In many ways, Analogue Apotik represents the modern retelling of the classic scent, one that is defined by a focus on sustainability through sourcing natural origin ingredients and eco-conscious packaging.
In modern times, Eau de Cologne or “cologne” has become an umbrella term for masculine scents. However, Eau de Cologne is actually the term for a very light concentration of perfume oils, usually 2 to 4 percent, that is cut with more alcohol and lasts only for a few hours. These are great to spritz on and freshen up, but not for all-day, lasting wear.
However, as incredible as scented products are in making the world smell better, their synthetic components could come with a cost to health. Artificial fragrances include many synthetic chemicals that are petroleum-based which can be harmful to human health. Fortunately, the fragrance industry is becoming more aware of sustainability questions, with an increasing number of brands that invest in cleaner practices. This translates in less polluting packaging, cruelty-free products, as well as harvest of materials from nature.
Having pioneered solid colognes in Malaysia seven years ago, Analogue Apotik (formerly known as The Apothecary) is also a leader when it comes to prioritising sustainability of its creations. Committed in its vision to create a variety of easy-to-use, easy-to-carry men’s solid colognes, Analogue Apotik succeeds to craft irresistible alcohol-free scents that masterfully utilise ingredients such as beeswax, shea butter, and virgin almond oil.
In many ways, Analogue Apotik represents the modern retelling of the classic scent, one that is defined by a focus on sustainability through sourcing natural origin ingredients and eco-conscious packaging. Recently, we sat down with the founder of Analogue Apotik, Adrian Cheong, to talk about the brand’s inception, the use of beeswax in his products, as well as his opinion on what every man should know when it comes to the world of scent.
How did it all start for you?
I wouldn’t call myself a creative person. I’m more of an opportunist. Before it started in 2015, I was doing research on the next thing I could get my hands into. Interestingly, I’m actually very good with my hands. I cook, I bake, so there was already a foundation that was set before I started this journey.
When I first came across solid colognes in the United States, I realised that that was something we could build not only in Malaysia, but Asia as well. Because solid colognes were still relatively new. At that point, I already had an affinity for perfumes. I’ve used them, I’ve spilled them, and I’ve broken them. And the soap making industry was booming at the time, so I’ve had access to all these ingredients pouring in. Soon, we started working on R&D, developed a winning formula, and the rest is history.
Beeswax is one of the core ingredients in the brand’s solid cologne. Why do you opt for the use of beeswax as opposed to artificial wax?
You’re right, there were many options to what kind of ingredients we could’ve used. Ultimately, we wanted to create products that are not only friendly to the environment, but also of high quality. When we sell products abroad, we noticed that there isn’t a stigma around products that are made in Malaysia. It’s different here, there are Malaysians who genuinely believe that local products are mediocre. We wanted to change that.
I could’ve used petroleum jelly or any other substances in our products. But with the use of beeswax, the products are cleaner and much safer to be applied to skin. It’s important to us that our ingredients are of high quality. We took that philosophy to the next step with our blend of shea butter and beeswax, which creates a very consistent, ointment-approach cream base. For us, we didn’t want our products to be natural for the sake of being natural. Those were the ingredients we used because they are great, safe, and clean.
What’s the one thing every man should know when it comes to fragrances?
I’d say it’s probably the proper way of using fragrances. Many people will tell you to spray on your clothes and walk into the scent. Of course, a lot of these methods that are being used are wasteful. When you’re spraying it on your clothes, it does last longer, but it does not interact with your body chemistry.
So, the right way of using fragrance, regardless of whether it’s liquid or solid perfume, is to allow it to interact with your body. You apply it on your notes. They work best when you apply them behind the ears, your wrists, and sometimes on your elbows as well. Remember, the same fragrance would smell slightly different with each person because there’s a lot of factors that determine how your body reacts to it. So that’s something to keep in mind.
Lastly, I don’t think we should be caught up with the idea of wanting masculine scents. Historically, spicy scents are associated with masculinity, and floral ones are perceived to be feminine. But I think it is really about confidence. It doesn’t matter which scent you gravitate towards. At the end of the day, it’s about what you feel, and there’s no right or wrong to it.