Fragrance-filled adventure in BaliBy Tessa Prieto-Valdes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir ‘Eat, Pray, Love,’ adapted into a film with Julia Roberts starring, made Bali a site for soul-searching.
Of course, Bali is also for shopping
Enchanting Bali has once again captivated my adventurous soul. There is something mystical about this island paradise that arouses ardent travelers. Whether one is visiting temples or experiencing Balinese arts and culture or simply meditating, Bali has so much to offer.
The Ralph Lauren Big Pony Fragrance Collection for Women chose this legendary island to launch its four distinct variants. A selected group of print and TV media were invited to experience “Life in Color” in luxurious comfort and personal attention.
The Big Pony Collection celebrates the many facets and accomplishments of modern-day women who embrace dynamic femininity, focusing on four vital attributes—sports, sensuality, free spirit and style.
Sporty, labeled #1 and in a blue box, has a floral citrus scent and is aimed at fearless and confident modern women. Sensual is the #2 scent, and is, of course, passionate and gentler, with “floriental” fruity overtones, all in a neon pink box.
Free-spirited is #3 and in a yellow box, a floral green scent for the lady who constantly reinvents herself and is always looking for new challenges. Stylish, the fourth fragrance, has oriental floral tones and is for the fashionista, in a royal purple box.
Over the four-day trip, we learned about each fragrance’s personality and matched this with exciting activities. Our group was composed of a diverse set of multifaceted individuals, which challenged the Ralph Lauren team to come up with different activities.
The entire trip was customized to the smallest detail. Even our luggage tags were Big Pony-labeled and we had VIP lanes in all the airports. After settling into our private villas, each with individual plunge pools, we were given the first variant to enjoy, Sporty, along with a Big Pony bag of island essentials.
Janie Latayan, L’Oreal Fragrances business manager, presented four hues of the fragrances—blue for sporty freshness, pink for love and compassion, yellow for happiness, and purple for style and royalty. Charisse Hernandez-Chua, L’Oreal Luxe Division GM, welcomed us to the special lunch.
While traveling the island, four different Ralph Lauren-branded vans with Big Pony color accents took us around. Our van was slowly getting filled up with market purchases and python skin bags.
My shopping partner, Bea Ledesma of Philippine Star, helped me find a cowhide carpet. I continued my shopping at her new jewelry line with Inquirer’s Ria Prieto. Narra, Mysterious and Migratory Jewelry Collection was launched at The Cake Club at the Fort.
For the Sporty Activity, the RL Team chose the famous Ubud ATV Paddy Adventure for some athletic enjoyment and quintessential rugged fun. The exciting ATV ride provided ample viewing opportunities of the picturesque rice paddies of Bali. Inquirer’s Isabel Roces and RL’s Carlo Lina were the brave ones who took the challenge. Adventurous Karen Pamintuan of Listed of Lifestyle Network had a blast as well.
The Sporty batch joined us for lunch at Bebek Bengil (Dirty Duck) Restaurant. It has a large spacious area with an Indonesian-styled, raised platform, allowing for seating awesomely overlooking the rice paddies. Famous for their Crispy Duck, Bebek Bengil also served a gamut of Indonesian fare to sate our group.
Ubud is a remarkable town in the middle of the island of Bali. For more than a century, it has been the island’s preeminent center for fine arts, dance and music. While it once was a haven for scruffy backpackers, cosmic seekers, artists and bohemians, Ubud is now a hotspot for literati, glitterati, art collectors and connoisseurs. Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir “Eat, Pray, Love” doubled the number of visitors to the island, and all that was before Julia Roberts arrived on the scene.
For the Stylish lifestyle, Ubud’s art market and shops in Seminyak Square provided perfect adventure shopping. Everyone went crazy finding high-quality handicrafts and fashionable snakeskin bags and accessories. The Indonesian currency, called the rupiah, is quite overwhelming with everything seemingly priced in the millions.
Summit’s style set Pauline Juan and Agoo Bengzon paraded their new clutches at the uber-chic bar and restaurant Woo at W Hotel. Inquirer’s Ingrid Go also looked so chic. During dinner, the RL Bali Family greeted ABS-CBN Publishing’s Philip Cu Unjieng on his birthday. It was a perfect celebration in a stunning setting.
The Sensual experience was attained with a pleasurable and relaxing spa session at the renowned W Retreat & Spa at the W Hotel. A luxurious massage and pampering session was heavenly set amid the modern spa atmosphere.
Ferdi Salvador, Events Architects head, got his wellness dose with a few minutes in the Oxygen Bar inside the lounge of the spa. His team did a remarkable job in organizing the successful Big Pony launch. We reunited to celebrate his birthday at Skye Bar just the other day.
Potato Head in Seminyak is a visual experience with curved walls, subdued lighting and pool loungers. It was a perfect venue for our Sensual Dinner. Lilin is the name of its restaurant that serves authentic, home-cooked Asian cuisine.
Well-decorated with shutters on the walls of the pre-reception area and a super-cool lifestyle shop are just some of the elements of Potato Head that makes it the hippest place to be seen. Great music completed the awesome vibe.
Of the four fragrances, I would say Yellow #3 for the free-spirited is my favorite. For this adventure, everyone enjoyed an exploration of one of the island’s most significant temples, Uluwatu Temple. The inner sanctum of this spectacular temple is perched on the edge of a cliff that towers above the legendary surf breaks of Southern Bali. Right after that experience, lunch was served in Warisan Restaurant with a delicious French and Mediterranean menu.
Truly, smelling great can be experienced wonderfully with any of the four scents of the Ralph Lauren Big Pony Fragrance Collection for Women.
Follow @tessavaldes on Twitter or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.