The ROADS of Africa

We continue to immerse ourselves in the wonderful world of the finest fragrances on the market and last month we stumbled upon another incredible brand which proves to be very inspirational for us. The Dublin-based ROADS was founded in 2013 by Royal Academy of Dramatic Art graduated Danielle Ryan, granddaughter of Ryanair founder, Tony Ryan; debuting with a collection consisting of 10 fragrances, each named after its direct inspiration or a fictional background story. After its foundation ROADS also introduced a book-publishing arm and documentary film production house under its brand, which all seems to make sense because of the extremely cohesive visual language and represented emotion in all branches. Last month, ROADS showed its continued leading creative energy with the introduction of 4 incredible new perfumes, this time inspired by the rich source being the African continent, both in scent as the commissioned art that decorates the packaging, adding great new depth to its already remarkable collection.

Danielle Ryan in The Telegraph on her motivations to start her brand:

There are many reasons why I wanted to create ROADS but, above all else, I wanted to create an artistic brand that would not be limited by its own definition, or confined to only one idea.

Aroma-wise, Roads’ African Edition fragrances each incorporate naturally derived ingredients from the Sub-Saharan continent. Big Sky forms an ode to the expansive canopy over the continent’s dense landmass, zesty citrus, lemon and orange flower dry down to an earthy mix of patchouli, papyrus, oud and myrrh. I Am Dance evokes the symbolism and expressiveness of dance – specifically a type of street-dance called Pantsula – in African cultures, with sparkling hits of mandarin, pineapple and lavadin that also boasts a woody heart. Past|Present was inspired by the strength and conviction present in Nigeria’s literary scene, as best exemplified by writers such as Chinua Achebe and Wole Soyinka, which was translated as bergamot, smoked black tea and jasmine, with brooding tonka bean in its base. And finally; Afropolis is a beautiful perfume with an unabashed muddling of gin, spearmint and oakmoss, iris, ebony woods and amber.

In addition to the creation of the unique fragrances, four African artists were commissioned to create the original artwork. For I Am Dance, artist and illustrator with roots in Tanzania Lynnie Zulu was selected. Zulu now lives in East London, creating work with an exotic and energetic influence that is reveled across her bold tribal graphics. Dylan Culhane, a Cape Town based photographic artist working with photography collage, was responsible for Big Sky. Past|Prestent‘s artwork was created by Ywa Tony, a talented Ghanaian/Canadian architect, artist and graphic designer based in Toronto, known for experimenting with patterns, fabrics and textiles. Finally, Elise Hannebique, a young designer based in Paris finding inspiration in the shapes and patterns found in traditional African art, was responsible for Afropolis.

ROADS‘ founder Danielle Ryan was born into a family of entrepreneurs, as the granddaughter of Tony Ryan, founder of international aviation companies such as Ryanair. Danielle pursued the dramatic arts early on, training as an actress at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. After her father passed away in 2007, Danielle headed large scale charitable donations, worked with the United Nations and UNICEF, and created The Lir – National Academy of Dramatic Art in Dublin.

In 2013, Danielle launched the start-up luxury group ROADS. The initiative is a school of thought, a creative curation of sensory experiences meant to enhance and deepen cultural and intellectual understanding through the concept of storytelling. Ryan’s quest was to invent a brand that was not limited by its own definition, but instead could follow customers’ desires, bringing together art, ideas, people, places, and some of the finest fragrances available.

For more information and to step into the ROADS universe see here