Lifestyle

Creative Space: Wiji Lacsamana

She's the woman behind cruelty-free and love-full natural fragrances and makeup.
IMAGE Instagram ART Clare Magno

Meet the talented multi-hyphenate—she's an illustrator, a tattoo artist, and a perfumer—whose natural fragrances are the stuff of dreams. Find out what inspires her to make and how she develops her ideas into products you simply fall in love with. Here's Wiji Lacsamana's creative space.

  1. Introductions first. "I am Wiji Lacsamana, 32 years old and I am a freelance illustrator, tattooer and natural perfumer/potion maker for Radioactive Mushrooms in the Forest."

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  1. How I started and why I do it. "I was always into fragrances since I was in high school. I've always had a signature scent in high school, and a different one in college. After college though I found myself going from one perfume to another—I've lost a signature scent. It occurred to me that maybe I could make a signature scent for myself, since I taught myself most of the things I do career-wise now. And so I tried making one based out of my fondest childhood memory, and I enjoyed the process so much, I tried to come up with another one, and another one. Now I must admit that I don't have a signature scent yet, because I've created so many fragrance babies I wouldn't want to play favorites."

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  1. My best so far. "I am very very proud of the all-original, all-natural fragrances I've come up for the line. I've created them out of my imagination, without real guides or pegs. These are all based from my memories—real or imagined. :)

    "I am also very giddy about the natural cosmetics I am releasing! I've released some before, and I'm always trying to make them better. It can be tricky for natural cosmetics to last a long time. So I'm really trying to come up with better quality stuff."

 

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  1. My time for making. "I create when my baby takes his morning and afternoon sleep sessions. I used to work only at night (but that was prior to all this Radioactive Mushrooms madness). But then now that I am a mom, and the great crammer that I am, I find that my best and most productive times are exactly when the baby is asleep.

    "As for brainstorming ideas, these come out at the most random places, at the most random times. I suppose this is a testament to how passionate I've become to the craft: I find myself dreaming about making perfumes. One of those times I woke up in the middle of the night to list down the ingredients on my phone! Sometimes I'm watching a movie and I see a scene I really love—the lighting, a quote from that scene, and then I'm thinking of scents or a lipstick shade to suit that moment."

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  1. Dream collaborations. "It would be a dream to collaborate with my muses. I've made perfumes inspired by certain larger-than-life people and the stories and art they create. Mandy Aftel, my natural perfumer idol, Wes Anderson (in the meantime, I will be releasing a very limited number of perfumes very much inspired by his movies), Hayao Miyazaki (wouldn't it be amazing if he commissioned me to do scents inspired by his movies?), Wong Kar Wai (makeup inspired by his movies!), Haruki Murakami (his words illustrate beautiful visuals in my mind), also maybe Feist and Fiona Apple. There are so many people I'd love to collaborate with, to be honest. I love collaborations, especially with people in much different fields. I'd love to translate their worlds into my world.

 

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  1. For first-time Radioactive Mushrooms customers. "I'd recommend for you to try a scent. I have a the list up on the website, and please pick something that truly resonates with you! Because my scents use essential oils (as opposed to fragrance oils, which are synthetic), the scents will always smell unique on you, they react to your body's heat and ph levels. So even if we do wear the same perfume, it'll smell different on me than on how it does on you.

    "Please also check out the Moon Nectar luminizer, which is now a staple in my makeup bag. It's a highlighter that I created to mimic the diffused glow on our skin when we bathe under the moonlight. It's very natural-looking, and very easy to apply!

    I also love the tinted balms I've come up with and are releasing soon. I make them in small batches so some of the older ones, like Reef, for example are currently out of stock. I am reformulating them so that they stay fresh longer though. Reef is the first tint I made that I was soooo happy with. It's a deep deep brick red that is good as a cheek tint as well. I also love Kitsune, which is a shade I am releasing very soon. It is a very wearable red orange that looks good both on the lips and cheeks."

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  1. My current project. "I am currently organizing a pop-up boutique called Metier Thoughtful Trades where I gather some of my favorite, well-thought-of local brands. I love brands that go out of their way to create the best possible items they can give to their customers. I hope you can go, it's on September 10, Saturday at Suez & Zapote  in Makati. For more information, please go here.

    "I am also coming up with limited edition fragrances I may have hinted above, wink wink. And new natural makeup, yay!"

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  1. Insta-inspo. "@aftelierperfume by Mandy Aftel. Most of what I know about natural perfumery, I learned from her. @juniperridge They make perfumes out of plants they forage in the wilderness! they bring a van with a distiller inside so they can extract fragrances out of the plants they find. very amazing. @_thelittlesage for life inspiration. Helen Jacobs gives out the most inspiring, the most practical and proactive advice on life and enlightenment every week."

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Whose Creative Space do you want to invade next? Leave us a message and we'll see what we can do!

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About the author
Macy Alcaraz
Former Editor in Chief, candymag.com
When she's not busy online, she's in the kitchen on a mission to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
VIEW OTHER ARTICLES FROM Macy

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A community page where you can share your feels and show your skills! Learn more here

This is a drawing and a poem I’ve made for a summer love. Our time together was short-lived but the feelings were not.

“God’s Gift”

On a platform we stand

Faces seen all in a blur

Relentless searching led by a spur

To find someone, to feel something

Aren’t we fools to waste away time?

To look for one man’s treasure

Somewhere as ephemeral, as fragile

As a bond built in crime

But aren’t we just like every weary heart?

