I Created My Own Perfume at Singapore Poly’s Scent Lab! Woohoo! :D

Boys and Girls, you can call me Professor Tan! :D

SP Scent Lab

Upon SP’s invitation, I made my way down to their Scent Lab today. Truth be told, I once took a module on cosmetics and perfumes in NUS, so I’m no stranger to top notes, base notes and all. But making my own perfume? It was definitely a first for me, and super exciting. :D

SP offers a Diploma in Perfumery & Cosmetic Science (DPCS) – the only full-time diploma course in Asia for people interested in perfumery! For more information, head to http://www.sp.edu.sg and search under ‘Courses’.

And back to the perfumes I created…

SP Scent Lab

I’m holding Grace No.1 in this picture above, named after Chanel No.5. LOL. There is a Grace No.2 as well – it comes with a hint of jasmine.

The perfumer and lecturer were both impressed with my formulations. I guess it is because of several factors:

1) I chose only the scents I liked. So cedarwood, for instance, did not make it into my formulation.

2) I wrote the ‘ingredients’ down on paper first and listed the quantity by the side, before trying to put it all together. Sniffing and mixing as you go does not help. Even if you get a fantastic scent, you’ll have no idea what went into it, and in what proportion too. :)

3) I used more of the Apple Base and the ‘CK One’ base (the CK One fragrance is one of my all-time favs)!

Did You Know?

  1. There are Top Notes, Middle Notes and Base Notes. So do not hurry to buy a perfume at first sniff. Once the top note wears off, you may or may not like the middle and base notes. ;)
  2. The ‘Apple’ scent is synthetic. Unlike oranges, you cannot extract oils from the skin of apples.
  3. If you are experiencing nasal fatigue from smelling too many scents, you can take a sniff of coffee beans OR smell your own sleeve!
  4. Any scent with jasmine is likely to be expensive because you need 8,000 flowers to get 1gram of jasmine for your perfume.
  5. CK One is the first unisex fragrance ever created.
  6. There is a machine which can distill any perfume and figure out its composition. So you can re-create your favorite ‘branded’ perfumes in the lab. Hehe. ;)

If you’re a student about to enrol in this diploma course, good for you! *envious* You’ll definitely have a lot of fun! :D

Pay As Little As $3 To Learn A New Skill! I Chose Yenji Clay Craft :D

I was invited to attend one of the Xpress classes at selected community centres and I chose to attend the Yenji Clay Craft Xpress class at Tampines East CC. :) The classes cost only S$3 for senior citizens (aged 60 and above)! And the younger folks pay only $10 with an additional $1 off if you are a Passion Card member.

It was a 1 hour class, and I was very pleased with the result:

Yenji Clay Craft

Is that owl cute or what?! :D

I made the entire owl from scratch, and I must say it is really satisfying to see the end result! I noticed early on in the class that for this owl to look really cute, you have to pay more attention to the eyes. Doesn’t matter if the beak is a little crooked or that one wing is bigger than the other, and one foot more prominent than the other – it all makes the owl look more realistic.

Interestingly enough, before the class began, an elderly Indian lady took a seat next to me, and was shocked that I was attending the class. “Isn’t this class for senior citizens?!” she exclaimed.

An elderly gentleman corrected her and said seniors just pay a lower fee, that’s all. :P

I actually do think that young people should go for such classes. Simply because the duration is short (just 1 hour) and you know you must have something to show at the end of it. So you have no time to check your phone or your emails, and you just focus on the task at hand, and if you are lucky, you get into ‘the zone’, which is a wonderful, creative space to be in. :)

I get nervous if I am asked to draw or paint because admittedly, I don’t draw nor paint very well. Never had prior, proper training in those.

However, if I have to make something out of clay, I sure can. It’s easy to iron out any mistakes. And if I ruin one glob of clay, I just roll it all back together again and start from scratch. It’s not as easy with a painting. Haha!

Courses that might interest you: Pop Rock Guitar, Laughter Yoga, Paper Quilling, Flower Origami, Zumba Gold, Pilates, Inline Skating, Korean, etc

Find these courses at one.pa.gov.sg -> Search for Course Xpress. Sign up now! I might be your coursemate in one of these classes! ;)

Hello Kitty Run Singapore: Check Your Pre-Registration Status

Read my earlier post about the Hello Kitty Run – Singapore pricing, route and entitlements. I emailed the organizers to find out what happens after pre-registration. Their reply:

“If you signed up during the pre-registration period, an email with instructions for the official registration will be sent to you soon. Each participant will then be given a week to complete their registration. If registration is incomplete after a week from receiving the email, the slot will be automatically forfeited and given to the public for registration.

