His nose has it | Manila weather
… my passion is not only in the scents themselves, but also in influencing product manufacturers to appreciate scents more and how something intangible like perfumes can help their brand through fragrance education. “
Have you ever met someone who claims their best skill is “smell”? Not everyone can claim to own this unique art. Bernadette Lim, however, can.
For Bernadette, venturing into the world of perfumes came naturally. Growing up, she was exposed to the businesses of her parents, Robert and Marcela, both chemical engineering graduates from the Mapua Institute of Technology. One of them is a chemical company that supplies raw materials to the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.
âOur summers were spent helping in the office and sometimes even cleaning in the laboratory,â recalls Bernadette. âIn the early 2000s, my parents started importing fragrances for local manufacturers of perfumes, colognes, and other personal care products, and they would take samples home. At that time, my sister [Caroline] and I was already in our early teens and we were fascinated by all the scents our parents brought home. “
As Bernadette’s father was a great traveler, he always offered these perfumes to his mother. âMy mother loved them, but not (necessarily) for their scent,â reveals Bernadette. “She loved to collect the bottles. My sister and I noticed that she ended up amassing a lot of scents over the years, most of which were barely used.”
Girls usually sneaked into their parents’ bedroom and tried perfumes before going to bed. âSometimes we would borrow them from my mom’s dresser and spray them on our beds, but conveniently forget to return them,â laughs Bernadette.
Initially, she wanted to become a lawyer. âEver since I was a kid I was already very interested in current affairs and politics, so in high school I was signed up by my parents for a summer leadership program that invited us to the US Senate. Unfortunately, the trip did not take place. t because of the SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) epidemic in 2003. “
After graduating in Business Administration from Ateneo de Manila University in 2007, Bernadette tried her hand at the family business as a Business Development Manager, managing sales. âIn June of that year, my father invited me to attend a meeting organized by the French Chamber of Commerce,â she says. âMy parents’ business was going to be interviewed as a potential distributor for a French perfume maker. Looking back, I agreed to go because I had nothing better to do – there was free food and maybe the French was handsome. “
The family won the tender and Bernadette was invited to join the business. She said, “I could have said ‘no’, but because I loved perfumes, I accepted, thinking I would be the next Joel Cruz (a businessman known as’ Lord of perfumes “, with her Aficionado) fragrances from the Philippines. Boy, was I so wrong. I basically became a perfume seller, but not the one you find in malls. I sold perfumes in barrels at manufacturers of detergents and softeners. “
At first, Bernadette was completely ignorant of the technical nature of perfumes. Therefore, she aspired to become a perfume specialist for additional referrals. Unfortunately, no perfume classes were available in Manila, which forced her to go abroad. She says: âI was lucky at the time because despite the financial crisis of 2008, I was able to fly to the United States, study perfumes and eventually become a certified perfume specialist.
âThen it was just one workshop after another in different cities: New York, Los Angeles, Singapore, Hong Kong, France. In 2016, I also took the intensive course in professional perfumery for a month and a half. at Perfumer’s World in Thailand under the direction of British biochemist and perfumer Stephen Douthwaite. “
Today, after a decade in perfumery, Bernadette is at the head of three companies. BC Fragrance, named after her (Bernadette) and her younger sister (Caroline), is a supplier of raw materials and targets SMEs (small and medium-sized businesses), DIY enthusiasts (do-it-yourselfers), artisans of perfumery, cosmetics, the care industry, home and candles.
Products from the Scentful Living brand by Bernadette, which promotes well-being and relaxation through scents. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Scentful Living is a brand of home fragrances that promotes well-being and relaxation through fragrances. âOur primary customers are city dwellers, caring moms and startup families looking for affordable yet high-quality home fragrances. Most of our customers appreciate the uniqueness of our signature scents, which I have personally created. for the brand. “
Scent Studio, being the first DIY perfume studio, “is aimed at both fragrance lovers, those who are curious or just those looking for a new creative experience,” she says.
“I realized that my passion is not only in the scents themselves, but also in influencing product manufacturers to appreciate scents more and how something intangible like scents can help their brand through fragrance education. “
When Bernadette started in the fragrance business in 2007, the local fragrance industry was dominated by brands using designer-inspired fragrances and produced by European manufacturers.
âThere were a few hobbyists who created perfumes in small quantities, but that was it,â she reports. âThere weren’t any professional Filipino perfumers, who were creating custom fragrance blends for brands until, I think, after the start of 2010. At the time, it was also just me and two. other Filipino guys, who also trained overseas for perfumery. Fortunately there are now more than a handful of us out there and a few are other Pinays. “
Bernadette considers herself a âscentre-Pinoyâ, an entrepreneur in the field of scents. âAt first I really didn’t know how to complete projects, but over time I developed my own system that helps me manage projects and create scents more efficiently.
A Bernadette employee in the perfume workshop (above) and the perfume specialist (right) in the showroom. CONTRIBUTED PHOTOS
âProbably the hardest thing to do is translate an idea into a scent and make sure it fits a client’s budget. There are still times, however, that a scent just isn’t right. in the direction we want and we have to give it up. Nakakahinayang (regrettable), but it is part of the lifelong learning process. “
Bernadette is the second child and the eldest daughter of a brood of five children. âMy very logical parents named us after the alphabet, ABCDE,â she says. âOur eldest, Alexander, graduated in Electrical Engineering from De La Salle University (DLSU) and is in charge of the engineering department at my parent’s company, Allen Specialty Products Co.
âThen me, Bernadette, followed by Caroline, a graduate in perfume and cosmetics marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York. She is currently in Austin, Texas, caring for her two very beautiful boys.
âOur fourth, Dexter, studied industrial design at the College of Saint Benilde (CSB). He works as an artistic director for Survivor Productions. He also co-manages one of our glue businesses. Our youngest, Edward, graduated in multimedia arts from CSB, and now works as an internal business development manager at our company. “
Bernadette and her banker husband Joseph Baricaua are raising their three-year-old daughter, Felize Amelia, without a nanny. âSince then, I’ve been a very involved mom,â she says proudly. âNo yaya since birth. We love to do yoga, picnic on our balcony and participate in zumba classes.
“On the days when I have to go to work, my husband and I drop our daughter off at my aunts’ house. I go to the office after my daughter’s morning class and come back around 6 p.m.”
Before the pandemic, weekends were loaded with events or travel for Bernadette and her family. âWe seriously miss going out and seeing our friends,â she said. “So even going to a football field in Antipolo has now become a welcome gift for us.”
Regardless of the current quarantine status, Bernadette is handling the new normal in the best possible way – cheerfully, gratefully, and filled with lovely scents.
My parents Robert and Marcela Lim
To cure my psoriasis and give my daughter a comfortable life
First paid employment check
My mom’s assistant and I think I got paid around 10,000 pesos.
Morning tea and listen to my meditation playlists
Time spent on social media
One hour maximum per day