Scents are so powerful it can brighten up a mood in an instant or remind you of someone with just one whiff. Often times, it can take you to places.
The people behind Kaftan Klub’s travel-inspired room scents know this well, promising to scent you to some of the places you’ve perhaps visited in the past or are aspiring to go to soon—with just a couple of spritz.
“We associate scents with memories and experience. Through smell, we remember people or certain places. And now that we’re in the midst of a pandemic, and travel abroad is limited, this is a good idea to keep the spirit of travel alive while we all stay safe at home,” said Sheryl Songsong, one-half of the duo who owns and runs Kaftan Klub whom she manages with her business partner, Mike Lavarez.
Kaftan Klub is an online clothing store that creates and curates collections of stylish, easy-to-wear items (primarily caftans and coords) that are perfect for travel or even for lounging around at home. Its “boho kool” vibe is very evident on the outfits—and now scents—that they carry.
Songsong said it was a happy experiment for Kaftan Klub to go from offering clothes to producing room sprays.
“We feel like the scents complete the Kaftan Klub experience. We have travel-inspired drinks, parties, and playlists. Now with the room sprays, we feel like we’re hitting all the senses,” Lavarez said.
Kaftan Klub released two variants of the room scents last July (to coincide the brand’s first anniversary celebrations)—Cairo and Istanbul.
Cairo is light, fresh, and a bit spicy. It features a strong floral scent of the blue lotus (which is supposedly a smell that Cleopatra adored), with a very Middle Eastern vibe. “It’s a little strong and heady, but definitely still on the powdery side of scents” Songsong said.
For those who know their scent preferences, Cairo’s top notes are cumin, anis, and yellow mandarin; middle notes are blue Egyptian lotus; with amber, vetiver, and incense serving as the base notes.
Kaftan Klub describes Cairo as if you were “experiencing the breeze of an ancient river” (which is the scent’s fresh side) and “falling under the spell of a pharoah (spicy side),” because they want users to “walk under a cloudless Egyptian sky.”
Istanbul, on the other hand, is more on the citrus, smoky, and crisp side. The inspiration for this scent is the pulse of the city, which is known to have lots of people getting lost in the souks all the time.
Istanbul features the seductive scent of the flowers of the neroli (a sap or oil from the bitter orange tree). Its top notes are black pepper, orange, and neroli; its middle note is orange flower; and base notes are vetiver, patchouli, and amber.
The scents were developed with expert perfumer RJ Lopena. “RJ really did a great job in recreating our personal experiences in these cities. He captured how Sheryl remembers Cairo, and for me, Istanbul,” Lavarez said.
“Those who have experienced Cairo said it’s more of a day scent, while Istanbul, since it’s stronger, is more of a night scent,” Songsong said. “Either way, the intent is to recreate the feeling of being in these countries. It’s basically traveling with just a few sprays. No passports required,” Songsong said.
Both Cairo and Istanbul are part of the Harem Klub Collection, Kaftan Klub’s first all-premium line of clothes, which includes their signature koords, bestselling men’s trousers, and easy-to-lounge robes and skirts.
Kaftan Klub is marketing these scents as a room spray, but it’s actually eau de toilette, and is safe for the skin. There’s even a manufacturing and expiration date at the bottom of the bottle, not typical of room scents.
“I myself use this as a body scent,” Lavarez shared. He recommends four to six sprays in a 5×5 sqm space, the scent of which lasts for about two hours in an enclosed room.
The good thing about these room sprays is that it’s something that could be used in homes, but also works well to freshen up the smell of your car, or even the office. It’s even safe to sprays on pillows, sofas, or blankets.
Lavarez said: “These room sprays are just a little reminder to our Klubbers that we will be able to travel again someday. But for now, we hope these room sprays can help tide us all over until we get to our favorite places freely once more.”
Cairo and Istanbul retails for P995 each for a 100ml bottle. Kaftan Klub is currently offering 20% off for their Harem Klub collection available on kaftanklub.com or their Instagram account @kaftanklub.