When Raymond Cloosterman started home and body cosmetics company Rituals back in 2001, no-one was talking about wellness. ‘The first couple of years were really difficult because we were doing things differently,’ he tells us. ‘Mindfulness didn’t really exist and yoga wasn’t as big, but the concept was there and our philosophy was there.’
He was certainly onto something. Wellness has blown up over the last decade, along with self-care and mindfulness: all fundamental parts of the brand. Inspired by the ancient traditions of Asian cultures, Rituals is about slowing down and appreciating the small things in life. Their range stretches from fragrance to skincare to body products to candles, with each collection named after a different ritual – from Karma to Holi. Here we chat to Raymond about the importance of scent, mindfulness and rituals in everyday life…
Why were you drawn to practices from the Far East?
Travelling is one of my passions. I’ve travelled a lot in Asia where there’s still a lot of respect for ancient rituals, particularly in places like China, India and Japan. When I started creating Rituals we came up with this whole notion of helping people to slow down. We live life on auto-pilot and often forget how important it is to appreciate the little things in life. Routines provide rhythm, and if you take bit more time for everyday rituals they can really help with peace of mind.
So mindfulness is a big part of the brand?
Mindfulness is the anchor for the brand. When we first started Rituals mindfulness didn’t exist like it does today, but the concept was there and our philosophy was there. This awareness of mindfulness has become stronger and stronger over the years – people are taking more time for themselves to get a better quality of life. The concept of mixing body and home care was also new back then. It came from the idea that we’re under pressure 24/7 – as a friend, as a parent, as a spouse – meaning people are looking for safe places to withdraw, and the two safest spaces are yourself and your own house. Wellness is here to stay: things go faster every day and we need something to hold onto, so I believe the movement will only continue to grow.
Why is fragrance so important?
We’re living more and more with all our senses, and scent is one of the strongest. In the home, they make the picture complete: when you enter a room, the brain picks up that fragrance and it adds something extra.
Which scents work best in different rooms?
It’s so personal, but rich scents like ood and fig tend to work better in living rooms while fresher scents are good for kitchens and bathrooms. Fragrance sticks are more subtle, a way of styling your home while creating a nice atmosphere.
Can you tell us about the sustainability measures at Rituals?
From the outside it’s all about lifestyle, design and elegant fragrances but from the inside we need to make sure people can trust us. We’ve put a lot of time and investment into exploring the concept of wellbeing in terms of looking after the planet. We’re careful with packaging, strong on recycling, and our skincare is natural with refillable containers.
Rituals new Private Collection for home is available at in Rituals Cosmetics stores, selected department stores and at rituals.com from 1st October 2019.