Roja Dove, a man known in the fragrance industry for creating bespoke fragrances with a bold, unapologetic statement. I recently met the British perfumer at an exclusive media event where he spoke about his inspiring aromatic journey, the passion to develop his fragrances unique in both complexity and nuance, and an insight into his latest launch — Elysium Parfum Cologne by Roja Parfums.
“Elysium – few have the ability to make that dream a reality. A scent created for a man who needs no help in reaching his Elysium, his Paradise”– Roja Dove
He was instantly recognizable. His white and blue paisley jacket, with white silken shirt and lavish embroidered slippers. Known for his penchant for jewels, he has a distinctive taste in diamond and emerald rings and I could not help but notice the striking semblance of his diamond ring to the swarovski-embellished crystals on his perfume bottle tops.
A gifted storyteller, Roja takes you on an olfactory journey through his narratives with a cross reference to characters he draws his inspiration from. It all began with the bottles that sat on his mother’s vanity. A mother’s goodnight kiss. The moonlight made a silver corona around her head and the scent of powder and her rich floral perfume, as he remembers it, is what drove Roja to create his own line of bespoke fragrances.
He picked up several paper smell strips—sprayed them with scent, and handed them over to the attendees. The idea was to have everyone tap into their scent imprints, embrace and connect to the symphony of it’s notes and pick out a favorite. Diaghilev and Nuwa from his imperial collection, were winners for me. Should you be able to afford it, it’s a sensory celebration for all lovers.
Elysium Parfum Cologne
Elysium on the other hand, is an oriental-fougère. The opening is sharp with a green citrus opening; with bursts of lemon, bergamot, grapefruit, lime and hints of invigorating thyme and artemisia to complement the citric core. Also, what I find unusual in this mix is how you will find a rich powdery musk note right there in the beginning. The musk note is prominent, but executed beautifully as it blends effortlessly with the bergamot and vetiver notes.
At the heart of the fragrance you will find Lily of the Valley, Rose de Mai, Jasmin de Grasse, apple and blackcurrant which adds a sweet dose of fruit to the perfume combined with some rich floral notes. The base is woody and leathery with dramatic notes of pink pepper, cedarwood, leather, amber, vanilla and musk. On scent alone, this is blended so well that it leads to a multi-faceted, complex scent experience. This can be your perfect signature scent.
Having said that, it’s not a mix that is for everyone. This fragrance tends to smell different when sprayed directly on the skin, as compared to the paper test. The slightest change in temperature or skin chemistry can morph this into a completely different masterpiece.
Price: AED 1140 for 100 ml and available exclusively at Paris Gallery.
For more fragrance reviews click here. Alternatively, you can read more about niche houses here.