Model-turned-creator Ruby Brown debuts three perfumes for Simons

Model-turned-creator Ruby Brown debuts three perfumes for Simons

The elegance of linen, silk and cotton inspires the new trio of scents crafted by Ruby Brown for Canadian retailer Simons.

Sitting in front of a rack of pristine white garments, Ruby Brown is chatting to a small group of Canadian media about the three fragrances she created for Quebec retailer Simons. It’s an apt backdrop to the conversation as the new scents are each inspired by core fabrics of the store’s summer collection: silk, linen and cotton.

The perfumes are aimed to reflect Simons’ in-house design direction, which focuses on modern and contemporary pieces. They’re dressy enough to wear to work, but also have a certain ease about them. Each spritz is airy, fresh and simple, and each manages to capture the essence of the textile it represents.

Soie (silk) is floral and fresh with notes of grapefruit, bergamot and white tea.

Coton (cotton) is fresh and aquatic with notes of mandarin, violet leaves and jasmine.

Lin (linen) is crisp and musky with a mineral quality to it, featuring cyclamen and lily of the valley.

We had the opportunity to chat with Brown one-on-one to learn more about her creative process.

On collaborating with Simons…

“It really is coming full circle in my career. I was scouted as a model when I was 15 and I actually modelled for Simons 15 years ago. And now, I am creating perfumes for the brand and modelling their Contemporaine collection too. I’m from Montreal, and having two Quebec companies—my own, Ruby Brown Fragrances and Simons—work together was great. It’s such a big powerful fashion house in Quebec, Simons could have gone anywhere. That they went with mine, Ruby Brown Fragrance, a local Canadian entrepreneur, I think it’s a great reflection of the company’s values.”

On the inspiration for the scents…

“The inspiration was always La Contemporaine—the Simons client. She’s modern, she’s active, she’s a professional, she’s a mum, a wife; she’s very diverse. From this diversity, we were inspired to create not just one fragrance, but three.”

On the difficulty of capturing the fabrics in fragrance form…

“Every fragrance is a reflection of the natural fibres, but capturing the essence of the fabric in the perfume was difficult because it was abstract. It took over a hundred samples between the three to get it right.”

On her favourite…

“Linen was the most complicated because of its uniqueness. It’s very niche with those mineral notes. But it’s my favourite of the three.”

On why all three scents included a bergamot and a white musk note…

“Bergamot is by far my favourite note to work with. It just puts you in a certain state of mind. It’s scientifically proven that citrus puts you in a certain spirit with its freshness. For me, the white musk was directly linked to the white fabric, and it worked for all three of the scents. It kept each scent musky and a little lighter.”

On her current favourite fragrances…

“I have the opportunity to travel a lot, and my travels greatly influence the scents that are my current favourites. I love the smell of leather and it always reminds me of France. Currently, I’m very into orange blossom but that’s because of my recent trip to Morocco. They all contribute to my own reference and scent library.”

Simons Eau Contemporaine in Lin, Coton and Soie beginning May 4, 2017, $50 (50 ml), simons.ca

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Alexandra Donaldson is the editorial assistant at The Whale & The Rose and a freelance writer and content creator. Although she recently took up yoga in an effort to be a healthy adult, she still binge-watches cartoons on a regular basis and dreams of running away to a cottage in the woods. She has yet to nail down her favourite perfume, but knows that it smells green, earthy and maybe a little bit spicy, but definitely not sweet.

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