Further details of the race will be announced soon, so do keep a look out on our Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hellokittyrunsg for more updates, thank you for understanding!”

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Remember to check your email, folks!

If you’d like to check the status of your pre-registration, head over here: https://www.digitalracesolutions.com.sg/cgi-bin/registration/hellokitty2014/closed.cgi

Hello Kitty Run Singapore 1 Nov 2014: Price, Route and Runner’s Entitlements

Hello Kitty Run Singapore

I heard about the Hello Kitty Run – Singapore this morning and just received the press release an hour ago. Needless to say, I have pre-registered! :D Pre-registration is free. Payment of S$65 can be made when you receive the formal invite to register, after the official event launch.

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“The world’s most famous feline character, Hello Kitty, will celebrate her 40th birthday on 1st November 2014 with an inaugural Hello Kitty Run Singapore. The only Hello Kitty birthday bash in Southeast Asia will flag off with a one-of-a-kind birthday cake and birthday song sung by 15,000 fans.

Hello Kitty Run Singapore will feature a five kilometre route covering iconic landmarks around the city. The run is open to participants of all ages and aims to gather Hello Kitty fans and non-Hello Kitty fans to join in a big day out to celebrate Hello Kitty’s 40th mega birthday bash.

Created 40 years ago by Sanrio, the legendary icon, Hello Kitty brings love, happiness and encourage the forging of friendships and sharing across the world. Since her first appearance in 1974, she has flourished into a global phenomenon that is well-liked by both young and old. The fan base is no less in Singapore, with the Hello Kitty craze beginning as early as 2000.

All participants are entitled to an exclusive runner’s t-shirt and a special edition commemorative Hello Kitty plush toy. Registration is now open via their website, www.hellokittyrun.com.sg and will close as soon as capacity is full.

In addition to the run, there will be a Hello Kitty Village and post-race fringe activities for participants to look forward to.”

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My (tongue-in-cheek) suggestion to the organizers: Have special Hello Kitty plushies for the Top 3 Runners. We don’t need any cash. Award us, say, a Swarovski crystal-encrusted plush and we will set a national record for running that day. Double confirm. :D

[Hello Kitty Run Logo - Picture Credit: Pink Apple Pte Ltd]

*UPDATE* In less than 24 hours, pre-registration has closed. That was REALLY fast! I hope I’ve snagged a spot! :D

8 Reasons Why You Should Visit Fantasìa by Escribà

I had the pleasure of attending the media preview of Fantasìa by Escribà at Marina Bay Sands Expo and Convention Centre Halls D & E. It truly is every chocolate fan’s dream come true. There’s just so much to taste, so much to see, and so many pictures to take! I’ll try not to spoil the experience for you by presenting only a sneak peek, so you can go check out the rest with your friends and family. :)

Here are 8 reasons why you should visit Fantasìa by Escribà:

1) Callebaut Falls – At 8.5 metres tall, it is likely the World’s Tallest Chocolate Fountain!

Fantasia by Escriba

And when you are given some of that chocolate to sample, ooh-la-la. *Be careful though, the lights in this area can be dim and there are some raised platforms you need to be aware of or you’ll trip over them.

2) Safari of life-size edible animals, including a 5-metre tall elephant, 4-metre tall giraffe, etc

The oh-so-colorful zebra:

Fantasia by Escriba

And the croc with the ‘sweet tooth’ LOL

Fantasia by Escriba

3) *Just for the adults* Saturday night ‘Midnight @ Fantasia’, featuring leading deejays and performers from Ibiza, and lasting from 10.30pm to 2am. The press release said to expect “dark titillation”, “evocative performances by go-go dancers” and “potent cocktails”. ;)

Fantasia by Escriba

4) For macaron fans: A 3-metre tall Macaron Eiffel Tower. I could not resist taking a selfie here.

