Mixing your own Scent

Thorn among the roses
I am the only thorn among the lovely roses. More than three decades of friendship.

Something is fascinating about making your fragrance. A friend named Fariha decided to top her birthday celebrations extravagantly by having a perfume workshop. It was an astounding initiative. Every year, her plans for her birthday celebrations get even wild with unique ideas. It put the rest of us to mortification distress. Though this post is rather belated, I must write about this unique experience. The workshop consists of an introduction to various scents. It consists of an introduction to various scents. It explains the range of notes from the base, middle, and top notes. There are a variety of scents and how it reacts differently when in contact with the skin.

A fragrance has an impact on a person. It brings memories of a time that passed, a person that you might fell in and out of love. I get so comforted when I whiff the scent of Chanel No. 19. It reminded me of my beloved late mother. Whenever she went out to get ready for her Sunday’s wedding invitations, she would spritz that heavenly scent all over the skin and dress. I felt that I am loved and secured. Since she had passed on some years ago, I bought a bottle and place it on my nightstand. From the scent of love goes to the opposite, Fahrenheit by Christian Dior. I have such bad memories with that scent because of my ex-partner used to wear that fragrance. The power that a scent gives is magical. Almost like you are in a time-traveling machine. Your mind just travels back to the period of that particular situation.

Oo La Lab creates a unique experience for friends to bond on something. A common ground that friends might have some differences in opinions, coming together with their similarities on passion. Crafting fragrances is chemistry, something that I am not good at when I was in school. I have more artistic talent. A big nose is what Parfumeur is called. He or she should have a sensitive smell and can distinguish a scent. A perfumer is an expert on creating perfume compositions, sometimes referred to affectionately as a Nose (French: le nez) due to their fine sense of smell and skill in producing olfactory compositions. The company uses sustainably sourced ingredients that encourages the goodness of the environment. There’s a candle making workshop as well as organic soap making. We tried and tested several scents to suit our persona. After we decided on the final scent, the instructor demonstrates the multiplication technique of how much liquids of your choice should be in proportion. Apart from learning the formula, we also discovered how to seal your bottle using a fancy machine. The final product, your brand scent for the taking. See the video on instastory here.

At the end of the workshop, everyone gets to bring home their creation, a bottle of 50ml Eau de Parfum. The workshop cost about $250 Singapore Dollars per person. An equivalent amount if you purchase a designer Tom Ford fragrances. But I think it’s a great experience that not everyone is lucky enough to participate. The mixing and matching of scents accordingly to suit your preference.

perfume making
Numéro Uno #No.1 EDP

#perfumemaking #oolalab #scent #perfumer #fragrances #nose

Shop for Merchandise here!

Saint Laurent Kicks!

Saint Laurent Slip-on Venice Sneakers
Priced at $610 Singapore Dollars

My brand spanking new kicks from Saint Laurent. It’s lonely without Yves though hahaha I read an article about the lawsuit that goes on with this a few days ago. It was such a mess and frankly a media frenzy. Though it’s just a simple canvas with a little lining of leather and tab. I find it is the most comfortable shoes! The kind that doesn’t bite you on your first wear. I have always been a shoe person, next to being a bag person. Shoes are an investment. Wearing your new shoes, you feel so great at a night in a party but maybe you will have a crippling effect the next day when you found yourself with a bad hangover. It’s pretty much like a bad volatile financial investment with a diversified portfolio. I just had to reference this statement from a romantic-comedy, “Confessions of a Shopaholic!” Something that I can so relate to. I am a shopaholic without a doubt but unlike the heroine in the movie, I am right on track with my personal finance.

It’s not Saint Laurent without Yves”. YSL

Let’s spark some inspiration for our next purchase. Because they designed it that way”.

Here I come to the Marina Bay Sands to shop at a luxury retailer. I remember I used to work here at Lancôme Beauty Institute a long time ago when the mall was recently launched. Working in the retail industry commands long hours. I was a Branch Manager. Today, I get to enjoy the experience as a shopper. I came over to YSL and started browsing at the latest high-fashion. Over the neatly stacked piles of t-shirts, there it is I saw a cute backpack. I have never been a backpack kind of guy but when I first saw it – it’s fabulous! I must admit that it is quite fetching especially in full leather. The sheen that the leather gives just stunning. I love labels that are understated. No loud brand names, you are wearing the brand and not the other way round. When I just graduated from college. I knew a terrific soul named Jay Escoe Bell. He was the former retail manager of Club 21. My fashion taste today, I got mentored by him. He is now working as Vice President for Barneys New York. I tried on the backpack but, I thought to myself I should wait a bit longer because I need to get the shoes first. And, I did. I was frugal. I tried a few other models which I will reveal to you sometime later. It is because there are a few things that I like and would love to purchase it all. I seldom behave impulsively, so I decided to wait and get one thing at a time. But, I got this as well!

