Alternative Sources of Sunshine: A Homegrown Scent Story

Alternative Sources of Sunshine: A Homegrown Scent Story

Sun in a bottle for rainy days, Mondays and everything in between



A few months ago, right around June, it seemed anyone and everyone I was interacting with was at a low point. At first I thought it was just my seasonal offsetting acting up (I’d discovered that once or twice a year I would fall into an emotional slump of sorts), but tweets, texts and face-to-face interactions with friends soon confirmed that most of us were feeling a little gloomy. It took a few days in those moody, mercurial waters to figure out what was up––or more accurately, what wasn’t. It was the lack of sun.


Surely I can’t be speaking for everyone, but that seemed to be the issue for those of us who found ourselves in that volatile stretch. Without missing a beat, June robbed us of the constant sunshine we’re so used to––and it took the best of our moods with it. Weird, because I don’t even like the sun all that much. But I guess no matter how much I hate the scorch and sweat the climate drags with it, I have an undeniable soft spot for sunshine.


I mean, we’re Filipinos after all. We’re sort of programmed to complain when the sun is relentless and miss it when it goes AWOL. Call it a hard-wired love-hate relationship.


Long story short, I don’t want to ever be without sunshine anymore. Don’t get me wrong, I still like my rainy days, but I’ve learned to keep the sun––or substitutes to remind me that it’ll always be back––closeby. Read on for a short list of proudly homegrown olfactory alternatives to sunshine. Put them on your pressure points, display them on your dresser or spray them all around your space.


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No. 10 Kung Tag-Araw by Saan Saan

What it is: A scented candle

What it smells like: Fresh and stimulating, with hints of citrus, bergamot, sampaguita, olive and pine

How much it costs: P600

Where to purchase it: Saan Saan’s Instagram


Bright Mornings by Real Scents


What it is: Comes as a handwash, a room and linen spray, or most recently, a fragrance oil

What it smells like: Invigorating, like a glass of citrus juice on a balmy summer day

How much it costs: P150 as a fragrance oil, P220 as a spray

Where to purchase it: Real Scents’ website or one of Common Room’s branches


Island Sunrise Mist by Amber Lights Laguna

Alternative Sources of Sunshine: A Homegrown Scent Story | Wonder - Amber Lights LagunaImage via Amber Lights Laguna


What it is: A mist crafted of fragrance oil and natural essential oils

What it smells like: Warmth, or an island getaway. Tropical fruit like guava and passionfruit give the scent body, while notes pineapple, pear and strawberry lend an extra kick.

How much it costs: P395

Where to purchase it: Amber Lights Laguna’s website, or their brick-and-mortar stockist at The Park, 4/F East Wing, Shangri-la Plaza Mall


Gayuma by Simoy ng Haraya

Alternative Sources of Sunshine: A Homegrown Scent Story | Wonder - Simoy ng HarayaImage via Simoy Ng Haraya


What it is: A bottle of eau de parfum with a traditional 4-line poem, known as a tanaga, by poet Angelo V. Suarez printed emblazoned on the back

What it smells like: Perhaps the least overtly sunny scent from the list, Gayuma smells like its name: a love potion. Catch a whiff of pine, lemongrass, orange, lavender and patchouli forming on one musk-cloaked whole.

How much it costs: P650 for a 50ml bottle, P1150 for a 100ml refill

Where to purchase it: Simoy Ng Haraya’s website, or any Common Room branch


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Art Alexandra Lara

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