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Aries Gold Great White Review (Promo Code Included!)

Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing the new Great White from Singaporean watch brand Aries Gold.

The Great White is Aries Gold’s latest watch offering, and the first one to feature its redesigned logo. It’s also available in a variety of colourways and bracelet options (14 in total), making it the brand’s most comprehensive collection to date. Let’s see if it’s any good.

Aries Gold Great White – Video Review

For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of the watch, do check out my Youtube review of the Aries Gold Great White below:

Aries Gold – the Brand

Many of us Singaporeans should be familiar with the brand Aries Gold – we see Aries Gold watches stocked in watch retailer H2 Hub, which has over 10 locations in Singapore. What many Singaporeans may not know is that Aries Gold watches are actually “Made in Singapore” – the brand possesses its own manufacturing and assembly facilities and a team of watchmakers right here on our little red dot. If you would like to know more about Aries Gold’s brand story, do read my review of the Aries Gold Jolter (one of my personal favourites) here, in which I covered Aries Gold as a brand in detail. I also previously reviewed the Aries Gold Cruiser here, the Aries Gold Roadster here, the Aries Gold El Toro here, the Aries Gold Vanguard here, the Aries Gold Black Sea here, the Aries Gold Dreadnought here, and the Aries Gold Diplomat here. In addition, I did a feature article on why I believe Aries Gold to be the best watch brand under S$200, which can be read here.

Aries Gold Great White – Build Quality

The specifications of the Great White are solid.

Firstly, the Great White uses a double-domed sapphire crystal. As aforementioned numerous times in my previous reviews, I’m a huge advocate of sapphire crystal due to its inherent scratch-resisting properties. Personally, I always look for sapphire crystal in my modern watches as it adds greatly to the durability of the watch. The Great White also has a water-resistance rating of 300M – despite having an exhibition caseback – making it a bona fide dive watch befitting its name.

Secondly, the Great White is powered by the Miyota 8215 movement. Some specifications: the Miyota 8215 possesses a power reserve of around 42 hours, has 21 jewels, an accuracy of -20 to +40 sec per day, and hand-winds. While I’m not usually a fan of the Miyota 8215 movement, Aries Gold actually uses the new iteration of the 8215 in the Great White. Not only does the movement hack, it also does not suffer from the stuttering issue that plagued its predecessor. As such, I actually have no complaints about the use of the Miyota 8215 here. I suppose the movement could have been more elaborately decorated – a custom rotor would have been nice – but that’s a minor quibble at this price point.

The Great White is available with either a bracelet or a curved end silicone strap. My review model comes with the silicone strap, and I have to say it’s a good one. It reminds me of the FKM rubber straps that I previously reviewed from Nomad Watch Straps, which is a good comparison. The strap feels premium and is immensely comfortable on the wrist, and it even comes with a matching brushed black buckle that’s signed with the new Aries Gold logo.

The Great White also features Swiss C5 Superluminova, which results in it being eminently legible even in darkness.

All in all, the Great White ticks every box for a modern dive watch. It has a durable double-domed sapphire crystal, 300M of water resistance, a reliable Miyota 8215 automatic movement, a quality curved end silicone strap, and Swiss C5 Superluminova. What’s not to like?

Aries Gold Great White – Design

While some variants of the Great White are a tad too derivative for my tastes, this particular model – named the Submarine – actually looks pretty unique.

The most striking aspect of this Great White model is undoubtedly the textured dial, which has features a rust/corroded patterning that I’ve frankly not seen on any other dive watch before. It’s an interesting concept, and one that’s themetically relevant since the watch is named after one of the mightiest creatures of the seas. The dial looks like it’s fresh off a sunken pirate ship – it’s cool to say the least. Elsewhere, the watch borrows its hour markers, Mercedes hour hand and lollipop seconds hand from the iconic Rolex Submariner. It’s a tad derivative, but there’s enough things different about it (such as the lack of a cyclops date window) that doesn’t make it feel like an homage by any means.

The applied indices, coupled with the golden rehaut, results in a dial that appears to have depth in spades. I like how the golden indices and hands complement the golden rehaut and logo – it’s well executed. What I didn’t like was the date window, which would have looked better if it was framed in gold, or perhaps omitted altogether.

Despite being affordable, the Great White features a 120 click, unidirectional ceramic bezel. Ceramic bezels are loved for their scratch resistance, and are often only seen on higher-end watches like the Rolex Daytona. The black bezel complements the stealthy look of the blacked out case and strap too. It’s robust and there’s little play, though I did find it hard to rotate at times.

With a case diameter of 42mm, the Aries Gold Great White wears well on my 7-inch wrist. It’s a good size that should fit most wrist sizes. However, it is a tad thick at 15.4mm. That’s still par for the course when it comes to dive watches, but I found it a bit too thick to slide underneath a shirt cuff.

Overall, I like the sporty, stealthy aesthetic of the Aries Gold Great White. The textured dial is eminently striking too, and differentiates it from the myraid of affordable dive watches on the market today.

Shootout – Aries Gold Great White vs Seiko 5 Sport Watches

If you’re on the market for an affordable, blacked out dive watch, the most prominent alternative would most likely be some of the new Seiko 5 Sport watches.

In terms of specifications, the Aries Gold Great White trounces the Seiko 5 Sports watches. The Seiko 5 watches use hardlex crystal, which is significantly less durable than the sapphire crystal of the Great White. They also have a water-resistance rating of a mere 100M, thus making them unsuitable for actual diving. The lume (Seiko’s lumibrite) isn’t as strong as the Swiss Superluminova C5 of the Great White too.

From an aesthetic standpoint, both watches each have their own merits. The Seiko 5 Sports watches undoubtedly have the more iconic and recognisable design, while some aspects of the Aries Gold Great White can come across as derivative. However the Great White does have a lovely textured dial that I personally find more striking than the matte black dial of the Seiko watches.

Given that both watches are similarly priced, I would say that the Aries Gold Great White edges out the new Seiko 5 Sports Watches by offerings substantially better specifications.

Conclusion – so the Aries Gold Great White “shiok” not?

Aries Gold has always been about delivering value, and the brand does that once again with the Great White. For less than S$500, the Great White offers everything that a modern dive watch should have – sapphire crystal, a robust movement, a comfortable strap, and good lume. There’s also plenty of visual intrigue and depth with its textured dial, and I appreciated the sporty, stealthy nature of the blacked out watch. If you’re searching for an affordable dive watch, the Great White is a solid offering.

For those interested in the Great White, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 20% off all watches from Aries Gold’s web-store. After the discount, the Great White can be had for S$446, making it good value. It also comes with a leather watch roll, which I’ve found very useful when attending watch meetups.

View the Aries Gold Great White collection here.
View the full Aries Gold range here.

Specifications:

SKU: The Great White G 9040 BKYM-PA

Colors14 Variations
CaseSolid Stainless Steel
StrapSilicon Strap with Buckle
GlassDouble Domed Sapphire
Water Resistance30 ATM
Thickness9.92mm
Case Size42.5mm
MovementJapan Automatic 8215
Functions3 Hands with Date

P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!

P.P.S If you haven’t already, do follow my social media channels on Facebook here, on Instagram here, and on Youtube here.

P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.

3 Perfume Workshops in Singapore

Hello everyone, and welcome back to another Singaporean article! Today, I’m rounding up 3 perfume workshop experiences that you can opt for in Singapore. I’ve personally visited and tried all the workshops mentioned in this article, and have enjoyed all of them.

If you haven’t tried a perfume workshop before, you’re missing out.

Whether you’re a perfume enthusiast or simply looking for a fun date night idea, attending a perfume workshop – whereby you get to craft a personalised bottle of perfume – will make for a great experience. In addition, you will be supporting homegrown brands during these tough COVID times.

Alright, let’s delve into the listicle!

1) Maison 21G

Maison 21G specialises in “tailor-made perfumes”, allowing customers to create their own unique scent at an affordable price.

Me attending the private perfume workshop at Maison 21G’s new MBS showroom.

Who they are: “We’re a House of Scent Designers. Come inside and feel empowered to experiment with the finest ingredients. With us, you’ll be able to unlock your soul scent. Free of all toxins and hazards, this is a scent of your own. Made by you, for you.”

My opinion: I love Maison 21G – they are undoubtedly one of my personal favourites on this list. Their Duxton road boutique is welcoming and beautifully designed, though they do have a new ION outlet (pictured above) as well. At Maison 21G’s perfume workshop, participants can learn about the history and art of perfume making, as well as get the opportunity to bespeak their own scent. I find their online personality quiz – whereby they recommend specific ingredients based upon your personality and needs – to be pretty cool, and it’s definitely a unique selling point for the brand. Maison 21G also offers free engraving (both text and pictures) on each of their perfume bottles, so they make for great gifts as well. For those interested, I chronicled my experience of attending a workshop at Maison 21G’s Duxton outlet here, at their ION outlet here, and most recently at their new MBS outlet here.

What you get: 1-hour perfume workshop experience, with a customised 30ml bottle of perfume to keep.

Prices: Maison 21G’s perfume workshop starts at $150, though there is a special student price (<21 yo) at $120. As Maison 21G is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK15” to enjoy 15% off all workshop bookings and products online.

Where to book: Interested readers can book their appointment online here.

2) Jetaime Perfume Workshop

One of the first perfume workshops in Singapore, Jetaime Perfume Workshop offers its workshop in both Mandarin and English, and possesses an impressive 5.0 perfect Google review rating.

