life of a cuddlebit

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scent of remembrance

Mention perfume to me and one of the images that will spring to my mind is my (late) Grandma from the father’s side. She is one classy lady with a taste for the finer things in life. She has a huge perfume collection (and adores scents from Dior), collected jewelry (gemstones), tended a garden full of (scented) tropical flowers and only wore tailored clothes. She has perfectly maintained curly white-grey hair, always seen wearing a muted pink lipstick and smells heavenly even if she only stays at home.

Fancy. I know. More so, now that I can comprehend a bit of how fabulous she and her life was. 

I can recall my childhood days with her walking around the living room carefully arranging freshly cut flowers on the vase. She normally uses Sampaguita (Jasmine) as altar flowers. But for home decorating, her flower of choice was locally known as Rosal (or a Gardenia).

Rosal/Gardenia photo taken from the internet

Rosal/Gardenia photo taken from the internet

I loved that it looks and smells lovely.  The scent alone reminds me of her. 

But my Grandma is already in another place now, her tailored clothes are nowhere to be found, the gemstones are already lost, the garden which she lovingly tended has grown tangled and unruly, her regal home is now a a empty shell of beauty it once was. Soon enough, the house was sold, along with the fragrant garden. The said house holds a lot of my childhood memories as I grew up there with my cousins before we move to Manila to go schooling, I sometimes still think about it, I also miss my grandma, from the soft touch of her wrinkled skin and her faint lingering smell of perfume.

I was only fifteen when she went away. Was given a small jade pendant (she once wore, is all I have) to remember her by. 

If only I have the brains then to save cuttings of her beloved plants, to be replanted to pots. Even only her signature flower the Rosal.

So, I searched for a Rosal. I asked around, and came up empty. After months of asking. I was about to give up. 

I was resigned to the fact that the memory and the scent is lost and I should just go sniffing bottles of her (used to be) perfume/s to remember her. Then Kei took me to the relocated Manila seedling bank, It is now on Quezon City circle.

There it was. A rather huge sized shrub with shiny dark green leaves.

A Rosal plant about to bud.

Without much thought we brought the plant along with a huge pot and soil. All the thought of gross-ness went out the window as we took turns carrying the huge and heavy potted plant back home. Kei took good care of it and as of now it has many buds ready to bloom anytime soon. We named it “Groot” from the Guardians of the Galaxy.

We got a flowering plant to remember her by, I think my Grandma would smile at the idea.

I am excited to see it bloom and also get Kei to smell what the rosal smells like. 

It smells like the scent of remembrance to me.

For that I am grateful.

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seeing blue

Kei accopanied me stroll around Greenhills to look for someone who could restring my (mother’s side) grandma’s pearls. After a short while we got someone willing to restring and add a few more pearls for a fee. Search is over.

To pass the time we found ourselves looking at all the loose multicolored gemstones displayed on the glass cases. No plans on buying. Just window shopping.

Then we got curious. Asked prices of their ready to wear jewelry, the price is actually reasonable. Then we turned to ask about the loose gemstones in the glass cases. They sell it by piece, then you get a “latero” (Filipino/Philippine term for jewelry maker) to set the stone for you.

I asked for a blue sapphire. They offered me a lot!

Pretty huge ones that reminds me of Kate Middleton’s ring. Best of all, you can haggle. Just wow.

Kate Middleton photo from www.marieclaire.co.uk

Kate Middleton photo from http://www.marieclaire.co.uk

*Just in case you are curious, there is an abundance of Kate Middleton’s ring look alike/s there!

I told them I wanted a small round one. To be made into an everyday ring I could wear without the fear of losing my engagement ring. I was given a lot of options. They were actually convincing me to go with a bigger stone! But no, that would look tacky on me. Think granny-ish. No offense to the grandmas out there, I just think it’s still not age appropriate for me to wear a huge rock.

 

Something like this. Stephen Einhorn "love" ring photo from the internet

Something like this.
Stephen Einhorn “love” ring photo from the internet

There are natural sapphires (pricier/differs in color/may have inclusions), and lab created (cheaper/looks perfect) ones, in all sorts of colors. All huge, by that I mean as big as a thumbnail, should that be too small for your liking they also have bigger stones as big as a thumb. I insisted that I wanted a small natural one. So they handed me a melee of natural blue sapphires (from India) to choose from. There were hearts, rounds, ovals, square, baguettes…etc. and in different shades of blue. It was overwhelming.

melee sapphires

melee sapphires (photo from the internet, we don’t have an actual photo of the melee we chose from)

Kei helped me choose what to get from the melee. While I really tried to remember how my Grandmother’s (from the father’s side this time) sapphires look. When she was still with us, she taught me to look for good color, vividness of the stone, she always says gemstones must always look “alive”. Unlike my mother’s side grandma, my father’s side grandma collects gemstones.

shades of sapphires

shades of sapphires

The best color is royal blue. The least valued is the black blue color.

And also look at the stone clarity. Must be eye clean at least and clear for light to pass through it and make the stone “alive”.

Sapphire Clarity

stone clarity

In the end, we picked out a natural royal blue sapphire, vivid and I believe very good clarity!

Not a huge one of course, it’s actually pretty small.  Its extremely hard to get the color right in the photo, it looks dark here, but it is a royal blue color. Sorry, this was my best shot.

My own sapphire with a one Philippine peso to scale. With the calling card of the stall.

My own sapphire with a one Philippine peso to scale, along with the calling card of the stall.

But it’s a pretty stone nonetheless; even the shopkeepers told us that we got the best one in the pile.

Even the shop owner validated that we did get a good one.

I am pretty sure we will go back here someday.

 

*They have sapphires in other colors too.

**they also have other gemstones like rubies, emeralds, spinels, tanzanite, jade…etc

***All my reviews, opinions, and other stuff expressed here are our own and based on our own experience. This is not a sponsored post, We paid for this (from) our own pocket.