Happy 2017, folks! Another year, another welcome post.

Everyone ushered in the new year with such excitement—urgency, almost. I think we can all agree that 2016 was universally awful. No need to enumerate why. The horrific events that transpired, sometimes with equally horrific faces, are, unfortunately, forever etched in our memories.

But if I may, personally, 2016 wasn’t so bad. I took a publishing course in the UK, met amazing people I plan on keeping in my life, had a few amazing trips, took more vacation time than what was probably allowed, thoroughly enjoyed my job, and was published pretty often so I’m extremely grateful for the year that was.

Since I’m a sucker for “Life Planning” and “Goal Setting” or any lame excuse to buy a new set of notebooks, every year I try to come up with a word—an overarching theme for my year (or life). Last year’s was “soar”. I guess I didn’t specify exactly what I had in mind but I did do some literal soaring and for that I am not mad. I’ve been trying to rack my brain for the perfect word for 2017. My working theme is “reinvention” which, by the way, is not an iteration of the trite “New Year, New Me” adage. Just a recalibration. Alyssa 2.0. Or The Late Twenties Version.

Reinvention can encompass multiple things. A new look, outlook, job—country, even. My career and geographical considerations are something I am still figuring out so unless you want to discuss at length what I need to do with my life, let’s stick to sartorial discourse here. Style-wise, I got bangs (which you can’t see in the photos because they were decided rather spontaneously post the shoot). I also bought new makeup and beauty products. Deciding to invest in skin care is worth it, I hear. My ROI can be publicly accessed and observed. Peruse (or dissect) photos as you wish. And my last bit of news in the beauty department is that I switched fragrances.

I got the Boucheron Quatre a couple of months ago but only started to spritz it obsessively recently. The Parisian brand equates to luxury and the perfume captures the brand’s essence, pun intended. The fragrance, inspired by the Maison’s iconic ring, is an elegant floral fruity blend. A lot of times fruity doesn’t necessarily feel grown-up—it’s kind of reminiscent of a tween’s first choice promptly after discovering her mother’s perfume cabinet. I actually remembering discovering my grandmother’s perfume cabinet and wanting to be in on the grown-up lady fun, you know, minus the cough-inducing spritzes. The olfactory biases of an 11-year old are very much geared towards the scent of fried chicken and newly-opened Barbie boxes. The Quatre, on the other hand, is for the contemporary woman. The scent is a subtle combination of chic and cool brought about by the mixture of bitter orange, jasmine, and just the right kick of golden woods for a woody undertone.

I know people say heels make the woman. Or something like it, I’m lazy to Google. But I do know that more than heels, spritzes of the perfect fragrance prompt the gait of a lady.

Statistically speaking, correlation doesn’t necessarily imply causation but trust me when I say the spritz adds a pep in the step. And this specific spritz induces a ladylike strut.

The Boucheront Quatre can be purchased at Art of Scent stores in Shangri-la Plaza and Resorts World Manila.