The founder of the Amsterdam-based beautybrand Rituals Cosmetics, Raymond Cloosterman, has chosen an anthropological perspective on our everyday habits transforming them into pleasant rituals.
As an anthropologist myself I find the aspects of beauty and rituals quite interesting and asked Raymond Cloosterman to share some thoughts on this matter.
How did you start the company and why?
–I traveled the world and visited many different cultures to find inspiration and was truly impressed by the ancient rituals and traditions I had encountered in Asia. That is basically how the idea for Rituals Cosmetics started to take hold. I was thinking:”What if you offer people something that would turn there everyday routines into something special?” I knew then that I had found my niche and together with a creative team of professionals from around the world, including an anthropologist and leading perfumers from Paris, I started my mission to transform ordinary products like shower gels, shaving foams and home products into a unique experience, inspired by the wisdom and ancient practices from Asia.
Why the name Rituals?
– Our brand’s philosophy is to help people slow down and find happiness in the smallest of things. And we passionately believe that turning everyday routines into more meaningful rituals is a very simple yet profound way to enrich your life. It is about helping people become aware of the beneficial effects these everyday rituals can bring you and how important they are to help you balance life and find a moment of peace. So the choice for a name was actually very simple. Rituals. That is what we offer, that’s what we do.
Do you think rituals in general are important for people around the world?
–Absolutely. Regardless of where you live or what age you are, people are by nature driven by habits. Whether it is your morning tea, a Sunday evening bath, your daily shave. These are all rituals. They help us to focus, find a rhythm, a moment of reflection and something to fall back on. You could say it is almost a necessity since our lives have become so busy and packed with work, family and activities.
Which ritual is your personal favorite?
–One of the oldest rituals in the world is probably lighting a candle. I love candles, I think if anything can change the atmosphere in your home it is a beautiful fragrance or a candle. Scented candles deliver both. No surprise there that you’ll find many in our home. Last year we launched The Private Candle Collection in addition to our regular scented candle range. We now offer 16 different luxury fragrances for a variety of moods and desires; refreshing, relaxing, invigorating, and sensuous.
And of course I love the Samurai range which was designed especially for men. It was inspired by the pre-battle grooming rituals of the Japanese warriors. Tough guys who mastered the art of grooming to perfection. Quite a contradiction but apparently it helped them face their battles with confidence. From the Samurai range I love the 3-in-1 shaving cream. It is unusually rich, hydrating and soothing. All you need for a good shave.
Why do you mix both home products and beauty products in one brand?
–I believe that your house functions as your second skin. It is the one place in the world where both your body and soul should feel comfortable, relaxed, care free and at home, both spiritually and physically. To me introducing homecare was a very natural and almost necessary fit. One is incomplete without the other.
Do you see this as a trend at the moment?
–I certainly believe that there is a mind shift towards a different lifestyle; call it a trend if you will. We see people are more interested in spirituality, they’re more open to mindfulness, are eager to improve the quality of their lives by taking a step back. We are so busy these days that the little time that we do spend at home should be quality time. And in that sense it is becoming more and more important to surround yourself with the things that help you unwind and add a touch of luxury. Pampering yourself and your surroundings is one way of doing that. And the complete range of Rituals products can help fulfill all those different needs.