Feeling gloomy? These 12 exotic-scented finds smell like a vacation

Did you know that your sense of smell is very closely linked to your memories? A whiff of a familiar scent can instantly transport you to a different time and place: sampaguitas that smell like your lola’s garden, pine trees that you saw so much of in Baguio, the delicious aroma of a dish you had at a romantic dinner. It’s nice to be able to reminisce, but what if you want to experience something new and different?

In the same way that familiar scents can be comforting, exotic fragrances are adventurous and exciting. It’s like enjoying the unique aromas when you’re on vacation, except you don’t need to do any actual traveling. If you’re unable to go on a trip and are in need of a quick getaway, grab a bottle or two of these exotic-scented products, and let your senses take you someplace new!


The blend of fresh and sweet you get from ripe fruit conjures mouth-watering memories of gorging out on the season’s finest. For a citrusy scent with a summer-appropriate light formula that absorbs into skin quickly, try the Zenutrients Nourishing Olive Face Cream (P260 for 100g). If your locks could use a pick-me-up, Yves Rocher Eclat Radiance Raspberry Rinsing Vinegar (P350) helps cleanse and nourish hair as a final step before finishing up your shower. It smells like delicious berries!


Herbal-scented beauty products are definitely on the side of distinct; the green blends aren’t easy to forget. And while some scents admittedly border on medicinal, you can’t help but marvel at certain sharp or crisp notes that wake up the senses. Dickinson’s Original Witch Hazel Pore Perfecting Toner (P379 for 473ml; P75 for 59ml) might take some getting used to, but it does effectively offer a deep cleanse without getting as harsh as other commercial toners and astringents do. Human Nature Rose Dew Mist (P275) has a predominantly rosy scent, but there’s also a hint of something leafy underneath. We chalk it up to the aloe vera component and other plant-derived ingredients. For an energizing shower, Bare Green Tea Soothing & Brightening Body Wash (P475 from Beauty Bar) will get you thinking of a hot cup of freshly brewed tea.


Naturally, floral scents bring to mind life’s little luxuries. It could be a walk through a lush garden, a beautifully arranged bouquet inside a ritzy hotel lobby, or a colorful lei around the neck. For the latter, Hei Poa Monoi Oil  (P550 from Beauty Bar)in the original powdery vanilla Tiare (Tahitian gardenia) scent will instantly transport you to fantasies of idyllic island life and the perfect tan. Indulge in aromatherapy with a scented oil like Aura Cacia’s Jasmine Absolute Essential Oil (P999 from Healthy Options). This doesn’t smell like your typical string of sampaguita flowers; it has a slightly musky and sensual tone that makes massages feel like royal treatment. You can also add a drop to your humidifier, reed diffuser, or burner! The Body Shop Rainforest Volume Shampoo (P695) has an intense fruity floral scent that also gives hints of sweet mango. Beach resort vibes all the way!

Essential Oils

We’ve also got a collection of fragrances that are a little bit of everything, but carefully combined to form a harmonious scent. Origins Dr. Weil Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Soothing Treatment Lotion (~P2,000) has hints of lavender and chamomile to soothe the mind in addition to settling the skin. The Jason Vitamin E Oil (P700 from Healthy Options) has a mild scent, but it reminds us of sunflowers and a hint of rosemary. The Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalising Face Oil (P2,395) can be described as equal parts herbal and warm, comforting but non-lingering, with the formula being light enough to use under makeup. Finally, Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Concentrate (P2,880) will put you right at ease with for bedtime with a combination of lavender and primrose oils for a #wokeuplikethis glow the following morning.

What scents instantly bring to mind a getaway? Have you ever purchased a product just because its scent triggered a specific memory?