The Dolder Grand & Centurion

During a delightful stay in Zurich last week, I was honoured to be asked to speak at a Centurion event held at the lavish Dolder Grand Hotel.

The event, held in honour of American Express and Swisscard’s most valuable customers, was a marvel in luxury and fine dinning. The Dolder Grand’s Chef Fine Dining, Heiko Nieder, put together a stunning 8 course menu, picking every ingredient with great detail for perfect symmetry with my fragrances. The German Chef has headed up the restaurant since 2008, which has been awarded 18 GaultMillau points and two Michelin Stars during his reign.

It was an event of true sensuality and luxury, and a pleasure to have been a part of.

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An Interview with Harrods

In celebration of the launch of my collaboration with Harrods to create ‘H’ – The Exclusive Aoud – I was interviewed this morning by the lovely Health & Beauty Editor at Harrods Magazine, Jan Masters.

In a candid interview about the project, Jan asked me all about creating the scent, the lavish ingredients within it, and the story behind my 10 year working relationship with the store.

Held in my Haute Parfumerie on the 5th Floor of Harrods, the interview was a real pleasure, it’s never hard work to answer questions about my work with the store that remains close to my heart.

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The Museum of London Sensory Workshop

I was honoured to be asked to return to the Museum of London to give a second workshop, to a charming audience of Fragrance enthusiasts, as part of my involvement with The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost Jewels Exhibition that is currently being held at the Museum.

The Cheapside Hoard is a major exhibition for the Museum of London, unveiling its secrets and extraordinary, and priceless, treasure of the late 16th and early 17th Century jewels and gemstones. Buried in a cellar in Cheapside in the City of London, the hoard was discovered in 1912 and has been brought back to life with the help of new research and state-of-the-art technology.

The exhibition boasts a wealth of insights the Hoard has to offer on Elizabethan and Jacobean London – including a gold, enamel, diamond and opal-set scent bottle. I was elated that the museum asked me to create a fragrance that would translate that of the original 17th Century fragrance that would have once been contained within it.

With great success from the first workshop I gave, I was delighted to be invited back for round two of the sensory journey through fragrance that I so love to give. The workshop allowed me to talk this small group of fragrance admirers through the creation of the scent, and give insight into the fragrance of London during that time.

The Cheapside Hoard; London’s Lost Jewels is open at The Museum of London until the 27th April 2014.

‘H’ – The Exclusive Aoud

In celebration of a decade of collaboration between myself and Harrods, a store I refer to as the ‘Spiritual Home’ of my Perfume Brand, I present ‘H’ – The Exclusive Aoud.

'H' - The Exclusive Aoud

‘H’ is the result of an invitation from the world’s most iconic department store. Like each and every fragrance I create, ‘H’ becomes a standard bearer for British excellence around the world, and hopefully an outstanding example of this country’s creative prowess.

I loved creating ‘H’ – The Exclusive Aoud- for Harrods. I have blended some of the rarest, richest and most exotic materials available to capture the spirit of the store itself – the finest in the world.

It was important to achieve the perfect presentation for ‘H’ to match the contents within. Each presentation box, handmade in England, features the custom Harrods green livery and the iconic Harrods ‘H’ monogram embossed in gold foil. The monogram is used for the first time in its history to denote, not only the store itself, but also the name is this unique and exclusive new fragrance while also referring to the unisex nature of the scent – for ‘Him, for ‘Her.

‘H’ – The Exclusive Aoud – is available now at Harrods, London.

Fortnum & Mason

A Perfumed Candle to Capture the Essence of Fortnum & Mason

When Fortnum & Mason challenged me to capture the scent of the store within a perfumed candle, I was surprised to discover that without candles, this quintessentially English icon might never have begun.

In 1707, from a small shop in Duke Street, royal footman William Fortnum began selling candles made from the melted-down wax stubs left over from the royal household.

Three centuries of trading later, Fortnum & Mason presented me with the task of paying tribute to these humble beginnings by creating a perfumed candle which captures the feeling we get when we close our eyes and think about Fortnum & Mason.

To truly understand the perfumed candle, you need to understand the store. I invited press on a tour of Fortnum & Mason. From the beehives to the Crypt, attendees were walked through the different aspects of the store which inspired my creative thought process behind the candle.

I wanted to conjure the scent of a beautiful Grand House, luxurious and ageless. I have blended Lavender and Beeswax (harvested from the hives of Fortnum & Mason) to create the effect of precious woods that have been cherished for years, being both polished and loved.

The floral heart notes are dry and not at all sweet. The Rose I have used in the heart is warmed by a touch of Clove, which is present in some roses, and captures all that is quintessentially English. The whole has a wonderful diffusion through the inclusion of Clary Sage and Geranium leaves that capture a breath of fresh air that carries the garden with it.

Everything nestles on a warm, woody base where I worked Oakmoss, Vetiver, Cedarwood, and Tonka Bean absolute as well as a fraction of it called Coumarin, which gives a smooth, rounded warmth which is sublimated beautifully with one of the classical leather notes – Labdanum, which is one of my signature materials and one which adds depth and sensuality. In my mind it captures the understated, often unexpected, effortless, refinement that is Fortnum and Mason.

NÜWA by ROJA PARFUMS: A Sensory Celebration for Chinese New Year

 photo NUWA2_zps0edabc96.jpg To celebrate the launch of the new creation from Roja Parfums – NÜWA – I hosted a lunch at China Tang (The Dorchester). I was honoured to be joined by the leading figures in luxury journalism, including The Financial Times How To Spend It and YOU INSPIRE Magazine.

