These Filipino Flowers are Muses For Fragrance and Fashion

These Filipino Flowers are Muses For Fragrance and Fashion


Explore the influence of sampaguita, waling-waling, and ylang-ylang as flora, fragrance, and fashion converge. Plus, discover how you can embody nature’s style

When petals fall, they bring forth tales of cultural significance. In Philippine flora, three flowers bloom as radiant muses—sampaguita, waling-waling, and ylang-ylang. Every blossom possesses a distinct personality, framing a scented story that goes above botanical presence. From these aromatic compositions, fashion takes cues, donning garments that mirror the elegance, luxury, and romance of these native blooms.

RELATED: 15 Best Floral Fragrances To Try


Sampaguita, the national flower, is also referred to as jasmine, a fragrant and small white flower with a sweet scent. The name “Sampaguita” itself is derived from the Filipino words sampa meaning “to offer” or “to give,” and gitna meaning “middle,” suggesting its use in floral offerings and garlands. 

Filipino Flowers are Muses For Fragrance and Fashion

The national flower of the Philippines is known for its simplicity and purity, thus it could inspire designs that reflect timeless beauty. Towards fragrances, the scent can be compared with Dior’s J’adore, which includes jasmine among its prominent notes.

In fashion, it’s a balance between classic elegance and modern edge, with clean, structured lines conveying sophistication and a romantic touch adding femininity. Think of a chic and ethereal white gown, symbolizing the flower’s pristine white petals. Delicate lace or embroidery might adorn the dress, paying homage to the sampaguita’s fragility and cultural significance. The overall design would evoke a sense of purity, making it suitable for various occasions and capturing the essence of sampaguita’s elegance.


Orchids, including the revered waling-waling, symbolize luxury and endurance. The country’s rich biodiversity is adorned with native orchid species, inspiring both conservation efforts and a thriving orchid horticultural community. Orchids, with their delicate beauty, not only contribute to the ecological space, but also serve as a muse for artists.

Filipino Flowers are Muses For Fragrance and Fashion

Renowned for its luxurious and sensual character, Tom Ford’s Black Orchid combines notes of black truffle, black orchid, and patchouli, creating a rich and mysterious fragrance.

Known for its regal and showy blooms, the fashion embodiment could inspire designs that exude sophistication and natural grace. Imagine a gown with flowing and cascading silhouettes, reminiscent of the orchid’s graceful petals. Or go for dark: A black dress may incorporate the richness of orchid, and feature embellishments that capture the luxurious and regal essence of the waling-waling.


Ylang-ylang is distinctly Filipino due to its widespread cultivation and its association with traditional practices in the Philippines. The fragrant flowers of ylang-ylang hold a special place in Filipino ceremonies, symbolizing love and purity, and are often used in weddings, religious rites, and festivals. The Philippines’ warm and tropical climate provides an ideal environment for the growth of ylang-ylang trees, making it a locally abundant and cherished botanical element that contributes to the nation’s cultural heritage and perfumery traditions.

Filipino Flowers are Muses For Fragrance and Fashion

Guerlain’s L’Heure Bleue is a fragrance known for its poetic blend of floral and oriental notes, featuring the sweet and exotic aroma of ylang-ylang as a key component. Its inclusion in L’Heure Bleue contributes to the perfume’s intricate bouquet, adding a layer of warmth and sensuality to its composition.

Inspired by the sweet and exotic fragrance of ylang-ylang, fashion designs that echo the characteristics of the flower could feature flowing and ethereal fabrics. Picture a bohemian-inspired dress with delicate floral patterns or a romantic evening gown adorned with intricate details, mirroring the ylang-ylang’s enchanting essence.

The petals of sampaguita, waling-waling, and ylang-ylang linger in the perfumer’s compositions, their fragrant influence manifesting in runway designs. Filipino flora, deeply entwined with culture and emanating enchanting scents, goes beyond superficial charm, transforming into a rich representation of grace, strength, and enduring allure. Within this melding of scent and style, the core of these blossoms transforms into a tribute to the innate magnificence of the Philippines.

Featured Image: MEGA ARCHIVES

Order your print copy of this month's MEGA Magazine:
Download this month's MEGA digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]