Raymond Cloosterman knows that you’ve been living your life on autopilot. This, in part, is what inspired him to found the Amsterdam-based home and body brand Rituals fifteen years ago. “Our passion at Rituals is all about helping people to enjoy the little things in life,” Cloosterman told us when we caught up with him on one of his recent trips to New York. His dedication to getting you to stop and smell the roses starts in your bathroom and centers on your morning routine. “We rush and we tend to forget what it is to enjoy the small pleasures in life. At Rituals, we make everyday routines more meaningful.”
Inspired by ancient Eastern philosophies and traditions such as the principles of Taoism and the practices of the Turkish hammam spa, Rituals offers affordable yet luxurious bath, skincare, and home products that draw from the natural ingredients that have been used throughout the ages. During his world travels, Cloosterman has sought insight into the botanicals that cultures have used to create a sense of wellness and relaxation for both their bodies and homes, and he has brought these same elements into his modern brand. For example, the natural olive paste used in the hammam to soften and cleanse the skin before scrubbing has been transformed into an elegant shower moisturizer.
“When we start working on a new idea, we don’t start in a laboratory—we start with studying history,” he told us. “There’s a wealth of ancient rituals to discover, and these lead us to the natural ingredients that are used in each tradition. There’s much more authenticity in our products because of this.”
The philosophy of a modern take on traditional botanicals is strongly evident in Cloosterman’s personal favorite, the new Samurai collection. “These elite Japanese warriors always needed to be groomed to perfection before setting foot on the battlefield because looking immaculate would bring them extra strength and confidence.”
Rituals took the idea of strength through grooming and translated it to the modern, urban warrior—the man who’s going to work every day. “We drew inspiration from ingredients like bamboo, ginger, and basil, creating a modern fragrance and experience.”
“We’re a young brand with an old soul,” Cloosterman continued. “We have a respect for the past, where we embrace these traditions and bring them to a beautiful experience that you can have in your own bathroom.”