The Seven Sins of Roja Dove - Master Perfumer
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    The Seven Sins of Roja Dove

    Master Perfumer
    Roja Dove
    Roja Dove is one of the most celebrated perfumers in the world and creator of some of the most iconic new fragrances: he led the renaissance of true perfumery – fragrance made the way it should be.

    Using the world’s rarest and most costly raw materials, with no compromise, each fragrance is made to be the best of the best.  Roja’s relentless drive for originality and perfection in perfumery resulted in him being honoured as an Ambassador for GREAT Britain for his creativity.

    ‘I believe a perfumer is a poet or a storyteller who creates the tangible from the intangible,’ explains Roja, ‘abstract images that strike at our core.’ And this belief is what animates the collection of sumptuous golden elixirs. His perfumes are stylish, contemporary and made to last and should recall the luxury of the past while anticipating the expectations of the future.

    The secret of their success is Roja himself and his unique creativity and approach that make them truly special. Each scent is blended by Roja’s own hand in a process that takes around six to 18 months to complete. The formula is then sent to Grasse (the capital of perfumery) for dilution and bottling, and then returned to Britain.
     
    Wrath - What makes you angry about the hospitality industry?
    Roja Dove Seven Sins
    I don’t think anything really troubles me that badly with the hospitality industry. With anything in the hospitality industry, what qualifies as bad can be anything from a personal preference to an unpleasant experience. Hence why I tend to know the places that I like (or even love) and will stay loyal to them. I like to be places I know and feel comfortable. I think if there is any bad experience with hospitality then it’s just something you have to roll with and appreciate that if you’ve caught someone on a bad day that it isn’t personal, and if it isn’t then there is a problem in the way the establishment is operating and it wont last. I do think us Brits have a bit of atendencey to only speak up when we feel negatively toward things, rather than compliment what we like. I just feel there isn’t enough time in this life to spend it being angry at inconsequential things. Hospitality is on the whole, a hospitable thing, so it doesn’t tend to anger me.
     
    Greed - If all your travel fantasies came true where would we find you?
    Roja Dove Seven Sins
    The beautiful thing about perfume is that it is so universal. Everyone has their own olfactive personality and most everyone enjoys smelling things they consider as pleasurable. Because of that it means my work has lead me all over the world and allowed me to be exposed to so many wonderful experiences. Because of this I often feel very fulfilled with my travel history. But travel can of course be tiresome so when I am going away for my own holidays I tend not to go too far afield. If I could be anywhere it would be somewhere on the Italian Riviera. Somewhere so quiet that it could be secluded, with a magnificent view and plenty of sun.
     
    Sloth - What do you do to unwind?
    Roja Dove Seven Sins
    I know this sounds frightfully boring but my favorite thing to do to unwind is simply nothing at all. Because of my job I travel constantly and whilst I am very lucky to lead the life I do – and don’t get me wrong, I love it – it can become exhausting. I love seeing new places and meeting new types of people, but I am with people all day long so there is nothing better than having some repose in my own surroundings. If I am not traveling then I work in London during the week and spend my weekends at home in Brighton with my partner, Peter, whom I have been with for 40 years. We like to spend our time doing as little as possible. Our favorite thing to do is to sit in the garden with a pot of tea enjoying the sun and some peace and quiet. Our garden is our favorite place but realistically speaking, the window one has for enjoying a sunny day in their English garden is small. So we make the most of it while we can.
     
    Pride - What are you most proud of?
    Roja Dove Seven Sins
    My greatest pride is my commercial brand, Roja Parfums. I had never really imagined I would open my own label because I always thought “who would buy it?” – it had always been a distant dream I had barely given consideration to. What a lot of people don’t seem to realise is that Roja Parfums hasn’t even turned six years old yet. People think it has been around a lot longer than that and I always say that is because I have been around for a long time. It was one day back in 2011 when a friend of mine (a Buying Director at Harrods) sat me down and gave me the biggest metaphorical slap around the face. She said “You have spent your entire life helping other people and promoting their perfumes, but you have nothing of your own. Your shadow is huge but nobody can get close to you”. This came at a time when I had recently lost both my parents and I thought I was coping well. It made me realise that with me, my family name died out as I had no legacy to leave. So for me Roja Parfums is an incredibly personal thing, which is why on the back of every bottle you will find the words “A fragrance by Roja Dove” in gold. The fact that the brand has performed better than I ever could have imagined is just icing on the proverbial cake of what makes me proud.
     
    Lust - Is there anything that you are still lusting to achieve?
    Roja Dove Seven Sins
    I'm not sure if this either makes me sound incredibly arrogant or on the flipside like I am not ambitious, but no – not really. I am 60 this year and hitting this milestone has allowed me to look back at everything I have done so far and realise I am incredibly content with what I have made of a life I was born to lead. I had never anticipated the success of Roja Parfums, so the fact it became both Harrods and Bergdorfs biggest ever lauch is very humbling. It was when I did a profile for the Telegraph’s business pages and I was asked a similar question that I said I guess the next step would be to own my own Roja Parfums boutique. I said my dream location for this would be the Burlington Arcade and within a few months the shop was ours. Roja Parfums is now at a place where it is opening its own stores and I think surely that is the dream of anyone who owns a brand. So in short I feel as though I am exactly where I should be with it. The only thing I would perhaps lust after is time, as there is so little of it.
     
    Envy - who are you most envious of?
    Roja Dove Seven Sins
    That’s a tricky one as I have always been one of those types of people who feel completely comfortable in their own skin. I feel incredibly lucky that I don’t have that trait in me that makes me often compare myself to others, or over-evaluate my downfalls. I just have a naturally positive disposition and approach to life so envy is something that is somewhat lost on me. Don’t get me wrong, though, it does not mean I by any means think I am perfect: I am lucky that my work has been a huge success but I don’t let myself forget that I am lucky to have had this. My ego is really quite small. I am just a naturally content type of character. If I had to say I was envious of anything, I would have to say I am envious of people with profound artistic talent. I am a huge lover of Ballet and the opera and I absolutely marvel at how people can train their bodies in such a way to hone these incredible skills. Who wouldn’t like to be able to do the things they do?!
     
    Gluttony - have you ever over indulged? 
    Roja Dove Seven Sins
    I may be one for shoes and jewellery but when it comes to food I am very good. I have a very good sense of self control and it can be quite hard, but I manage it. I spend a lot of time around food as I am always surrounded by people. In my offices, there is always a rotation of people snacking or having their lunches at different times, and I spend a lot of time in The Wolseley having business meetings. Though I absolutely adore their food, I am very good in that I only eat when I’m hungry. The other thing I stick to is not eating sugar, which I gave up a number of years ago now. I find that it is perfectly easy to just not do something if you tell yourself you don’t want to do it. So I don’t. But the one thing I consume a lot of? Tea. I adore tea and I consume it as though it is oxygen. I love Fortnum & Mason’s Rose Pouchong as it is the only Rose tea I could find made with actual roses. If someone were ever to tell me I needed to cut down on the amount of tea I consume I think I would have to politely tell them what to go do with themselves.
     
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