Fashion and Beauty

Scents that evoke cities and celebrations

CULTURE VULTURE - Therese Jamora-Garceau - The Philippine Star
Scents that evoke cities and celebrations
Scent-travel to Vietnam: Diptyque’s Do Son spring collection 2022 smells like creamy white tuberoses.

Fragrances today don’t just dispel the blues or ignite passion; they also capture a place and time and transport you there, allowing you to scent-travel when physical travel isn’t possible or desirable.

Case in point: I scent-traveled to an exotic Vietnamese destination when I smelled Do Son, an iconic fragrance from Diptyque.

I love the scent of creamy white florals, and they don’t get much headier than this lovely ode to tuberose.

As a child, Yves Coueslant, one of Diptyque’s founders, spent his summers by Halong Bay, in the pagoda that his father built in Do Son, a district in the city of Haiphong.

The air was cooler in Do Son, the sea breeze carrying with it the heady and slightly spicy scent of tuberoses that Yves’ mother loved.

Both Do Son and its candle counterpart, Tubereuse, evoke these memories from Yves’ childhood in Indochina. 

Perfumer Fabrice Pellegrin composed the fragrance in 2005, blending tuberose, orange blossom, jasmine and a marine accord to evoke the sea breeze carrying with it the scent of these fresh flowers.

Scents of the city: Diptyque’s Paris candle fills the air with the chic aroma of the City of Lights.

Candles that smell like cities

If tuberose evokes the Vietnamese district of Do Son, Diptyque’s Paris candle emits the beautiful scents of the City of Lights.

A candle that smells like a city?  The Paris candle has a mysterious chypre accord that will transport you to the heart of Saint Germain, a district known for Parisian chic, with one of the best shopping areas in the city, as well as brasseries, bars and cafés that literary and artistic celebrities frequented in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Diptyque’s founders are artists who traveled widely, and liked to wander in secret places unexplored by tourists.  They loved to relive their travels through the original scents of each destination. 

Other iconic cities they scent-captured in Diptyque’s City Candle Collection include New York, London, Tokyo, Beverly Hills, Miami, Berlin, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing.

Diptyque even uses scent to imbue pleasure into daily household chores like cleaning, polishing, and washing dishes. To perfume people’s everyday lives, they’ve created La Droguerie, a collection of cleaning products in made-for-displaying apothecary bottles and ceramic containers.

Drawing inspiration from the herbarium of scents emblematic of the brand, they use different citrus, wood and herb aromas in products like dishwashing liquid with basil or orange blossom, multi-surface cleaner with vinegar, leather- and wood-care lotion with beeswax, and scented ceramic ovals to make your home smell as fresh as a garden.

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In the Philippines, Diptyque is distributed by @ssilife and available at the Diptyque boutique in Central Square Mall, @rustansthebeautysource and @adora.ph.

La Droguerie is exclusively available at Rustan’s Makati and the Diptyque boutiques in Central Square and Rockwell.

Aromas that spark joy

Bulgari, Luxasia’s No. 1 fragrance brand in the Philippines, recently launched three new additions to its bestselling Allegra perfume line. The five original perfumes were — in order of popularity — Fiori D’Amore (a rose bouquet), Dolce Estasi (a powdery floral), Riva Solare (a sparkling citrus), Rock ‘N’ Rome (a boozy fruity-floral), and Fantasia Veneta (a festive chypre).

To get your personalized fragrance, you’re supposed to mix it with a Magnifying Essence. The OG five essences were Musk, Bergamot, Vanilla, Rose and Patchouli.

“This year we’re introducing two new EDPs and one new Magnifying Essence,” said Dinty Alcantara, Luxasia Ph’s senior brand manager. “First is Baciami, which means ‘Kiss me’ in Italian. Italy is the wellspring of iconic love affairs, so the one that’s most popular is always Romeo and Juliet.”

Inspired by the passion and forbidden romance of Romeo and Juliet, Baciami’s bottle is a deep ruby red to invoke the passion of love.

“It’s a floral-amber reuniting the headlong rush of a gardenia accord and vanilla, and the base is amber,” Alcantara continues. “Most of our new fragrances have amber as the base. They say that the gardenia accord and vanilla is a token of indelible Italian love. And Baciami is an extension of Fiori D’Amore, which is all about love and romance.”

If Baciami evokes the passion of Romeo and Juliet in the city of Verona, our next stop is Puglia, where “the most enchanting night of the year is the winter solstice,” Alcantara notes. “It’s called Festa della Luz (Festival of Light), that brightens towns from Bari to Alberobello.”

This inspiration infuses Spettacolore (“Spectacular” in Italian). “It’s also a floral-amber, but this time it has iris and myrrh as middle notes,” Alcantara says. “The fragrance invokes the night sky through a chiaroscuro composition — a rare scent that contrasts light against darkness.”

She notes that the powdery Spettacolore is already selling very well: “It’s an extension of Fantasia Veneta, which is all about Venetian celebrations. So from Venice, we go to Bari and Spettacolore.  It’s about partying and celebrations, but this time with the night sky.”

The newest magnifying essence is Myrrh, which most of us are familiar with as one of the precious gifts of the Three Kings. “Myrrh is native from Africa,” notes Alcantara. “It has been known as the most sacred precious incense or fragrance, and you can use it to anoint the skin with a soft warmth.”

Bulgari also launched Rose Goldea Blossom Delight eau de toilette, “a fresher version and sheer interpretation of the previous scent,” according to Luxasia product manager Dana Barrozo. “The inspiration for this is actually very simple: It’s for every day, it’s inspired by endless possibilities. It’s very light, luminous, and sheer.” Ingredients for this fresh floral scent are lily of the valley, rose, peony and musk accords.

Sexy and feminine: Narciso Rodriguez Musc Noir Rose For Her.

Musk magic

Fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez built his fragrance brand around one of the most sensual ingredients in perfumery: musk.

In its clean, white form, musk can also smell incredibly chic, and best of all, it has a pheromone-like effect on men, catching their attention and hopefully earning you a compliment or two.

After Narciso Rodriguez For Her, Pure Musc and Musc Noir comes the latest flanker, Musc Noir Rose For Her, created by in-demand perfumer Sonia Constant, who’s blended 12 other scents for the brand.

An amber-floral eau de parfum that blooms with a voluptuous bouquet of intense rose and tuberose, Musc Noir Rose has a creamier signature heart of musk and rich leather suede accords sweetened by vanilla to create an intoxicating and addictive scent. Perfect for date night, just a couple of sprays will project a sweet, sensual femininity that’s hard to resist.

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Follow the author on Instagram @thebeautytraveler_ph.


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