Five Minutes With... Dagmar Brusse, Creative Director Of Rituals - The Gloss Magazine

Five Minutes With… Dagmar Brusse, Creative Director Of Rituals

Beauty Editor Sarah Halliwell talks to Ritual’s Creative Director, Dagmar Brusse, about her favourite beauty trends, the Rituals lifestyle store, self-care – and some insider tips for Amsterdam

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Based in Amsterdam, creative director Dagmar Brusse has been with Rituals for more than a decade. Rituals began 25 years ago as a small Dutch boutique and now has more than 1,000 stores worldwide. The flagship store, the House of Rituals, in an expansive historical building in the centre of Amsterdam, offers everything from meditation workshops to hydromassage and the Mind Oasis (where you can have a “brain massage”).

The limited-edition Ritual of Yozakura collection has just launched (read more about it here). We grabbed five minutes with Dagmar to find out more – and discover her own rituals, which help her find balance and positivity.

What trends in beauty and wellbeing are most interesting to you right now?

“Funnily enough, I do not follow trends. Our innovation department is very engaged on all new beauty trends when it concerns ingredients, innovative product design and technologies. But when it comes to my personal creativity and brand development, I am a very intuitive person. I believe that if you live with awareness, there is a boundless world of inspiration in life itself – you simply must pay attention. When it comes to wellbeing, I am super pleased to see that there is a real lift in interest for personal wellbeing within the mainstream trends. So many people seem unfulfilled, anxious and not as happy as they should or could be these days, even though life offers more opportunities and technologies than ever before. We seem to have lost that vital connection to ourselves a bit.

That is one of the many reasons why, together with my team, I created The Book of Rituals three years ago, as a testament to the wellbeing philosophy of our brand. Focusing on your personal wellbeing is more relevant than ever, especially when you consider the state of the world we live in today. There is so much hurry, anger and frustration. It doesn’t help your state of mind if you are constantly bombarded with all that negativity. And really, it isn’t that difficult to turn that around. I believe that it truly comes down to aligning not only your physical (body) and mental (mind) needs but your emotional needs (soul) as well. After all, life is all about balance. When we are balanced, we find more kindness, gratitude and compassion for what we have.”

Self-care is a much-used term. What does it mean to you?

“It is important for me to bring balance between my mind, body and soul. I’ve always been interested in spirituality, since I was around 20 years old. I am always looking for different ways that help me to grow as a person. I read a lot of books, that is self-care. I love getting long massages – that, for me, is ultimate self-care – and I am also a curious person, always eager to learn new things. My daily routine starts with meditation. Then, no matter the weather, a coffee in the garden followed by a cold shower. Afterwards I use our Hyaluronic Acid Natural Booster for a quick Abyangha (Ayurvedic body massage).”

Can you tell us about the inspiration and creative process behind the new Ritual of Yozakura collection?

“For The Ritual of Yozakura, our wonderful innovation team aimed to craft a scent that was complementary to Sakura, but also had its own unique personality. The result is a fragrance that is delicate yet bold. The collection is inspired by the ancient Japanese Hanami practice of viewing the cherry blossoms at night (whereas The Ritual of Sakura is the practice of viewing them during the day), and is meant to remind us that, like the fleeting beauty of the fragile Sakura flower petals, life is magnificent but short. Therefore, we should make the most of every single moment: practice gratitude and live life abundantly. For the fragrance composition, we worked with fragrance experts to blend gourmand notes of tonka, warm vanilla and almond milk. If you ask me to describe it, I’d say it’s juicy sweet cherry fruits, fused with soft white flowers and fresh chypre. Our goal was to create something sensual, immersive and slightly addictive – a scent that would really speak to a younger audience. It turned out as a fragrance that transports you to a moonlit garden filled with the intoxicating aroma of the night cherry blossoms in full bloom.”

The lifestyle store concept is so interesting. Can you tell us more about the idea of offering customers an entire experience?

“Rituals and our products are all about helping the customer to relax, to slow down and ultimately improve their wellbeing. To help them escape the everyday stress of modern life, even if it is only for a moment. That philosophy applies to our stores as well. From our beginnings, when the first store opened 24 years ago, we have aimed to give that experience to our customer: in every store you are welcomed with tea, you can try our products at the water island and even receive a relaxing hand massage or short meditation. Adding the Body Spa concept and the Mind Oasis to our flagship store is all about deepening that shopping experience and making it surprising, unforgettable and more meaningful. (Read more about it here).What it all boils down to is helping our fans and customers find happiness in the smallest of things.”

We’d love some insider tips on Amsterdam – any favourite hidden gems?

“Apart from the House of Rituals, of course, I’d say Ventuno Skylounge – a stylish rooftop lounge with amazing dinner experience. The Rijksmuseum is a must-visit for art – it’s the most beautiful museum in Amsterdam! Vintage Jewellery or any other cute small specialist boutique in De 9 Straatjes. And Het Concertgebouw for a magical musical experience.”

More addresses to note for planning an Amsterdam visit: Scandinavian Embassy, in the lovely De Pijp area, for excellent coffee and warm cinnamon rolls; Rise on Albert Cuuypstraat for baked goods in a cosy setting on the market street; the just-opened National Holocaust museum; book tickets to see the retrospective exhibition of Serbian artist Marina Abramovi? at the Stedilijk, until July 14 2024.


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