Meet Elorea: The Beauty Brand Celebrating the Rich History of Scent in Korea

Co-founded by Wonny Lee and Su min Park.

Elorea Heaven Fragrance Campaign

Elorea

When it comes to fragrance, Korea has a long history, but the country is still underrepresented in the global perfume industry. ELOREA Co-Founders Wonny Lee and Su min Park want to change that. The Korean American couple (and newly-minted beauty founders) embarked on a mission to highlight the importance of scent in their culture.

"The evidence dates back to the fifth century with a mural of a woman carrying an incense burner on her head during a religious practice," Lee explains. "Most people are unaware of this history. In Korea, all of the histories suggested that scent and fragrances were particularly used for beauty, self-identity, and unlocking emotions of being clear-headed and happy."

Korea's storied history is just one of the reasons the couple is excited for people to immerse themselves in the brand's first-ever discovery set. And, the brand is already seeing success: the fragrance set sold out in five minutes during the initial soft launch.

Read on for more about Elorea and its new fragrance collection inspired by the four elements represented on the Korean flag.

Elorea Scents

Elorea

The Inspiration

"In Korean, the word for perfume (Hyang Soo / 향수) means 'homesick.' When it comes to memory, the smell is the strongest of the five human senses. This acts as further evidence of how ingrained fragrances were to our culture," Lee explains.

The Elements Collection includes four genderless fragrances inspired by the South Korean flag. "The flag was on our mood board during the ideation process," Lee divulges about the Elements Collection, which features familiar floral, woody, fresh, and warm notes. "The trigram on the Korean flag represents the four elements of our world, heaven, earth, fire, and water. It helped us shape the collection."

The Collection

Heaven by Elorea

Elorea

The first fragrance in the collection is the effortlessly chic Heaven ($170) scent. It boasts romantic notes of rose, pink pepper, orange, bergamot, Bosung green tea, freesia, passionfruit, cedarwood, amber, musk, and vanilla. 

Park notes that men actually preferred this subtly sweet scent during the brand's testing phase. "With HEAVEN being a floral scent, we expected a lot of women to gravitate towards it. However, we found that it was a favorite of men. Without knowing that it was floral, men gravitated towards it," Park explains about the genderless aroma. 

Earth by Elorea

Elorea

Next up in the collection is the sophisticated Earth ($170), a scent that includes inviting notes of violet, cardamom, vanilla, iris, Goheung cypress, leather, and sandalwood. “Earth has a very mature, elegant, and modern green scent,” the perfumer tells us of the composition. “We want people to envision walking through a dewy forest at dawn. Think calming.”

Water by Elorea

Elorea

The Water ($170) scent brings some brightness to the collection. With delightful notes of bergamot, lemon, neroli, mandarin, Pocheon jasmine, ylang-ylang, white rose, cedarwood, and white musk, the fragrance is citrus fresh. "Water is very invigorating; it can instantly brighten someone's mood," Park discloses about the pure scent. "It's really great for days when you want to feel refreshed."

Fire by Elorea

Elorea

Last but certainly not least, there is Fire ($170). Park describes the overall feeling of the bold fragrance as "very familiar, but unique." This may be due to the smoky aroma, which offers a complex blend of Jeju lime, camellia, nutmeg, iris, violet, mandarin, lemon, leather, amber, rose, and juniper berry—all homey, warm scents.

If you're anything like us and have trouble deciding which scent best suits your personality, the Discovery Set ($30) allows experimentation with the different notes before finding a personal favorite. 

This set is also a guaranteed conversation starter this Valentine's Day. It's a perfect gift for anyone who loves heartfelt branding and cultural storytelling. Oh, and of course, fragrances! 

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