When All You Need Is a Good Cry: Scent of a Woman Kdrama Review

My natural inclination is to watch Korean romantic comedies, but sometimes I just need a good cry, and there's nothing like a good korean melodrama to make your tears run dry. It's hard for me to get into most melodramas because I am not really in to being sad during my escapes from reality. However, one day my kdrama fangirl mother recommended that I watch Scent of a Woman, and I followed her advice because I'm 28 now and past the stage where you think everything your parents say is stupid. It turns out that my mother was right and I really enjoyed my first melodrama. There, I said it! Mothers do know everything. Thanks mom! So here are the top three reasons you should watch Scent of a Woman:

1. The Transformation of the Female Lead
The thing that almost made me quit this drama was ultimately the thing that made me love it the most. In order for it to be a fulfilling and worthwhile story, the characters in dramas must experience some kind of growth and change. Along this line, most kdrama female leads start out as either passive, or socially awkward, or badly dressed, or selfish, or any combination of these traits. The pitiful, awkward, and badly dressed female lead in Scent of a Woman, Lee Yeon-Jae, irritated me so much at the beginning! It was painful to watch how passive and downtrodden she was.

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I almost gave up on the show because I couldn't stand her, but then she made a magical transformation. One day, she finds out she has terminal cancer and throws all care to the wind. The newly empowered Lee Yeon-Jae tells off her boss in a satisfying scene and decides to live her life in the moment to the fullest by creating a bucket list of all her dreams. Plus she makes a pretty outstanding physical transformation in not only hair and clothes but also in her overall demeanor.

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The only criticism I have in this regard is that she maintained far too much of a pouty, teary eyed expression throughout the whole drama. However, it is a melodrama after all, so what do you expect?

2. The Inspirational Moments
This drama really did make me feel like I wanted to get out there and live my dreams. Our heroine has some pretty cool items on her bucket list of things she wants to do before she dies and she goes out and accomplishes them. I wish I could write a wish list that included taking an amazing vacation, meeting my celebrity crush, falling in love, and getting married and that it would all come true in a couple months! Where is this magical notebook and pen? In the meantime I guess I'll have to just work hard to make my dreams happen and live like there's no tomorrow just like Lee Yeon-Jae.

3.  The Tango
One of the goals on the female lead's bucket list is to learn to Tango. This provides plenty of opportunities for steamy moments between the OTP. I love this OTP, even though they did not have as much chemistry in my opinion as I like my OTP's to have. However, the Tango scenes definitely made the chemistry more believable.

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The pitfalls of this drama probably have more to do with my personal aversion to wallowing than being the drama itself's fault. The episodes lagged and felt a little drawn out in the middle. Also, theres were times where I couldn't handle any more dramatic gazing and crying and wanted to poke my eye out.  But if these are a deterrent to you, then there is always the fast forward button and recaps for what you don't want to watch on Dramabeans. Like I've said before, I am not a kdrama cryer, but this drama did make me cry a little, and I liked it!

There Will Be a Lot of This Expression Going On
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All in all if you want to expose yourself to Korean melodramas in a safe and friendly environment then this is the drama for you. Nothing too intense to handle, and there are lots of uplifting and inspiring moments that make Scent of a Woman worth giving a try!

Spoiler Alert: Don't Read if You Haven't Seen It Yet
Did the ending kill anyone else? Man, I really thought she died and was sending all her loved ones that stuff as a final goodbye. I was so mad and sad and was yelling, "What?! You've got to be kidding me!" at the screen. But it was a dirty trick and I kind of loved it.

Note: After a recent layout switch, we're seeing comments posted before April 7, 2017 missing on a few posts. We're working on a solution, and in the meantime, any new comments you leave will work!


  1. The Tango! That alone made all the crying scenes bearable!

    1. So true! Who else wanted to take Tango lessons after watching it?

  2. I definitely cried at the end of this one. I loved it though. This and A Gentleman's Dignity are my favorites. They are ones I can watch over and over again. I really like that she is strong even though she is physically weak. She thinks of others (like her mom and Kang Ji Wook) but because she is dying she has to act on her choices and do things with her life. Also it helps that Kang Ji Wook is never mean to her. I get that the guy doesn't like the girl in alot of dramas in the beginning and then grows to love/obsess about her. It was nice to see a refreshing change. This show made me want to be better and do good things with my (normal but short in the grand scheme of things) life which is a great legacy for a drama to leave behind.

  3. Have you watched Love Rain yet? It's definitely one of my favourite Korean dramas ever! I recommend it with all my heart: I laughed and cried a lot and and I've already rewatched it. The storyline looses it's interest in the last few episodes but it's totally worth watching even though you skip the ending.


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