the well-known perfumer Prin Lomros. Prin is "his most sophisticated and personal line yet - designed to allow him to explore his love of rich, animalic, smoky, and complex concepts" tells the brand. To illustrate the founder’s inspiration, I believe ‘Loup’ or ‘the time of a wolf’ is a perfect example. The perfume description is not made of top-heart-base notes but of the very footsteps of the wolf. Loup tells the mesmerizing story of a lone wolf venturing into the wild under the full moon. Loup is not an ominous presence, instead the fragrance gives us resilience and independence. We are under the wolf influence, with a deep thirst for freedom in a forgotten kingdom thanks to the scent’s smoky, spicy, animalic amber and oud notes. The house has more than twenty fragrances and has had a robust retail expansion not only in mainland China but also internationally with official retailers in Taiwan, Vietnam, Australia, England, Spain, Saudi Arabia and the US. Niche fragrance lovers across the world are drawn to Prin’s opulence and complexity.

One Day

One Day Minimalism Leaves Room for Our Imagination.

We have arrived in mesmerizing Hong Kong to meet at the aesthetics house of Michael Wong. Michael is a perfumer academically trained in Korea under the mentorship of an ISIPCA perfumer. He has successfully created perfumes for several brands and decided to launch his own brand, One Day, in 2017. "One Day contains the meaning of hope that everyone can experience life through smell, and write down one’s own smell diary…we want to focus on details; simple and blank, giving more room for imagination when feeling the fragrance" says Michael. His brand’s minimalistic design mixes beautifully inside an authentic, artistic and intellectual experience. An event at the ‘NICE PLACE TO’ art gallery in Hong Kong demonstrated how music by ‘CHANKA’, photography by ‘CHING HO YIN’ and scents by ONE DAY magnificently complemented and blended together. Concept stores and recently Hong Kong airport showcase the magnificent collection of perfumes. Out of the twenty perfumes, ‘Oolong Tea’ won an olfaction awards in 2022 for its beautiful rendering of a Japanese garden feeling. Inspired by a Taipei quiet and delightful afternoon experience, the fragrance balances a pastry sweetness with the oolong bitterness.

The Perfume Collection and the Inspiration of Maison Dixsept

Maison Dixsept, a House Full of Perfumes, Feelings and Dreams.

Maison Dixsept, a perfume house on the seventeen, opened its doors in December 2020 in China. Imagined and founded by creative director Catherine Zhou, Maison Dixsept is offering luxury niche fragrances in a ‘surrealist world where instincts and the free mind can roam’. The house has teamed up with prestigious artists from all over the world like the New York graphic designer Javas Lehn who worked on the brand visual concept. The house fragrance collection is solidly grounded by the expertise of senior independent perfumers, Pierre-Constantin Guéros and Leslie Gauthier, both French, yet with a wide and solid international experience.

"The sense of smell inspires my vitality. I develop myself in a truly international and creative environment. I like to use smell to choreograph or, conversely, to write dance and music into fragrance." Leslie Gauthier

The house’s artistic creation and emotional connection expresses itself into a collection of five perfumes. The minimalistic design and the inspiring names of M17 L’eau, Shanghai Vibe, Before & After, Le Bonheur, and Sway With Me provide a wonderful feeling of peace and joy. Maison Dixsept is truly an open house, a free space of great creativity where new collaborations happen and artists feel at home with a free invitation.

Documents Flagship Store in China
Documents Flagship Store in China

Documents, a Rebellious and Mysterious Avant-Garde Dark House.

Launched in 2021, Documents is a high-end niche fragrance house from China showcasing four collections of personal fragrances, home scents, hand lotions and soaps. It offers a unique perfume experience within a striking and outstanding store design. The solemn and irrational visuals contribute to building a mysterious and fascinating atmosphere with a powerful magnetic attraction. Founded by Zhaoran Meng, Documents opened its first flagship store in Shanghai, and has since added two more. The flagship store is totally and daringly black; the second, referred to as the ‘wedding’ is completely red; while the third one, made of wooden panels, looks like a beautiful old style library. Inside the flagship store, an impeccable customer service introduces us to the brand and offers us a unique perfume experience. One perfume chapter is dedicated to alcohol: ‘5 degree’ is inspired by beer, ’13 degree’ by champagne; another chapter is about in between seasons: winter-spring, spring-summer, summer-autumn, autumn-winter… The brand’s magical and original universe is such an attraction that major investors - Cathay Capital, Kering, L’Oreal and Pernod Ricard - took notice and invested in the brand. Besides wide press coverage, the original house remains enigmatic, most probably on purpose, to keep us under its spell.

During my visit to the Asian fragrance houses, I had the pleasure to have by my side an expert guide, Chi Wai Tang, founder and consultant at Fragrance Connection, based in Hong Kong. He provided me with additional and insightful information on the beautiful perfume niche brands. I would like to thank him for our enlightening and entertaining conversation.

More Stunning Interiors to be added to the Maisons.

The five Asian Maisons are expanding with additional rooms and more adornments. Keeping their unique style of decoration inspired by Asia. Feeling at home under one condition: authentic luxury. In the coming months and next years, there will be many more beautiful Asian brand houses for us to discover. From their home base in Asia, they will venture into the world and establish a strong foothold in international markets. It is to be expected that next year at the Esxence 2024 edition, instead of only one brand, there will be multiple new Asian brands showcasing their unique story and scents signature.

'A strong competition with local brands is good. Next year there will be Chinese brands at Esxence'

Michel Gutsatz, President of Le Jardin Retrouvé, Senior Marketing Professor at the KEDGE Business School (Shanghai) and Visiting Professor at CEIBS International School (Shanghai)

For consumers, this is only good news as it is a new opportunity to be exposed to a different inspiration and olfactive experience. For Western brands, this represents a serious risk of losing market share not only in China given the rise of strong local competitors but also back in their home markets. The competition game will truly become global and ever more ruthless. In the past, Asia was on the map as a modest individual fragrance land and a pure importer. Tomorrow, Asia will have a robust fragrance consumption and become a land of scent creation. Tomorrow is now. Asia is bold in its ambition. Beware. Time is ticking fast.

Main image of the article copywright Courtyard Xiaoya by daxiang design studio