The Fragrance Foundation
Scent MemoriesNFD

An Evening With... Roja Dove

Last night we were honoured to host An Evening With Roja Dove. The beautiful Natasha Kaplinsky was interviewing the man that, in her own words, is “One of the most complete and provocative voices the fragrance world has ever seen”. 
 
 
The evening was a huge success and The Royal Society of Science boasted an impressive venue with it’s lofty ceilings and stunning marbled walls and floors. After all of our guests refreshed with a glass or two of Laurent Perrier and canapés, they eagerly made their way in to the cosy Kohn Centre for the main event. Roja had already mentioned to us that he was nervous, which seemed incredible considering his impeccable sense of presence and warm, enthusiastic greeting with each of our guests. As the interview began it quickly became obvious that Natasha is a HUGE fan of Roja’s. This aided her questioning and we were all so lucky to hear stories from Roja’s past, and learn more of his experiences than anyone has ever before.
Roja’s choice of language is incredibly emotive and romantic, drawing in his audience instantly with phrases such as “Perfume bottles are like Aladin’s lamp, setting a genie free”. Speaking of his career and the journey that brought him to where he is now, what really struck us was his modesty. Starting his anecdotes, he remembered how Guerlain had offered him a job in the hope he would be “less of a nuisance” after countless phone calls and faxes, desperate to be introduced to the industry. Although he claims to be "lucky" to be a man of so many accolades, Roja also admits that he has put in the effort. Working incredibly long hours, risking financial stability and NEVER taking sick days! (Roja believe’s the best cure for a cold is to tell it to get lost). Natasha named Roja a genius which he vehemently denied. We are certainly on Natasha’s side for this one!
 
 
Our chairman, Annalise Fard (Director of Home and Beauty at Harrods) helped Roja launch his first range, and considering there was no room in the budget for marketing, we think it's fairly obvious that the products spoke for themselves. They sold out 10 days after launching! The quality of the ingredients, the packaging, the loyalty to British produce, stunning designs and most importantly the fragrance, proved to be so sought after that it is even rumoured that members of two different royal families were caught arguing over the final bottle of Roja Parfums left in stock.
The interview ended with Annalise Fard graciously thanking Roja and Natasha for their time and presenting Natasha with a beautiful bouquet from Moyses Stevens, as she rushed off to present the ten o’clock news. We then stayed a little longer for an audience Q&A. 
There were two questions in particular that really resonated with us. The first being, “If you could bottle the essence of yourself, what would be at the heart of it?” After some consideration Roja answered “Humanity”. The sense of appreciation in the room was palpable. 
And finally, Roja was asked “Do you think their’s a perfect scent for every person?”, he replied, “Scent is almost like love, I believe there is a true scent, and a true love for every one. However many of us are never lucky enough to find it…. Isn’t it fun to flirt though?”


We think it’s safe to say that every member of that audience left feeling fulfilled, grateful, and energised after hearing such an impressive man open up and share so many touching stories, so much passion, and such endearing humility.
Roja is launching his first shop in Old Burlington Arcades in early November, and we are positive it will be an undeniable success.
Again a huge thank you to Natasha Kaplinsky for giving her time to our event, to Laurent Perrier for sponsoring our drinks reception, to Moyses Stevens for the gorgeous floral arrangement, and of course to Roja, for creating such a magical evening for us all.
 
Find all of the photo's from our event here.