Scent of a Woman 1-5

Can Wookie and Sunah get ever more GORGEOUS and CHUMMY together? Can they?!   I’ve been a fan of Wookie for years, and for years I’ve never seen him update as often and as much now. And not only does he update so ever constantly, he makes me squeeeee so hard over his oh-so-adorable selcas with Sunah and drives me up the insanity wall with  occasional flashes of his post-army BOD. Sunah, I blame you for getting Wookie into this me2day fever. I blame you for getting me into a jealous frenzy whenever I see you and Wookie be so cute around each other. I blame you for all the Wookie cuteness and hotness. But really, you know what I truly wanna say. “THANK YOU! I LOVE YOU!!!”

Scent of A Woman makes me deliriously happy and swoony. It makes me dream and indulge in overwhelming fantasy and makes me giggle incessantly.  It is super duper uber LOVE it makes me wanna live and breathe it.  It makes me want to be part of it, dammit!

In spite of my hyped up expectations for the drama (mainly due to the cast), I had my qualms and worries. Coming from the writer-director team of Dr. Champ which bored me and bugged me to bits, I wasn’t entirely sure that Scent of A Woman would do it for me. My only hope was that Wookie and Sunah, with the amazing Eom Ki Joon would be able to bring out the best in the script and at least scrape thru. It is after all Wookie’s comeback drama, I would never in a million zillion years miss it.

And after 5 episodes, my verdict: I’m in deep serious shit!

I look at the picture above and I immediately recall this very memorable quote from Samsoon in My Name is Kim Sam Soon: –

 “Love like you’v e never been hurt before… dance as if no one is watching… sing as if no one is listening… work as if you don’t need the money… Live as if it’s the last day of your life…”

A very inspiring and life-motivating quote I’m pretty sure all of you will agree. But definitely not an easy one to practise. More often than not in our lives, we are so caught up with the world that we end up forgetting. We forget to give ourselves a chance to live, to breathe and to feel. We forget ourselves.

Scent of A Woman, is all about being yourself again. It’s about making the best in whatever you do and living life to the fullest while you still have it. It’s about letting go of constrictions and regards that hamper your wants and desires in life and going for what makes you happiest from the bottom of your heart. It’s about living again.

When one is forced out of nowhere and without warning to ponder death, the immediately reaction would be, “Why me?” Lee Yeon Jae (Kim Sun Ah) faces the exact same question in here. Her life comes crashing down on her in an instant. Her already half-drained self-esteems takes another dip. She looks around, she hasn’t even lived her life. The life she wants.

Lee Yeon Jae is the typical underdog characterin K-drama. An employee of a tour-line agency who doesn’t command the slightest attention or respect from her superior and collegues, she toils thru mud and soil just to make ends meet. So resilient is YJ that even when berated and chided until her dignity is lost, she swallows everything in.  She gulps all of it down and continues with life. She survives.

But survival is going to be short-lived, when she gets the worst news of her life. When she is diagnosed with cancer and has only 6 months to live. I can never imagine how a person would feel if put in her shoes. When she is already bereft with living the life she wants, out of nowhere, the end is near for her. What can she do?

This is where YJ’s journey to life and true happiness begins. She opens her heart. Falls in love. And finds her worth. Which is a sad journey in a way, but will definitely be the best and most memorable one she has ever experienced. A life that she wants.

YJ meets Ji Wook, the man of her dreams. (Excuse me while I wipe off my drool, I just cannot HELP IT! KYAAAAAAAAA! Woooookiieeeeee-ah <333 End of swoon.) Kang Ji Wook, successor to his father’s tour line agency, the stereotyped chabeol character that you will always always come across in K-dramas. Handsome, suave, rich, nonchalant, insensitive…etc. You name it, he’s got it. They both meet in the oddest situation, be-friend each other in the most amusing way, and encounter a day together in Okinawa shrouded in pure and affectionate bliss. Guy smiles genuinely for the first time with girl in the picture. And girl embarks on her journey to her second life.

Scent of a Woman is a far cry from being original. The story has been seen before, read before and done before. Apart from death being part of the working element in the drama, the rich guy (JW), the poor girl/ underdog (YJ), the villain (Se Kyung) and the supportive 2nd fiddle (Eun Seok) all come together to complete the picture of a typical K-drama.

