Today, the youth of Korea are enticed towards something by its fragrance. According to one survey, the sales of perfume increased 62% this year alone. Interestingly, the biggest surprise was that 52% of purchases were by young people in their twenties.1) Purchasing of perfume is relatively economical and it can be used easily. In accordance with this trend, youth have established a fragrance club to study, share, and enjoy aroma therapy. Hyang Yeon is the only of its kind in Korea. The Sookmyung Times met Kim Daye, Head of Hyang Yeon to learn about the charm of fragrances.
What does Hyang Yeon stand for? And, would you please tell us how Hyang Yeon got started?
Hyang yeon is a fragrance club established to create good relationships through aroma. Hyang Yeon comes from the Chinese term for fragrant relationship (香緣). Hyang Yeon came into being in 2007 when it took over ‘Smell Designers’ a campus fragrance club of the 1990s. Early on, in 2007, members seeking a makeover for the club Smell Designers came up with Hyang Yeon. The club’s popularity quickly spread to various other campuses such as Yonsei University, Korea University, Sungsin Women’s University, and so on. Current estimates are that about 500 students, at one time or another, participated in the club. Right now the club has 50 active members.
Hyang Yeon offers both interesting and unique experiences for its members. Could you explain briefly its main activities?
Hyang Yeon members meet every Friday at 6p.m. to study and share information on various aromas. Specifically, we discuss a variety of scent issues from basic knowledge of perfume to brand analysis. Members, on occasion, have also visited industries related to perfumes and invited outside lecturers to speak in order to learn from qualified persons. The club has also participated in the Gangnam fashion festival, UNIVEXPO, where it set up a booth that invited visitors to smell various aromas. At UNIVEXPO, the club also promoted the charm of fragrances, hosted a DIY perfume creation event, and voiced recommendation when asked about certain perfumes. The highlight of the festival for our club was preparation of a layered scent. We created a perfume comprised of two types of colognes.
Your club is indeed charming with its focus on aromas, but what differentiates Hyang Yeon from other clubs?
When we say, “We study perfume”, people respond with “What do you get from doing that?” Hyang Yeon has great advances and strengths for its members. First, Hyang Yeon is the only fragrance club in Korea, so members are proud. All members seek creation of new and innovative scents and activities to keep up and promote our established reputation. Therefore, members are constantly sharing information and opinions about fragrance. We are also continuously reviewing trends and culture changes as they affect fragrance popularity. Most of all Hyang Yeon offers people a great chance to increase their social networking and connections. Alone, it is difficult to gain access to materials on scents and unique colognes, but together, we ease that burden.
1) Jo chulhee, “Perfume, 50% of Purchaser Is Twenties”, Money Today, May 16th, 2016