Anyone who is a fragrance lover will know Master Perfumer, Roja Dove. In fact, his name was first mentioned to me in 2000 when I worked for Calvin Klein, I knew some of the Guerlain girls and they were due to meet him, of course they were tres excited and they told me all about his work at Guerlain. Fast forward 15 years later and I get to meet the man myself, the one who invented haute parfumerie, also referred to as ‘the nose’.
Unfortunately I lost my little notebook which was full of notes on his latest collections but to be honest, I was mesmerised by Roja’s incredible ability to keep a room full of women listening attentively, engrossed in the compelling story behind each collection.
Roja is an interesting character; charming, colourful and interesting, just like his ginormous diamonds, studded Loubs and electric blue dinner jacket, he had us all at the story behind ‘A Kiss Goodnight’, a very personal fragrance for the Master Perfumer. He recalled the moment of inspiration behind this clean, maternal scent and we were all gripped, as though we were watching a scene from a movie, visualising Roja’s elegant mother, powdered and fragranced for the evening ahead, standing in the doorway of his room with the light of the landing creating an angelic glow behind her whilst the scent of her make up and fragrance moved with her as she tucked Roja into bed, giving him a kiss goodnight, this would be the fateful moment that would determine Roja’s career path.
Along with ‘A Kiss Goodnight’, Roja introduced us to some of the other latest collections; the ‘Tutti Frutti Collection’, the Parfums De La Nuit’ collection and his Aoud (also spelled ‘oud’) collection, in which there are 15 in total. Roja was one of the first aoud pioneers with Amber Aoud being the most popular.
I respect Roja for keeping the real beauty of fragrance alive. In today’s celebrity crazed world, every celebrity and their dog are launching a fragrance, I could never understand how consumers are so consumed with such products, do they really believe their idol smells like it/wears it or has even spent time to come up with the fragrance? I know I am totally digressing but I believe in investing in quality, which will stand the test of time. It saddens me to see how far removed many fashion brands are from what they were founded upon and instead they focus on profit margins and market share, this is not what a luxury brand is about.
A luxury brand is one which invests in superior quality ingredients; spending time with suppliers ensuring the raw ingredients are of the highest standard. the small details are also very important, like the feel of the packaging, you want to feel proud to pull out your fragrance from your handbag.
Roja Dove is keeping luxury alive, he is genuinely passionate about what he does, I admire him and respect him and when I am back in London, I am going to treat myself to the blue bottle of Tutti Frutti! (I really wish I didn’t lose my book with my fragrance cards!! I am sure the blue bottle was my favourite).
Thank you Roja, you’re a legend!
Roja Dove is available exclusively at Paris Gallery in Dubai and in London at Selfridges, Fortnum & Mason and of course you can find the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie in Harrods on the top floor (5th I think, I ended up there when I was once lost).