NÜWA honours the Chinese Goddess who is believed to have gifted humanity with culture. What fascinated me with NÜWA is that she also filled the flowers with their fragrance.

My new creation was presented alongside a delicious dessert created especially for the launch by Peter Horton, China Tang’s General Manager. Incorporating the ingredients of the perfume within the dessert, Peter and his fabulous team managed to capture the essence of NÜWA perfectly. Just ask Vicci Bentley, Freelance Beauty Writer: 

“What a lovely way to while away a Thursday lunchtime! Delicious – and that’s just the perfume.  Really, I think it’s one of your very best my dear”.

Having been appointment a Cultural Ambassador as part of the GREAT Britain Campaign last year, it is my duty to ensure each new release highlights the creativity that exists in the olfactory world.

Not only did NÜWA create culture for mankind, but my bottle which houses her perfumed form is topped with fourteen ruby red Swarovski crystals, an ode to the colour traditionally associated with good fortune in Chinese culture.

NÜWA also sits in a black box adorned with a gold combined motif of a dragon and a phoenix. Creatively, I loved the idea of how (in Chinese philosophy) these two sacred creatures represent ying-yang; complementary, not opposing forces.                 

NÜWA will be available exclusively to Roja Parfums, Harrods in January 2014.

Olfactory Time Capsule: Capturing the scent of London’s vanished past

June 18 1912. Midsummer in Cheapside and a normal working day for labourers working in the area. Until they, quite literally, struck gold.

Six feet below the brickwork they unearthed a hoard of treasure including jewels, carved gem figures, cameos, enamelled chains, clasps, fan holders, an emerald watch and an exquisite perfume bottle.

The Cheapside Hoard has since become legendary and this now the Museum of London is bringing together all the precious artefacts from this true time capsule for a dedicated exhibition – The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost Jewels.

To celebrate, the museum commissioned me to reimagine the scent of London’s vanished past, based on the gold, enamel, diamond, and opal-set perfume bottle found within the hoard. We’ve worked together to create a sensory installation which will allow visitors to smell a scent which I believe captures the spirit of Jacobean England. 

To begin with, it was essential for me to concentrate on the tastes and attitudes towards perfume at this time. The only two scented floral materials indigenous to Britain were – and still are – lavender and rose, which were often joined with oils from various herbs.

Throughout 17th Century England, scented powders were used in the hair, whilst floral waters were liberally doused on the skin to counteract bodily odour and some of the more unpleasant smells prevalent at the time. Complex fragrances also came into play at this time, continuing a trend made popular during the reign of Elizabeth I – who was herself a great perfume lover. Spices, musk and ambergris joined with exotic materials including frankincense, and myrrh through to the much loved benzoin with its soft and rounded vanillic odour.

The idea that scent can re-connect moments in time with one drop and one breath utterly captivates me. And this is something that I kept in the back of my mind at all times when creating this fragrance. The result of blending the intoxicating fragrance of tonka bean with that of rose and lavender and rich spices has formed an extremely distinctive, spicy and warm creation fit for the dazzling treasure trove that is the Cheapside Hoard.

 

The Cheapside Hoard: London’s Lost Jewels, Museum of London, 11 October 2013 – 27 April 2014.

 

Happy New Year Miami Style

Sylvain Marrari's Dessert Inspired By Roja Parfums Neroli Extrait

The oceanfront Setai, one of the most luxurious resort hotels on South Beach, Miami, was the setting for a glamorous New Year’s Eve dinner attended by Roja Dove. An olfactory project for the hotel took Roja to America’s southernmost resort city.

Behind the hotel’s Art Deco façade, Executive Chef, Mathias Gervais, a prodigy in the world of fine cuisine, created a menu that brought to table authentic stylishness and an immesurable dose of gastronomic magic.

In honour of Florida’s Spanish heritage and the sweet Valencia orange the Spanish introduced to America (which later became Florida’s official state fruit), Master Pastry Chef, Sylvain Marrari created a dessert inspired by Roja’s Neroli Extrait that perfectly captured the taste and scent of Neroli.

Of the event Roja said: “Pushing the boat out for a special occasion takes time and a touch of magic. What Mathias, Sylvain and their respective teams created was beautiful, inspiring and truly imaginative. Every mouthful was all utterly perfect”.
 
Roja was hosted by world renowned luxury hospitality veteran, Guneter H. Richter, General Manager of the luxury resort who was recently honoured for his career in hospitality by The Leading Hotels of the World.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Succumb To Your Desires

Yesterday, Roja Dove launched his latest Roja Parfums creation – Fetish Parfum – at the Beaufort Bar in the Savoy Hotel, London.

The launch was a huge success, and was attended by the most senior beauty editors and journalists in Britain.

Fetish Parfum is a Chypré – warm, dry, spicy, leathery, & very sensual. The smoky, sensual, leathery-note of Castoreum permeates the blend of Oakmoss, Patchouli, and Vetiver, which is underscored by Musk, warmed by Cinnamon, Clove, Cedarwood, and Cedar Needles – the whole freshened by touches of Bergamot, Petitgrain, and Galbanum with a heady blend of Jasmine, Tuberose, Ylang Ylang, and Rose at its heart.

“My newest perfume, Fetish Parfum, is for a woman who is self confident and uncompromising in her approach to life and all she wants in it”. ROJA DOVE

Roja’s jacket for the launch was especially made for him by Stephen Williams of Bespoke HQ. Stephen’s tailoring is genius, and this jacket is one of the finest pieces of clothing that Roja has ever worn – its cut, cloth and colour are perfect for Roja.