Ms. Xin Ying of Jetaime Perfumery conducting the perfume workshop.

Who they are: Jetaime Perfumery is actually the sister brand of Singapore Memories, a local brand offering Singapore-inspired perfumes and room fragrances. Established in 2014, the brand was one of the first to offer perfume workshops to the local market.

My opinion: Personally, I found Jetaime Perfume Workshop to be an intriguing experience, and really enjoyed smelling all the bottles of perfumed oils and coming up with a unique concoction that is based on my personal taste. I learnt that perfumery – like watchmaking, tailoring and shoe-making – is a complex and intricate field, and I’m glad to have had a small insight into the world of perfumery. At two hours long, I would say that it’s a tad more detailed than the other two perfume workshops on this list. You also get the most amount of perfume to bring home here, a whopping 120ml in total. It’s a value-for-money pick, though some aspects of the workshop (such as the paper personality quiz) felt dated at times. The locations aren’t the most accessible as well, with one outlet located at Goodman Art Centre in Mountbatten and the other at Sentosa. For those interested, I wrote about my experience at Jetaime Perfume Workshop here.

What you get: 2-hour perfume workshop experience, 2 perfume samples of 10ml, and 1 customised perfume bottle of 100ml to keep. Name engraving is available for free if the workshop is booked a week in advance.

Prices: A couple workshop at Jetaime Perfume Workshop is $125 per pax (or $250 total). At the present moment, the brand does not offer perfume workshops for just one person, only for 2-5 pax. As Jetaime Perfume Workshop is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, readers can quote the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” upon checkout to enjoy 10% off the workshops online, as well as 10% off all perfumes and room scents from their sister brand Singapore Memories. I’ve previously reviewed their line of perfumes here, and their offering of room fragrances here.

Where to book: Interested readers can book their appointment online here.

3) Scentopia

Scentopia is a newly opened attraction in Sentosa. It’s the brainchild of Mrs. Prachi, who’s also behind the fragrance label Singapore Memories and the Perfume Workshop.

Who they are: As aforementioned above, Scentopia is actually the sister brand of Perfume Workshop as well as perfume label Singapore Memories. It just opened this year, making it the newest brand in Mrs. Prachi’s portfolio.

My opinion: Scentopia is a unique proposition in itself – I can’t think of any other scent attractions in Singapore, much less one in a tourist destination such as Sentosa. The perfume workshop process was fun and engaging, with a very different concept as compared to the other local perfume workshops in Singapore. Scentopia also has features such as AR exhibits that make it a great family activity to do with kids as well. That being said, hardcore enthusiasts may feel a tad disappointed as Scentopia doesn’t state the specific scent ingredients that go into each stick, and simply classify them into broad families (fresh, woody, etc). If you’re someone who’s very specific and particular about what goes into your perfumes, then opt for some of the other local perfume workshops. But if you’re simply looking for an entertaining date idea or an interesting family outing, or are simply a casual perfume user looking to get into the world of perfumery, then I’ll recommend giving Scentopia a try.

What you get: 1-hour perfume workshop experience, with a 100ml bottle of perfume to take back home.

Prices: The 100ml perfume workshop is priced at $125. As Scentopia is an official partner of Wah So Shiok, readers can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all workshop bookings here.

Conclusion

A perfume workshop is a great way to spend a nice night out with your significant other. Of course, it doesn’t have to be a romantic event – even if you’re attending a perfume workshop with a bunch of friends, it will also be a blast. Alternatively, if you have always been interested in perfumes and the concoction of fragrances, then attending a perfume workshop is a great first step to entering the world of perfumery. Learn about perfumes, have a fun time with your partner or friends, and support local brands at the same time – what’s not to like?


P.S: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.

P.P.S: Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!

P.P.P.S: If you haven’t already, do follow my social media channels on Facebook here, on Instagram here, and on Youtube here.

P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Stitched Custom Tailoring Review 2022 (Promo Code Included!)

Hello everyone – welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing my latest suit commission from local tailor Stitched Custom.

I’ve previously done a 3-piece suit with Stitched Custom, and chronicled my experience getting tailored by QQ here. Although it has been 4 years, the shop and its processes remain essentially unchanged, so I recommend checking out the above article to see what the tailoring experience at Stitched Custom is like. However, as it has been quite some time since I visited, I decided to return post-pandemic to check in on how they were doing.

Of course, I had to get something done while I was there. However, after perusing the available fabrics, nothing really caught my eye. I probably have about 25 suits by now, so I was way past the standard black/navy/grey fabrics, or even checkered/pinstriped ones. It was then Ying Tong (who’s actually QQ’s sister) suggested we can go off the books. She asked me if I had any style ideas in mind, or perhaps something I had seen a celebrity wore that I liked. It turns out that I did – I was a huge fan of the green velvet suit Jake Gyllenhaal wore to the premiere of his sister’s Oscar-nominated film, The Lost Daughter (it’s actually a brilliant film, do watch it if you haven’t yet). I showed the image to Ying Tong, who said she would visit the fabric markets to see if she could find a similar fabric to procure.

A few days later, Ying Tong sent me a message with the above photo, saying that she has managed to find a similar teal-coloured velvet fabric. I instantly loved it, and conveyed my approval. However, we decided not to copy Jake Gyllenhaal’s outfit. Instead, we put our own spin on it by making it into a tuxedo. With the pandemic now in the rear-view mirror, events are promptly resuming, and getting a tuxedo done felt timely. I collected the suit within 2-3 weeks – let’s see how it turned out.

Stitched Custom – Suit Review

Let’s start with the fit.

The front fits nicely, with the jacket comfortably hugging my shoulders without any wrinkling. The jacket is of the right tightness as well – tight enough to look fitted, but without any wrinkling emanating from the jacket buttons. One can also see a slight tapering that makes the wearer looks slimmer. In addition, the suit jacket is of the correct length, ending at the middle of my crotch/the middle of my palms. Lastly, there are none of the dreaded shoulder divots here – one of the cardinal sins of tailoring.

The sleeve pitch is good too, with minimal wrinkling at my arm’s natural resting position. The sleeves are of the optimal length, being short enough to expose about 1/4 inch of shirt cuff. The suit jacket also rests nicely on the shirt collar – no unsightly gap between that often besets off-the-rack and even made-to-measure suits.

In my previous review of the 3-piece suit from Stitched Custom, I critiqued the fit of the back. Here, I’m happy to report that the fit is much improved – there’s substantially lesser wrinkling throughout. The back generally looks clean, save for a tad of wrinkles on my right side (left side of above photo). Given the lack of a baste fitting, I’m impressed at the fit of the back this time around.

Being a tuxedo, we went for a more traditional half-break look with the trousers. I would say that it drapes cleanly overall without too much bunching at the bottom. It’s also of a comfortable width – not too tight on the thighs or the calves.

All in all, I would say that the velvet tuxedo fits much better than the previous 3-piece suit. Everything drapes cleaner now, and the fit feels surprisingly good for an affordable, made-to-measure suit that was achieved without a baste fitting. Very few complaints about the fit here.

However, the star of the show is definitely the stunning velvet fabric. Firstly, it looks gorgeous, with a subtle sheen that catches the eye. I love the colour – it morphs from a shimmering emerald green to a captivating dark teal, depending on lighting conditions. It’s easily one of the most unique fabrics that I own.

Secondly, the velvet texture is soft to the touch and feels premium. It also has this suede-like texture that adds visual intrigue to the overall jacket.

To jazz things up, we went with a satin peak lapel (instead of the more traditional shawl), as well as a single button (instead of the regular double).

I left the button choice to Ying Tong, and she actually picked a dark mother-of-pearl button. The irisdescent nature of the button complements the glossy velvet fabric perfectly, giving the jacket added oomph.

The same mother-of-pearl buttons are utilised for the sleeve buttons. Unfortunately, the buttonholes aren’t functional, though surgeon cuffs are available at an added cost.

I also left the choice of lining to Ying Tong, and she impressed me by selecting a black fabric with a blue floral patterning. The black/blue colourway fits the exterior of the suit jacket perfectly. It’s also subtle, but with its own pizzazz – a perfect balance.

Despite the affordable price point, all suits from Stitched Custom are half-canvassed. For the uninitiated, suits generally come in three levels of construction: fused, half-canvassed, and full-canvassed, in ascending order of quality. I actually did an in-depth article here, where I elaborated on the importance of suit construction. Aside from being more durable and comfortable, a half-canvassed suit also looks better due to the natural lapel roll. In contrast, the lapels on fused suits are flat, and looks like they have been ironed.

As for the trousers, I went for my usual side-adjusters and extended waistband, which Ying Tong adorned with the same mother-of-pearl button. The result is a sleek look that I really dig.

The pants also feature satin piping along its sides – quintessential for a tuxedo.

I liked how the shirt turned out as well. It fitted well, and looked great. Instead of the more traditional pleated or pique bib front, we decided to keep it clean and minimalist with a simple covered placket (which hides the shirt buttons). We also decided to forgo the classic cummerbund – I felt it looked out of place on this chic velvet tuxedo.

However, Stitched Custom does provide all the essential accessories, albeit at an additional cost. I decided to opt for a black bow-tie that I felt added an elegant touch to the outfit.

I also picked these cute hourglass cufflinks – as a watch enthusiast, I resonated with it.

