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LUMIRA X LUXE Profile: Ruby Barber of Mary Lennox, Berlin

LUXE has teamed up with fragrance maven Lumira in a regular column exploring the nature of scent and the spirit of travel. This month, Lumira chats with Ruby Barber of blossoming Berlin-based floral business Mary Lennox

Originally from Sydney, Ruby worked with some of Oz’s most eminent florists before moving her business to Europe where she now creates everything from personal bouquets to large-scale living installations and collaborative pieces with artists and designers. Most recently, her work has seen her join forces with Berlin Atonal for their annual light and sound festival hosted at Kraftwerk Berlin.

What does an average workday look like for you?

It always starts at the flower and plant markets, sourcing special produce. If it is a good day we also visit a local plant nursery or farm to cut flowers. After that, almost every day is different! Working with perishable produce means things move very quickly and change all the time.

How does scent relate to your work?

The smell of flowers en masse isn’t always as floral as you might imagine. There is definitely a strong scent of ‘greenery’ most days. It’s a damp mossy smell, which can actually be very nice and fresh. However, the scent of our studio does change seasonally – the best time is definitely Spring. During April-June the flowers we work with are super fragrant… lilac, sweet pea and lily of the valley. The scent is really beautiful.

What scent represents a specific time/place for you?

The smell of Jasmine reminds me of my house in Sydney. We had a big wall in our garden that was dripping with it.

What do you love most about your adoptive city?

I love the copious amounts of flowering trees planted around Berlin. When the blossom and lilac are flowering, that’s when the city is at its most beautiful.

Any upcoming travel plans?

We are going to America for a project in the coming months and then back to Australia in the European winter.

Tell us some of your favourite weekend hangs.

EAT: Cocolo RamenThis tiny cozy noodle counter in Mitte serves around five different types of ramen, plus tasty starters including an amazing roasted pork belly.

DRINK: ORAIt’s all about the ambience at this beautiful woody converted apothecary. The drinks can take a while to come out but are definitely worth it once they arrive!

PLAY: Berlin Botanical GardensA bit out of the way but the rambling gardens, big lawns and lush greenhouses are worth the schlep for flora fans. They also hold regular events including twilight classical concerts. 

SHOP: The Store x Soho HouseEclectic concept store-cum-working studio space inside the stylish Soho House. Items range from locally made ceramics to handcrafted furnishings and mens’ and womens’ designer clothing. There’s a cafe serving fresh salads too for that all-important post-retail refuel.

Hero image: Instagram @ruby_marylennox

For more hot tips on the German capital, nab a LUXE Berlin Guide.

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