A British perfume brand, Ruth Mastenbroek, kindly sent over a sample of their ‘Firedance’ perfume and I’m going to tell you all about it, plus an exclusive interview with Ruth Mastenbroek herself, talking about her inspirations, business tips, the best places to apply perfume and a story involving Jennifer Lopez!
I received an email with the subject line ‘Review a family-run British niche perfume brand’ from Ruth’s children and I agreed pretty much straight away. Since starting my own business, I’ve come to understand how much it helps to have people support you, and I thought it was so lovely to see Ruth’s kids supporting her so much.
So, first thing’s first…
Who is Ruth Mastenbroek?
Ruth is a talented perfumer who creates perfumes based on her life experiences, from childhood memories to her love of music and dance.
She has an impressive background, graduating from Oxford University, creating fragrances for huge brands such as Jo Malone (stay tuned for a pretty cool story in the interview) to creating her own business.
I don’t want to give too much away…read the interview below for an insight into how Ruth started her business.
Ruth Mastenbroek ‘Firedance’ Perfume
I took one sniff of this perfume and loved it! If you’re a fan of Oudh, you’ll love this perfume! I’d describe the scent as a creamy Oudh aroma, not overpowering though, with a slight flowery element. It’s gorgeous!
The perfume is described as a ‘A story of celebration’ and I definitely got that feel from the scent. When I smell the perfume, I can imagine myself getting dressed up, going for a fancy dinner and having a fab evening out. It’s strange how a perfume can influence emotions…
Interview with Ruth Mastenbroek
I asked Ruth 8 questions about herself, her business and her inspirations. I have to say, I love her answers!
1) What’s the story behind your perfume ‘Firedance’? What inspired you to create a perfume with these scents and why did you give it this name?
Firedance is a story of celebrations. In the fragrance I try to capture the buzz you get from those big celebrations like weddings, birthdays, parties (think champagne popping open and fireworks!), and also those small contentments in life that make you appreciate what you have. It’s not always about the big things, I really wanted to capture the feeling you get from those moments like squeezing a loved one’s hand, feeling the sun on your face, sitting in front of the fire with a cup of hot chocolate! The name itself came about from thinking about what would help to give you the feeling of warmth, celebration and sparkle.
2) From your range of perfumes, which is your favourite and why?
My latest is always my favourite…so right now it’s Firedance! So much energy has gone into the creation of Firedance that I am slightly obsessed with it…but my Signature fragrance, with its key notes of bergamot, rose, patchouli and oakmoss in its chypre accord, will always have a special place in my heart, because it was the first fragrance I created for my brand and signified a new freedom for me creatively.
3) Where can we buy your products?
You can buy Ruth Mastenbroek Eau de Parfum and Fragrance Diffusers in a range of independent perfumeries and boutiques across the UK, as well as on my website – www.ruthmastenbroek.com. All stockists are listed on my website. We are very proud to work with some very special shops who love selling my perfumes!
4) You’ve created perfumes for well-renowned brands such as Jo Malone and Jigsaw. Which was your favourite brand to work with and which was your favourite perfume that you created for these brands?
The Jo Malone Grapefruit candle was very special as it was an interesting fragrance to create, and it also generated a lot of attention because Jennifer Lopez apparently loved it so much that she bought 300 of them for her hotel room!
5) When you were studying Chemistry at Oxford University, did you ever think that you’d ever go into the perfumery industry and start your own business?
I began to realise that I didn’t want to work in research or teach, and that I wanted a career where I could explore my creative side, but that I would become a perfumer – no! That never occurred to me. Nor that I would ever start my own business – this was not something that drove me then. The desire to create my own business, and later my own brand, were very organic.
6) When you’re not creating perfumes, what do you like to do in your spare time?
I love dancing, whether it’s in a modern dance class, or rock & rolling, dancing Ceroc. I also adore Italy, where I go with my husband whenever possible. In Italy I can connect with the ancient past, the countryside, all kinds of music…not to mention the food and drink – perfetto!
7) Do you have any advice for starting a business?
With a consumer product you have 2 markets: your retailers and your customers; you need to understand both. Getting the distribution right is the key to success.It is not an easy thing to do because you will get endless ‘no’s’, so you have to have thick skin and endless motivation and dedication! If you are starting your business in something you love and believe in, that helps!
8) How do you make the most of a perfume? Are there any areas in particular where it should be sprayed?
I like to spray on pulse points, because your skin is that little bit warmer where your blood runs close to the skin. Around the neck and hair, decollete, behind the ears…these are good places to spray for when someone comes close, but spraying anywhere on the tops of your hands and arms is good, because when you gesture, lovely wafts of fragrance drift by. In the summer, always think of the back of knees for when you cross your legs, and even your navel for some added mystery!
If you guys own a Ruth Mastenbroek perfume or have bought the Firedance perfume, let me know your thoughts in the comment box below!
Lots of love,