Foto: Rituals

Dezember 2021


Q&A with Raymond Cloosterman

1. What does your home mean to you?

My home is extremely important to me. It is the one place where all the important things of life come together and where I can let down my guard, be myself and completely relax. I believe your house should be your sanctuary where you can truly wind down and set your own pace. I have a busy schedule, but so does my wife and the kids run in and out with their own activities. Then it is great to connect with each other at the dinner table. As such home is also the beating heart of our family and of course a place where we entertain our friends with good food and good wine.

2. How does your home represent you?

My life can be quite chaotic at times. And maybe that is the reason why I like cleanliness and order in my surroundings. I would like to think that my home is a reflection of my personality, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that I am very much involved and invested personally with the interior decoration of each and every room. And I like to surround myself with beautiful things and I pay a lot of attention to detail in order to create the right atmosphere. Three things that help me boost that to the next level are home fragrances, design and music.

3. How would you describe the interior of your home? Is there anything or anywhere specific that you draw inspiration from?

I would say a combination of bohemian, eclectic and Ralph Lauren style but with a very calm and natural foundation. The atmosphere in every room is different with surprising touches. We recently redid the house and I wanted to make sure the flow, when walking through the house, made sense. Which room is the most important space in the house? To us, that would be the kitchen, so this became the heart of our home with a big round inviting dining table. When we entertain larger groups of friends for Christmas dinners or 80s/90s karaoke parties we move to our garden chamber.

4. Do you design the style/interior yourself? Or do you have help?

Interior design is one of my passions. A lot of vintage objects in my home I bought myself; I think I’m one of the very few men that really loves to shop. Together with an interior designer we brought the contemporary style of the Belgian village and incorporated that into our home. Each room has a different atmosphere and theme: the dining room is blue with blue pottery from Asia. The kitchen has a warm orange theme with the lovely spicy fragrance of The Ritual of Mehr collection. Our living room is decorated in green. The color green induces calmness, scientific studies support this fact, so it felt perfect for our holiday home both in winter and in summer. It is almost like bringing the outside, inside and the other way around.

5. How do you change the scents in your home throughout the year?

Fragrance is very important to me. It is the fastest way to experience and influence a mood. It really does trigger memories and influences your emotion and it that sense it is a pretty powerful tool to create an ambience. We know that the brain processes a fragrance in a couple of seconds, after that you won’t smell it anymore. The trick is to surprise your brain by decorating different rooms with different scents. In the Summer I love to surround myself with the fresher scents like Savage Garden or The Ritual of Karma. In winter I prefer a slightly richer fragrance with a bit more depth like The Ritual of Mehr or Precious Amber.

6. What is currently your ultimate interior must-have?

Firstly, I love our fireplace. It’s something I love to come home to, enjoy a good glass of wine in good company of my wife or friends. Secondly, what I really can enjoy are coffee table books. You can either go for one from a professional photographer, but you could also create one yourself. Create a nicely designed photobook of your family vacation and places you have visited. We do this every year.

7. What is typical for the Dutch interior style?

The generation I’m from, in the Netherlands is very well known with the typical Jan des Bouvrie styling, with its characteristic modern design in the color scheme white. To be honest I’m not a big fan of it but I see it shifting to a more natural Scandinavian style now, which I love.

8. What is your favorite masterpiece/item at home?

For sure that would be the beautiful artistic photo I bought a few years ago made by the famous photographer Marc Lagrange. I love that you truly are drawn into the visual. Another favorite item in my home is our round kitchen table. It’s the hot spot of the family.

9. What do the Rituals home products and fragrances add to the interior of a home? Both in terms of style and atmosphere.

I’m very proud of our recently launched collections, they are true masterpieces that make a statement. We work together with world’s best perfumers when developing a fragrance and collection. Our classic candles and fragrance sticks have a modern ribbed design which blends in nicely in every interior. The Mansion collection was actually inspired by the sophisticated style of the hotels in Knokke and is therefore very suitable for larger rooms and hallways. Each item is stylish and present without over empowering your interior.

10. How do rituals/routines help you stay healthy in these uncertain times?

I have various rituals throughout the day. I always start my day with a 1-minute ice cold shower. I’ve learned this after a workshop with the ‘ice man’ Wim Hof 5-10 years ago. I’m not a morning person so it’s the perfect wake up call for body & mind. The second one is to always make my bed in the morning, by which I drew inspiration from a little novel called ‘Make Up Your Mind’. It states that by doing so, it starts your day with something positive and it improves your productivity throughout the rest of theday. (And my wife tells me to!). And third, after work, I light all candles, light the fireplace and turn on some music. This is my favorite way of slowing down after a long, sometimes stressful, day. Simply sharing a meal and sharing the events of the day with my wife and children. These are the moments I realize I have a lot to be grateful for.

11. What is your personal favorite Rituals (Home) product?

That would be the golden XXL version from our Mansion collection with the scent of Sweet Jasmin. And also the Parfum d’Interieur, the room spray. After an extensive cooking session and cleaning up the kitchen I spray 4/5 times and everything is perfect again.

12. What is your favorite place in the house?

The kitchen table or our special dinner room with fireplace. It transforms every dinner into a special event.

13. Where does Rituals get inspiration for the home products (design) and fragrances?

I get my inspiration from so many different cultures, meeting new people from all over the world. Sometimes a piece of art can inspire me or something I’ve seen in store. But most of my inspiration for Rituals collections, I get from the journeys I used to make to Asia, the Middle East and other continents in the world. In terms of products and formulas, we always look how we can help people to improve their well-being in body, mind and soul. So we ask ourselves: “what kind of product supports this?” and we also take into consideration what specific product or ingredients are key to translate specific rituals and routines. We always look at a variety of ancient and time-tested rituals that give us inspiration for the creation of our products.

14. What is the development process for new fragrances? How do you start and how do you get to the end result?

The majority of our products are inspired by ancient traditions from Asia, the Middle East and various other continents all over the world. When we come across a new ritual, we first do research on all aspects of this ritual.

What is the origin of the ritual, what ingredients were used and why? Then we introduce these ingredients to our perfumers. Together we translate this into a collection of luxury products.

But we are also inspired by what is happening now. For example, we realized that people spend a lot of time and money, designing a beautiful kitchen. Which they decorate with some hand soap from the supermarket that is quickly thrown into a cupboard when there are guests. We felt that we could do better and so we designed a product line that is so beautiful and stylishly designed that you can leave the products on your countertop without hesitation.