Indigenous Korean Perfumes to Invade World Markets

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Indigenous Korean Perfumes to Invade World Markets

A number of Korean perfume products are beginning to pour into the domestic market. Comprising extracts from indigenous Korean plants and herbs, these products are challenging the sales of imported perfumes and venturing into the global market.

The Korean perfume industry imports aromatic essences worth up to 1 trillion won per year. From these essences, both foreign and domestic perfumes are created. Until now, sales of foreign perfumes have dominated Korean markets, with over 60 billion won in sales per year.

Looking to fill a different niche in the market, various companies are now developing perfumes that emanate a 'pure' Korean spirit. Scents include 'Cheju,' 'Nogodan,' 'Sorabul,' 'Sorak,' and 'Yuja.'

Created by Aroma Biotec Inc. (, 'Yuja' is made from oils extracted from citron trees. Cultivated in the 100,000 pyong (400,000 square yard) fields of Chindo in South Cholla Province, the citron tree remains invaluable for its varied essence and seed oils.

'Cheju' targets female clients in the 20 to 40 age range. Made from a mixture of rape flower and tangerine extracts, 'Cheju' stands as the representative regional perfume of Cheju Island.

The regional perfume of South Cholla Province is 'Nogodan.' Produced in the vast 300,000 pyong (1,200,000 square yard) fields around Jiri Mountain, 'Nogodan' is composed primarily of essential oils from wild plantain and day lilies.

Oriental orchid, lily, and mugwort extracts comprise the main ingredients of 'Sorabol.' Targeting a slightly older clientele (ages 30 and up), it is the regional perfume of Kyungju.

Cultivated along the Sorak Mountain valleys, 'Sorak' is made with indigenous clove trees, firs, and mugwort essences. It is the regional perfume of Sokcho and is aimed at women in their twenties.

Aroma Biotec Inc. executive president Kim O-jung asserts, "We are currently planning essence trades with Japan and various European countries. It will not be long before we can engage competitively in the global perfume industry. Made by Koreans with purely Korean products, our products are something to be proud of." He added, "The Korean citron tree is the best in the world and easily beats out Chinese and Japanese citron trees for taste, smell, and price."

Aroma Biotec Inc. plans to produce estimated 150 different perfume products by September, at which time it will venture into the global market.

Kim commented, "We plan to open sixteen Aroma Biotec stores in Japan and over one thousand stores worldwide. We plan to let the world know about the beauty of Korean scents."

by Lee Jong-tae

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