After I’ve paid for my shoes, my God-sister and I walked around The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands and had high-tea at TWG. We visited a few brands such as Louis Vuitton, and Cartier to spark some inspiration for our next purchase. Our shopping escapades will not end. There will always be things to get. Oh, they designed it that way – Consumerism.

#YSL #MBS #saintlaurent #retailtherapy #high-fashion #runway #ootd

Ultimate La Mer Regime

La Mer Luxury Brand

I don’t usually review or put my name on something credible after trying out something immediately. Skincare regime needs time and patience for it to work. Three months is a noticeable timeframe to deliver a review. La Mer – the ultimate skincare regime has resuscitated my badly damaged skin from three years of undergone chemotherapy. The effects of oral medication, intravenous, and radiotherapy have indeed damaged the lipids in the dermis. As we age, your lipids and skin cells are no longer round in shape. Aging also means the products that you are so used to using will not work as your skin conditions have changed. Eventually, you need other types of slightly invasive aesthetic treatments to correct the issue.

Big brands out there developed all types of products for a specific area of your face to entice you to buy a lot more. The truth is, you don’t need all of that. Let’s start by saying, you don’t need to buy expensive cleansers simply because they don’t stay on your skin. You don’t need eye serum, because the serum for your face works well enough for your eye area. Finally, you don’t need neck night creams because your usual night cream will do just that. I can say the same with essences and toner, if you use one, you don’t have to use another. They are essentially humectants. Did you know you have to use a sheet mask until it’s dry? Because serums are humectants and need water around the environment to work well. The absorption rate is faster because molecules are way tiny that they disappear into the skin.

Source from my Instastory.

I purchased this La Mer products and streamlined it into just 3 products.

  • Treatment Essence Lotion
  • Eye Contour Revitalising Cream
  • Moisturising Créme de la Mer

I alternate my nighttime routine with this and with a Vitamin C serum, Glycolic acid toner, and Retinol correcting lotion by Ordinary. After the whole 3 months of using this regiment, I must say I begin to see my fine lines softened. Your skin cell turnover generally regenerates every 28 days, depending on your age and lifestyle. The more you take care of yourself, the results will rapidly improve. The beauty myth is, I heard some influencers are comparing this product to Nivea cream. Though Nivea does work to a certain extent, it is not comparable with what you are paying for. I believe products need to be absorbed by the skin and not stay on the superficial layer. If you want a quick fix with results, go for Botox. With the harsh environment that we lived in today, please use a sunscreen with 50 SPF. If you don’t protect it, the products you use will be in vain.

Verdict:
Yes! I will re-purchase this, but I will alternate with other products so this can last me for a quarter.”

Tips:
When purchasing a luxury brand, do not shy away. Ask questions and challenge the beauty advisor. Get recommendations, though you don’t need to adhere to it. Don’t be afraid to ask for multiple free samples to try.

#lamer #lux #skincare #regime #nighttimeroutine #ritual #aging

La Mer Skincare
Priced at just under one thousand dollars.

Algorithm for Love

Dating Apps

I couldn’t help but wonder what life is like without love. Some people say you might have three great loves in your entire life. I was lucky enough to have two great love of mine. Meeting people, dating and getting into relationships have certainly advanced, nowadays. We communicate differently in today’s fast-moving society and how we anticipate love to happen. But most of the time, the act of anticipating is a thrill itself. The chase and hunt get your adrenaline pumping, endorphins are released to stimulate you to heighten senses through dopamine.

Tinder, Grindr

“Searching for love and orgasms

one swipe at a time.”

It is a normalisation of nuances towards the new millennium. Old-fashion introduction just doesn’t cut anymore as society moved forward with the time. Studies have shown how men swipe indicate a simple and predictable pattern versus women who swipe capriciously.”