Fantasia by Escriba

5) Lots of treats everywhere you go. Guess what this is:

Fantasia by Escriba

6) Masterclasses! More than just a feast for the eyes, you can also join in the classes such as Create with Innovation, Create with Chocolate, Create with Desserts and Create with Sugar. The Masterclasses are priced at S$188 each.

7) Head to the Royal Cake Theatre for theatrical performances with spectacular acrobatic feats.

Some performers we met:

Fantasia by Escriba

8) And of course, don’t miss visting the gift shop:

I bought 3 of these:

Fantasia by Escriba

Also, check out items like the Candy Glam Rings and edible heels:

Fantasia by Escriba

Fantasia by Escriba

This confectionery theatre extravaganza will only be here for 3 days (ending on Sunday) so hurry and get your tickets now!

Purchase your tickets here: http://fantasiabyescriba.com/

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Regular Prices: Child $88, Adult $128, Family Bundle $388 (Free entry for children aged 3 and below)

Midnight@Fantasia: $188 / $68 / $38 (For adults aged 21 and above)

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That ‘Littering Incident’ On The Bus. SBS Transit’s Reply to Me…

Sweet Wrapper Incident

Late last month, I was on the way to the airport when I noticed an ‘uncle’ littering on the bus. He was seated just across the aisle from me, and I was sitting right behind the bus driver.

The gist of it: I requested that he pick up the sweet wrapper he had thrown to the ground but he refused. He even had the cheek to call me “kaypoh” before he exited the bus. The bus driver was of no help at all when I told him about the litterbug; he just nonchalantly drove on.

SBS Transit’s reply:

SBS Transit's reply

I sure hope the company gets the message to the Bus Captain. I was *NOT* being ‘kaypoh’. I was ensuring the cleanliness of our environment. The sweet wrapper, due to its previous contents, would likely attract pests, and bus 34 serves passengers heading to and from the airport!

Despite what you may think, Singapore is NOT a clean city. It is a cleaned city. It is cleaned by an army of cleaners and civic-minded folks who pick up the trash that other people leave behind.

Let us all do our part. If you see someone littering, or worse still, defecating in a public place, STOP the person and notify the authorities. Sending pictures to STOMP or any other website does nothing to protect the environment. And last I heard, you won’t even get $50 from STOMP. So take more constructive action! ;)

Hair For Hope 2014

Hair For Hope 2014   [Notebooks and Tulips I bought at the event]

I went to Vivocity this afternoon to support my pal, Terence, at the Hair For Hope 2014 event. After deliberating for seven years, he has finally taken the step of making that bald statement. :) I’m not sure when my time will come. Hmm.

Spot the difference:

Hair For Hope 2014

I was definitely surprised at the turnout. The place was just jam-packed with shavees and their supporters. All these people (below) were queuing to get their heads shaved. The atmosphere was amazing. When so many people get together for a good cause, the ‘energy’ in this place is just mind-blowing. Say all you like about the nasty traits of Singaporeans, but there are some people who will take that bold step of showing their support for cancer patients and their plight.

Shavees also help in fund-raising efforts. Terence, through his network of friends, has raised over S$3000 online! If you’d like to contribute, click here: https://hairforhope.org.sg/shaveeProfile/395

Hair For Hope 2014

And I was rather surprised that some young ladies actually parted with their long tresses! This girl sat down wearing black-rimmed (nerdy) glasses. Then, before long, her ponytail was in her hands:

Hair For Hope 2014

I’m definitely not ready to take this step. But I’m happy to help out with donations. Perhaps, like Terence, I’ll need 7 years. Haha!

If you’re a Hair For Hope shavee, I salute you. :)

He Got On His Knees In A Hawker Centre! Seriously?!

It was supposed to be a leisurely, late breakfast with a friend at the hawker centre at People’s Park yesterday. I certainly did not expect to get such a rude shock. And I can safely conclude that it was partly my fault too. Sigh.

What happened was, basically, that a tissue peddler came up to our table while we were chatting. I didn’t even notice him approaching (I’m not quite a morning person).

He asked if we would buy his tissues. Just one look was enough to size him up: able-bodied, taller than average guys, no visible injuries or impediments, doesn’t even look or sound hungry.

But he claimed to have no money for food. And just simply refused to leave. He seemed to know I would relent eventually so he focused his ‘attack’ on me, instead of my guy pal.

tissue peddler singapore

[Here he is pestering other diners. The auntie in the orange top gave in too]

I had forgotten to keep my wallet in my bag, so it was on the table, lying in plain view for everyone to see. Naturally, he zoomed in on our table like a bee to honey. Sian.