Overall, I’m happy at how the tuxedo turned out. The emerald teal velvet fabric is to die for, while smart touches (such as the mother-of-pearl buttons and the complementary lining) elevate the outfit. I also appreciated the various accessories from Stitched Custom, which added the perfect final flourishes to the look.

Conclusion – so Stitched Custom “shiok” or not?

I definitely preferred this new tuxedo to my previous 3-piece suit. It fits better, and looks more unique as well. Above all, I really appreciated how Stitched Custom was able to bring my idea – the Jake Gyllenhaal suit inspiration – to life. I loved that I didn’t have to be restricted to the standard fabric books or even suit styles (we went left-field with a one button tuxedo). I also liked the one-stop shop nature of Stitched Custom, which made getting accessories eminently convenient. Lastly, prices at Stitched Custom are relatively affordable too. If you’re looking to commission something a little more special for a big day (wedding, etc) without breaking the bank, then do check Stitched Custom out.

Suits at Stitched Custom start from $499. Just for my readers, Stitched Custom is offering a free shirt with every suit purchase, as well as 20% off all accessories. Stitched Custom also offers affordable rental options, including an interesting “Made-to-rental” program where the suit is made to your customisations – like a regular made-to-measure suit, but at 20% off – but have to be returned thereafter. Those interested in rentals can also get a 15% discount on both the “Made-to-rental” programme (on top of the regular 20% off) and general rental suits.

Stitched Custom’s location: 193A Kitchener Rd, Singapore 208534

Book an appointment with Stitched Custom here.


P.S: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.

P.P.S: Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!

P.P.P.S: If you haven’t already, do follow my social media channels on Facebook here, on Instagram here, and on Youtube here.

P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Strapatelier Value Box/Overstocked Straps Review (Promo Code Included!)

Hello everyone and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing Strapatelier’s Value Box and Overstocked straps.

Essentially, the Value Box and Overstocked straps are Strapatelier’s discounted offerings. It’s a limited range, but it allows enthusiasts to acquire a handcrafted leather strap for bargain prices. Let’s see if they are any good.

Strapatelier Value Box/Overstocked Straps – Video Review

For those who wish to see some hands-on footage of Strapatelier’s discounted straps, do check out my Youtube review below:

Strapatelier – the Brand

I’m familiar with the brand, having reviewed some of its more affordable products here, and its premium handcrafted offerings here.

Strapatelier Minerva Strap (Value Box) – Review

Straps in the Value Box are described by the brand as those that “did not meet the first layer of Quality Check standards”, often having some sort of “visual blemishes and scruffs”. Currently, the only strap offered in the Value Box is Minerva leather.

Minerva leather refers to premium vegetable-tanned vachetta leather from the Badalassi Carlo Tannery in Italy. It’s a renowned tannery, being a member of the Consorzio Vera Pelle Italiana Conciata Al Vegetale, a consortium of leather tanneries that shares similarly high standards of production of vegetable-tanned leather in Tuscany.

Commonly used in handbags and footwear, Minerva leather is infused with a special blend of Italian fat wax to achieve a supple feel, and is often available in vibrant colours. A full-grain leather with a smooth texture, the strap will patina beautifully over time. For the uninitiated, leather generally comes in three quality tiers – genuine leather, top-grain leather, and full-grain leather, in ascending order of quality.

Value Box Minerva straps are currently available in three colourways – Bone (i.e tan), Ortensia (i.e teal), and Olive. Amongst the three, the Ortensia colourway is definitely the most vibrant and uncommon. On the wrist, I found the strap to feel premium and comfortable. The handcrafted nature is evident as well, especially in the handstitched sides and dyed edges.

I particularly like the zigzag stitching, which gives the strap more visual interest. And speaking of visuals, I also couldn’t find any significant cosmetic defects – it looks just as good as the previous handcrafted straps that I reviewed from Strapatelier. It also comes with quick-release spring bars for easy interchangeability. Starting at S$63 (after the promo code below), the Value Box Minerva straps represent ~20% discount from the brand’s regular Minerva offerings, making it great value for money.

Strapatelier Buttero Leather (Overstock) – Review

As opposed to Value Box offerings (which feature some sort of minor defect), Overstocked straps are simply straps that are lower-priced due to excess stock. There’s more variety here with a dozen different options available – the most premium of which being the Buttero Leather strap.

Buttero leather is another premium vegetable tanned leather from the Conceria Walpier tannery, which is also part of the Consorzio Vera Pelle Italiana Conciata Al Vegetale consortium in Italy. More commonly used in leather objects such as belts and wallets, Buttero leather straps are prized for their wonderful patina, as well as rich colour due to the aniline finished surface.

Buttero straps have a tendency to mark and scratch easily, resulting in a “worn” look that is best paired with vintage/vintage-inspired watches such as the Longines Heritage 1945. Being a full-grain leather, it will also develop patina over time. Strapatelier currently only offers Buttero in the abovepictured natural tan colourway, which unfortunately limits options somewhat.

However, the brand does offer a variety of stitching options (point-stitch, line-stitch, the abovepictured open-loop stitch, close-loop stitch, racing and unstitched). You can also choose whether to have the strap padded, and there’s even a NATO option available. The hand-stitching is once again exquisite, with no loose or broken threading visible.

Despite the bevvy of options available, the Buttero strap comes in a standard length. While I had no issues in getting a good fit on my 7-inch wrist, I would love a variety of lengths to be available to accommodate those with shorter/larger wrists. It also only comes in a default polished silver buckle – offering brushed buckles, or perhaps gold/bronze/black buckles (to match the respective cases) would no doubt expand its appeal.

Still, those are minor quibbles. All in all, the Buttero strap is well-crafted and looks great especially when paired with the right watch. It feels good on the wrist – the lining is made from Chahin Tannery cowhide – and will no doubt last a long time. At S$63 (after the promo code below), Strapatelier’s Buttero leather strap is probably the cheapest handcrafted option locally, making it an amazing bang-for-buck. For comparison, a Buttero leather strap from Delugs (which I reviewed here) costs almost twice as much.

Conclusion – so Strapatelier Value Box/Overstocked straps “shiok” or not?

Definitely so. I think the Value Box and Overstocked straps are great ways to purchase a handcrafted watch strap – made from premium Italian vegetable tanned full-grain leather – for relatively little money. I really enjoyed both the Minerva and Buttero straps, and their quality really shone through. Although options are sometimes limited, Strapatelier is an easy recommendation for those looking for affordable handcrafted watch straps.

For those interested in any of Strapatelier’s offerings, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all products store-wide. After the discount, the Minerva leather (from the Value Box collection) and the Buttero leather (from the Overstocked collection) can currently be had for as little as S$63, which is honestly a steal given the quality of the leather and workmanship involved.

View the Value Box collection here.
View the Overstocked collection here.
View the full range of Strapatelier’s offerings here.


P.S: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.

P.P.S: Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!

P.P.P.S: If you haven’t already, do follow my social media channels on Facebook here, on Instagram here, and on Youtube here.

P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.

2022 Father’s Day Gift Guide

Hello everyone! In this article, I’ll be curating a list of gift ideas for Father’s Day. For those who are unaware, Father’s Day is in exactly a week’s time (19th June), so if you haven’t already gotten a gift – or simply don’t know what to get – do check out the gift guide below.

I’ve rounded up a list of different gift ideas, most of which can be personalised to truly make your dad feel special. All the brands mentioned below are homegrown too, so you can support the local economy as well. Let’s get into it.

1) Watches

1) Aries Gold

Watches are often sentimental items, with personalised watches being especially so.

Opt to have your dad’s name engraved on the dial – why not?

My opinion: Personally, I believe that Aries Gold offers some of the best value propositions that you can get for ~S$200-400. For example, the Roadster (pictured above) that I reviewed previously has a sapphire crystal, an uncommon Seiko Epson movement with a power reserve indicator, and is surprisingly affordable despite its limited-edition status. Customers can also opt for engraving on the dial and caseback (either text or a picture) on the website, and enjoy 2 years of local warranty, making Aries Gold watches great options for gifts.

Reviews: I reviewed the Aries Gold Jolter here, the Aries Gold Cruiser here, the Aries Gold Roadster here, the Aries Gold El Toro here, the Aries Gold Vanguard here, the Aries Gold Black Sea here, the Aries Gold Dreadnought here, and the Aries Gold Diplomat here. I also did an article on why I believe that they are one of the best watch brands under S$200 here.

Where to buy: Interested readers can purchase and opt for personalisation from Aries Gold’s web-store here. Use the code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 20% off!

Perfume:

2) Maison 21G

Maison 21G specialises in “tailor-made perfumes”, allowing customers to create their own unique scent at an affordable price.

My opinion:  I love Maison 21G’s concept of “tailoring” a scent for yourself. As you guys know, I’m quite big on tailoring, so I’m immensely intrigued by the concept of bringing the same notion over to fragrances. How Maison 21G works is simple – the brand has 35 different solo scents, which customers can combine to make their own unique scent, with over a hundred different combinations for customers to explore. All bottles are personalisable as well with text and images of choice.

Reviews:  I chronicled my experience of attending a workshop at Maison 21G’s Duxton outlet here, their ION outlet here, their new MBS outlet here, their home scents here, and their new Dual Crayon here.

Where to buy: Interested readers can customise their own perfumes and book workshops on Maison 21G’s web-store here. Use the code “WAHSOSHIOK15” to enjoy 15% off!

3) Scent by Six

If customising or attending a workshop sounds like too much of a hassle for you, then Scent by Six is a great alternative.

