The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


The Random 10: Roja Dove

Roja Dove_Portrait 1_LR

If there’s a perfumer whose name is synonymous with luxury, it’s Roja Dove.  A passion for creating beauty through fragrance using the highest quality and exceptional ingredients makes the Roja Parfums line the gold standard in perfumery.  It’s hard to believe, but Roja Parfums only recently celebrated its fifth anniversary.  Maybe due to the many stunning perfumes in the collection, it feels like the house has been around for many more years.  Or maybe it’s because Roja looms large over the Industry.  In any case, Mr. Dove has been a major figure within the perfume industry for quite some time.  Roja’s perfumed journey started when he fell in love with his mother’s perfume wrapped up in a goodnight kiss.   Professionally however, it began with Roja developing a fragrance-training course for Guerlain.  Learning, crafting and honing his skills, Roja was employed with Guerlain for almost 20 years where his career with the infamous house culminated in his being honored as the Guerlain Global Brand Ambassador, the first time ever in which a non Guerlain family member was given this role.

After leaving Guerlain, Mr. Dove went on to establish a perfumery training and public relations firm – representing luxury brands across the globe.  And then in 2004, he opened the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie, located within the iconic London department store Harrods.  The Parfumerie created the perfect atmosphere for patrons to experience the world of rare and luxurious perfumes in a beautiful and exquisite salon setting.

Roja MidsummerAfter opening up the Parfumerie, Roja began creating bespoke perfumes for clients.  While most would be thrilled to have a bespoke perfume created for them, such a luxury item is out of bounds for all but a few.   In 2011, Roja introduced to the world his own line of luxury perfumes, Roja Parfums.  Since its inception, Roja has created a wide range of classical perfumes for both men and woman, as well as some branded perfumes created for well established internationally known stores like Bergdorf Goodman, Harrods and others.  Roja Parfums latest release is A Midsummer Dream, a rich oriental fragrance that was inspired by  “the belief that perfume can take you to an enchanted place – a dreamland. It can remove us from the reality of the mundane and transport us to temporal worlds of fantasy. Like a lover, scent can touch us, move us and inspire our very being.”  – Roja Dove

What you may not know about Roja is that he was appointed an Ambassador for Great Britain.  An honor bestowed to him as part of the Great Britain campaign in which he and other leading experts in their respective fields represent the nation as one voice to highlight Britain as a haven for creativity and opportunity.  Congratulations to Mr. Dove on his appointment as well as his five-year anniversary for Roja Parfums.  Even though Roja Parfums has only been around for a relatively short time, we have no doubt that this house and Roja’s legacy is here to stay.

So let’s see what Roja’s Random 10 reveals about this incredible talent and creative entrepreneur!

  1. If I wrote a personal memoir, it would be entitled…Life Has Been Kind.
  2. I am a hoarder when it comes to owning multiple bottles of …Laurent Perrier Ultra Brut Champagne.
  3. My proudest accomplishment was …to be made an Ambassador for the GREAT Britain Campaign for my creative work.
  4. My parents always taught me to…to be non-judgmental of people. To be honest. And whenever I used to say I wanted to do something, my mother’s reply was simple – “why not?” She was the person that made me believe that you can do anything. I think too many people spend too much of their time thinking of all the reasons thinking about why they can’t do something – rather than getting on with what they maybe can do.
  5. When it comes to my organization skills, I…cannot abide people who work in chaos. I think that I fundamentally have a very logical, structured, organized mind. I hate seeing disorganization and I don’t like working with people that are chaotic – and themselves aren’t organized.
  6. What makes me smile is…seeing people develop and grow.
  7. My biggest fear in life is …mediocrity.
  8. What drives me most crazy is…injustice.
  9. The song that always makes me happy whenever I hear it is…Louis Armstrong – We Have All The Time In The World.
  10. I am hopelessly challenged by…accountants, lawyers and form-filling.

