Memento: Courtney Chew

No matter where we travel to, there are things we take with us—or things we bring home to remember a place. That’s the purpose of this series: to learn about the #LojelCollective’s favorite items or keepsakes, and the stories behind them.

Lojel - Memento: Courtney Chew

Oahu, Hawaii: I love how oceans bring strangers together. Locals and tourists alike swim in this hidden cove. A few sunbathed right in the shallows, eagerly anticipating the waves; others cliff jumped off the bordering rocks into the whitewash. I remember how happy everyone was this day in the water—a perfect day in paradise.

photo by Courtney Chew / @_courtneychew

I’ve always been intrigued by the emotional power of scent—how it can make you feel, how it impacts others, how it lingers, how it can enhance a personality, how it represents so much more than just a smell.

Over the years, I’ve collected fragrances from cities around the world that have, in one way or another, inspired me or changed me. These scents are investment pieces that offer me so much more than just a memory of a place. They transport me back to the cities I’ve fallen in love with. The spicy oud on the streets of Omotesando in Tokyo; the floral, Tubereuse-scented walks through Brooklyn; the faint smell of coconut on the North Shore of Oahu. In some ways, my collection of fragrances allows me to be wherever I want to be, and to go back to being the person I once was there. And I get to smell good, too—bonus.

Lojel - Memento: Courtney Chew

Los Angeles, California: The way color, light, and shadow interact in this downtown parking lot immediately caught my eye. I find design and architecture so fascinating, and am always so amazed at how every single detail is considered, right down to the natural environment that surrounds it.

photo by Courtney Chew / @_courtneychew

photo by Courtney Chew / @_courtneychew

Huntington Beach, California: The beach was buzzing this day. People were everywhere—playing volleyball, watching the surf. But as high as the energy was around me, I remember feeling calm while capturing candids from the pier above. I feel like people are most at ease and in their element by the water; it reconnects us to the earth and what it means to play.

photo by Courtney Chew / @_courtneychew

photo by Courtney Chew / @_courtneychew

The Collection

London, United Kingdom: Walking is one of the best ways to experience a city, so I make an effort to do it as much as I can. As spread out as everything is in this city, walking the streets was captivating—especially in bustling Soho. I think I walked nearly 20 kilometres this day.

photo by Courtney Chew / @_courtneychew

Written by Courtney Chew