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Estée Lauder invests in Chinese fragrance brand Melt Season via venture fund

Estée Lauder-backed New Incubation Ventures (NIV) announced it has invested in China’s Melt Season, serving as the incubator’s first foray into the Chinese fragrance market.

SEE ALSO: Estée Lauder’s NIV makes minority investment in China’s Code Mint

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“We’re excited to announce our first fragrance investment in China, Melt Season,” said New Incubation Ventures via a post on Instagram.

“Estée Lauder has been a leader in luxury fragrances since our first fragrance in 1953. We’re excited Melt Season is now part of building on this rich history as we focus on extending our category leadership in the space by expanding our unrivaled portfolio of differentiated, artisanal fragrance brands.

Founded by Lishi Ni, a former music entertainment executive and Gentle Monster alumni in 2020, Melt Season is known for its modern take on Chinese fragrance. Its competitors include fellow contemporary Chinese perfumers To Summer and Documents.

In 2020, Melt Season raised a seed round led by One Capital followed by an angel round of more than CNY 10 million (USD 1.4 million), led by Breeze Capital in early 2022.

Founded in 2021, NIV is the strategic early-stage investment and incubation arm for The Estée Lauder Companies. 

The venture group took a stake in British skincare brand Haeckels in February last year, followed by an investment in perfume brand Vyrao in April this year.

Most recently, the venture firm acquired a minority investment in Code Mint, a clean beauty brand from China, in September this year.