We are thrilled to speak with Ruth Hogben, a filmmaker widely recognised for her artistry and technical brilliance in the field of fashion film. Ruth worked closely with Lady Gaga for a decade and has created films for Louis Vuitton and Fendi’s Furiosa fragrance, among others. We are honoured at Vyrao to have worked with Ruth as the creative mind behind the campaign for our new fragrance The Sixth. We caught up with the filmmaker to discuss creativity and the power of fragrance in pursuit of emotional wellbeing.
How are you today Ruth?
I signed off the final elements of The Sixth project, just as my sample bottle of The Sixth ran out! But I have to say, since I’ve been wearing The Sixth things I have been working on have kind of skyrocketed.
How did the project for Vyrao’s The Sixth come about?
As soon as I saw the work Yasmin Sewell, Jaime Perlman (founder of Jaime Perlman Studios) and Olena Slyesarekno (art director at Jaime Perlman Studios) were doing with Vyrao, creating fragrance for wellness and wellbeing, I just thought “wow”. I’ve been on a journey of seeking my creative truth for the last five years, so when The Sixth project came up it felt like a poignant moment.
I know you consulted with the psychic Katt Nicholson in your research. How was that experience?
I started the conversation with Katt thinking I was interviewing her, but by the end of the hour, I was like – who on earth is this lady? She had so much knowledge about my life, it was honestly incredible. Katt gave me permission to go wild with what I thought would be good for The Sixth. It was an interesting turning point not just for this project, but for my life.
How did you approach creating a film about The Sixth?
There are so many layers to this fragrance, with Yasmin the founder, Meabh Mc Curtin the perfumer, Katt Nicholson the psychic, and the energy work on the crystals by Louise Mita; all incredible women. The intention for this fragrance is to help us connect to universal source, so this is the story I really wanted to tell with the film. The more I went into it, and when I spoke to Katt, I knew I needed to visually and audibly represent the frequency the smell lived on.
How different is the experience of expressing a perfume, something you can’t visually respond to in the same way as clothing?
Ultimately, I wanted to create and communicate something visually and audibly that made you feel as good as when you’re wearing the perfume. Something hypnotic that leads you into this higher, clean frequency that doesn’t feel touched by anything else. I wanted the work for The Sixth to be a bubble of purity.
You had to conjure a visual treatment for mindfulness and intuition for this film. How did you do that?
I feel like, and this might sound strange to some people, that when I’m working, shooting, editing and doing all the special effects, I feel like I’m in a flow state. I feel like I’m a receiver.
Can you tell us the arc of the story of The Sixth film?
The idea was to fold the vibrancy and bright colours of Vyrao’s first five perfumes into The Sixth. Putting all the colours together creates a silvery bright white, which is also the colour of the bottle, and I worked with that. The beginning of the film is really flashy, colourful, and we move to the crystal and the third eye, and some of the ingredients appear from the water: an apple, the juniper berries, rosemary. Ultimately, I wanted to convey the science, nature and psychic energy within the fragrance.
Have you been using The Sixth?
I use The Sixth as part of what I call my “Spa Life Ritual”. I get up very early, work out, meditate, eat well, and I spray The Sixth. It’s very much a part of a practical routine that enters me into the day in the best possible way.
There’s a very personal story here too. Because when I spray The Sixth, it gives me this whoosh of my cousin Ben whose life was cut short at a young age. The gift of his life is why I’ve worked so hard. I believe you can’t not do what you love every day. I love making films and images and I have to do everything to the max as much as I can, for Ben.
Are you a bit Witchy Woo? Tell us everything!
Anything I can get my hands on that is leading me to this place where my energy is heightened I’m going to do all of it. Whatever music it is, whatever gong bath it is, fragrance, food. I think it’s all super important, it's everything.
Thank you, Ruth