I usually have no qualms about giving a donation to old aunties, the handicapped, or just about anyone sitting in a wheelchair and selling tissues, lottery tickets or any other thing. But this guy was obviously able-bodied. He needed a job, not handouts.

I said no so many times, tried to explain I already have tissues (again, on the table for all to see), but he just refused to leave.

Then (cue dramatic music), he got onto his knees, and I told him in Mandarin “Uncle, don’t do this!”

Took out 2 bucks and gave it to him. I just wanted him out of my sight, seriously. A man does not get down onto his knees in public unless it’s a marriage proposal. I really couldn’t understand how this able-bodied guy had no dignity at all.

He put 3 packets of tissues on the table, and I moved them closer to the edge so everyone could see I’d bought tissues already, and not approach us anymore. He took it as a sign that I didn’t want the tissues.

So I let him take them back. Good grief.

He then went on to pester two other ladies. The auntie in the orange top (pictured) was smarter. She took him to the chicken rice stall and ordered food for him. He took the plate and went off into a corner to eat his meal.

Before long, he was back. And asked her to buy him a drink. OMG! The audacity! This time, she told him to buzz off.

He then went on to pester other diners.

One man was tucking into his meal of fried beehoon when this tissue peddler came up to him and kept nudging him in the arm to give him some money. The diner was obviously pissed off because he was trying to put food into his mouth but this persistent fella kept nudging him in the arm. He eventually took five dollars out of his pocket and handed it over, before the guy would leave.

My goodness. It’s an encounter I will not soon forget.

If you happen to get approached by this guy, I’d suggest you just take your stuff and move away. If you stay put, you’ll have to endure the drama of having him kneel before you, and you’ll be so embarrassed (for him as well) that you’ll hand money over just so he’ll stop his antics.

#JustAnotherDayInSG

“Should We Sue Bloggers Who Write Nasty Things About Us?”

I was a panelist at today’s New Media Relations Conference, and one of the hot topics was about whether one should sue bloggers or not. Together with me on the panel were Steven Gwynn-Jones (Executive Editor from Mediacorp) and Ryan Huang (Market Strategist from IG Singapore). The moderator was Maura Fogarty.

Blogger Grace Tan

To answer that question, I brought up a recent example – Data Register Pte Ltd. Because of a blogpost I’d written, they sent me a legal letter of demand to remove the blogpost and publish an apology they had crafted for me. After my email correspondence with the lawyers, and not removing the blogpost, I was sent another letter. Here’s the letter and my response.

I was content not to say anything else about the company after the first blogpost, but since they had engaged lawyers who sent me less-than-friendly letters, I wrote to the PM (and got a reply!), DPM, Ministers, MPs and even went on national TV (Channel 8 news) to speak out against this company. And of course, I made a police report too, and have received letters from the police and Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) in response.

So… has threatening bloggers been beneficial for this company? I think not.

Always approach the blogger personally and seek to rectify the issue or misunderstanding. Once you take the legal route, you may get more than you’ve bargained for. ;)

Punggol Ebi J Prawning: A Lobster, At Last!

[ Read my previous post about Ebi J Prawning here ]

Lobster and prawns

[ Last Month's Catch; Today's Lunch ]

Last month, we decided to give Ebi J Prawning a second chance despite the really lousy catch rate the first time we went there. We reached the venue at around 10pm and it was past 1am before we left.

This is what he calls his “surreal moment”:

Ebi J Prawning Punggol

That day, we caught just this one lobster and over 20 prawns. Most of the prawns were not caught using the rod and line. In the 3 hours that we were there, prawns were attracted to our net. It was pretty easy to just dunk them into the net this way. Other people just fished prawns out of the water because the catch rate is really bad still.

The lobsters are pretty small, no doubt. But the thrill of fishing one out of the water is an experience I’m still seeking! :D

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The prawning rates are as follows:

Freshwater Prawning: 1hr S$18, 2hrs $28, 3hrs $33

Saltwater Prawning (with Lobster) : 1hr $20, 2hrs $30, 3hrs $35

Ebi J Prawning Centre

Punggol Marina Country Club

Singapore 829734

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