If given the opportunity to start over, what kind of life would you choose? I believe many people have pondered this question countless times. However, the reality is that no one can start their life over from scratch. What belongs to the past will always remain in the past.
But in dramas, the fictional world allows us to see the time rewind that we have always hoped for. "Scent of Time" is a recently premiered costume drama that revolves around the growth and healing of a female protagonist. From the first episode, we witness how the heroine, Hua Qian, goes back in time and changes her fate against all odds. The concept of self-rescue through rebirth has pleasantly surprised viewers.
"Scent of Time," directed by Bai Yunmo and Guo Hao, stars Zhou Ye, Wang Xingyue, Peng Chuyue, Zhang Yijie, and Zhao Qing. Adapted from a popular romance novel "Xi Qian Hua", the drama tells the story of Hua Qian, who due to a momentary lapse of judgment, finds redemption and turns her life around with the help of Zhong Xiwu, the master of fragrant medicine, who has been infatuated with her.
The drama begins with the typical plotline often seen in rebirth literature, a tragic moment of death: Hua Qian (played by Zhou Ye) faints in a pool of blood after witnessing the bodies of her mother and brother. When she regains consciousness, she finds herself on her wedding night with Zhong Yelan (played by Peng Chuyue). From this point on, Hua Qian's battle for survival begins, setting the stage for her journey of redemption and transformation.
In the story, Hua Qian, the daughter of the overseer of the fragrant medicine family, had once committed mistakes due to her obsession with Zhong Yelan, who did not love her in return. This ultimately led to the downfall of her family.
As the gears of fate start turning again, Hua Qian decides to turn over a new leaf and start anew. However, when she returns to the night of her wedding with Zhong Yelan, many of her wrongdoings have already been done, making it more challenging for her to make amends and guide her misguided family members back onto the right path. For Hua Qian, it proves to be more difficult than she had imagined.
This time, she begins to value her family and friends around her. In order to avoid repeating past mistakes, she no longer stubbornly clings to the emotional entanglement with Zhong Yelan. Instead, she chooses to support the blossoming romance between Zhong Yelan and Mu Yao, and dedicates herself to guiding her misguided family members back onto the right path.
Throughout this process, the mysteries of the past gradually come to light. Hua Qian discovers Zhong Xiwu, who has silently guarded her all along, and encounters Hua Rongzhou, who always prioritizes her safety above all else. Through twists and turns, she ultimately achieves redemption for herself and her family and friends.
The entire story of "Scent of Time" follows the typical structure of a rebirth and counterattack story. When faced with a tragic and hopeless situation in life, in order to survive, one must be reborn and overcome challenges.
In the drama, the protagonist Hua Qian, due to her misguided love in her previous life, committed various mistakes and ultimately faced a brutal punishment. Therefore, after getting a second chance, she realizes that love is not everything and becomes independent and clear-minded.
This is precisely the most authentic portrayal of a character, just like every person in real life. When we are young, we often possess a sense of bravery and persistence, willing to go to great lengths for the people or things we love. But after repeatedly facing setbacks and enduring hardships, we gradually learn from our experiences and become more cautious and careful.
Compared to the gentle and kind female protagonists in previous ancient dramas, Hua Qian's charm lies in her decisiveness. After embarking on a new journey in life, Hua Qian immediately realizes what she truly desires. She does not want to repeat the tragedies of the past; she wants to save herself and her family.
The biggest highlight of the entire drama is witnessing how Hua Qian, in the face of adversity, gradually reverses the gears of fate through her strategies and cunning. With a god's-eye view, clear goals, and a sober independence, "Scent of Time" vividly portrays Hua Qian's unconventional character from the very beginning.
Emotional entanglements, familial bonds, and family turmoil. In the drama, Hua Qian has emotional connections with three different men: Zhong Yelan, the nominal husband; Zhong family head, Zhong Xiwu; and her own bodyguard, Hua Rongzhou. These three distinct emotional storylines leave a deep impression.
Although the emotional plotlines in "Scent of Time" contain various elements, Hua Qian's emotional issues always take a backseat to her concerns about life. This is an important reason why the entire drama manages to expand without losing its focus.
In fact, we often ponder whether it is truly possible to start over. When faced with a familiar life, what should we do? Can the course of destiny really be altered?
With these questions in mind, when we observe Hua Qian's response to the question of "what would you do if you had the chance to start over," in "Scent of Time," we instead see her journey of rebirth as a thrilling adventure of her own. Bearing the hopes of her family and unspeakable secrets, Hua Qian treads every step with trepidation in order to change her destiny.
In addition to the novel storylines and character development in "Scent of Time," the visual effects are also pleasantly surprising. The drama incorporates the essence of Chinese culture and intangible heritage into its costume and set designs, adhering to the standards of clothing in the Five Dynasties period.
The entirety of "Scent of Time" seamlessly integrates Chinese elements and intangible heritage into its costume design. It is understood that the production team referred to the clothing styles of the Five Dynasties period, and tailored different designs based on the distinct characteristics of each character. For instance, the protagonist Hua Qian, as the daughter of a supervisor and the lady of Zhong's household, wears a narrow-sleeved, straight-collared jacket with a floor-length skirt, exuding a sense of agility and lightness. The overall color palette is bright and vibrant, yet still elegant and graceful.
On the other hand, the male lead Zhong Xiwu, as the head of the household, showcases his status and calm demeanor through his costume design. He dons a robe with a slanting lapel and a round collar, complemented by an inner plain-colored garment. His head is adorned with a headdress, and his waist is adorned with a finely crafted and luxurious belt.
It is worth noting that the drama showcases scenes of ancient incense-making, appreciation, and everyday use, highlighting the traditional cultural heritage of the fragrance and medicine family. This aligns perfectly with the concept of rebirth in the entire drama.
Hua Qian in the drama has been given the opportunity to start her life anew. She strives to influence her family with love and familial bonds, showcasing the process of her own growth and self-awareness as a woman. Traditional costumes and intangible cultural heritage, with the help of the drama, reenter the gaze of more young people like a beautiful painting.
Whether it is the characters or the cultural aspects depicted in the drama, they seize the opportunity to showcase and live a new life without fear of the past or the future, always holding their own destiny in their hands.