But 5 episodes in, there was no annoyance or aversion on my part to the drama at all. On the contrary, I fell more and more and MOAR in love the more I watched. Mesmerized by the scenic captures and delicate directing, and drawn to the characters emotionally (and physically, you know who! haha), I knew by the end of Ep 1, doom was near. This drama is destined to swallow me alive.

Plot-wise, like I said, Scent of a Woman doesn’t go far or break new grounds. The falling-in-love part between the OTP in here cannot be more cliche and typical. Their bickering and them being at odds with each other do not give for much surprise. The huge wide gap between them status and background-wise, so yesterday. You pretty much know that they’re going to fall in love.

But thanks to the writing and directing (phew), the drama feels a tad different from the norm. It feels more earthy, atmospheric and comfortable. Like a nice Sunday afternoon breeze. It brings us thru the fun, cute and emotional without going too far. There are no major histrionics, no exaggerated makjang elements and no ridiculous plot-lines to complicate matters.  The characters also, however fairy-tale like they appear to be, seem to be more real and genuinely relatable (save for Sae Ryung, who’s more of a cut-out mean girl).

The drama involves death, but it is not about death. And it’s precisely that in itself which draws it closer to my heart. YJ’s wary of death of course, but she treads upon her choices in life before it ends by making a bucket list, a list of things to do to make her life fruitful and complete. It’s devastating and heartbreaking to see, let alone to be experienced by any single human being. But it’s oddly and strangely exhilarating to see her venture forward towards her unpredictable future, of what is left of her months to live. I have no idea if this drama will end with YJ dying, or living or her coming out from the hospital cursing over the a wrong diagnosis (I’m okay with either, but last one is least preferable). But alas, it’s the process of living that matters the most. And that’s what I want to see of YJ. I want to see her happy, truly happy.

In the arms of the one she loves.

Love love oh love. If I were YJ, I would curse all the way to Timbaktu. Why make me fall in love when I’m going to kick the bucket soon? With a man THIS HOT and SUAVE?!! I’d never want to die for goodness sakes.

Like I said earlier, YJ and JW’s relationship is nothing different from the typical K-drama bicker-turn-to-love relationship. I love relationships like that, no matter how redundant and old they may be. It’s a trope that never gets old and will never die. Love how the dead-panned and sheepish JW warms up to YJ slowly, and adore how he gets all affected and jealousy when YJ doesn’t pay attention to him. Love how he’s so blissfully confused and unaware. His expressions, gestures, actions, he’s just like a lost puppy trying to find his way out. And in other ways, he’s being jolted out of boredom all of a sudden. Suddenly, he finds something or someone interesting in his life. Bored Jack can finally play for once.

My heart tingles like no other when JW and YJ interact. A few more skipped heart-beats surprise me when JW thinks of YJ uncontrollably and unknowingly. I get incredibly swoony and frenzy whenever the OTP appear on screen. My thumping heart immediately zooms into oblivion. I am falling in love hard.

The amazing thing about Scent of a Woman is that it does not dwell on the downsides of death of impending demise and instead goes for a lighter and brighter approach. It gets us all giddy with all the sweet, romantic and intense OTP moments. And yet it doesn’t stretch too far to overkill. JW and YJ’s moments are fun cute and lighthearted, but isn’t all sugary and sweet. They have their moments of misunderstanding, and the occasional bickering and teasing sessions. But what I love is that they genuinely like each other as a person. You need not look twice, you just feel it.

They say it takes 2 to tango, the above picture says it all. That scene in Ep 5 totally upped my love for the OTP a few notches. My heart beat like a fast-track bullet train, my brain clumped into a mess of all sorts. I couldn’t think straight. JW and YJ’s understated sexual tension in the scene made me go delusional. It was the most beautiful and perfect moment, and if I may say, even better than the famous dance between KSA and Cha Seung Won in City Hall. IF ONLY Ramses didn’t interrupt GRRRRRR!

Kim Sun Ah plays YJ with utterly amazing charm and quirk. You have to give it to the actress for she always manages to evolve in to the characters she plays in her dramas. Although she did ham up her cuteness a bit too much in the first episode, she slowly toned it down and she grew on me by the end of Ep 1. If you need someone to play down to earth genuine and lovable with  OTT-ness that doesn’t annoy, it’s Kim Sun Ah. She nails her emotions, fun cute cheerful and emotional with sheer endearment that you just can’t help but love her and feel for her.

