AngMo literally means “red-haired” and is just one of the many colloquial words used in Singapore. Initially, the word had derogatory connotations that depicted race and referred to white people. It has since become a common term used by local people to refer to a white person or the Western Culture in general and is mostly used in a friendlier way. The word is mostly used in Malaysia and Singapore, but can also sometimes be heard in the Riau Islands and Taiwan.
The inspiration behind the scent created by Singapore Memories AngMo was to recreate the warm comforting scent that would remind Expats in Singapore of the aromas of a Christmas spent in an Oak house with snowflakes falling outside.
A bridge and its history
Situated in north-east Singapore is the town of Ang Mo Kio and there are many theories as to how it and its bridge got their name. These are the two most interesting:
During the colonial times, John Turnbull Thomson, a British Civil engineer, was the person responsible for building a bride to help facilitate transportation. Even though this bridge was later rebuilt, it is referred to by the locals as the Ang Mo Kio or “Red Hair Bridge” and it’s either because Thompson was Caucasian or because he had red hair.
The area and bridge may have also got its name from a Caucasian lady of British descent. Lady Jennifer Windsor was the wife of Lord Windsor. The wealthy merchant had an estate in the Upper Thomas areas from the 1920s until the end of the Second World War. The name Ang Mo Kio is also thought to have come from the locals who referred to his wife as such. Lady Windsor lost three of her children who were swept away by a sudden rush of water that passed through the forest as they went on their way to visit friends. Even though the bodies of her two sons were found about two miles from the bridge, the body of her daughter was never recovered. The locals started hearing the cries of a little girl on the bridge and this prompted Lady Windsor to spend her days at the bridge for the rest of her life so that she could be close to what she believed to be the ghost of her daughter. Her never-ending presence on the bridge, from 1923 until her death in 1963, might be why it is named Ang Mo Kio. When Lady Windsor passed away the local people stopped hearing the cries of the young girl.
AngMo gets its scent from pine cones, peppermint, cloves and ginger. These are the aromas that bring memories of Christmas, holidays and celebrations in colder parts of the world. Singapore Memories wants expats living here to be able to recreate the fragrances of the winter holidays while they are here. AngMo, the room fragrance that many visitors to Singapore purchase as a souvenir or corporate gift, helps to keep the scent of winter close to their hearts.