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Beauty queen Helen Ma on the importance of fragrance

The fragrance you wear says as much about you as your outfit, and no one believes that more strongly than beauty expert Helen Ma. Of course, you can’t just wear whatever is popular — you have to find the right scents for you. To learn more about the best ways to effectively select and use fragrances — and in anticipation of the forthcoming release of The Macallan Edition No. 3, a collaboration with fragrance expert and master perfumer Roja Dove — we sat down with Ma to discuss her useful insights on this topic.

Helen Ma


What role does fragrance play in your daily life?

Fragrance plays an important role in my daily life. It’s a way of giving a statement of myself. The way I choose a fragrance shows not only my mood, but also my temperament of the day.

What’s your favourite smell in the world?

When it comes to smell, I do have quite a few favourites, from the most natural, clean baby scent to the most exotic scent i.e., pure rose oud, sandalwood and geranium. Definitely a “No” to anything that is being done in an artificial way.

How important is fragrance when it comes to presenting your perfect self?

Fragrance has become part of grooming: It can identify oneself and smell to impress for different occasions. Using the right fragrance, it gives a very good first impression; it is also a way to well present yourself and greetings to others.

You are a beauty queen, so what would you recommend men or ladies to do to impress by using scents?

Choosing a selection of scents for different purposes and occasions is very important for both men and ladies, for example, a natural clean scent for work, aroma for holidays, exotic for events and romance. It takes time to explore what scent is suitable to yourself, so play with different scents until you feel comfortable with them. By time, you will then know what is your type of smell. Do not copy or follow what others are using, because every one of us are created with a very unique scent. What other people are using will not have the same effect on you, so go out there and keeping exploring until you find what is the most suitable scent for you.

Helen Ma

When it comes to food and drink, what aromas are you drawn to?

I’m a fish lover and I drink lots of water, so anything that has citrus/lime/lemon. In addition, I love putting lots of fresh spices and herbs when cooking or in my salad: mint, pesto, ginger, coriander, olives and bergamot, for example.

When you drink whisky, what do you enjoy about its taste and aroma?

I remember when I was little, my first impression of whisky always reminded me that it is a hard liquor; it is a men’s drink and untouchable for women. Whisky now to me is the nature of luxury and elegance, it’s tasteful and collectable. A combination of different spices, citrus and wood gives you the relaxation you want, whether you are enjoying alone or with friends.

With regards to The Macallan Edition No.3, what strikes you about its taste and scent?

The freshness of its scent surprises me, it’s so easy to drink, super smooth and very fruity. The masculine side of whisky brings out the soft touch of its femininity.

If you’d like to post about this story or The Macallan Edition No. 3 on social media, be sure to use the following hashtags: #MacallanCreates #Edition3 #Macallan #WhiskySense #Whisky #Whiskey.

A special thanks to Lex Coffee for venue support. 

Michael Alan Connelly
Head of Digital Content
A Chicagoan by birth and a New Yorker by habit, Michael has more than a decade of experience in digital publishing at leading titles in the U.S. and Asia. When he's not checking out Hong Kong's newest restaurants and bars or jet setting around the globe, you'll find him hanging out with his dog Buster and enjoying an Aperol Spritz.
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