Friday, June 17, 2016

Project Felicia

One of the coolest things about getting immersed in the fragrance community is the fabulous people I have met solely because of this shared passion for scent. They are often people I would have never crossed paths with otherwise, and it is a  pleasure to talk perfume and share scents with a like-minded person, a passion that the day to day important people in my life really don't understand. I met Hiro Nakayamah at a wine tasting/fragrance discovery evening in Singapore and one of these "perfume friend" bonds was born.

Project Felicia is an effort by founder Hiro Nakayamah to bring Asian perfumer's works to the United States, and likewise introduce some niche brands based in the States to Asia. So far she has introduced Tallulah Jane to  Shanghai, Nomaterra to Shanghai and Singapore, and most recently, aroma M to Singapore. Nomaterra is a New York based perfumery with the tagline: "Fragrances for the wanderlust. Scents of where you've been and where you want to go." Aroma M is the beautiful geisha-inspired line by Maria McElroy, who was one of the earliest niche perfumers.

The genesis for Project Felicia began in 2008 when Hiro was living in New York City. She had developed anosmia so a career in fragrance seemed unlikely. "When I walked out of the courthouse after filing my divorce I smelled the flowers and veggies at the farmers market in Brooklyn," said Hiro. "Soon after I learned that stress can cause anosmia and that the sense of smell can be regained. I have always loved fragrance but never thought of a career in the industry. It was then that I decided to pursue a career in the fragrance industry."

Hiro was a presenter at this spring's Sniffapalooza in New York City, and she introduced some Asian brand discoveries to the U.S. based audience. This included Malaysian perfumer Josh Lee of Josh Lee Fragrances and Singapore based Faridah Yusuf of Freda-D Perfumes.

In addition to perfume distribution, Project Felicia holds Singapore based workshops on perfume/food pairings and incense-making classes. "We run workshops to stimulate the five senses of the perfumer," says Hiro about her efforts to introduce Singaporeans to niche fragrances. "At our fragrance tea parties we encourage guests to use senses of smell and taste actively, pairing green tea note fragrances and Japanese desserts. During our incense workshops our guests get their hands dirty, touching and feeling the ingredients."

U.S. brands Project Felicia represents can be found at In Singapore brands are carried by and

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