2020 . 11 . 27 | written by Karen Marin

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Fragrance lovers


Inspired by the abstract, and the idea of using scent as a tool to express yourself, husband and wife team Niclas and Christine Lydeen bring us CRA-YON, a collection of fragrances that are destined to color your world. By stripping away superfluous elements such as fancy packaging and celebrity spokespeople, the consumer is uninhibited to discover the scents and the feelings they evoke. The couple drew upon their rich experiences from meeting people around the world and interacting with different cultures to approach fragrance in a fresh way. Fragrance becomes an invisible wardrobe that empowers the individual to be the hero in his own life. I caught up with Niclas, who is based in Sweden, by Zoom to find out more.

When did you launch?

We launched in April of this year, and I’m quite happy that we didn’t launch before! The onset of the pandemic would have been such a momentum stopper. I feel it would have been worse than starting while this was already a part of life.

What is the DNA of the brand?
CRA-YON is a state of mind more than products or perfume. It’s about making people feel that they are capable of anything.
After over a decade in the luxury perfume business we felt that the sense of smell had been locked in by, on one side the commercial arena with its stereotypical ideas of beauty and on the other side the ”niche” perfumery world where much focus lies on old ideas of luxury, detailing and elitism. We want to inspire people to discover scents without having to identify with anyone other than themselves. Consequently, even though we are working with a select group of perfumers, we prefer not to communicate who they are because we don’t want that information to sway the consumer decision. This shouldn’t be a selling point. Let’s go beyond price point, make people happy, and help them find the scent that suits them for different moments in their life.

What was the inspiration for the name?
The name CRA-YON comes from the idea of how Scent can be a part of anyone’s creative language. It can put color to your world, add an extra dimension of personal expression and truly be your companion and tool kit to inspire yourself and the world around you. Just like a box of Crayons, our fragrance collection functions as an invisible wardrobe to express yourself with. You can paint your world with crayons, it’s up to you how to create it!

What is the brand mission?
Everyone has a nose and the ability to experience scent. Our mission is to inspire people to wake up their noses and discover how much more beautiful the world becomes when paying attention to the scents around us. Scent can support you in being who you are today and inspire you to become who you want to be tomorrow. Let people understand the power of scent, let them understand it can put them in a different frame of mind, and it can help them to be their best self.

You have a tagline: Eau de Parfum for real life moments. Tell me about this statement.

We believe the sense of smell is a force that has the ability to empower you whoever you are. Scent has such a direct effect on our experience as human beings and it can instantly make you travel in time and visit memories, make you think about a certain person, people, mood or make you feel empowered. Instead of old ideas of gender and beauty norms we try to find ways to inspire people to experience scents in their day to day life. Use the CRA-YON collection like a set of superpowers to enhance the moments in your Social Calendar. It can be the important meeting, the romantic date or any moments that makes a difference in your life. The power of adding scents is like a ritual where you also add a memory stamp that makes the actual moments more significant and stronger.

Tell me about your commitment to the environment.
We have made the product secure and sustainable without any suffering for the planet or people in it (the brand is vegan and cruelty-free). We do use synthetics in a mix of the best oils and raw material blended with synthetic molecules to create sustainable and secure compositions. It’s not sustainable to harvest immense amounts of natural material in order to produce a small portion of oil. We aim to simplify packaging and added no extra unnecessary material, no cellophane.

What importance do you put on social media for your brand?

We are a digital first brand and the CRA-YON experience starts online and from there finds its way to your nose. We have a strong community in our CRA-YON Fragrance Club where we share stories, thoughts and reflections around the sense of smell and the powers it can release. We explore contemporary ideas about scent as a form of expression. Through our newsletters and chats we are able to connect with people all over the world.

Describe your pop-up shops to me.
CRA-YON Perfume Bars are very happy, colorful meeting places where consumers can discover the collection and experience the Brand. Our pop-up shops have opened in several locations in Asia, the US and here in Sweden so far. The fragrances are stocked in refrigerators, we have music playing, it’s a very engaging space that attracts a lot of interest. People are invited to come in and play in this 360° experience that makes an impact on your eyes, your ears and your sense of smell. Everyone is trying to find new ideas that are fun and engaging and that are free of any burdens from a legacy of how things used to be done. We feel we add a new energy to a suffering retail arena where there is a lack of new ideas.

What can we expect to see from you in 2021?
The CRA-YON experience will reach more people and build a stronger fragrance wardrobe and explore new ways to introduce the power of scent to people. People all over the world are finding us: we are already present in Asia, the US, Canada, and some countries in Europe. We are growing the collection and will be introducing more scents. We will introduce it globally to all markets and we want to grow our community even more.

What has surprised you the most about this year?

We are so surprised to be so well received and to have so many positive reactions. We launched in the midst of historic times where people were in lockdown. They were so full of longing for experiences! I think it made them even more aware of what they missed. We had a hunch that it would be interesting to talk about fragrance In another way then what we had been used to, and we see it is so relevant for so many people.

For more information visit https://www.cra-yon.com/

CRA-YON fridge
CRA-YON product shots
CRA-YON publicity visual
Founders Christine and Niclas Lydeen