Ah, happy days…
Perfumers have always drawn on personal memories and associations when creating fragrances, and for the third scent in her signature portfolio, Ruth Mastenbroek is harking back to her happy times at Oxford University, where she studied chemistry and was a keen rower.
As Ruth explains it: ‘I wanted to capture the essence of that first discovery, when you are exposed to things you have never come across before – that feeling of learning about yourself, the negatives and positives, coming out the other side richer, wiser,more mature. This fragrance is the story of an awakening, a personal discovery of becoming a complete person.’
How to do that…? Well, a key inspiration was Gitanes cigarettes, whose perfume (because truly Gitanes are perfumed) created such a scented fug at Oxford parties – ‘chic, rough and exotic,’ says Ruth, who adds that her fragrance is also about that moment when you discover you can make your own choices, you can make mistakes. It’s your life and none else’s…’
There’s not a foot wrong with this, however: rich, seductive, opening with touches of bergamot, galbanum and basil, before the rosemary, jasmine and clary sage heart enters the party. But it’s the base notes you’ll remember: a swirl of sexy amber, vanilla, vetiver and oudh which just landed at Fenwick of Bond Street.
We’d love to have been a fly on the wall at some of those parties. But we’ll happily make do with this fragrant journey through time…
Ruth Mastenbroek Oxford from £60 for 50ml
Buy it at Fenwick Bond Street