Rituals: From candles to washing-up liquid, a shop devoted to hygge
The Danish beauty brand likes to take pleasure in the small details of life
Rituals of Yalda: the series is inspired by an Iranian end-of-year ritual
Wellbeing is big business, and the beauty industry is taking note. Today more than ever, savvy consumers are paying attention to small brands, ethical brands, and the philosophy behind them. The Danish concept of hygge, denoting cosiness, or comfort that engenders a sense of wellbeing, has permeated fashion, homeware and beauty. It isn’t too lavish, and it isn’t quite minimalist either. Increasingly, also, we want to buy from companies with a story and a social or environmental conscience. Beauty consumers will always want an element of luxury, too. Home-grown brands such as Jo Browne and Cloon Keen Atelier meet these demands perfectly.
Rituals, a Dutch brand founded by Raymond Cloosterman in 2000, encourages its customers to ritualise and take pleasure in the small details of life. This is why it makes products as seemingly disconnected as candles, shampoo, loungewear and washing-up liquid.
Having started out in Ireland by being stocked at Arnotts, it has just opened three stores in Dublin: a flagship on Grafton Street plus branches in Blanchardstown and Dundrum. “From a mentality point of view, the Irish and the Dutch are pretty close: an outgoing, friendly service mentality, and we both love good price points,” he says. “The Irish have really embraced our brand, so that is why we are making this bigger commitment to the country.”
The company designs its ranges around Asian traditions. The Ritual of Yalda, for example, is a series inspired by an Iranian ritual in which people end the year by eating watermelons and pomegranates before writing down wishes and sending them into the ether by burning them. Rituals’ €17.50 Wishing Box includes scented paper to write your wishes on, matches and a little bowl to burn the paper in. Cloosterman calls them his alternative to Christmas crackers. “The paper smoulders like incense to fragrance a room. It’s different; more meaningful, less wasteful.”
Cloosterman’s philosophy of living fully inside little moments guides even the smallest details. Rituals champions product refills, for example, to save both packaging and its customers’ money, and its gift sets come in beautiful but robust boxes that it encourages people to use as keepsake boxes (once they’ve recycled the completely compostable inserts).
The Ritual of Holi, an affordable, colourful range for preteens and teens focused on self-acceptance and taking joy in the everyday rituals of personal hygiene, also sets the brand somewhat apart. It includes Shower Flower foam (which comes out of the can rather thrillingly shaped like a rose), Crackling Body Mousse, Party Time Confetti Body Scrub and Shower Jelly. Rituals developed the range with children, Cloosterman’s young daughter among them. “They told us what they thought was fair to spend on a gift for a good friend, and maybe a less close friend, and that is how we priced the products. I wanted it to be accessible.” Each Ritual of Holi product costs between about €6 and €15.
It’s unusual for a big, more established brand to champion personal wellbeing, inclusion, sustainability, affordability and an ethical approach to beauty while crediting that philosophy as part of its success. The Rituals flagship store is a nice addition to Grafton Street’s bustling beauty scene.
FIVE WELLBEING PRODUCTS WORTH TRYING
Rituals: The Ritual of Holi Shower Flower foam (€8.95 at Rituals)
Aromatherapy Associates Self Care is Your Healthcare set (€33.45 at lookfantastic.com)
Votary Pillow Spray (£30 at cultbeauty.com)
NeoM Organics Tranquillity Three Wick Scented Candle (€54 at Arnotts)
Bramley Lavender, Geranium and Petitgrain Hand Wash (£14 at bramleyproducts.co.uk)