Fuss-free gift.

My opinion: SIX burst into the local fragrance scene in 2016 with its initial trio of perfumes, the TribecaPuka and my favourite, the Biei. Packaged in a svelte form factor – it looks more like lipstick than a perfume bottle – the scents were meant to evoke the smells and vibe of the namesake locations. I found the concept of perfumes inspired by locations (which the founder had been to and loved) immensely intriguing. The scents are very unique as well, unlike anything I’ve ever smelt. The founder, Jason, actually worked at world-renowned fragrance house Givaudan for 4 years, and used that expertise to develop scents for his own brand. For those who desire a more exotic scent, SIX is definitely a good option to consider. The best part? Their perfume bottles are refillable, so you can simply buy a refill (at a much lower price) when you run out. Not only is it economically friendly, but it’s also environmentally friendly as well. Customers can also opt for engraving on the bottles, making them perfect as a gift for your special someone. My current favourite scent from them is the Hikaru, which immediately transports me to Japan.

Reviews: I reviewed Scent by SIX’s perfumes here, their perfume workshop here, and their latest scents here.

Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from Scent by SIX’s web-store here. Use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off!

Accessories:

4) Faire Lea6ther

One of my personal favourites, Faire Leather offers wallets that are simply packed with functionality – definitely a practical gift.

A functional gift that your loved one can use daily.

My opinion: Personally, I love the ability of Faire to combine sleek, minimalist looks with ultra-functional utility. I really liked the Neo Zip Around wallet that I reviewed last year – in fact, it’s still my wallet of choice. It’s made from premium materials, and I find the embossed green leather to be eminently striking. In addition, it’s jam-packed with functionality, with more than enough compartments for my everyday needs. At $125 (after promo code below), the Neo Zip Around wallet is a solid value proposition. Monograms are also available for a more personal touch.

Reviews: I reviewed the Faire Leather Neo Zip Around wallet and Hunt Laptop Sleeve here. I also reviewed the Spectre Bifold Wallet, Ross Everyday Clutch and Ross Daypack here.

Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from Faire Leather’s web-store here. Use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off!

5) Gnome & Bow

If your dad is more of a creative – perhaps someone who loves literary classics – then they will absolutely adore a Gnome & Bow wallet.

Inspired by classic fables, and all personalisable.

My opinion: I love how Gnome & Bow is able to seamlessly weave literary elements of iconic fables into the design of its products. In particular, I adore the Herringbone fabric lining that the brand uses (see above picture), which gives their wallets a sartorial vibe. I’m also a big fan of their new RFID collection, which protects credit cards and passports against fraud and identity theft. The new wallets are now equipped with discreet compartments for coins, keys, SIM card and pin when the need arises, which also flatten when not in use. In addition, all of their wallets can be personalised with quotes of your choice, making them great as thoughtful gifts. As the icing on the cake, Gnome & Bow is including a complimentary Valentine’s Day greeting card with every purchase too. If you’re on a tighter budget, Gnome & Bow is also currently having a sale on their older models, where items start from just $59.

Review: I reviewed the Gnome & Bow Hitchhiker Space Capsule Backpack here, the Porthos briefcase and Balsa duffel here, and its wallets here.

Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from Gnome & Bow’s web-store here. Use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off!

6) Oxhide

If your dad is simply a fan of durable leather goods, then Oxhide’s offerings fit the bill perfectly.

My opinion: I enjoy Oxhide’s products – I think most of their products provide pretty good value for money. True to the name, the best feature of their products is the leather quality, as well as the level of workmanship. If you’re looking for affordable, quality leather goods, Oxhide’s products are generally great options. The brand also offers monogramming services (see example above), making its products very viable gifting options (gift wrapping is available as well).

Review: I reviewed Oxhide’s accessories here, here, and most recently here.

Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from Oxhide’s web-store here. Use the promo code WAHSOSHIOK-SHIOK to enjoy 10% off!

Writing Instruments:

7) Cityluxe

Cityluxe is a homegrown purveyor of writing instruments, offering a wide variety of pens, inks, notebooks and more at attractive prices.

They say the pen is mightier than the sword.

My opinion: As a writer, I believe that everyone should have a decent pen to write with. If your dad doesn’t, this is perhaps the perfect opportunity to get them some fine writing instruments. And contrary to popular belief, good pens don’t have to break the bank. For example, Parker is one of the world’s most distinctive pen makers, probably second only to Montblanc. Everybody (with the possible exception of Gen Z tiktokers) has heard of Parker and its pens. The Parker Jotter is a significant step up from the usual ballpoint pens, but unlike a fountain pen, it’s eminently convenient – one doesn’t have to worry about leakages, ink drying up, etc. In other words, it’s a perfect grab-and-go pen, and a great gift. Cityluxe also provides gift wrapping, greeting card services, and personalisable engraving on pens, making them a great place to buy writing instruments gifts from.

Review: I reviewed the Parker Jotter here, as well as a Leuchtturm notebook and a Monteverde fountain pen here.

Where to buy: Interested readers can buy from Cityluxe’s web-store here. Use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off!

Conclusion

That rounds up my gift guide for this year’s Father’s Day! All of the above brands offer personalisable and functional products that will make for great gifts for Dad. You will also be supporting homegrown brands too – what’s not to like?


P.S: Check out The Shiok Store here – it serves as a curation of my favourite products from my favourite brands.

P.P.S: Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!

P.P.P.S: If you haven’t already, do follow my social media channels on Facebook here, on Instagram here, and on Youtube here.

P.P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Oxhide Leather Accessories Review (Promo Code Included!)

Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing a number of leather goods from local accessories brand Oxhide.

All the items I’ll be reviewing are available for purchase on The Shiok Shop. Let’s see if they are any good.

1) Oxhide Passport Leather Wallet – $44.10

First up is the passport leather wallet.

With travel routes opening up, many Singaporeans are finally travelling worldwide, including me. I recently went on a 10-day European holiday, and brought the Passport Wallet along with me.

The wallet was very functional. Not only did it have a large slot for your passport, but it also features an additional compartment for cash and tickets, with five card slots. I found the compartments sufficient during my overseas trip – it really was quite a handy travel wallet.

The brand also states that the passport wallet is made from full-grain leather, so it should patina beautifully over time. For those uninitiated with leather, leather generally comes in three different quality tiers – genuine leather, top-grain leather, and full-grain leather, in ascending order of quality.

As a whole, I really enjoyed using the Passport Leather Wallet, especially whilst I was travelling. It looks slick, feels well-made, and was eminently functional in storing my travel essentials. Available for just $44 on The Shiok Shop, it’s one of the most affordable full-grain leather passport wallets out there.

Oxhide Black Cardholder with Coin Pouch – $49.50

Next is the black cardholder with coin pouch.

Small wallets are in vogue – gone are the days of the bulky wallet. Those looking for a sleeker offering will find the black cardholder with coin pouch right up their alley.

The cardholder wallet is made from top-grain leather, which will still patina beautifully over time. It’s soft and supple to the touch, with the natural grains of the leather clearly visible. It also features double-fold stitching, making it more robust than alternatives at this price point.

Despite its small size, the cardholder wallet packs decent storage options. For one, it possesses two cash slots for bills. It also has three card slots, two additional pockets for small items (keys, Airtag, etc), and a coin pouch. In other words, it pretty much functions as a full-fledged wallet, unless you’re someone who carries a ton of cards.

I should also highlight that the coin pouch zipper is from YKK, so zipping action was buttery smooth and I never faced any issues with it. Overall, it’s a great mini wallet that won’t cause an uncomfortable/unsightly bulge in your pants pockets, and won’t put a hole through the pocket either. It’s available on The Shiok Shop for just $49.50.

3) Oxhide Full Grain Bifold Wallet – $53

If you do carry a ton of cards, then the Oxhide full-grain bifold wallet will do the trick.

As its name suggests, the wallet is crafted from full-grain leather, so it will patina nicely over time. In this brown colourway, the patina will be more obvious than the abovementioned black passport wallet. The stitching is also reinforced, so the wallet should last you a long time.

There are a total of 10 card slots, two cash compartments, and an ID card slot. In other words, it’s great for those with a lot of cards to carry around.

There’s even a pair of sim card pockets, making it viable as a travel wallet. It’s a nifty touch that I appreciated.

All in all, the Oxhide Full-grain Bifold is perfect for those who are looking for a quality leather wallet with a ton of card slots, yet without breaking the bank. It’s available on The Shiok Shop for S$53, making it one of the cheapest full-grain leather bifold wallets in the local market.

4) Oxhide Brown Pebble Leather Bag – $206

Moving on to the larger leather accessories, the Oxhide brown pebble leather bag was one that certainly impressed me greatly.

Essentially a briefcase, the bag is crafted fully from top-grain leather that will patina over time. The natural grains of the leather is clearly visible, giving the briefcase a premium feel. The leather feels supple and premium to the touch, and the bag comes across as well-built in general.

The briefcase is slim and has a sleek, minimalist look. Its only frontal feature is a zippered compartment, which I personally used to store my COVID essentials (mask, hand sanitiser, tissue, wet wipes, etc) for easy access.

The zippers unfortunately aren’t from YKK, so the zipping action doesn’t feel as smooth as on the wallets previously.

However, the rest of the briefcase punches above its price point. For one, the handles are bolted onto the bag (as opposed to stitched), which should result in better durability.