Hoping for an oasis

In the midst of the desert

Wanting to quench our thirst

Aren’t we all like frosted windows

Of old and battered houses on winter?

Wishing for the sun to give us warmth

To melt the facade so we can show what the inside is made

Aren’t we maven pretenders?

A Casanova? A Temptress? Who made us this way?

A sly fox? A ruthless hunter?

Let down the walls, It’ll be okay

Rushed for a hug, now no hesitating

Engulfed by a sense of bliss or was it longing? Eyes wide-open,

Stepping on a quicksand I embraced the fall into the deep end

Gazed at you lying there unaware With you, found something rare I swear

Realization dawning as loud as a thunder

As the Beating of your heart put me into a deep slumber

Waking up from this reverie

Truth slapped me back to reality

Two worlds so different, now I see If only I could I’d be anything and anyone you need me to be I’m the ludicrous clown, you see

Thought if I ruin it first I’d be free

From the doubts brought by my own insecurity I was so wrong,

What a tragicomedy Brought by the month of April

We rushed the ticking of clock to May Hands interlocked

Weaved skin to skin on a rainy day But when June came to say hello, all went dark grey

What was once there ceases to exist Like the wilting of a flower

Once so beautiful, so full of life Now turned into dust by death’s kiss

Unbounded joy brought by your presence

Paralleled with the perennial ache of your absence Yearned for and offered seventh heaven

Now the heart weeps for evanescence

A mirage, to be the fair maiden The sorrow to find out I’d end up our own villain

But all’s well for you are but a distant dream Gamaliel, You are, I knew it from the very beginning .

Written by me, the one-shot story

Coffee is about a girl who used to cherish moments with someone in a cafe. Sometimes, a simple drink can leave an imprint on someone's mind. ____________________________________________

Coffee

It's been a year since my boyfriend and I broke up. I love him and he loves me too but things just didn't worked  the way it should be. Now I'm heading at the cafe where we started and ended. I have no choice but to go there after all it was made up of both happy and sad memories. But that's life , right? We can't be happy all the time. Challenges come and hearts can break. But it doesn't just end there.

"One signature coffee , please." I said as I ordered from the cashier.

"What size?" she asked.

"Small." I said.

Then she took my payment and I headed towards the seat near the window. A window seat.... for two. The cafe was surprisingly full tonight unlike the past few days.

Again, I have no choice but to sit on that window seat. It is where we sit often. It is our seat. Our place. There are a lot of couples at the cafe and wow I'm alone. There's a part of me which says you should be happy because he's not the only guy in this world. Another part of me says you're still hurt so don't pretend to be happy. The truth is , I am both happy and sad.  I'm happy because we're both free and we can focus more in our careers. But I'm sad because I'm not the other half of his heart anymore. I'm sad because I let him go even though I still love him. I'm sad because I can't see him. I'm sad because I can't share this relaxing coffee shop where we can chill with the aromatic smell of the coffee.

"Small signature coffee?" the waitress said as she serves my coffee.

"Yes. Thank you." I said.

"Since you're a regular customer here, we would like to give you this item for free." the waitress said. She handed me a purple journal with the name of the cafe on it and a pen.

"Oh thanks." I said .

"Enjoy your coffee!" she said.

I took advantage of using the freebies from the cafe. A window seat is also a bonus in inspiring me to write something. While sipping my coffee my brain and my heart began to function smoothly.

And so I wrote: My coffee has been cold lately, I can't feel anything after taking a sip and there's no heat to leave a pain on my lips. And it was a relief. But then, I remember one thing about sipping a cold coffee instead of a hot one: cold coffee doesn't leave you any marks when you sipped it, just like a blunt feeling. But a hot coffee will leave you a remarkable pain from the heat which reminds you that you are alive to feel....

I closed the journal and stared at the window. He was the coffee. The hot coffee. No matter how our breakup hurt me, he left me a mark and a lesson to learn. A hot coffee can be a challenge too or an obstacle. They all made you feel that you are alive. That you can go on with your life. You can still stand up. Love taught me to move forward. He taught me to be stronger. He is love.

Belley Marie A day ago

WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE A BROKE FANGIRL/FANBOY

One of the proudest things as a fan is the feeling that you are part of their growing fandom and stardom. From streaming their songs online, watching their music videos, TV guestings, collecting photocards, albums, lightsticks, attending to their concert and fan meetings surely, you're a fan! But there's a problem, MONEY.

It's really heartbreaking when you hear that members of your favorite band are coming and their concert is just around the corner but here you are thinking of how to sell one of your kidneys just to go to their concert (kidding).That no matter how much you try to save, it will never be enough for a ticket because you are only a student who has limited resources or if you're an adult, you have bills to pay. So joining a "team bahay" livestream is your last resort, but sometimes even those links don't work!

Of course if there's team bahay there's also "team airport/ team labas", fans who waits at the airport hoping to see their idols upon their arrival. How we wish we could also attend and be part of it, something like shouting their names, fanchants then cry out of happiness while waving their lightsticks or banners. What a concept isn't?

Hey, cheer up! being broke doesn't make you any less of a fan. Know that there are other ways to support and love them. For sure our idols have the same and equal love to us no matter what "team" we belong (team concert, team airport/labas and team bahay).Maybe for some people, they might think we are being overly dramatic without knowing that for us fans, their existence itself and music saved us and made us happy once in our lives. -Gwy June 16,2020

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