Wookie is also doing a fine if not great job so far. I wouldn’t call his character a difficult one to portray as countless actors have attempted it before. He’s not the greatest actor out there, or the most talented, but what I love that he genuinely immerses himself into the character and doesn’t try too hard to make it work. His range has broadened, and you can see that he tries to experience with a wider spectrum of emotions. I noticed that he tends to overdo his deadpanned and sheepish expression a bit too much sometimes, but I feel it’s at attempt by him to play into JW’s nonchalant attitude. His insensitivity towards anything and everything in life. I’ve seen some people who are like that in RL and I totally buy it.

Chemistry is no doubt off the charts. Look up there again. If you don’t feel a thing, you won’t feel a thing. But if you do, you’re almost there. Wookie and Sunah are both known to be “ideal co-stars” in that they can create chemistry with anyone they act with. In particular Kim Sun Ah who has practically wowed me with her chemistry with her co-stars in all if not most of her dramas. Scent of a Woman is just a dream come true for me, and I’ve been in cloud 9 ever since it began. Chemistry on screen does work when you really bring it on off-set (check all Wookie and Sunah BTS and selca pics).

Eom Ki Joon plays second fiddle, a straightforward and a somewhat blunt doctor who has no idea about compassion. He who sees a straight line and calls it a ruler sees the world in one view, it would take mounts of strength for him to bend. One who has had YJ in his heart for 25 years but never said a word. If not for my love for Wookie, I would have shipped YJ and Eun Seok in a go no doubt. The conflicted doctor and the warm-hearted patient,  EKJ plays Eun Seok with such a commanding charisma that you can’t help but want to see more of him. He doesn’t appear that much in the drama, but when he does, he comes in grand. His aura kills, and his presence domineers. So kick ass EKJ is in his role that I can totally see why some are torn, and why some are totally for the ES-YJ pairing.

I may already be a firm JW-YJ shipper, but I’m also dead on for the competition that ES may come to be against JW in future episodes (in Ep 6 as I read in spoilers?). He may be stiff and unlikeable, unaffected and blunt. But thru EKJ, we see that ES too has a heart that has yet to be opened, like a chest waiting to be pried open. I’m intrigued by the idea that YJ may be the key to him opening up. YJ may have a short time to live, but I like the notion that with the amount of time she’s got left, she’s able to make herself happy and make others feel the same too. ES is never going to get the girl in the end, but I will be content if he ends up looking at the world with a brighter and more cheerful point of view thru YJ.

Spoilers indicate that JW may get very much annoying and ES may prove to be the better match for YJ in Ep 6. But I have faith in my OTP, that things will come thru and they will realize their feelings for each other soon. I’m sure the journey might turn people off, with the possibility of JW getting hung up on how he can fall for a woman so easily and how she’s getting on well with ES, while in actual fact she’s the one suffering inside. And with Se Kyung (Seo Hye Rim) proving to be more conniving than expected as she finds herself being uprooted by a mere lowly employee she sees not to exist, JW and YJ getting together is not easy.

But I guess all of that do not match to what will be the most tragic thing of all – when JW finds out about YJ’s sickness. Gah just thinking about it makes me teary. JW and YJ fall in love hard. YJ pushes JW away for no reason. JW gets angry. YJ suffers even more. JW finds out. YJ’s time is almost up. JW drowns in sorrow. We all cry. Of course I do hope that the writers can come up with something more different and original. Let the fun and cute carry thru till the end of the drama? Give us tears of joy of living instead of tears of impending separation?

Life is an amusing package. It’s like you don’t know what to expect from it. When you think you know what’s inside, you’re enthralled with surprise when you open it. When you put it away for the fear of not knowing what’s inside, you miss the chance of getting to experience the thrill of exploring it and the the fun of having to play with it while it lasts. In a nutshell, you never know what’s gonna happen until you take a step forward. Give what you want a shot.

We have no idea what will become of YJ in the end. Anything can happen in a span of 10 episodes. I’d initially feared that I wouldn’t be able to cope with the fact that YJ might die in the end, for that the other person might suffer even more seeing her leave the world (oh my poor Wookie T__T). But now I think I’m able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Her dying doesn’t mean that everything will come to an end. Her dying doesn’t mean that she will leave the world unhappy.

If this drama allows me to see how YJ manages to fulfill life to her wants and desires before she breathes her last, I think I will be content and satisfied. Ultimately, it’s not about how long or short one’s life is, it’s about the many things that you’ve done and the experiences that you’ve encountered with your loved ones when you lived.

