Thursday 12 September 2019

RYDER by Ex Idolo

The niche market is the same as the mainstream market in that the vast quantity of releases every year makes it absolutely impossible to try everything when they actually launch. Many brands simply get lost under the weight of the latest, the biggest, and the brightest new perfume but they bide their time until they're rediscovered. One such company is Ex Idolo and it’s a name that will be new to many people. This British brand, which launched in 2013, now has four fantastic fragrances in their collection. Whilst all have been created with passion, Ryder is a journey into the private world of mahogany, pipe smoke, and cognac.

When Matthew and Tanya Zhuk decided to launch Ex Idolo it was out of a desire to return to the concept of “quality over quantity.” For too long the perfume market had fallen into the trap of overstimulating customers with a constant merry-go-round of new releases and they believed that this had to stop. Ex Idolo offers a truly artisanal experience that reflects the traditions of classical perfumery; using rare natural materials, hand packaging, and small batch quality control.” Their first fragrance, Thirty Three, was an eyeopener for the niche fans but the question was, where would they go next?

It would be two years before Matthew and Tanya released a follow up to Thirty Three but this time allowed them to stay true to their original idea. They were adamant that they wanted to continue working with “the world’s finest and rarest aroma materials” and getting it just right took time. They had always promised that their fragrances would offer “a glimpse into an elusive and secret world” and this couldn’t be truer of their second fragrance, Ryder. It took as its inspiration London’s private members clubs and offered us a way to experience these very British institutions.

The closed doors of the Mayfair and St James’ private gentlemen's clubs have always intrigued those on the outside and they were left to imagine the crystal glasses on the opulent tables. Matthew Zhuk was interviewed by Steven Lindquist of The Scented Hound in 2015 and said of Ryder, “I actually had the privilege of visiting a lot of these clubs and the things I saw, and sensory experiences I had, really stuck with me. It’s not really meant to be a literal or realistic interpretation as some perfumes do with their subjects of interpretation - but rather my interpretation through the lens of memory and human experience.”

Ryder opens with an aromatic orange that instantly puts you in mind of Drambuie. This makes me hanker for wood fires and dark nights, and both of these quickly arrive in the form of a crackling frankincense and a resinous amber accord. This latter ingredient also conjures up waxed floors and mahogany tables, added to by a beeswax-styled vanilla. You get a touch of hay-like dustiness from a smooth tobacco note but the merest hint of jasmine makes you wonder which room the hidden feminine floral is coming from. Ryder is exquisite in its evocative conjuring up of this secret world and is definitely one to try for autumn.

For more details on Ex Idolo, and to find a list of worldwide stockists, you can visit the website at Ryder is priced at £90 for 30ml, £120 for 50ml, or £5 for a 2ml sample. [Sample provided by Matthew Zhuk]


  1. Thank you Stephan for the background information on Ex Idolo, and the creation of Rydrr. I have had a poenchant for the gentleman's clubs for years. You described Ryder wonderfully.

    1. Hello Barry, thank you for the lovely comment. It's definitely an inspiration that many companies shave tried in the past but I feel that Ex Idolo really achieved that wonderful blend of waxed mahogany wood and Drambuie. Best, Stephan