What Does Singapore Smell Like?

Sephora introduces a perfume inspired by our sunny island. Hint: It's not durians

Ever wondered what our country would smell like if we could bottle her into a fragrance? Would it be a fresh and green scent because Singapore is known to be a garden city? Or would we a fruity fragrance that includes tropical fruits, or goodness forbid, would we smell like durians?

To celebrate Singapore turning 50, Sephora Singapore put this idea to the perfumers at Firmenich, and the result is a fresh, light and feminine scent, affectionately named Little Red Love. Alexandre Freile, the nose behind the scent, while French, has spent eight years living in our sunny island, so truly there is no better person to create this uniquely Singapore scent.


ALEXANDRE FREILE Recently, I moved to Sao Paulo in Brazil, but my heart still belongs to Singapore, where I’ve had the privilege to live for eight years. For me, Singapore represents a harmony of culture and tradition, modernity and dynamism, and most importantly, a lot of love and happiness. Therefore, I wanted to create a perfume that evokes my memories of this nation.


AF The starting point was the national orchid, which is there to welcome you inside the airport. To explore the theme of this unique orchid, the idea was to create a fragrance that starts with an explosion of citrus fruits before moving into a floral and sensual facet.


AF The Little Red Love is mainly created with natural ingredients from Asia. I used a cocktail of mandarin and pink grapefruit, because they bring a sparkling and bright opening, and for me, it just smells like happiness.

The osmanthus makes a natural link with the citrus fruits. It has the juicy smell and the velvet texture of apricot blended with violet petals. This brings me back to a trip to Japan in October, where I visited Kyoto by bicycle. And osmanthus was blooming in the air — it was beautiful. The plum blossom symbolises spring, life, and the rebirth of nature. It is fresh, it is romantic.

Mint and tea leaves diffuse a very familiar note. They are reassuring, and bring a green and natural smell to the composition.

On top of this bright and fresh aspect, this composition also has a deep and intense facet. I wanted to explore another spirit of Singapore. I remember the smell of the frangipanis in the parks; elegant and subtle. I remember the strong but appealing smoke of incense and sandalwood in the temples — and like a hidden surprise, the scent of the jasmine rice, which has been included as well.

$88, at all Sephora stores from 23 July 2015.

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