Let’s face it from Grindr to Tinder from across the board, there are all kinds of apps to be downloaded and profiles to be judged. People who collect photos or syncing photos from other individuals from a cloud-based app make what it is today in modern-day dating. The use of hashtags and geotagging has become a new norm for secret admirers or stalkers to accidentally bump into you. The algorithm for love and lust predicts a probable match between the data it gathers and intercepts. It’s a normalisation of nuances towards the new millennium.

Back in the day when personal ads run on papers or magazines, things are a little slow. Life was simple. The earliest form of personal classified ads or lonely hearts ads dates back to the 1800s. Ultimately, people want to search for a companion at the end of the day. We create our presence online because we want our profile portrayed in a certain way. Creating a perfect profile affects the way people see themselves. Often describing some realness through images, obtaining validation from others. People love the ideology of compatibility and amicability. A vision of acceptance but sometimes narcissist.

Companies designed dating apps are out to make money and believe me, they made a whole ton of cash through subscriptions. Multiply that by the number of the population who are single, separated, divorced or even married and still looking something on the side. It is capitalism at its best. This is how economics is forged through the masses bringing lucrative yields with recurring returns. The more premium you pay for your subscription, the higher the chances of meeting a quality candidate. Advanced smartphone app changes the way we meet people, we travel, we dine, the way you date and the way you have sex. The visibility from a profile monetized the industry simply because all the information is key and sex sells. All searching for love and orgasms one swipe at a time.

Social Network

“It’s a Dating Revolution or just a Dating Apocalypse?”

What seems to be the dating revolution, it would also mean the death of courtship as the majority of people do not know how to communicate face-to-face. They found themselves awkward in situations and does not hold brilliant conversations. While they are geniuses with technologies and gadgets but they have zero social skills. These have made them become introvert by nature. It is okay of getting rejected if you swipe left or get accepted by swiping right. Once the connection is made, its a swipe for success! The courtship between couples plays an important role. It deciphered the major characteristics of a person’s likes and dislikes. It eventually pivoted the decisive notion to be a couple. Millennials using slangs, and abbreviations that no older generation understood. It is an extreme disconnect. They break every dating rule on the handbook to be more susceptible to the new society. Have we finally discovered the algorithm for love? Swipe right now!

#datingrevolution #algorithmforlove #swipe #love #sex #app #technology

Jakarta is calling

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I suddenly love this bustling city of Indonesia. Beginning to fall in love with Jakarta once again even the numerous times I visited here purely for the nightlife in notorious Kota. I couldn’t help but wonder what would become of me if I were living the sordid lifestyle I had shortly after my stay in Europe. After all, I was a retired circuit party boy.
The first time I visited this city is when I was a little boy, I was 12. My dad is Javanese while my mom is an Arabic descendant. It was vague. I hardly knew any of my relatives in Jakarta or somewhat they have migrated to Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore just after the second World War. The city has indeed prospered over the years but it has character.

The second time I was here was for a business trip and the third time I was here was a surprise gift from a good friend as a birthday present. That year, I did not go on a holiday for well over 14 months and he decided that would be a great gesture for me to take a break. Being the workaholic that I am, I only took a short 4 days break to this city of life.

A friend, Jessica took me to this hip and happening café smack in the middle of nowhere. The coffee I must say it’s better than Starbucks. The ambience, people, and the circulation of Indonesians are close-knit culture. Everybody knows everybody. The Indonesians are all about aesthetics. Everything revolves around it. The clothes you wear, the bag you carry, the shoe you wear, the car you are being chauffeur in and the address you lived. The first impression is the only thing you get, made a so-so first impression, forget it. Why are you fat? You are the lazy bottom line. You lazy to do something to yourself, therefore, you’re fat and chances are you are lazy to work or procrastinate a lot of tasks you’re meant to do. So there’s go your future job from a job interview or how rather they would judge you. That’s how it is here. If you’re a good looking girl from a good family background and with a good university, you are most likely to have been pair up with a good husband with family’s wealth. In my opinion… This is how I view it as an outsider into the world of Indonesian’s elite socialites.

And now, I am here again in Jakarta for the wedding of the year at Mulia Hotel at Senayan City. It was grand and it was a night to remember as the Instagram came flooding in at #togijessica hashtag. Here is pretty much like in New York when a girl coming of age is being debut into society with a debutante party. Same goes with announcing of wedding bells across page 6 of the Jakarta Posts. The marriage or rather a business partnerships of the two families are arranged and merged. Forging a fabulous new breed with each generation and so on and so forth.

