Review: Scent of a Woman (KDrama)

Phew. I finally finished the drama today. I’ve been meaning to…especially since I’ve been watching it along with The Princess’ Man for the most part of its run.

To be honest, this is a very difficult drama to watch, at least for me. Of course, any drama with the premise of a dying woman from the word go, would hardly be complete without tears and angst. I expected that. I thought I was cool with that. In fact, I went through the first 11 episodes with no trouble at all – I liked it but I didn’t love it.
SOAW began slowly, with the first episode introducing Lee Yeon Jae (Kim Sun-ah) -- a pushover who lived an honest but quiet existence.

After her cancer diagnosis, I like how Yeon Jae took control of her life and recovered her spunk. She tried to live her life to the fullest and even made a bucket list. She had a makeover – imo she looks much too thin and gaunt but then again, the better to play her cancer stricken character I guess.

Her trip to Okinawa was okay…a lot of pretty and where she had her first interactions with Lee Dook Wook’s Kang Ji Wook who’s basically a chaebol with no passion for life.

The following episodes dealt with growing attraction between Yeon Jae and Ji Wook. Adding to that mix is a lovable doctor with a crush on Yeon Jae, Dr  Choi Eun Suk (Eom Ki Joon);

 a cameo by JYJ’s JunSu;

 meddling uppity fathers;
 an irritating clingy rich fiancée (whose fixation on Ji Wook is beyond my comprehension);

 hot sexy tango classes;

 a stupid work-related lawsuit;

 and a cheerful young cancer patient named Hee Joo with a crush on Eun Suk.

Episode 12 was what stopped me. Watching Yeon Jae wallowing in her depression was just so hard to do. It literally depressed me too, which was why I was so hesitant to pick up the drama again after I stopped.

When I did muster enough courage to continue, episode 14 to 16 was much, much better for my state of mind. With Ji Wook by her side, Yeon Jae was much stronger and happier. The last few episodes dealt with Eun Suk’s final growth from an indifferent doctor to a much more caring doctor, aided in part by Hee Joo (biggie spoiler : she dies); Mum’s second chance at love (which was surprisingly sweet);and how Mum comes to terms with Yeon Jae’s condition.

For such a depressing plot, it has a relatively light ending. I was afraid of watching the ending at first, especially having been spoiled that the ending is not a sad ending after all. I thought they were gonna spring some unlikely miracle cure or a major misdiagnosis kind of crap. Thankfully, they kept everything realistic and focus on the positives instead of her impending death.

Even after completing the drama, I can’t, in all honesty, claim to love this show. It’s much too depressing for my taste. LDW is handsome and adorable and all and his chemistry with Kim Sun-ah (re: tango scenes) is off-the-charts kind of hot. And KSA is great as always – it’s just that she cries so much, which really isn’t her fault but..I just couldn’t bear to watch all that sadness and tears. T.T


  1. Hey! You finished it, congrats! :) Thanks for your review! I completely understand you, tho I didn't actually watch it~ just read the recaps, but I must say I'm not a fan of those kind of melodramas. Much prefer light-hearted comedies!

  2. I really liked first episodes but as drama went on I started to lose interest. In the end it became boring. Maybe if i wasn't watching SOAW along with the princess man i would thought different. TPM completely overshadowed SOAW for me.

  3. I actually thought that although this drama went along a more macabre theme, it wasn't as depressing/dramatic as many other Korean dramas that I've seen. In some ways, it was actually quite lighthearted and the ending was very uplifting. I really hope that more people watch this show because although it is sad, it deals with very realistic problems and conveys an overall optimistic outlook to life