Last but not least, I pray that the drama will continue to be this good. I do not need anything more ground-breaking, just continue to be this good.

I realized that I’ve rambled a bit too much for a 5-ep impression post aiks.. miahne! 😛 Here you go before I scoot (and before you kill me!), Junsu’s song “You’re So Beautiful” from the breezy OST of Scent of a Woman (MV included)~

photo credits: LDW / KSW/ SoAW baidu bar

video credits:


20 thoughts on “Scent of a Woman 1-5”

  1. Haven’t watched it yet but i am following the recaps by softy and at dramabeans and i am hooked. Am enjoying this journey. A woman’s journey to fulfill the dreams she’s had. A journey in which she falls in love along the way as she sets two souls (JW and the doctor) free from the bonds that life has tied around them. I hope that it continues with the feel it has and doesn’t get too melo dramatic on us. Glad to know you are enjoying it! Thanx for your first impressions.

    1. Thanks for reading ^^ I hope you get around to watching the drama cos it’s really really beautiful. Inside out. I have a feeling we’ll be in for lotsa waterworks when the truth is revealed. But I hope by then YJ would have already fulfilled her list?

    1. Omo, if it isn’t our very own hjkomo! *winks winks*
      EKJ is all yours (I’m content with Wookie!), but I’m afraid you’d have to queue up babe. Many are in line for the man after Ep 6 lol

  2. Wow! Love your post, really! I agree on most of your comments. And yep, thanks to Suna, Lee Dong Wook is actually more open to his fans now. 🙂

  3. I was bored the whole day and someone post the link to this blog of yours.
    I`m thankful that i was able to read this, (RECAP?) you made my day!
    I hope more people will share their thoughts about this drama and Support Suna and Wookie, even the drama ended, because, i believe, the cast of SOAW deserve some recognition to pay off their hard work and excellent performance in this drama. If we love this couple, then let them win the BEST COUPLE of SBS 2011! I`m campaigning already for our lovable couple….hehehe!

    1. Thanks jastinel for dropping by! 😀 I think SoaW is generally very well received, I’ve read comments here and there, and most of them veer towards being good or great. I’m so happy for both Wookie and Sunah. Not only is the drama doing great in the ratings department, both of them get along really really really well off-set, which makes me all the more giddy hehehe… 😛

      Sighs, I have so many OTPs this year. Gonna have a hard time choosing aiks!

  4. I’ve definitely noticed Kim Sun-ah seems to have KILLER chemistry with all her male leads. I bet she is just as charming offscreen as on. I hate that she is on that damn crash diet she is on for the show though bc it makes me worry it will affect her performance as it goes on. I mean, supposedly she is only eating one meal a day and sleeping 2hrs! With a grueling drama schedule I am surprised she hasn’t fainted yet and been in the hospital. Sun-ah, HWAITING (I always wanted to say that, lol)!

    I don’t think JW is as cliche a chaebol as others. He seems to be a little kinder than most but that is just IMHO. The second female lead has total second lead bitch syndrome all the way though. I just wanna rip her ugly hair out! GRRR

    What about that first tango scene with the old man on the beach?! That was such a beautiful and painful moment. It’s little scenes like that which really set this show apart to me.

    Is this a 16 episode show because I thought it was a slated for 30 eps?

    1. Wow, she IS one dedicated actress huh? I wonder why go all the way when she looks perfectly fine now? Something to do with the sickness? hmmm…but yeah, HWAITING Sunah! Hope she gets enough rest because I foresee more strain for her in the upcoming eppies. YJ has to deal with so many things apart from her sickness, the amount of energy needed to bring out those emotions.. def won’t be easy for the actress.

      The first tango scene was beautiful and bittersweet. Second tango scene filled with brewing sexiness. Third one, I already have no words…<333

      Oops, I presumed it would be a 16 ep show. 30 seems like a bit too long?


        She said it was to properly portray a dying woman but still that is an intense diet regime! I have done crash diets before and I was so drained I cannot imagine having to do an intense drama shoot under those conditions.

        I have always felt bad for Kim Sun-ah just because it seems like EVERY drama she is in they make comments about her weight. Obviously, they would do so in Sam Soon (though IMHO she still looked fine there) but in City Hall they made little snide remarks as well. The woman is not even overweight! ARGH

  5. Scent of a Woman is inspiring isn’t it? It’s her journey that is. I’m eager to see all what’s in her bucket list, tho it’s bittersweet. It’s amazing how a simple tango can be electrifying. I didn’t know KSA and LDW tandem can work this so well. They’re definitely one of my fave OTP’s.

