LA Asks: Manila's Stylish Women On Their Most Alluring And Luxurious Perfumes  - LA Lives

Gia Remulla, Tiffany Siy, Venisse Laurel-Hermano, and Salome Uy talk to us about their favorite perfumes, their fondest scent memories, and which scents get them the most compliments.

Invisible and yet undeniably captivating, perfumes have long been treasured for the elegant way they elevate our looks. Some have been rumored to be aphrodisiacs, imbuing the wearer with newfound powers of seduction. Others take us back to our youth, reminiscent of the smell of childhood homes, the flowers around it, or the sweet smell of our mothers and grandmothers. 

Sitting on our skin and enveloping us in a cloud of feminine blooms or warm, creamy musks, scents are an inexorably intimate endeavor. Moreover, with today’s growing fascination for perfumes, they have also become a fragrant badge of individuality to complement our personal styles. 

Sharing with us their signature scents are some of Manila’s most elegant ladies. Socialite Salome Uy is known for her modern take on fashion, and professes to have a penchant for vanilla scents that remind her of her childhood. Incidentally, Gia Remulla’s favorite elixirs likewise evoke nostalgia, with the smell of sampaguita a mainstay in her scent wardrobe. As a wife, mother, luxury marketer, and one of the founders of local clothing brand Yndan, Gia also loves to mix and match her perfumes. 

Venisse Laurel-Hermano’s collection on the other hand, is a who’s who of perfumery greats from the Maisons of Francis Kurkdijian, Hermès, Tom Ford, and more. As the general manager of brother Rajo Laurel’s fashion empire, Venisse is a quintessential fragrance lover who can’t leave the house without a generous spritzing. Just as elegant is Tiffany Siy, who often cuts a striking figure at society events. Naturally, the wife and mother also smells just as divine, leaving an elegant trail in her midst. 

What fragrance are you wearing for the summer and why do you love it? 

Gia: Lately, I’ve been using Jo Malone’s Tropical Cherimoya. I love scents that have a smoky finish – it’s light and fruity at the same time so it’s perfect for my meetings during the day. 

Tiffany: Byredo BAL d’Afrique [and] Louis Vuitton – Attrape Reves. I think it smells fresh

Venisse: For this summer, I’m currently using Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Media for the day. I’ve always loved citrus and verbena and the dry down of this scent is amazing and perfect for our sunny weather.

Salome: I use Dior Addict because it just smells fresh and not overpowering.

READ ALSO: Summer Scents: These Perfumes Are Perfect For The Warm Weather

What was your first fragrance memory? 

Gia: My earliest fragrance memory would have to be the smell of sampaguita. That influenced the type of go-to perfumes I use now as an adult. I remember forcing my parents to always buy from a vendor outside, even if there were already garlands hanging in the car. I’m sure every Filipino can place a memory with this scent, even if it’s been stigmatized with horror and folklore! 

Tiffany: My mom’s perfume. It was Joy de Jean Patou. I remember thinking it completed her outfit.

Venisse: I’ve always loved scents and my first fragrance memory was with my Lola Betty. She was always so put together. And she would allow us to sometimes hang out in her dressing room watching her tease her hair and put on make-up. The first scent I ever loved that she introduced me to was 4711. It’s a citrus scent and I still use it to this day! Every time I use it, I remember her and it always reminds me of her smile and grace.
I always remember our house smelling of vanilla when we were growing up. That’s why I am always drawn to scent of vanilla.

What is your classic go-to scent and why?

Gia: Mon Guerlain, for sure! I loved it the moment I tried it, which was years ago. And I continue to look for that scent wherever I go. Oh, also Acqua Di Parma’s Colonia, but my husband enjoyed it so much it became his scent instead. 

Tiffany: Hermès Twilly Eau Ginger. I like how the scent is fun and floral.

Venisse: I have a couple on rotation depending on the weather: Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis, Hermès Le Jardin De Monsieur Li. Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle, Chloe Neroli, and Prada Infusion d’ Iris. I think scents are deeply personal and maybe the scents I mentioned evoke a certain memory for me but it never fails to make me happy.  My kids call these scents “quintessentially Ven”.

Salome: I feel like when its vanilla I can never go wrong!

READ ALSO: Clean And Refreshing: 4 Luxury Perfumes Perfect For A Busy Day

What scent do you use for day? 

Gia: I’ve got 103 by Bon Parfumeur in my bag 24/7 – even when I leave the house with a different scent, this tops off my initial one. Or sometimes, I spritz this in the car as I go. I think the more I write about my scents, I notice a love for bergamot with a little bit of sweetness. 

Tiffany: Gris Dior

Venisse: At the moment, I am using The Aerin Mediterranean Honeysuckle because it feels fresh and sweet at the same time. Our weather can be tricky and sweet scents have a tendency to smell overly sweet and sticky after a few hours.  This does not do that. I also love Jacquard by Etro. I don’t know many who wear it but I’m always drawn to vetiver and sandalwood. And this scent is something that makes me feel warm and serene.

Salome: Its Serge Lutens in Un bois vanilla.

What fragrance do you use for special occasions and parties? 

Gia: Lately, I’ve been using a new scent from a local Filipino brand, Alexander Fragrance’s Santal. I love supporting local in general, and this is something I think I’d buy over and over again. Again, it’s a little smoky – with all the cardamom and sandalwood mixing into the fragrance.

Tiffany: Diptyque L’ombre dans l’eau

Venisse: Soleil Blanc by Tom Ford

Salome:  Currently its Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille. It just feel right.

Which perfumes gets you the most compliments? 

Gia: When I wear Atelier Cologne’s Rose Anonyme, it hits differently, and the scent holds such elegant notes yet is still soothed by floral scents. Or maybe it’s cause I always associate this scent with times I’ve received the most hugs! 

Tiffany: All. Hahaha!

Venisse: Soleil Blanc by Tom Ford and Maison Francis Kurkdjian Aqua Universalis

Salome: Sud pacifique. This has been my constant.

How do you wear your perfumes? And any tips on how you get it to last throughout the day?

Gia: Sometimes, I mix and match my scents. I’m not a fan of over-spraying to make sure someone gets a whiff immediately; my use of perfume has always been subtle. I spray on my wrists once or twice, then put some on my neck or the back of my ear. Lasting throughout the day tells me how good a craftsman is with scents.

Tiffany: I spray before I put on my clothes and make up for the day. Then spray again right before I leave.

Venisse: I can’t leave the house without spraying perfume. I also have a couple in my work bag. My scent choice for the day depends on my mood and the weather. If I want the scent to last the whole day, I use a body wash with the same base notes as my scent. After my bath, I also use lotion or body milk before spraying my perfume on my pulse points and a spray or two in the air and do a walk through.

Salome: I spray it all around me. Parfum usually lasts the whole day.

Banner photo of Salome Uy by Floyd Johnson. Photos in article courtesy of Gia Remulla, Tiffany Siy, Venisse Laurel-Hermano, and Salome Uy.

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