Saturday, October 3, 2015

Brand Overview: ROADS

One part businesswoman, one part art aficionado, Danielle Ryan is the definition of #GIRLBOSS. In a world that's still being reformed to respect women as head honchos, Danielle is a figure to admire. A sophisticated, intelligent, creative, ambitious, and beautiful entrepreneur, Danielle was born in Ireland to a Sri Lankan-German mother and an Irish father. Over the years, she has spent time in Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Dublin, and London. She is a graduate of the Royal Acadamy of Dramatic Art in London, established The Lir, and went on to create ROADS, a contemporary lifestyle brand which acts as an umbrella to ROADS Fragrances, ROADS Publishing, and ROADS Entertainment; all created for the purpose of expressing and fostering various kinds of art.

"There are many reasons why I wanted to create ROADS, but above all else, I wanted to create an artistic brand that would not be limited by its own definition, or confined to only one idea." -Danielle

ROADS' currently provides a range of niche perfumes, books (showcasing an array of art, photography, and culture), and a film production company which covers a variety of genres and subject matter. Danielle has so much going on that one might wonder how she could possibly focus enough attention on the subject of fragrance to kick out anything worthwhile, but rest assured, she's succeeded. There is currently a selection of ten fragrances available for purchase, all of which breathe life and intrigue into a skeleton of minimalism.

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Everything about ROADS Fragrance's brand aesthetic represents simplistic luxury. The look, feel, and smell hold their own in a sea of beautiful fragrance brands. Anyone can throw ingredients into a pretty flacon and cross their fingers, but it takes an artist to orchestrate a stratification of notes in such a way that they produce something with a clear intent. Danielle and her team begin a fragrance creation with a specific theme as a focal point; a person, place, emotion, state of mind, a natural phenomenon, or a period of time.

"The theme is then researched to identify its characteristics. If it had a sound what would it sound like? What colour would it be? What kind of personality would it have? The characteristics are listed and become a blueprint for the foundation of the fragrance."

By having a specific set of characteristics and emotions in mind, the ability to create a fragrance which could accurately evoke the emotions for which it was intended is more likely to be a success. Often times, I personally find that a fragrance which has depth and plenty of molecular content, without smelling like it does, is a genius piece of commendable artwork. I can look at the descriptions and inspiration for a ROADS fragrance and consciously grasp the emotion or vision for which it was designed to conjure, without feeling overwhelmed by the need to sort a plethora of notes.

ROADS Fragrances prove that complex and messy are not destined to be synonymous. Each scent smells refined, clean, and complete. Minimalism in fragrance is something that I adore, these kinds of scents are a sort of palette cleanser for the olfactory system, and an easy way to feel modern and swanky. This is how I view a ROADS perfume. Is this to say that I'm head-over-heels with all ten scents? Of course not, that's unrealistic…and while I do tend to approach life with my own personal cloud-hat, I'm still a sensible person. I do, however, appreciate each of them (and downright adore a few of them); look out for reviews in the coming weeks/months.

"ROADS – as a name – is a metaphor for the many choices and decisions we are faced with each day. These decisions shape us and make the paths for how we live. Every choice we make – what we wear, what we read, where we travel, how we communicate – informs our character. Therefore ROADS celebrates the individual in every sense."

Image from: via barney's ny

Will ROADS be for everyone? No one thing is ever for everyone. But if you're into clean and modern perfumery, I think you'll be impressed with their offerings. The biggest qualm that I've found with ROADS perfumes is that they are rather short-lived. If you're like me, in that scent overrides longevity and you relish in the practice of reapplication, that won't be such a dilemma to you. Howeeeever, if you're a stickler for fragrances that last, it's something to consider. And without further ado, here's the rundown of parfums for you:

  • Supernova: petit grain, bergamot, grapefruit, lime leaf, juniper berries; cognac, ginger, cardamom; cedarwood, oakmoss, amber
  • Neon: lavender; heliotrope, wild iris, vanilla; cedarwood, oakmoss, amber
  • White Noise: green apple, lemon balm, mandarin, grapefruit; iris, violet leaf, heliotrope, tuberose, jasmine blossom, old rose; cedarwood, sandalwood, leather, amber, vanilla
  • This Weekend: mandarin, bergamot; wild jasmine; sweet vanilla, amber, musk, patchouli
  • Clockwork: black pepper, ground lemon, bergamot peel; cedarwood, fir blossom; violet leaves, vanilla, amber, vetiver, oakmoss
  • Lights: bergamot peek, white jasmine, ylang ylang, citrus peel; clove bud, rose, geranium, violet leaf; vanilla, amber, sandalwood, old musk
  • Harmattan: lavender; vetiver, oud, saffron, black pepper, tuberose, rose, ylang ylang; sandalwood, bourbon, tonka bean, frankincense, patchouli, myrrh
  • Graduate 1954: tuberose, frangipani, old rose, heliotrope; mandarin, muguet, clove; green moss, cedarwood, Virginian sandalwood, patchouli
  • Cloud 9: chamomile oil; fresh geranium, jasmine; amber, musk, sandalwood
  • Bitter End: wild grasses, cooling mints, wet bracken; fig leaf, olive, wild thyme; oakmoss, violet leaf, vetiver
ROADS Fragrances retail at $155 for a 50ml bottle

A lovely look at a ROADS Fragrances store launch in May 2014:

There's loads more wonderful information about Danielle and ROADS Group here. What do you think?

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DISCLOSURE: sample box provided by ROADS for consideration, as always, I was not compensated to write this and opinions are my own

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