Q. What inspired the collection and tell us about the symbolism of the ruby gemstone theme (Rubeus is Latin for “ruby”)? Love the red bottles!
A. I’ve always admired the ruby gemstone. It’s so powerful and majestic. The gem symbolizes intensity, love, lust, passion and seduction. These are the narratives of the fragrance stories in this collection. The ruby red is also the color of blood. I have a secret fascination with blood. Blood is the great arcanum of life.
Q. The two scents in this collection are stunning, and our customers have been clamoring for them since you shared a sneak sniff at our remote event back in July. How was it different creating and producing fragrances during the pandemic?
A. I was thrilled to see the reaction of your patrons from my new fragrances. Although everything was extremely challenging to produce during this pandemic, the isolation and time I had to myself really helped me creatively. It allowed me to look deep within myself and see things that I never saw before. A sense of honesty came through. I’m naturally a super intense, passionate person. I’m now even more comfortable sharing these characteristics through my fragrances.
Q. Where did the idea for African Rooibos come from and what material did you use to achieve the warm rooibos tea note the scent is built around?
A. A visit to Cape Town almost 25 years ago was when my interest in Rooibos began. When you drink it, it has a very spicy, earthy taste. I wanted to exude some of those characteristics in my fragrance. Spicy black pepper, cardamom and immortelle flower absolute helped bring the Rooibos to life in that sense.
Q. You’ve said Vide Cor Meum (See My Heart) was inspired by an aria and the Armenian rose. It really is such an elegant fragrance. What is the aria and why did you want to pay tribute to it with scent, and specifically this rose?
A. The aria is from Dante, an opera that I heard in a very dark, mind bending film I saw years ago. The song is so haunting, yet beautiful at the same time. To see deep into someone’s heart is almost too powerful of an ability to imagine. This was the inspiration behind creating an ‘Armenian’ style fragrance using amber, incense and rose from the region.
Q. Anything you’d like to tell us about the perfumer you collaborated with on these fragrances?
A. This collaboration was with the incredible perfumer Sidonie Lancasseur. She was magical during this creative process. We sat together many times together in Paris to work through stories and perfumes together. Just to add a level of suspense, these will not be the last two fragrances in the Rubeus Collection from Sidonie.
Q. We always look forward to seeing what’s next in the World of Chris Collins – is anything else percolating or is the new launch all-encompassing?
A. Oh yes indeed…I have so many more stories to tell I’m bursting at the seams. 2021 will be an important chapter of my perfume memoir.