    1. I think it has a lot to do with their off-screen chemistry? Just look at the amount of selcas they’ve uploaded “together”. They’re soooo cute together I cannot get enough. Seriously.

      Yeap, I just saw Ep 6. Amongst others (which I loved out of the episode), I loved loved loved the doggy part the most! It was sooooo cute and endearing. It’s simple things like this you know… random things that move you like no other. 😀

  6. Hi. I’m loving this drama right now. The only kdrama on my watch list right now. But I’m totally in love with this. I know there’ll be heartache in the end, but man! This is just a wonderful story. ANd LDW looks so much manlier after entering the army. I still have my fingers crossed that she won’t die. That’s just so unfair. You find love just when you know you’re dying.

    1. Yeap, army sure has done Wookie good. And I’m envious of Sunah because she gets to hang out with him 24/7! And guy is such a tease, he just posted in me2day that he wouldn’t have anymore shower scenes, but also said, “But I didn’t say I wouldn’t take off my top!” LOL

      My dear Wookie, what has Sunah done to you? 😛

  7. OMO! I’ve been wondering what you were thinking about this drama… and voila! I am in complete infatuation with this drama right now. LDW is hitting every button and the rest of the cast is just glorious. I couldn’t agree more on your thoughts! So glad you shared!
    I can’t say that I trust this drama, like I did Royal Family earlier this year, but my hope is it won’t disappoint. I haven’t read any spoilers so I’m not sure how I feel about those statements about the progression of the drama but for now I’m completely content with what we have.
    It’s a great story and even better love story, that I truly don’t mind sitting back and watching unfold. Ji Wook and Yeon Jae work and I have no doubt they will both get their lives together and make a few things happen.

    1. Oh unni, you have no idea how delighted I am to read about your LOVE for the drama. ❤ I read your insights too and totally loved them. ^^ Your creative analyses always amaze me.

      I hope the drama continues to employ the breezy and lighthearted tone thruout. Not that I'm averse to melodrama or angst (I would love to see YJ and JW pining for each other amidst the cancer-revelation being in play), but it'd give for more surprises if the writers are able to make the terminal disease a stepping stone to YJ's happiness (for once) rather than a mere tear-inducing element in the drama. 6 eps so far, all good and just nice.

      It's Thurs now, oh why is Sat so far away?

      1. I’m so glad you enjoyed the post 🙂
        If I were writing, she would definitely die at drama’s end but it would be more of what she wants, as in living happily and in love until then, completing her entire Bucket List(which I can’t wait to see in it’s entirety) and then some. Plus, she’d live longer than six months. However, if it’s organic to the story, which I can see, if done well, I’d love to see her live.
        But you mentioned Ji Wook finding out about the cancer and I’ve been wondering about that as well. Will it change the way he sees her? Will he respect her more or less? I say that because his attraction to her has alot to do with her new lease on life. She impresses him with her thoughts on life but now those thoughts are generated through her illness. I’m not saying she’s not being herself, but it’s an enhanced form of herself in many ways because her inhibitions are lower. I think they touched on it a bit when they returned from Japan and they met at the cafe but I’m still concerned.
        Overall, I think the drama is also trying to say that their meeting now, when she’s in this critical time is no mistake– it’s perfect timing. I can agree with that. In life we can meet our match anytime, sometimes perfect, sometimes not but if we take the leap, we’ll recognize it was perfect and right on time.

  8. I’ve watched 6 episodes of it, since yesterday night. Totally agreeing with what you’ve written here and couldn’t agree more. I mean, we love dongwookie, and I have to say that even though the plot is typical K-drama, like you’ve mentioned, it’s killing me.

    I love K-dramas which are down to earth and realistic. Just like My Lovely Samsoon, this is another one that I dig into. I love what you’ve written everything here, and keep up the good work!
    It’s really critical and non-biased, in my opinion. 🙂


  9. This drama is slowly killing me. LDW couldn’t have picked a better project to come back with after his stint at the army. More so, he couldn’t have picked a better onscreen partner! Damn this pair is on fayah! 😀 Looking back at LDW’s My Girl days, I can definitely say he’s gone a long way since 🙂

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