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Ryder – A beautiful present inspired by the past… – August 10, 2015


Ryder perfume bottle -

Sometimes I wish I could travel to the future. I suppose everyone has that fantasy once in a while.  What will my grandchildren look like? Will there be world peace? No disease, no hunger, no pollution? How will we travel to the mall or to Mars? How will we communicate with each other? Fascinating stuff, but right now, the only reason I want to time travel is to see what fragrances Matt Zhuk will have added to his niche fragrance house Ex Idolo, especially after his latest release Ryder.

I am a big fan of his first stunning fragrance, Thirty Three launched in 2013. His second fragrance, Ryder, launched this month, has had my nose seeking it out whenever and wherever I wear it since I first smelled it.

 Matthew Zhuk is a Canadian living in London and Ryder was inspired by the private upper class gentleman’s clubs which proliferated on Ryder St. in London’s West End in the 18th century.
These clubs were in effect a gentleman’s second home and were outfitted as such - leather armchairs, luxurious rugs, wood-paneled rooms and booked-lined libraries -  so a man could relax, meet and mingle with men from the same class, smoke a fine cigar or pipe, have a glass of single malt at hand, enjoy a meal and occasionally stay overnight.

Cast your mind back in time and imagine a room one of these clubs and you have the vision behind Ryder. And, just as that room can’t be experienced layer by layer, neither can Ryder. This is not a note-by-note frag – it is an olfactory interpretation of an 18th century gentleman’s club.

Ryder opens rich, warm and sweet from pipe tobacco. The moment it hits my brain, I travel back to a childhood memory of me as a little girl, sitting on my father’s lap, his arms around me as he reads to me from one of my favourite bedtime books, pipe in hand and clenched between his teeth. As it settles, I smell the whiskey, boozy and maple aspects of the pipe tobacco. A note of jasmine weaves trough the tobacco giving Ryder a lovely floral lift before the dark woods, resinous amber and show-stopping Omani frankincense come forward.

The lost city of Ubar, now Oman, was the centre of the frankincense trade along the Incense trade route that went from Arabia to the Mediterranean and flourished from roughly the 7th century BCE to the 2nd century CE. Omani frankincense is the finest frankincense there is. It’s rare, expensive and highly –prized. In Ryder, it is on full display: warm, woody, dry, resinous and balsamic. The frankincense is sweetened with deep resinous amber, making Ryder rich and intense and deliciously narcotic. I cannot get enough of it.

For all this, Ryder is a pretty linear – it’s all about the base, that heavy-bottomed, rich, dark base –  that’s where its beauty lies, so while I’m eager to see what Ex Idolo comes up with in the future, I think I’ll linger here with Ryder in the present, drifting in and out of the past.

Ryder is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $8.00 for 1 ml.