There’s also another zippered compartment at the back, which I used to store more important items (phone, wallet, power bank, earphones, etc).

The briefcase features a dedicated padded laptop compartment, making it a bona fide office bag. I found it large enough to fit my Microsoft Surface Pro, so 15 or even 16-inch laptops should fit. I like that there’s an additional velcro flap – with leather accenting – to secure the laptop in place.

There are also smaller compartments available – a large pocket, a smaller pocket, and two pen pockets – for organisational purposes. Once again, the compartments feature leather trimmings, and I personally found them useful during my usage of the bag.

There’s even a leather strap included, which comes in handy when the briefcase gets too heavy to carry by hand.

I absolutely loved the Oxhide brown pebble leather bag. At just ~S$200, it’s amazing value for a top-grain leather briefcase – it might just be the cheapest in the market. It also looks good, and is eminently practical as a daily office briefcase. It’s available for just $206 on The Shiok Shop.

5) Oxhide Full-grain Leather Backpack – $296

If briefcases are too unwieldy for you, then consider a backpack instead.

As its name suggest, the full-grain leather backpack is crafted out of lovely full-grain leather that will (you guessed it) patina beautifully over time. The leather feels, for the lack of a better word, shiok to the touch – one can tell it’s good quality leather.

The backpack has a rustic, vintage aesthetic that looks great when paired with the right clothes. It’s a bag that will probably appeal more to creatives (like myself), or to someone who’s looking for a way to subtly differentiate themselves from their peers.

Quality is evident throughout the bag. Firstly, the stitching is neat and tidy, without any fraying or loose threads visible.

The backpack also features brass zippers, which will – like the bag – patina over time. The reinforces the vintage aesthetic of the backpack nicely.

To enhance durability, the handle of the bag features cross-stitching – a nice touch.

The back of the backpack is fashioned entirely of leather. It looks good, though without the usual mesh carrying the backpack can feel a tad hot at times, especially in Singapore’s weather.

There’s also a back zippered compartment, which I used to store my valuables.

There are also pockets on both sides, which I mainly used to store my COVID essentials and a small bottle of water.

Like the rest of the backpack, the straps are made entirely from leather. Once again, there’s no padding. The boon is that it looks great, but the bane is a lack of comfort and support especially when the backpack is heavy.

Like the zippers, the strap loops are made from brass and will patina alongside the bag.

And like the briefcase, the backpack also comes with a dedicated laptop compartment – padded for added protection – that should fit laptops up to 15/16 inches. It’s also fastened with a full leather velcro strap, which is a nice touch.

There’s also a zippered compartment – with a YKK brass zipper – and two pockets for storage flexibility.

In case you still need more space, there’s a front zippered compartment that’s actually rather large – you can store a bevvy of items (spare clothes for the gym, towel, etc) with ease.

I quite like the Oxhide full-grain leather backpack. It’s crafted from top quality full-grain leather, has a lovely vintage look, and features multiple compartments that enhance its practicality. Although it costs more than the Arden Teal Sevilla backpack I reviewed previously, I believe it looks significantly better. It’s also one of the cheapest full-grain leather backpacks around. It’s available on The Shiok Shop for just $296.

6) Oxhide Leather Duffel Bag – $323

Last but not least, Oxhide also sells duffel bags.

The leather duffel bag is crafted from what Oxhide calls “vintage Buffalo leather”. I’m not sure if it’s top-grain or full-grain, but I’ve used it for 1-2 months and I did notice some slight patina (see photo above) developing. It feels good to the touch, though perhaps not as smooth and supple as the backpack.

Like the briefcase, the handles are bolted on for greater durability. And like the backpack, the duffle bag features brass accents that will patina alongside the bag.

In terms of compartments, the duffle bag actually has a rather large capacity. For one, it has a moderately-sized front slot compartment for quick access to your most important items (phone, wallet, power bank, etc).

The main compartment is rather spacious as well – it’s perfect for a weekend getaway to a neighbouring country, or perhaps just a trip to the gym after work.

In addition, there are two equally sized pockets to aid organisation.

There’s also a zippered compartment on the inside, which you can use to store your valuables (passport, flight ticket, etc).

Finally, there’s even another zippered compartment at the back for more storage capacity.

Like the briefcase, the duffel also comes with a leather sling. As I usually fill the duffel bag to the brim, it gets quite heavy, and I found myself using the sling most of the time.

I enjoyed the Oxhide leather duffel bag. It’s more expensive than its Arden Teal counterpart, but it is bigger and features a larger capacity. I’m not entirely sure if the $100 difference is justified – the Bogota Duffel I reviewed from Arden Teal looks good as well – but it’s certainly a worthy contender, especially if you appreciate its rustic aesthetic. It’s available on The Shiok Shop for $323.

Conclusion – so Oxhide Leather’s accessories “shiok” or not?

I’ve always enjoyed Oxhide’s products – I think most of their products provide pretty good value for money. True to the name, the best feature of their products is the leather quality, as well as the level of workmanship. If you’re looking for affordable, quality leather goods, Oxhide’s products are generally great options, especially if you appreciate the vintage aesthetic of their accessories.

All the 6 items reviewed in this article can be purchased on The Shiok Store. The Shiok Store serves as a curation of my favourite products from the brand, and I truly believe that all the items reviewed in this article are some of the best products that Oxhide offers. However, if you’re interested in any of Oxhide’s other offerings, you still can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK-SHIOK” for 10% off Oxhide’s website. The brand also offers monogramming services (see example above), making its products very viable gifting options (gift wrapping is available as well).

View Oxhide on The Shiok Store here.


P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!

P.P.S If you haven’t already, do follow my social media channels on Facebook here, on Instagram here, and on Youtube here.

P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Scentopia Perfume Workshop Review (Promo Code Included!)

Hello everyone and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be documenting my experience at the newly opened Scentopia.

Scentopia is a newly opened attraction in Sentosa. It’s the brainchild of Mrs. Prachi, who’s also behind the fragrance label Singapore Memories and the Perfume Workshop. Scentopia has been five years in the making, and was slated to open a few years ago but was put on hold due to the onset of the pandemic. With COVID measures easing, Mrs. Prachi felt it was the right time to finally take the covers off Scentopia, and invited me to experience the concept.

Scentopia – Youtube Video

For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of my perfume workshop experience at Scentopia, do watch the video review below:

Scentopia – the Brand

I previously reviewed some of Singapore Memories’ perfumes, where I sat down with Mrs. Prachi for a short interview. I also covered some of the brand’s room fragrances, and documented my experience at Jetaime’s Perfume Workshop here.

As such, I’m fairly familiar with Mrs. Prachi and her fragrance endeavours. Let’s see how my experience at Scentopia went.

Scentopia – Perfume Workshop

Scentopia – a portmanteau of the words scent and utopia – is located in Sentosa’s Siloso Beach. If you’re coming by the monorail, the closest station would be Beach Station.

Scentopia differentiates itself from other perfume workshops with its use of augmented reality, which provides entertainment value. Mrs. Prachi shared with me that the AR exhibits are meant to be both educational and entertaining for a younger audience – Scentopia also regularly facilities school trips. For a detailed look at how the AR exhibits work, do check out the Youtube video above.

The scent wall.

There’s also a scent wall where participants can learn more about the ingredients used in Scentopia’s perfume creations. Interestingly, they all feature “punny” names and descriptions to make them more memorable, especially amongst the younger demographic.

Starts with a personality quiz.

The actual perfume workshop starts with a simple perfume personality quiz of 10 questions. Personality quizzes in perfume workshops aren’t uncommon but Mrs. Prachi shared with me that the questions are rooted in MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) theory, making them more substantial than most.

Based on your answers, you’re supposed to pick the corresponding amount of ingredient families. I guess this makes sense – an extrovert might prefer a fresher scent, while an introvert might prefer a more woody scent. However, these are simply guidelines, not strict rules, so you will be able to alter your scents to your preferences if required.

I’m usually sceptical about such personality quizzes, but when Mrs. Prachi explained to me what my answers reflected about my personality, it was actually pretty accurate.

It wasn’t just me as well – I brought a friend who said her description of his personality was “eerily close”.

With the personality quiz done, it was time to pick the ingredients. As seen on the personality quiz, ingredients at Scentopia are generally classified into Citrus, Fresh, Floral, Woody and Oriental, all of which are colour coded for easy differentiation.

Interestingly, Scentopia further separates the ingredients into male and female scents. Mrs. Prachi explained to me that scents on the male side are generally stronger and heavier, although men are free to include female scents as well (or vice versa).

Instead of the usual perfume strips, scents are instead stored in lipstick-esque containers. By doing away with the usual paper strips associated with perfume scenting, Scentopia’s approach is more sustainable and eco-friendly. I personally think it’s quite a novel way of presenting scents, and commend Mrs. Prachi for her innovation.

I’ve been to multiple perfume workshops, but I have to say that Scentopia had one of the most engaging ways for participants to interact with the scents. I was able to grab as many scent sticks to smell as I wanted, and eventually narrowed it down to 10 – a few each from the different scent families, based roughly on the results of the personality test. I put the scent sticks in the little grey bag that Scentopia provided.

After I had chosen all my scents, I passed the bag over to Mrs. Prachi, who then proceeded to locate the respective scent dispensers. She filled a cup up with the relevant scented ingredients, before mixing everything together. The idea is simple – the cup (with a small portion of all the scents I chose) is meant to be a sample of what the actual perfume smells like with all the 10 scents mixed together.

