Rejoicing in each moment of contentment in life. In Firedance, Ruth presents a scorching, modern interpretation of the classic rose perfume, as exotic leather dances in surprise harmony with the main character – smouldering Damask rose. Set against a warming backdrop of oudh and patchouli, a shining amber note radiates from the skin in this memorably intimate and sexy perfume.
Today is the day that Ruth Mastenbroek launches the fourth fragrance in her collection: Firedance. Ruth is an experienced nose who has worked behind the scenes in the industry for fourdecades before going solo in 2010 with her first scent, aptly named RM Signature. You can read my review here. After that came the wonderful Amorosa, followed by Oxford. Now the trio becomes a quartet, with the arrival of Firedance. Ruth has also redesigned the brand to reflect that every drop tells a story and using a palette of black and gold, these new designs reminded me of the original illustrations to Grimm’s fairytales ( see pic and you’ll know what I mean).
So was Firedance worth the wait and is it a worthy member of this scented quartet? Absolutely. Here’s why.
Now, first of all, this is a rose/oud/leather fragrance. We all know that rose and oud and rose and leather have been done before, but dear reader, not like this. The leather and oud is there, of course, but the first thing I noticed about Firedance was the rich, dusky Damask rose and then, would you believe it? Carnations. In the same way that Serge Lutens Vitriol D’oeillet made me sit up and take notice, Firedance stopped me in my tracks. A drop of clove oil is the culprit, and whilst it doesn’t dominate, it adds a wonderful peppery spicy addition to proceedings.
I composed Firedance to capture those special moments that make me appreciate what I have.- Ruth Mastenbroek
For full disclosure, I’m not really a big oud fan (there, I’ve said it), but the oud here smells different. It doesn’t take over but still makes a contribution. In fact, it adds a kind of fruity earthy accord that makes the rose more robust. It seems to blend seamlessly with the amber to make a sort of amber-oud or oud-amber. The amber takes the edges off it.
To me, it adds layers and makes this a sort of 4D rose, with petals that have crisped through age, like dusty pot pourri, whilst still having plump satiny petals in the centre. My nose also picked up little facets of powder, which always makes me think of a 1950s dressing table. I often find this with rose, whether the powdery note is deliberate or not.
There is a measured heat and an autumnal feel to Firedance, which makes this a very appropriate launch for the first day of Autumn. This is rose with warmth, earthiness, spice and the kind of longevity that lingers on your pillow when you wake up the next day. It’s not cheap, but it is very good value. Ruth makes it herself. There’s no committee, no big factory, no billboard marketing. You’re paying for the ingredients and the expertise of a perfumer with four decades of skill and experience.
Firedance is a stand out earthy, dusty rose that’s not quite on the turn, not quite over. This is the perfect farewell to summer and a warm scented blanket for the colder days ahead.
Ruth Mastenbroek Firedance is available from the website and from Fenwick’s, where Ruth will be giving a talk on 14th September. Check out The Perfume Society website for details. My bottle was given to me by Ruth Mastenbroek in return for an honest review, for which, my warmest thanks. Opinions are my own.