The perfume-maker says she wanted to capture the excitement of leaving home for higher education

Have you ever wondered what Oxford University smells like? Ever wanted to just douse yourself in its scent and go? Well, now you can because a former student has developed a perfume called – you guessed it: Oxford.

Self-proclaimed niche English perfumer, Ruth Mastenbroek, who used to study chemistry at the institution in the 1970s, had been carrying the memories of her time at Lady Margaret Hall around with her since leaving the college.

Eager to revisit her glory days as a student at one of the world’s best universities – and after three years in the making – the enthusiastic graduate is now eager to share the unique scent with the world.

Speaking with Oxford Today – the magazine designed for the university’s alumni – Ms Mastenbroek explained how she hoped the scent will capture the excitement of leaving home for university.

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'Oxford is the scent of an awakening, the discovery of life's extraordinary adventures' (Ruth Mastenbroek via Facebook)

While creating the perfume, Ms Mastenbroek described how she was keen to capture the moment of when a young student heads-out on a moment of discovery – all the while taking bold steps forward – and to contain it in a bottle.

She added it was a feeling she wanted to capture and translate and said: “When I added the sweet notes, I was thinking of the safety net of your family which you have when you’re young.”

On her website, Ms Mastenbroek describes the unisex fragrance as being “the scent of an awakening, the discovery of life’s extraordinary adventures.”

A concoction of oriental oils including oud, bergamot, vanilla, and amber – with hints of basil and galbanum – the blend also features the earthy patchouli, which was all-the-rage back on-campus in the 70s.

Although, she said, people are “intrigued” upon learning of the scent, Ms Mastenbroek said the scent is important to her from her time at Oxford because “perfumes tell a story over time.”


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