Mrs. Prachi dipped a few paper strips into the cup (paper strips can’t be completely avoided I guess) and gave me one to smell. Unfortunately, we both didn’t like the first attempt – the overall composition just smelt wrong. Mrs. Prachi then recommended that I remove a few specific scents that she felt were “overpowering”, and replace them with fresher, more citrusy ones.

I thus went back to re-evaluate the scents that Mrs. Prachi found overpowering. I agreed with her opinions and ditched some of the woody scents for fresher ones instead. This goes to show that you don’t have to stick rigidly to what the personality test suggests – that’s merely a guideline, not a rule.

After I had chosen my new scents, Mrs. Prachi proceeded to once again fill up a sample cup. This time, she suggested we head outdoors to smell the second scent – a change of environment to cleanse the nostrils. I was pleased to discover that the second try was much more balanced and delicate, and a better-rounded scent overall. Mrs. Prachi agreed, saying that it was “leaps and bounds” better than the first.

As such, you don’t have to worry about being stuck with a “bad” perfume even if you’re a complete beginner. You can always try again (Scentopia charges $5 a cup from the third sample onwards though), and call upon the expertise of Scentopia’s staff for assistance. I certainly relied on Mrs. Prachi’s experience when consolidating my 10 scents.

All that was left was the actual making of the perfume, which the staff performs in front of the participants. The eventual bottle is a big one too – 100ml of EDP concentration, so you’re getting bang for your buck (in comparison, most other local perfume workshops only provide 25ml bottles).

Conclusion – so Scentopia “shiok” or not?

Definitely so. Firstly, Scentopia is a unique proposition in itself – I can’t think of any other scent attractions in Singapore, much less one in a tourist destination such as Sentosa. Secondly, the perfume workshop process was fun and engaging, with a very different concept as compared to the other local perfume workshops in Singapore. Thirdly, Scentopia also has features such as AR exhibits that make it a great family activity to do with kids as well. That being said, hardcore enthusiasts may feel a tad disappointed as Scentopia doesn’t state the specific scent ingredients that go into each stick, and simply classify them into broad families (fresh, woody, etc). If you’re someone who’s very specific and particular about what goes into your perfumes, then opt for some of the other local perfume workshops. But if you’re simply looking for an entertaining date idea or an interesting family outing, or are simply a casual perfume user looking to get into the world of perfumery, then I’ll recommend giving Scentopia a try.

For those interested in booking a perfume workshop at Scentopia, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off on Scentopia’s website. After the discount, a perfume workshop would cost just $112.50, making it value for money given that you receive a 100ml perfume bottle to take home afterwards. It’s also relatively affordable considering its location in Sentosa. You even get a nice sunset view – what’s not to like?

Book Scentopia’s perfume workshop here.


P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!

P.P.S If you haven’t already, do follow my social media channels on Facebook here, on Instagram here, and on Youtube here.

P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Edit Suits 2022 Tailoring Review

Hello everyone – welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing my experience of tailoring a double-breasted suit at Edit Suits.

I first paid a visit to Edit Suits in early 2019, where I commissioned a navy 3-piece suit crafted from a lovely VBC (Vitale Barberis Canonico) Perennial fabric.  Since my last visit, the showroom has undergone a significant makeover, with the team having been changed and expanded. As such, I decided to return to meet the new outfitters in this iteration of Edit Suits – let’s see how my experience went.

Edit Suits – the Experience

The first change I noticed was the look of the showroom.

When I first visited Edit Suits in 2019, the company has already begun the process of bringing in Bali-esque wooden furniture to brighten up the space. In the two years since, Edit Suits has doubled down on that aesthetic, resulting in a showroom that feels bright and airy – a relaxing environment to be in.

I also noticed the suits hanging on the mannequins had a more relaxed style. Previously, the suits on display were formal – tuxedos, navy 3-piece suits, etc. 3-piece suits and tuxedos are still present, but now in lighter colourways that reflect the general shift towards a more relaxed dress code in this post-pandemic era.

The focus on more “summer” colours is also reflected in the accessories Edit Suits carries. There’s now a visually arresting wall of ties, where there’s almost every colour imaginable. Sure, there are the usual navy/black ties, but also pink/pastel ties in equal measure.

Edit Suits has one of the widest ranges of premium fabrics locally – fabrics from mills such as VBC, Loro Piana, Zegna, Drago, Holland & Sherry, Dormeuil, Scabal, and more are available at relatively affordable prices. Currently, a half-canvassed VBC suit starts from a mere $999, while fabrics from Reda, Dormeuil, Holland & Sherry and Loro Piana are available for under $1500.

After browsing through a bunch of fabric books with Juriani, I eventually narrowed it down to Loro Piana – an Italian mill that produces some of the world’s finest fabrics and is part of the Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy group. It’s a renowned brand that even has its own boutique in Ion Orchard, so I was really interested to see if the quality matches up to the prestige.

Upon hearing my preference for Loro Piana, Juriani recommended the mill’s Australis collection. Made from Super 150’s Australian merino wool, the fabric is lightweight, breathable and soft, making it appropriate for Singapore’s tropical weather. She recommended a few textured fabrics, and a particular navy pinstripe fabric caught my eye. A navy pinstripe is one of the most classic patterns in tailoring, thus complementing the versatility of the Loro Piana Australis fabric perfectly.

As I’ve previously done a 3-piece suit with Edit Suits, I decided to opt for a double-breasted suit instead. The pinstripe fabric I chose would be appropriate for both work, events and even weddings. I decided to pair it with a classic white shirt from Edit Suit’s brother label, Edition One, which I will feature in detail in a later article.

After choosing my fabric, Juriani began with the measurements. 27 measurements were taken in total for my 3-piece suit which took about 30 minutes. They also took into consideration my body posture, which I was told plays a very important part in how the suit is made and ensures it drapes perfectly. I was also told that my measurements were largely similar to my old ones from 2019, so I guess my diet hasn’t been too effective.

Although there’s no baste fitting process at Edit Suits, it does have a template fitting system that uses fitting jackets to achieve an ideal fit. Similar to a baste fitting, it lets customers visualise and feel how your jacket will look.  As I’ve already covered Edit Suit’s fitting process in detail in my initial article, I won’t repeat the specifics here.

It was immediately apparent that Juriani (and the other outfitters at Edit Suits) possesses an extensive amount of experience in tailoring. This translated to her pointing out every detail of how the fitting jacket fitted me, such as the sleeve pitch (as seen in the photo above).

After the fitting was done, we moved on to finalising the customisation options. The process remains almost identical to my first visit, except that it’s now done on a laptop instead of an Ipad.

We started by deciding upon the most important aspects of the design, namely having the suit in a double-breasted configuration and with wide peak lapels for more aplomb. Unfortunately, Edit Suits currently only offers the double-breasted suit in the default 6×2 arrangement, so if you’re searching for a more adventurous style (4×1, 6×1, 2×1, etc) you will have to look elsewhere.

We then moved on to the customisation options for the trousers. I went with side adjusters as usual, and without pleats for a cleaner, more modern look. Once again, I’ve covered the various stages of Edit Suit’s customisation options in my previous article, so I’ll be brief here.

After about three weeks, I returned to try on the finished suit.

The first thing Juriani had me do was sit on the bench to check if the suit was comfortable. That’s interesting, and an added touch from my first visit. I conveyed that the suit felt comfortable – neither the jacket nor trousers felt too tight, even in a sitting position.

We next scrutinised the overall fit of the suit. I was impressed at how well the suit fit off the bat, although that’s perhaps unsurprising given that the initial suit from Edit Suits fit well too. The only area that needed alteration was the back, which didn’t drape as cleanly as I would have liked. Juriani promptly pinned up the relevant areas – one can tell that she’s very familiar with pins and chalk (quintessential tools of the trade) – and told me that the suit would be ready within the week as alterations are handled by Edit Suits’ in-house tailor.

Edit Suits – Suit Review

I returned to collect the suit – let’s see how it turned out.

The front of the suit fits well, with the jacket comfortably hugging my shoulders without any wrinkling. The jacket is of the right tightness as well – tight enough to look fitted, but without any wrinkling emanating from the jacket buttons. One can also see a slight tapering, though it’s less obvious on a double-breasted suit. In addition, the suit jacket is of the correct length, ending at the middle of my crotch/the middle of my palms. Lastly, there are none of the dreaded shoulder divots here – one of the cardinal sins of tailoring.

From the side, one can see that the sleeve pitch is good too, with minimal wrinkling at my arm’s natural resting position. The sleeves are of the optimal length, being short enough to expose about 1/4 inch of shirt cuff. The suit jacket also rests nicely on the shirt collar – no unsightly gap between that often besets off-the-rack and even made-to-measure suits.

For those that have read my past tailoring reviews, you would know that the back is where most tailors stumble. It was also the area where the most alteration was done. Ultimately, I would say that the back drapes fairly cleanly. There are a few wrinkles, but most look to be due to the natural creasing of the soft Loro Piana fabric – which can be alleviated by steaming – rather than from poor fit. It’s not the cleanest back I’ve had, but considering the lack of a baste fitting process at Edit Suits I would say it turned out better than I had expected.

I was most impressed by the fit of the trousers, which draped cleanly with a classic half-break look. It’s roomy enough to be comfortable, but tapered enough to look sharp. It’s one of the best-fitting trousers I own, and I’m very pleased with it.

