The Evo­ca­tor

A touch, a sound, a taste—these are the senses that mark the pages of a story. This is Ja­son Lee’s through the sense of smell.

Esquire (Singapore) - - Style -

Turn­ing

30, Ja­son Lee wan­dered into some­thing of an ex­is­ten­tial cri­sis. He was a Man­age­ment As­so­ciate at Gi­vau­dan, an in­ter­na­tional fra­grance man­u­fac­turer, he was in love, and he had ev­ery­thing go­ing for him, yet he yearned for more.

Draw­ing from his ex­pe­ri­ence in the scent business, Lee dipped his toes into cre­at­ing his own fra­grance. In­spired by past des­ti­na­tions, he con­cocted a pair of per­fumes as gifts for his wed­ding guests. The re­sponse was favourable, and that spurred him to make the fi­nal leap of faith. He quit his job, but not be­fore se­cur­ing a part­ner­ship with Gi­vau­dan. Some might see this as a tether, that fi­nal link to his old life, but Lee con­sid­ers the union ben­e­fi­cial, as the com­pany “has the best cut­tingedge tech­nolo­gies to en­sure prod­uct qual­ity”.

Lee chris­tened his com­pany SIX, af­ter the sixth sense, that mys­te­ri­ous, in­tu­itive com­pan­ion to the other tra­di­tional five senses. “An emo­tional ex­pe­ri­ence is tran­sient,” Lee says. “Like im­mer­sive spa­ces, it evokes, it ex­cites, and it evolves. Our sixth sense tells us things like no one else does.” For an emo­tional con­duit, Lee picked des­ti­na­tions that ap­pealed to him, trap­ping the essence of a mo­ment in a bot­tle.

But if each fra­grance pin­points an in­stance in Lee’s story, why should it mat­ter to oth­ers? As though an­tic­i­pat­ing this ques­tion, he replies, with­out miss­ing a beat, “In the hope that when oth­ers ex­pe­ri­ence the smell, they, too, will be able to come up with their own in­ter­pre­ta­tion and fill in their own story.”

Meant for the wan­derer, the in­di­vid­ual who, like Lee years ago, finds him­self skit­tish and rest­less, the “vari­ants”, as he calls them, form the first trio in his col­lec­tion of six (the scents that were given away as wed­ding gifts are part of the re­lease). The travel-friendly twist and spray 20ml fla­cons look like matte black cylin­ders save for faint etch­ings on the side: 1724 PUKA, 27°f BIEI, and 123 TRIBECA.

1724 PUKA con­jures up the white beaches of Bo­ra­cay, Philip­pines. The zest of mint and orange peel bring to mind the sea spray on the beach­front as you watch the golden hour of sun­set (specif­i­cally at 1724). 27°f BIEI is in­spired by the town of the same name in Hokkaido’s Kamikawa dis­trict. The heart notes of laven­der and jas­mine evoke snowy, rolling hills of laven­der as ex­pe­ri­enced with a warm cup of green tea in your hands. Lee’s per­sonal favourite, 123 TRIBECA, cap­tures his jour­ney on the 123 sub­way to the up­scale New York neigh­bour­hood. The main ac­cords of wood and cit­rus, fol­lowed by top notes of car­damom and fir, speak of a fast-paced life that shows no signs of slow­ing down.

With the ad­di­tion of a new­born son to the fam­ily and the launch of SIX, how apt it is to think that 123 TRIBECA might have best rep­re­sented Lee’s fate, if he weren’t fully com­mit­ted to this project and left with no re­course but to bar­rel ahead. The fu­ture isn’t mapped out, but the des­ti­na­tions that Lee will travel through will end up like Djinns in a bot­tle, a mag­i­cal force that, once un­leashed, will trans­port you to strange places as far as your imag­i­na­tion al­lows.

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