Defining the Filipino Scent
In one of my past interviews I was asked how I would describe the Filipino scent. It got me thinking--what would indeed make a fragrance distinctly Filipino?
It was a difficult question to answer considering we do not have an olfactory heritage. The French, as quoted by perfume expert Chandler Burr, always has a pouritture noble or noble rot evident in the fungal aroma and flavor of their wines and cheeses. Americans always highlight the scent of freshness, freedom and newness which we are all familiar with when we open a package or balikayan box! Even our Asian neighbors like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia have a clear aromatic profile with their fondness of spices.
My reflection led me to an observation regarding our penchant for the feeling of ginhawa or aliwalas. This feeling of ease is evident in our local fabric such as the piña, and our architecture which features large windows and ventanillas. Even our cuisine reflects this desire for lightness with our citrus-based clear soup such as the sinigang.
I then cited capiz as an inspiration- translucent and light, yet when you look closely, one discovers the intricacy of its nacre. This to me captures the Filipino scent- an overall lightness arising from elaborate layers and composition.
Interestingly, when we were doing our rebranding efforts, I offered fragrance samples to our brand and design consultant so she may try them out and pick up a few inspirations. Much to my delight, her first proposed imagery was the capiz! I knew then that we were working towards the same vision and direction.
Since then, I have been embracing this design principle when creating fragrances. Each composition should be complex and imaginative yet the final product must remain light and easy on the nose. And in our various selling events, I am always pleased whenever a patron comments on how the scents are never “in-your-face” or that they come in like a gentle breeze.
I would then like to believe that this scent profile is our contribution to the olfactory world-
Intricate in structure yet subtle and graceful in its expression.
It has been my dream to share this piece of our heritage to the rest of the world. In thet past we were privileged to work with luxury hotels to offer scenting solutions for local and international guests. Our retail partners at the Makati Shangri-la and Ayala Museum have also been delighted to note how tourists are excited take home a bottle of our fragrances as souvenirs from their trip.
The past months have been busy for us as we worked towards making this dream more concrete. Finally, that day has come! I am pleased to share with you that we can make our fragrances available to other parts of the world beginning with the United States!
So that in every whiff of our fragrance, the Filipino culture is cherished and celebrated.
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