The cologne, fragrance, and perfumes market is concretely influenced by ever-changing customer demands and consummate leadership traits. The key market players are consistently rolling out novel and non-irritant fragrances to satisfy these imperatives. This excerpt sheds light on one such key fragrance player Hiro Nakayama, a name synonymous with energy and enthusiasm.
It was 2000, right after her graduation when she entered the corporate world. Hiro has also completed her MA in Communication followed by her professional pathway which made a trail across various cities including Los Angeles, Paris, Tokyo, and Singapore. In
Acknowledging that fragrance eases lives, Hiro launched Project Felicia in 2013 intending to explore the true potential of scents. Later, in 2016-17 she was also in charge of proposing fragrance concepts for product development at Givaudan Singapore. Today, being a seasoned entrepreneur keeping a stronghold in American, Japanese, Singapore, and Malaysia niche perfume promotion, she is now focusing on incense creation for business expansion.
It’s All in the Fragrance
Headquartered in New York, Project Felicia is leveraging fragrances to offer exclusive marketing, educational events, and product development. Recognizing the importance of incense after her mother’s passing in Japan at the Buddhism ritual, she is now strongly focusing on incense.
I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by women who showed me this new path that I can achieve anything as long as I am competent, confident, authentic, and passionate about what I do, regardless of gender and age.
She has offered Creative Japanese Incense workshops in Singapore, Tokyo, NY, and LA, and also spoke about the art of incense recently at the Pitti Fragranze 2020 expo. While the current pandemic situation has significantly increased the demand for fragrance the New York Times featured incense as an alternative to aroma diffusers and candles.
Seeing such exponential opportunity for scent, Hiro is all set to transform the face of the fragrance industry with Project Felicia. She is trying to establish a niche optimized enough to withstand the complexities of the market.
What does True Success Mean?
The fragrance industry has been broken into different categories like perfume, essential oils, scent marketing, incense, ingredients, etc. But now it has started to integrate its imperatives. Hiro understood the confidentiality of this industry at her nascent career stage. She also recognized the incense category’s super confidentiality during her expansion in the same. The expansion was nothing less than a challenge but her belief in success comes to those who strive was unshakable.
She was of the opinion that the industry should go beyond the conventional practices and resonate with novel approaches to promote next-gen fragrance products and services. Talking about the same she says, “In order to go beyond conventional thoughts, we are expected to be more cautious than any other categories I’ve been involved with – respect, humility, patience.”
Hiro is well known about women-specific challenges and has been a part of a generation driven by many female leaders and mentors who faced stigma and discrimination. However, she created a lasting impact in this masculine world with her determination and commitment to make a difference. Expressing her side, she states, “As building my career, I have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by women who showed me this new path that I can achieve anything as long as I am competent, confident, authentic, and passionate about what I do, regardless of gender and age.”
Hiro deeply observed that women have been struggling for survival in the corporate world and the challenges they face stop them from being successful in whatever they do. Moreover, women are timid to flaunt their achievements and forget to self-promote in order to outshine the professional setting. For her, success was all about realizing own capabilities and contributions as accomplishments. She believed that offering and establishing a support system is the ultimate solution to empower women.
Talking about her success mantra Hiro says, “Believe in yourself and the rest follows. And I believe that mentorship is the first step to the support system that is crucial for any success.”
What will the Future Behold?
Under Hiro’s leadership, Project Felicia is planning to launch an all-inclusive collection of incense inspired by Japanese history in SS2021 targeting consumers outside Japan. This collection will have the potential to disrupt the incense industry in Japan like never before. Hiro is creating a robust framework to challenge upcoming fragrance projects intending to push the industry towards better value for money outcomes.
With a mission to ‘Bridge and Blend – A Scent World that Creates A Better Society’, she wants to contribute to forming a strong society based on the foundation of fragrance and pleasant scents. For many achieving this formation would seem to be impossible. But with Project Felicia at the forefront, Hiro plans to offer KOIKU (scent education) via state-of-the-art marketing, educational events, and product development.
With dedication at heart and expertise in mind, she is all set to build an ecosystem backed by the aroma. She will surely integrate aroma into people’s lives across the globe by actively using ‘olfactory’ and display a marvel of fragrance to its best.