Another aspect I’m really pleased with is the Loro Piana Australis fabric. It’s one of the most exquisite fabrics that I’ve tried on – premium to the touch, while being lightweight and comfortable on the body. I remember taking the suit to my usual dry cleaner, who commented on how nice the fabric felt.

I also loved the pinstripe pattern, which adds a subtle level of detail to the suit. The white pinstripes complement the white shirt perfectly, while the horn buttons add another level of sophistication without being over the top.

Paired with the double-breasted design, the resulting suit is one that’s as timeless and classic as they come. Several elements such as the wide peak lapels and the ticket pocket add a rakish old-school, Mad Men vibe to the suit. Yet, the suit doesn’t come across as dated at all, pulling off a delicate balancing act successfully. Due to the double-breasted design – and touches such as the wide peak lapels and ticket pocket – the suit possesses enough pizzazz to make a memorable statement at events. I can definitely see myself attending weddings in this outfit as well.

Finally, I found the suit to look great both in the daytime and nighttime. Some suits look better during the day, while some look better at night. I found my new double-breasted Loro Piana suit from Edit Suits to be equally capable both when the sun’s up and when it’s out – it’s the definition of an all-rounder suit. I can honestly see myself wearing the suit a lot, which is one of the highest praises I can give to a suit.

A versatile suit.

All in all, the suit ticked a lot of boxes. I wanted a versatile suit that would be appropriate in almost all scenarios, and I would say that Edit Suits delivered.

Conclusion – so Edit Suits “shiok” or not?

Despite the changes, Edit Suits has retained its core strength, which is to provide good-fitting suits, crafted from quality fabrics by reputable mills, at an affordable price. In terms of style, Edit Suits is best at offering timeless looks (in terms of cut, design and fabric) that are versatile and won’t go out of style. The new outfitters are experienced – Juriani previously worked at a bespoke tailor prior to joining Edit Suits – and turnaround times are quick due to the streamlined fitting process. For busy professionals and grooms on a tight timeline, or anyone that just wants a pleasant, hassle-free experience, Edit Suits ticks all the boxes.

A 2-piece house fabric (100% wool) suit at Edit Suits starts from $699, with canvassed premium suits (VBC, Loro Piana, Dormeuil, etc) starting from $999. Shirts start from $99. This specific Loro Piana Australis suit costs $1698. For readers, Edit Suits has kindly offered a free shirt (worth $99) with every purchase of a suit with a minimum spend $999, and a free pair of chinos (worth $189) with every purchase of a suit with a minimum spending of $1499. Simply quote “WAHSOSHIOK” while booking your appointment or flash this article in-store. You can also quote the promo code “wahsoquick20” to enjoy 20% off your first shirting order online. Interested customers can book their appointments here, and choose “Wah so Shiok” as the referral option when prompted to enjoy the free shirt/chinos. Edit Suits still delivers quality suits at affordable prices with minimum hassle – I’m glad that hasn’t changed.

Edit Suits Co.’s Location: 35A Duxton Road, Level 2, Singapore 089499

Book your appointment here.


P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!

P.P.S If you haven’t already, do follow my social media channels on Facebook here, on Instagram here, and on Youtube here.

P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Phoibos Narwhal Watch Review (Promo Code Included!)

Hello everyone, and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing the new Narwhal from Hong Kong watch label Phoibos.

The Narwhal is Phoibos’ latest dive watch, and one of its most retro-styled offerings to date. Let’s see if it’s any good.

Phoibos Narwhal – Video Review

For those interested in viewing some hands-on footage of the Phoibos Narwhal, do check out my Youtube review below:

Phoibos – the Brand

Phoibos is a brand that I’m familiar with, having reviewed multiple of its watches in the past. I’ve previously covered Phoibos’ brand story in my review of its Eagle Ray. I also reviewed the Great Wall here, the Proteus here, the Voyager here, the Leviathan here, the Eagle Ray Compressor here, the Nebula here, the Apollo here, and most recently the Kraken here. I’ve been generally impressed with the dive watches that I’ve reviewed from Phoibos – they are some of the best offerings in the affordable dive watch segment.

Phoibos Narwhal – Build Quality

As typical of Phoibos’ watches, the build quality of the Narwhal punches above its price point.

Firstly, the Narwhal uses a double-domed sapphire crystal. As aforementioned numerous times in my previous reviews, I’m a huge advocate of sapphire crystal due to its inherent scratch-resisting properties. Personally, I always look for sapphire crystal in my modern watches as it adds greatly to the durability of the watch. The sapphire crystal is also coated with 3 layers of AR coating, so you don’t have to worry about unwanted reflections on the Narwhal. And due to its screw-down crown and caseback, the Narwhal boasts 300m of water resistance, making it a bonafide dive watch.

Powering the Narwhal is the Miyota 9015 movement, which is a significant upgrade from the Seiko NH35s that powered Phoibos’ earlier watches. A more affordable alternative to the ETA 2824, it beats at the same 4Hz frequency as its Swiss counterpart, which translates to a smoother sweep of the second hand. It also features 42 hours of power reserve, 24 Jewels, and hacking seconds. If you would like to know more about the movement, A Blog to Watch did an in-depth article about the Miyota 9000 series here.

The Narwhal comes fitted with a vintage-styled beads-of-rice-esque bracelet, and I have to say it’s probably the best-built bracelet that I’ve experienced on a Phoibos watch. The centre links are polished, which provides a nice juxtaposition to the otherwise brushed bracelet. The push-button deployant buckle also snaps securely in place with a reassuring click, and features nice satin-brushing as well as chamfering on the edges.

And like a bonafide dive watch, the Narwhal is packed with lume – 15 layers in fact. BGW9 can be found on the hands, indices and bezel markings, while Old Radium Superluminova is applied on the second hand and hour dots for slight contrast. It’s one of the brightest lume I’ve seen, so lume heads certainly won’t be disappointed here.

All in all, the Phoibos Narwhal has rock-solid specifications. It has a double-domed sapphire crystal with triple anti-reflective coating, 300M of water resistance, a Miyota 9015 movement, a beautifully crafted bracelet, and strong Swiss Superluminova. It ticks every box, and then some.

Phoibos Narwhal – Design

Its design isn’t shabby by any means either.

The Narwhal has a retro-looking case that reminds me of another neo-vintage watch I recently reviewed, the GANE Type C. Brushed on the front but with polished chamfered edges running along its flanks, the case feels well-finished and made with quality.

The dial is striking too. For one, it has a gradient texture where it’s greyish in the centre, but gradually darkens towards black at the edges. There’s some slight brushing on the dial too, though it isn’t as obvious as the renders on Phoibos’ website. Applied indices gives the dial depth, and I like how the date window – which is also framed for more depth – is positioned at 6 o’clock, thus preserving the dial symmetry. My only knock is the use of faux patina hour dots, which can be a polarising look. However, given that the watch is vintage-inspired, I’ll give it a pass here.

The Narwhal comes equipped with a 120-click unidirectional ceramic bezel, which is a nice surprise. Ceramic bezels are loved for their scratch resistance, and are often only seen on higher-end watches like the Rolex Daytona. It’s pretty impressive for Phoibos to feature a ceramic bezel in a sub-US$500 watch. However, due to the boxy shape of the case I did find it a tad hard to rotate the bezel.

The caseback features a simple relief artwork of the narwhal, which is known for its long tusk that protrudes out of its head. It’s nothing elaborate, but still a nice touch.

With a diameter of 41mm and a lug-to-lug of just 50mm (relatively short, due to the integrated lugs), the Narwhal wears well on my 7-inch wrist. I’m glad to see dive watches shrinking in size in recent years – the era of 44-46mm sports watch seems to be dead and buried, and I’m all for it. It’s a tad chunky at 13mm thick, but still manages to squeeze underneath my shirt cuff.

Overall, I appreciated the retro styling of the Narwhal, which sets it apart from other Phoibos watches. The dial is interesting, and the watch comes across as well-finished in general – it looks and feels good on the wrist.

Shootout – Phoibos Narwhal vs Baltic Aquascaphe

If you’re in the market for a vintage-inspired dive watch, then one of your best options would be the Baltic Aquascaphe.

In terms of specifications, both watches are almost identical. Both the Baltic Aquascaphe and the Phoibos Narwhal use double-domed sapphire crystals, Swiss Superluminova, and are powered by the Miyota 9 series movement. The Aquascaphe features a sapphire bezel, while the Narwhal possesses a ceramic bezel. The Narwhal does have a slighter higher water-resistance rating (300M to 200M), but unless you’re looking for sunken treasure it’s unlikely to make a difference in everyday usage.

From an aesthetic standpoint, both watches are similarly retro-inspired, but with different approaches. The Narwhal’s angular case is reminiscent of skin divers from the 1970s, while the Aquascaphe’s sandblasted sandwich dial evokes the quintessential dive watches of the same era, such as the early Omega Seamasters. Both watches are liberal in their use of faux patina as well. Between the two, my pick would go towards the Aquascaphe – I just think it conveys stronger vintage vibes due to its domed sapphire crystal and beads-of-rice bracelet.

Where the Narwhal trumps the Aquascaphe is in its value. Despite having similar specifications, the Phoibos is almost half the price of its Baltic counterpart – it’s definitely the better bang-for-buck. If you’re searching for an affordable option, then the Narwhal would definitely fit the bill better.

Conclusion – so the Phoibos Narwhal “shiok” or not?

