Brand guide: Ruth Mastenbroek

We take an overview of this line, which is elegance and quiet sophistication personified.

 The vibe

The Ruth Mastenbroek line of scents are classically elegant and refined. They smoulder with quality and craftsmanship and will definitely make you feel like your cheap suit is actually cashmere. Ruth Mastenbroek’s scents wear confidently, and elegantly. Their formulas are never trite or tricky, just really good examples of classic formulations expertly crafted.

The brand

Ruth Mastenbroek is a classically trained perfumer, training first in Chemistry at Oxford and then in perfumery in Grasse. She’s been making products for others for over 40 years, and 2010 launched her own line of perfumes and home scents.

There are currently four very bold and distinct scents in the Ruth Mastenbroek line up, and the same scents are mirrored in the reed diffusers they offer. The beauty of this is that if you really love one of the fragrances you can lavishly surround yourself with it.

You can read more about the company on their About Us page.

The scents

The Ruth Mastenbroek scents are all incredibly bold, but without the brashness that sometimes accompanies big perfumes. Instead there are very confident without being arrogant, elegant without being stuffy, and sophisticated without being old fashioned.

If you are looking for something that will stand the test of time, never be a faux pas and always make you feel good, then you’ve come to the right place.

Firedance

Listed notes: apple, lemon, damask rose, leather, cashmere, oudh, patchouli.

Oudh and rose as a combination is the perfume equivalent of caviar and boiled eggs. It’s tried, tested and utterly delicious. These things become classics for a reason. Here a dark, rich oudh is paired with a rich, almost liquor-like rose and the other ingredients are but supporting acts to these two central players. The perfume wears a bit like watching an Argentine Tango; it’s sexy, tense, electric. The fragrance is full-bodied, but the zesty lemon gives the edges a sharpness, and under the whole performance a dark, seamy, salty murkiness lurks.

Oxford

Listed notes: Galbanum, bergamot, basil, clary sage, jasmine, rosemary, lavender, amber, vanilla, vetiver, oudh.

Oxford is probably our favourite of the bunch. It is bright, zesty, energetic, but has this twist in the lingering notes which is moreish and addictive. This is a very smooth-textured and smooth-wearing scent, it reminded us of broad-shouldered men hanging around the boat club wearing chinos and beautifully pressed white shirts. Classical. Timeless. These words should be the tagline of the brand because they are what their scents encapsulate.

Oxford is so crisp and clean with bright, invigorating citruses, but it also evokes a cold water vibe which makes one instantly imagine that the river in Oxford itself is a mountain stream. Then, in the base notes there is this really interesting kink which at times gives the scent a nutty, mineral, almost coconutty vibe. It’s exciting, fresh and unexpected. Classical just got shifted up a gear.

Amorosa

Listed notes: Water melon, violet leaf, galbanum, ylang ylang, tuberose, amber, vetiver.

Amorosa is another fragrance with a beautiful fresh clarity about it. Pillowy, soft violet dominates the first half of the fragrance but the perfume retains a coolness, an aloofness,  which melts as the scent wears. There’s a powdery, soft nuance to the scent which is shot through with hints of greenery. Amorosa is perhaps the most stereotypically feminine of the line, but it’s not a silly, girly fragrance, this is the scent we could see a strong woman wearing, someone secure in their femininity.

Signature

Listed notes: Bergamot, pineapple, black currant, pink peppercorn, mandarine, rose, hedione (jasmine), lilial (lily), patchouli, oak moss, sandalwood.

Signature feels like the archetypal cologne type scent. It’s manly, grown up, but has been around the block a few times and knows how to appreciate the fleeting, beautiful things in life which can’t necessarily be bought.

The lavender comes through beautifully in the fragrance, bright and clean with a herbal undercurrent. The sage reinforces the woody notes and adds a pleasant savoury tone to stop the florals becoming unbalanced. This is a scent which will make you think of starched linen, English summers, striped deckchairs and champagne on ice by the river.

The verdict

Each and every one of these scents were full-bodied, robust and long lasting, the majority lasting the whole day and projecting to beyond handshake distance from the body. Although all these scents are bold and confident they aren’t obnoxious or brash which is a real coup d’etat to pull off. There’s a real surety in the way that Ruth Mastenbroek has constructed them which seems to pass on to the wearer: don one of these before the big interview or that nervous first date and you are bound to feel more confident immediately.

The perfumes are all, without exception, beautifully blended and very nicely put together. Although they are all unisex, Amorosa feels like the most feminine, and Oxford the most masculine. You should certainly feel free to wear whichever takes your fancy though regardless.

If we had to pick one to keep, it would be Oxford, which has a twinkly frisson of excitement about it making it very wearable, incredibly sexy and just a little bit unexpected in the dry down.

Buy it

The Ruth Mastenbroek perfumes can be bought from their web boutique where they are priced at £90 for 50ml EdP, or £120 for 100ml. 2ml samples can also be purchased for £5.

We were very kindly gifted a sample pack of these scents as a result of attending the Jasmine Award finalists drinks reception at Fortnum and Mason’s in London. There was no strings attached to the gift, and no expectation or anticipation of a review by us. We just really liked the scents so wanted to share them with you!

 

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