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Designers Prêt-à-Porter are the quintessential essence of this series of happy events. Pretty much like a red carpet event or a fabulously put together black tie event. The world is of great vast contrasts of the poor and the filthy rich. 

Dessert cafés and hip restaurants are really the deal here. Although back home in Singapore there’s lots of places to eat, in Jakarta it’s a lifestyle. The palate of restaurants that blooms in the city one after another had become a place to be seen and spotted and perhaps being discovered by someone. I enjoyed my brief stay immensely and it was a good getaway from my slightly monotone routine.

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#restaurants #travel #dining #wedding #lifestyle #ootd #designer

Chanel Essentials

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A good skincare ritual is a good foundation for great skin. Preventing visible signs of ageing. As we aged, our lipids could not retain moisture. The thin layer around our cells are thinner, making water passing through and not contain it hence dryer skin when we get older. Here I have the travel size super serums:

  1. Le Jour
  2. La Nuit
  3. Le Weekend

Le Jour, is a daytime gel-based, non-oily and adheres to the skin, dries in an instant. La Nuit is a rich gel-based lotion that is a little bit more heavy for night time use and Le Weekend is a rich cream serum that gives your skin added hydration you need for an active lifestyle. Perfect travel companion as you don’t have to take the whole full size packaging in your toiletries pouch.

Combined with Lait Confort – a milk cleanser, Mousse Exfoliante Purété – a gentle scrub and Ultra Correction Lift – a Nano lifting lotion as a toner; the results will be velvety somewhat dewy skin. If you are a frequent traveler, do grab this at the duty-free store before your flight as they are more cheaper than in the stores. I always grab the whole lot for a year’s supply in case I don’t travel more than 6 months.

#skincare #chanel #beautyroutine #designer #lux #regime

Balayage

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HELLO BLONDIE!

My first time ever doing blonde balayage. 3 gradient blondes into 1 head. Light blonde, Medium blonde and Platinum blonde. The bleaching was really harsh but survived the 3 bleaching processes. Ouch! Scalp was really red but it subsided after the next day.

Joe was really determined to get the color that I want. He has patience, not a lot of hairstylist are like that. We used to work together at the Kérastase Scalp & Hair Institute at Marina Bay Sands sometime back and now he is on his own and calling his own shots. The scalp soothing treatment afterwards was like heaven-sent when I lay my head in the sink. Its quite an effort as Joe doesn’t speak English that well, I picked up some Mandarin when I was working with him. Gotta try his haircut, very meticulously done.

VERDICT: for my blonde balayage, although its good for a week, colors do not stay even though I’m using blonde shampoo special for blonde hairs. Even with Chroma Perfect color seal, it still fades out after 5-6 washes. Periodically after the salon visit I still have to do 1 Vita Ciment infusion treatment and 3 deep conditioning treatment by Kérastase Masques Therapiste. I will stick to normal 1 hair color blondes next time as bleach is done once and only at roots and run through before toning. However I do think that balayage works well if your hair is long so that your roots is a dark shades of blonde and gradually lighten on ends.

Salon: Joe Hair Boutique

  • 437 River Valley Rd
    #01-01 Valley Park Condominium
    Singapore 248332 River Valley
  • 6734 4418
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Check out his instagram!

#blonde #platinum #balayage #salon

Kérastase Resistance

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Being blonde is definitely a lifestyle choice and having your scalp and hair bleached numerous times can take its toll. Masque Therapiste correct and treat your hair by the various levels of erosion. Leave it on for 15 mins and rinse out, your hair will be managed and listens to your when you style it later. Alternatively if you hair is really distressed, use this masque as a conditioner everyday. Combine with VITA-CIMENT intense ampoules (not shown here) it will leave your hair silky smooth with a velvety touch when blow dry.

Having worked for L’oréal for a few years you tend to believe in the products you sell. For best results, use the whole range but you have a specific concern use 1-2 range or even combine with another because the condition of your scalp and hair changes from time to time. Kérastase is a premium brand from L’oréal, you may see similar color of products by the L’oréal brand but it is in its diffusion line. Every product, when it is being developed comes from the principle premium range and work its way down to the more affordable price tag for the mass market.

VERDICT: Product is good and it is not oily somewhat water-based and oil-based at the same time. It’s good to use this product everyday if your hair is distressed, sensitized or damaged through chemical erosion. Although it takes a bit of time, 7 days* will have your hair bouncing back like normal, well at least for me*.

#kérastase #hairmasque #salon #treatment #ritual