The mystique of Red Coral (a.k.a. scents my mother would have loved)
WRY BREAD - Philip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star) - June 10, 2012 - 12:00am

Back in 1985, reading Patrick Suskind’s Perfume: the Story of a Murderer led me to a deeper appreciation of the art and science that is perfume-making. The distillation, the essential oils and their layering, the evocation that was triggered via the sense of smell and how they connected to an emotional response  they all formed the groundwork for a grisly 18th-century tale based in Grasse, France that struck a chord within me, and had me admiring the work of perfumeries and olfactory businesses. While my late mother flinched at the novel’s plot line that had a serial murderer killing young women in the search for the essence of a girl’s virginity and puberty, she loved how the profession of the perfume-maker was held up to the light.

Bvlgari’s master perfumer Alberto Morillas has made the Omnia line of fragrances one of the signature scents of the recent past. Both the Crystalline and Amethyste are favorites of today’s young, sophisticated woman. And for this Summer 2012, he unveils the Omnia Red Coral. Inspired by the Red Coral gemstone, Morillas creates a fruity-floral eau de toilette that celebrates the natural scent of the hibiscus, surrounded by juicy, aromatic fruits.

Fresh and vital, the scent starts off with top notes that denote summer, namely bergamot, goji berries and hibiscus petals. The heart note provides the aquatic element of the fragrance, water lily; and at the base, one finds pomegranate, cedar and musk. Available in three sizes, with the largest being the 60-ml bottle, the full line includes a body lotion and body scrub. Distributed by Luxasia, the Omnia Coral can be found in all luxury fragrance counters; and am certain this is one light, exquisite scent that will find favor in this tropical clime.

Guerlain is a fragrance Maison (House) that my late mother would drop by on her frequent visits to Paris. Founded in 1828, Guerlain enjoys an enviable provenance, bestowed the title of Official Royal Perfumer back in the 19th century. When I saw that Guerlain had come out with a reinterpretation of its legendary Habit Rouge, I was reminded of my mom, who made this one of the first scents she gave me when in my teens (and yes, my memory hasn’t dimmed that much). In its contemporary rendition, it’s still essentially a citrus fragrance, coupled with subtle oriental notes  and this is one versatile fragrance that transcends gender. It’s retro with a twist, and am certain Mom would have smiled if I pointed out the reincarnation to her.

While my eyesight has had to be “reconditioned” several times over, and my hearing can conveniently “disappear” at times, my senses of taste and smell remain quite strong, and I love the quote of the Guerlain Perfumer that’s printed on the box of the new Habit Rouge  “Is perfume not the most intense form of memory? Smelling it did flood my memory banks with images of accompanying my mom while she shopped and we’d stop by toiletries counters, the times she’d literally get up close and “sniff” me like some well-trained bloodhound and decide whether I could leave the house  she was always a stickler for personal hygiene. Truly, there are scents and smells that evoke memories, and we can only hope that they’re always good ones.

‘Ice’ Jockey

Yes, there is the sport of ice hockey, and while most would not normally associate the world of underwear with being “cool;” the recent event of trusted brand Jockey, held at Aria at the Fort’s Bonifacio High Street Central, would seem to prove otherwise. Founded by Samuel Cooper in 1876, Jockey is an American brand that has gone global. The Jockey brief was unveiled in 1934, with the Y-front introduced two years later. Innovation  the use of technology to come up with new fabrics and design  is still part of the Jockey DNA, and Nikheil Genomal, VP of GTVL Manufacturing Industries, Philippine licensee of Jockey, was proud to showcase this year’s lineup.

I try and put an hour of early morning tennis every day, so I was especially interested in the Sport Microfiber Collection. Soft touch microfiber spandex fabrication allows a full range of motion, while the mesh panels allow breathability. There are no center back seams on the bottoms, and this means greater freedom of movement, and there’s a seam-free line that translates to even more comfort. They come in briefs and in trunks, and colors include orange, green, blue, black, steel gray and the ubiquitous white! There are sleeveless sports tops also available.

For the women, there’s Jockey Shapewear Collection, a line made of soft, breathable fabric that ensures a comfortable slim fit. Here you’ll find high waist briefs and mid-thigh skimmers, slip shapers and plunging moulded camisoles. One new innovation is the No Panty Line Next Generation underwear; as advertised, no seams or bumpy elastics, with a thin ribbon of silicon on the leg edge to ensure zero chance of ride-ups. There are bikini and boyshort cuts to match your clothing choice of the day.

Underwear has truly taken on a substantive transformation at the hands of such manufacturers as Jockey. And wait till you see how affordable all this innovation still is! Comfort and design that’s conscious of style considerations, all mean we’ve come a long way since the Y-front, and Jockey is still one of the leaders, with an illustrious legacy.

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