Once again, Phoibos has a strong value proposition in its hands. Despite costing less than US$500, the Narwhal has strong specifications that rivals watches twice its price. It also has a retro look due to its angular case, but modern proportions that don’t feel overly large. The grey dial variant I reviewed is probably the most muted iteration of the Narwhal – those looking for something more striking should consider the red colourway, which would be my pick out of the lot. All in all, the Narwhal is a very competent diver that packs a punch while costing little.

Those interested in purchasing the Narwhal can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off all products from Phoibos’ web-store. After the promo code, the Narwhal can be had only US$432/~S$580, making it solid value.

View the Phoibos Narwhal collection here.
View the full range of Phoibos’ offerings here.

Specifications:

REF.: PY037C

Dial: Black to gray with vintage texture

Caliber No.: Miyota 9015

Case Material: 316L Stainless Steel

Case Size: 41mm X 50mm, 13mm thickness

Band: 22mm 316L Stainless Steel 

Clasp: Three-fold clasp with push button release

Glass: Double domed sapphire crystal with 3 layers anti reflective coating inside

Water Resistance: 300M (990FT)

Bezel: 120-click unidirectional rotating ceramic bezel

Crown: Screw-Down crown

Lume: 15 layers Super-LumiNova BGW9 on Hr&Min hands, indices and bezel markings; 15 layers Super-LumiNova Old Radium on Sec hand and dots

Weight: 200g

Warranty: 2 years

Origin: Made in Hong Kong


P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!

P.P.S If you haven’t already, do follow my social media channels on Facebook here, on Instagram here, and on Youtube here.

P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.

Staycation: The Daulat by Hotel Calmo Review (Promo Code Included!)

Hello everyone – welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be reviewing my recent staycation at The Daulat by Hotel Calmo.

After staying in full-fledged hotels such as Furama City Centre and Yotel Singapore recently, I decided to pivot back into exploring boutique hotels. I initially wanted to do a stay at the Wes Anderson-esque The Great Madras, but recent reviews were pretty appalling. I then found out that its sister property, the Daulat, has recently reopened, and was located just a few buildings down. Its latest reviews were more promising, so I decided to book a stay to check it out. Let’s see how my stay went.

The Daulat – Video Review

For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of The Daulat, do check out my Youtube video below:

The Daulat – Brand

The Daulat first opened its doors in 2013 as a three-star boutique hotel. In 2021, the 16-room property – presumably besieged by pandemic woes – was acquired by Hotel Calmo, a budget-focused hospitality chain which also runs hotels in Bugis and Chinatown.

Despite being a relatively new property, prices for the Daulat are currently affordable. The entry-level Superior room (13sqm) starts from $76, while the larger Deluxe Room (17sqm) starts from $83. I decided to opt for the Deluxe Room – paying a mere $7 more for 30% more real estate seemed like a no-brainer.

The Daulat – Check-in

The Daulat is located right next to Rochor MRT, making it fairly accessible by public transport.

First impressions weren’t great as the hotel looked unfinished. I saw workers carrying out refurbishment work on the exterior of the hotel – a far cry from the hotel photos.

The same unfinished vibe extended to the hotel lobby, where chairs and tables were still cling wrapped. I was greeted by a friendly receptionist by the name of Sashi, who unfortunately informed me that my room still wasn’t ready, so I was forced to chill at a cafe nearby (The Malayan Council, if anyone’s wondering). At around 5pm, Sashi called to inform me that my room was finally ready. He conveyed that a new tenant (it looks like a bar of sorts) was in the process of moving in, therefore the renovation works. He also said that the swimming pool was still under maintenance, which was a shame.

Like the rest of the hotel, the corridor feels unfinished, with a wet paint sign slapped on the wall.

The Daulat – Deluxe Room

I was assigned to Room 101, which was unfortunately probably the worst room in the hotel (I’ll elaborate on this later).

The Deluxe room featured heavy wooden accents – the flooring, sliding door and cupboards were all wooden. Coupled with the white walls, the decor doesn’t feel as dated as some of its other budget counterparts. It also felt cosy but not cramped – a reflection of its adequately sized 17sqm size.

On the left of the room entrance was a sizeable clothing rack for guests to hang their clothes. However, there were no hangers available, nor the usual amenities such as iron and ironing board, flashlight, etc. There is a bag rest though.

Besides the clothing rack is a wardrobe, which also doubles up as a mirror. Unfortunately, the wardrobe was completely empty as well – I checked every drawer.

There is however free wifi in the room. The wifi password is actually stated on the wall, so you won’t ever forget the password. There’s also a stern warning – in gold – on the room’s non-smoking rule, as well as the $100 SGD fine if you’re caught.

Given how bare-bones the room was, I was surprised to find in-room slippers provided. It’s actually not a given – even the significantly higher priced Wanderlust didn’t have in-room slippers. The slippers were paper-thin and flimsy, but I suppose something is better than nothing.

I was pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of a 40-inch smart TV in the room. Despite being from a Chinese brand that I’ve never heard of, the picture quality was actually not bad – better than the Samsung TV in Furama last week. Netflix and Youtube were available, and I had a blast binge-watching the new season of Bling Empire on the TV. However, do note that the TV actually doesn’t have any cable channels available, so if you’re planning on catching your favourite Mediacorp show while on staycation you will be sorely disappointed.

The Deluxe Room is large enough to accommodate a small workstation. I was disappointed to see a drab grey chair, instead of the vibrantly coloured chair in the room listings. It’s also not very ergonomic, so it’s definitely not ideal for extended hours of work. There are multiple power ports conveniently located near the desk though, which is a nice touch.

The room comes with basic refreshments – bottled water and Dilmah tea, as well as an electric kettle to boil water in. There are no coffee sachets available, which will disappoint coffeeholics. The room photos actually depicted a Nespresso machine in the room, but apparently, that got phased out in cost-cutting.

Interestingly, toiletries can be found on the desk instead of…the toilet. Guests get to enjoy individually packaged dental kits, shower caps, sanitary bag, and combs. A box of tissue was provided too, which will come in handy for those doing solo staycations. It should be noted that it’s actual tissue paper, instead of cheap toilet paper that some other budget hotels provide.

The Deluxe Room also features a pair of skylights, which was an interesting touch that sets it apart from other budget hotels.

In the morning, it’s actually pretty cool to see the morning light filtering through the skylights. It’s something you can’t find at home, thus making the Deluxe Room memorable.

The Deluxe Room features a Queen bed, which sits atop a wooden platform. Once again, it’s an aesthetic that reminds me of Wanderlust hotel – it even has faux leather bedrest and LED lighting underneath for added luxe. Four pillows are provided, which is generous. Bedside lighting is present in the form of a wall lamp.

The bed was ok to sleep in, but I found the pillows to be way too soft. They failed to provide the necessary support, and I woke up in the morning with a sore neck. The duvet was also too thin for my liking – you don’t get that heavy “cocooned” feel you often get with hotel room blankets.

I also found the safe hidden away in a drawer below the bed – it’s actually brown in colour to match the aesthetic of the room, which is a detail I didn’t expect.

The bathroom is segregated by a wooden sliding door, which cannot be locked.

The bathroom looked almost identical to the listing pictures, with faux marble sinktop, wooden furnishing and artistic tiling resulting in a Bali-esque feel.

The bathroom comes with a dedicated shower cubicle. I found it to be too cramped – it’s only able to accommodate one. It does come with both a rain shower and handheld showerhead, though water temperatures were fickle. Toiletries come in wall pumps and feel cheap, so I recommend bringing your own toiletries for a more luxe showering experience. Unfortunately, there was an issue with the cubicle door, which can’t be closed. This actually caused water leakage, causing the shower water to not only spill out to the rest of the bathroom but also the corridor outside it.

The toilet bowl is modern-looking, with a concealed cistern design. There’s a bidet too, which is a nice touch.

Conclusion – so The Daulat by Hotel Calmo “shiok” or not?

Fun fact: The Daulat actually has the highest Google rating (3.8/5) out of all of Hotel Calmo’s four properties. To its credit, the room was generally clean, and its aesthetic reminds me of a budget Wanderlust. However, I think it has the potential to be much better. The Deluxe Room I got was bare-bones, and also had the worst location possible as it was located right beside the reception. I was woken up at night by the reception phone ringing, and again in the morning by construction work. As compared to the photos on booking platforms, the actual rooms felt duller and lacking in amenities. I would be keen to return when the pool and lobby bar opens – I assume it will be an enhanced experience. As it is now, The Daulat looks and feels like an unfinished project, making it hard to recommend.

Those interested in booking a stay at The Daulat can do so on the Traveloka app. Traveloka constantly has some sort of ongoing promotion, with prices so ridiculously low that I’ve personally booked about 90% of my staycations on Traveloka. Just for my readers, you guys can use the promo code “WAHTVLK” (non-SRV) for $10 off any hotels or attractions purchase (with a minimum spending of $100) for new users and $5 off any hotels or attractions purchase (with a minimum spending of $50) for existing users. The code is valid till the end of 2022. Here’s a pro tip: keep a lookout for Traveloka’s Weekend Flash Sales which occurs every Friday to Sunday for the lowest prices! However, this post is not sponsored – I paid my own dime to book the hotel.

The Daulat by Hotel Calmo Location: 16 Madras St, Singapore 208413


P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!

P.P.S If you haven’t already, do follow my social media channels on Facebook here, on Instagram here, and on Youtube here.

P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.

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