In conversation with Hyun Yeu
We had the pleasure to speak to Hyun Yeu, HUNQ’s founder and the creator behind the five fascinating scents.
You recently opened a new store here in Amsterdam. What made you decide to open a store and what are your further plans?
I started to create fragrances, and when I received the first bottle, I was just very excited and confident about it. I wanted to reach a bigger audience so the idea of opening a store came up – fortunately, a great space just opposite the Laboratory K store in Huidenstraat became available. Downstairs in our Lab K Salon, we even created a massage corner and we recently opened our Laboratory K2 store in De Pijp in November.
Can you tell us a little bit more about the five fragrances you just launched? What is the story and inspiration behind it?
The lockdown happened and I had not much to do at the Lab K store, yet I was there full- time. I wanted to do something for myself! I used to design menswear, but my focus has always been more on men's beauty. Fabric, colors, and shapes come with feelings, and so does scent. For me, scent has always been the most important element. When you date someone, you immediately smell what kind of perfume they wear – it can turn you on or off. You will immediately know if he’s your type or not and if there!s chemistry or not. Finding chemistry in a design or fabric is a bit more difficult, that!s why I wanted to investigate fragrances more. The next step was the concept. Everybody we date or meet has a job and you can connect their particular job to a certain scent. I sat down and made a list of all kinds of different professions and eventually picked out five with a strong story. The Gardener, the Barman, the Carpenter, the Lifeguard, and the Mechanic. A Carpenter, works a lot with woods which brings a woody and smoky scent. We used all kinds of different woods, cedarwood for example is one essence. Then there is the Gardener who is cutting grass and flowers that brings freshness and a blossom scent. The Barman: seduction, sexiness, and charm. Mixed with the scents of cocktails, elements like rum, and fruits bring spiciness and fruitiness. The Lifeguard brings us a fresh ocean breeze, we combined it with a note of cucumber and added flowers and cardamon. The Mechanic is the conceptual one, we wanted to create a more intense, sexy, and sweaty note. The first launch is playing with cliches – so the audience can easily imagine how the scents of those professions are.
Where are you producing?
In Grasse, France.
What inspired the name HUNQ?
First, the name was HUNK, but then thinking of how it appears in the logo we claimed HUNQ. It!s cool, it!s memorable and it refers to all the men I just described.
What!s the story behind the packaging? Can you tell me a little bit more about how you bottled up all the fragrances and what made you decide to work with different colors?
We wanted to visualize the ingredients and elements of the five different perfumes. You can immediately connect each bottle with a different scent. There is also a QR code linked to YouTube through which you can watch the five campaign videos as well.
Are you also planning to launch female fragrances?
HUNQ is a neutral brand in general, that is the concept behind our fragrances. The question is, why can women not wear fragrances with naked men on the bottle or where a man is represented as a pin-up boy. That is the whole idea behind it. The goal for the future is to have a unisex brand that embraces and includes our female audience.
Magdalena Roe & Timi Letonja