The world of niche perfumes is a fascinating one, and one that I love exploring. I was so happy to stumble upon Roads perfumes in New York City, then again in Toronto (that was at Holts Bloor and I don’t know if they still carry the line?). I fell in love with one right away, and have been slowly finding my way around some new favourites. The Roads perfumes I love and am sharing with you today are, true to my taste, some of the line’s softer, gentler scents, but that is by no means the extent of the line.
Roads is a lifestyle brand based in Dublin, Ireland. From their website:
The Group consists of three companies: ROADS Fragrances, ROADS Publishing and ROADS Entertainment. Founded by businesswoman and entrepreneur Danielle Ryan, the brand is built around the cornerstones of present-day culture, freethinking, storytelling, original design and intelligence. ROADS acts as a curator, researching and filtering interesting contemporary subject matters or themes. These themes then create the platform for each of our projects, be it a book, film or fragrance. ROADS – as a name – is a metaphor for the many choices and decisions we are faced with each day. These decisions shape us and make the paths for how we live. Every choice we make – what we wear, what we read, where we travel, how we communicate – informs our character. Therefore ROADS celebrates the individual in every sense.
Roads perfumes are what I would call a luxury niche line, at around $155 USD for a 50ml bottle. The bottles are elegant and modern, with a nice heavy magnetic cap that goes on with a satisfying snap. I like how they are masculine or feminine, reiterating the simple, modern and artistic aesthetic of the brand.
My first Roads love was Cloud 9, which I admit I knew I would love based on the name and description alone. It’s about happiness, peace, contentment, and safety. Their description:
…Hot milk and a sense of floating. This is a clean and comforting scent that is quite delicate and peaceful.
It does smell comforting and clean, and has a warmth to it that makes me think of a hot bath, and yes, even warm milk with honey. The warmth is conveyed beautifully – I smell amber and musk – and makes Cloud 9 so inviting and sensual. It is soft and never overwhelming, and is one of those interesting perfumes that could work equally well on men or women without smelling conspicuously unisex. What I mean by that is that rather than a neutered scent, Cloud 9 balances the masculine and feminine beautifully. I initially thought it was soft and feminine, but my daughter’s boyfriend wears it and somehow I didn’t even recognize it as the same scent. That’s the mystique of skin chemistry and scent. Its warm, with a sexy woodsy vibe made slightly mysterious by the amber. Love.
Roads White Noise is a fascinating scent. From the site:
White Noise is the constant hum of computers around the world, the white static on our TVs. This is a fragrance that is both active and calm. With it I have tried to create what has become a modern sense of stillness on standby.
I get it – seriously. The first time I wore it, I kept sniffing my wrist, wondering how on earth I was smelling a “hum”, something alive. I suspect it’s a musk, as there are some beautiful sensual musks that “feel”, or at least smell, like living things. That aside, White Noise is a clear, clean happy fragrance with a Nivea lotion vibe that you know I love! There are citrus notes, which smell pretty and fresh, and add a soapiness that I adore. The rest of the notes are so seamlessly blended that the floral notes and the woodsy base play very nicely with each other and make it very easy to wear. So it may sound trendy and buzzy, but honestly, White Noise is fantastic, modern and very wearable.
Roads Supernova is another favourite. What Roads says:
It is a giant burst of life that’s hugely colourful. Supernova is a fragrance that is full of possibilities. This is an exciting fragrance. It wakes you up and shakes you off. It stimulates you with a sense of energy. The inspiration for this fragrance was the supernova itself.
Seriously, if you are looking for a perfume to make you happy on first sniff, you need Supernova. It’s fresh fresh fresh. Lemons and limes, and I smell a hint of ginger too, and then clean and fresh woodsy notes. There are some odd spice notes in here which make me think of the heart of the fragrance more than I usually do. Cognac, ginger and and cardamom – wow. They are not strong but they are there. And then the woods. I’ll make this easy for you – if you like perfumes like D&G Light Blue, you will LOVE Supernova.
Roads Neon – wow. This is another cozy sweet delicious one! From the site:
Neon is about youth or at least living youthfully. It’s about being alive, laughing and having fun. I was inspired with this scent by my charismatic younger sister, who embodies the characteristics of the scent.
I love that there is a connection with family, and who I assume is the founder, Danielle’s sister. Scent is so much about memory, people and places and a personal connection is terrific. Neon is a yummy vanilla heliotrope confection that makes me happy just smelling it. The top notes mention cinnamon and nutmeg, and perhaps I do get a spicy aspect, but the only one my nose picks out is a soft nutmeg. It smells so lovely with the heliotrope. I get a bit of a dry elegant iris, but mostly I get vanilla, a lovely sweet heliotrope and woodsy notes. This is a vanilla for boys and girls, and it manages to be a sweet sexy vanilla that doesn’t smell like a cupcake. Maybe a gorgeous vanilla ice cream….delicious.
If you like to try perfumes that are off the beaten path, yet still artful, elegant and smell wonderful, do give Roads a try.
Roads scents are sold at select boutiques around the world, and at Barney’s and Neiman Marcus in the US. Find a stockist here.