Category Archives: Press

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.

Beware of Fetish Parfum

This Thursday 13th December, Roja will be launching his latest Roja Parfums creation to the press – Fetish Parfum – and revealing what it is that makes you “Succumb To Your Desires” every time you smell it.

In anticipation, Roja commented,

“Nothing is darker than leather in all its guises. I urge you to beware, as once you have entered there is no escape. I have created a perfume that, once under its spell, there is no return. See for yourselves if you can escape its magic”.

Fetish Parfum will be made available for sale from February 2013 in the Harrods Black Hall (London), the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie in Harrods and at the Lausanne Palace, the Roja Parfums Boutiques in Moscow, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and from the Roja Parfums website (

Vogue’s Online Fashion Week

For Vogue’s Online Fashion Week, Roja was interviewed by Harrods to discuss the secrets of applying scent properly, and how the right fragrance can unlock emotions that recall the most powerful loves, creating memories in the process, and even sometimes scandals.


Sue Peart And The Classic Perfume

Sue Peart, Editor of You Magazine, recently said that she thinks Roja Parfums Risqué Parfum is a classic fragrance.

Roja commented,

“This is an incredible compliment, as I consider a classic fragrance that which is a highly original creation, setting a new trend and enduring the passage of time, to always be considered the best of its type”.

Roja has always considered perfume to reflect its age, and is a pioneer for putting scent in its socio-economic context. Whilst Risqué Parfum is timeless, it is made for a confident, modern woman.

“When I created this perfume I thought of how society tells us how we have to behave, think, and act. So I decided to create a perfume that seemed tailored and disciplined but as it develops it starts to show its overtly sensual base, which gets warmer, darker and more overt with each breath – on the edge of the forbidden”.

A Once-In-A-Lifetime Experience

On Tuesday 20th November, Roja gave the first of two Fragrance Masterclasses at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. With a waiting list of up to three years to attend, Roja’s interactive sessions are some of the most anticipated events in the artistic calendar and build on the on-going collaboration between Master Perfumer Roja Dove and the Museum.

Roja’s Masterclasses give attendees the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to smell the rarest perfumery oils in the world and handle raw materials that only a handful of the perfume greats have ever had a chance to touch.

Roja owns around 2000 of the most important artefacts in the history of perfumery. Roja presented just two of them on Tuesday, but they are the two most precious and poignant. He revealed the understated sombre bottles that were created to house Queen Victoria and her consort Prince Albert’s scents. Whilst they are in Roja’s care at present, he feels they are too important to be in private ownership, and one day will be sitting alongside the most significant works of art in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Ksenia Sobchak chooses Scandal Parfum

Editor-in-Chief of SNC Magazine and celebrated Russian public figure Ksenia Sobchak has chosen Roja Parfums Scandal Parfum as the epitome of luxury in fragrance.

Her comments in translation:

“Roja Dove – the best perfumer in the world. SNC – the best magazine in Russia. Ksenia Sobchak – the best Editor-in-Chief in Moscow. Do you find these statements scandalous and provoking? It means you didn’t grow up with the luxurious and scandalous fragrance – Scandal”.