You may be thinking, “yes, yes, I know, you just got back from a trip so you’re using ‘roads’ as some kind of travel metaphor.” Nope. ROADS is, in its own words, “a contemporary and highly creative lifestyle brand based in Dublin, Ireland.” I was able to buy a discovery set of ROADS’ fragrances in the lovely fragrance department of Dublin’s Brown Thomas department store on Grafton Street. I had visited Dublin’s only specialized stand-alone perfumery dedicated to niche fragrances, Parfumarija, where I bought an Ormonde Jayne discovery set. (By the way, Parfumarija is well worth a visit). The delightful sales assistant, when I asked if she stocked any fragrances that are specifically Irish, suggested that I might like some of ROADS’ fragrances and thought I might find them there.
The founder of ROADS, Danielle Ryan (interviewed here by Fragrantica), was born in Ireland; her family are the founders of the airline Ryanair. This is the company’s philosophy and mission:
Founded by businesswoman and entrepreneur Danielle Ryan, the brand is built around the cornerstones of present-day culture, freethinking, storytelling, original design and intelligence. ROADS acts as a curator, researching and filtering interesting contemporary subject matters or themes. These themes then create the platform for each of our projects, be it a book, film or fragrance. 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.
There it is, after all — metaphor! The discovery set, or “selection box”, contains ten of ROADS’ current fragrances in 4ml vials. They are:
- Top: Wild grasses, cooling mints and wet bracken.
- Middle: Fig leaf, olive and wild thyme.
- Base: Oakmoss, violet leaf and vetiver.
- Top: Nutmeg, black pepper, ground lemon and bergamot peel.
- Middle: Cedarwood and fir balsam.
- Base: Violet leaves, vanilla, amber, vetiver and oakmoss.
- Top: Chamomile oil.
- Middle: Fresh geranium and jasmine base.
- Base: Amber, musk and sandalwood.
- Top: Tuberose, frangipani, old rose and heliotrope.
- Middle: Mandarin, muguet and clove.
- Base: Green moss, cedarwood, virginian sandalwood and patchouli.
- Top: Lavender.
- Middle: Vetiver, oud, saffron, black pepper, tuberose, rose and ylang ylang.
- Base: Sandalwood, bourbon, tonka bean, frankincense, patchouli and myrrh.
- Top: Bergamot peel, white jasmine, ylang ylang and citrus peel.
- Middle: Clove bud, rose geranium and violet leaf.
- Base: Vanilla, amber, sandalwood and old musk.
- Top: Nutmeg and cinnamon.
- Middle: Heliotrope, wild iris and vanilla.
- Base: Blend of woody aromatics.
- Top: Pettigrain, bergamot, grapefruit, limeleaf and juniper berries.
- Middle: Cognac, ginger and cardamon.
- Base: Cedarwood, oakmoss and amber.
- Top: Mandarin and bergamot.
- Middle: Wild jasmine.
- Base: Sweet vanilla, amber, musk and patchouli.
- Top: Green apple, lemon balm, mandarin and grapefruit.
- Middle: Iris, violet leaf, heliotrope, tuberose , jasmine blossom and old rose.
- Base: Cedarwood, sandalwood, leather amber and vanilla.
At Brown Thomas, I tested Cloud 9, Neon and another fragrance that is not in the discovery set, Big Sky. They were all intriguing and wonderful to smell, though my favorite of that brief test was Cloud 9. In the words of Ms. Ryan: “the idea was the gentleness and peaceful contentment of a Sunday morning. Duvets and children. Where all is right for a while. Hot milk and a sense of floating. This is a clean and comforting scent that is quite delicate and peaceful.”
I can’t wait to test all of these in more depth! Have you tried any ROADS fragrances?