Thanks to Roja for participating in the Random 10.  Since I was not familiar with the Louis Armstrong recording of “We Have All the Time in the World”, I attached the YouTube link so you too can experience the song that makes Roja happy:  Louis Armstrong – We Have All the Time in the World

For more information about Roja Parfums, Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie and Roja Dove himself, go to:


A Goodnight Kiss by Roja Parfums


WHAT I SMELL:  A Goodnight Kiss opens with a rush of aldehydes and a light powder which is like a quick wisp of a makeup brush.  The opening is then quickly met with a lightly burnt floral which reminds me a bit of hairspray and of Lanvin Arpege which makes the perfume feel modernly old-fashioned and very familiar.  A few minutes into the wear, the perfume becomes large and rather juicy, which is strange because there is nothing sweet nor fruity about the composition.  However, the perfume is bursting at the seams with incredible florals which seem to dance around a maypole each making their way to the center.  Most prevalent to me is the violet, but as soon as I say that the ylang, ylang comes into focus.  In all, the florals while large, never veer from being contained and they’re very controlled and pretty in slightly masculine way.  Soon enough a green powder comes into play, which takes the perfume back to the wisp of a makeup brush.  In all,  the perfume does feel like the many contents found on a vanity table.  Finally, the masculine and lightly spiced florals then turn towards soft and cloudy when the perfume relaxes into a haze of comfort.  A Goodnight Kiss is a perfume that is meant to leave a wake of a memory behind the wearer and it does so in the most beautiful of fashion.

From Roja Parfums:

Roja Dove owes his vocation to the kiss of a very special muse…“I remember vividly my mother coming to kiss me goodnight when I was  about 6 years old. She was on her way out to a cocktail party and dressed  in a gold lame dress, the light from the hallway illuminated her from behind, transforming her into an ethereal figure. It is an image that will always stay with me and the resonating smell of her face powder and perfume that lingered in the room once she had kissed me goodnight  marked the beginning of my love for perfume” – Roja Dove

A Goodnight Kiss is the celebration of how precious a small exchange of affection can be, and the lasting effect it can have upon us. In a world  where human contact is becoming increasingly digitised, the smallest  acts of physical interaction seem more meaningful than ever before.  The fragrant embodiment of humanity’s most intimate gesture — the soft, evanescent whisper of A Goodnight Kiss.

TOP NOTES: Aldehydes, Bergamot

HEART NOTES:  Rose, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine, Orange Blossom, Carnation, May Flower, Violet

BASE NOTES:  Green Accord, Cedarwood, Clove, Spice Notes, Rice Powder

DEEP BASE: Orris, Leather, Musk

Mother kissing her daughter tonightWHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  Perfectly named; a tender and loving goodnight kiss from mother to child.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE A GOODNIGHT KISS:  memorable, comforting, thoughtful


BOTTOM LINE:  A Goodnight Kiss is a wonderful tribute to Roja Dove’s mother;  and what is even more lovely in this intimate creation is that others, like myself, will immediately recognize the familiar scents revolving around a bygone era when dressing up on a Saturday night for your mother meant wearing her finest topped off by a silken gloves.  To us, our mother’s were glamour embodied and A Goodnight Kiss captures this in the most magical of way.

  • Bone Rating:  4.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent:  Oriental Floral
  • Nose:  Roja Dove
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense: $1,750 for 100 ml Parfum


Roja Parfums Risqué (Creation-R)

Roja Parfums RisqueWHAT I SMELL:  Risqué (marketed as Creation-R in the United States) opens with a warm and sensual bergamot that is surrounded by the deepest rounded and lung filling florals that feel as if they are trapped in bosom of a hug and which at first is like they are fighting to get out of that hug, only to surrender and bury themselves deeper into the warm embrace of the feminine mystique.  As perfumes go, Risqué is head swimmingly beautiful, yet there is this undercurrent of carnality that draws you in without release.  I have said this before, that when I review a Roja Dove parfum, I always have to state that the blending is seamless and as such the individual notes af for the most part are hard for me to pull apart.  This creation is no different.  After around 10 minutes, the florals starts to sink further into the skin as if they are retreating to a more primal place only to then begin radiate and project from what seems to be a labyrinth below.  There is a dusting of leather and civet that wrap themselves around the perfume like a cage that attempts to keep the cat from its prey. And finally, after an hour or so, a layer of creaminess covers the perfume, only to make the cat purr like a kitten.   I don’t find that there is particularly a great deal of development with Risqué, but that’s the most wonderful aspect of the perfume overall.  So many perfumes start off strong and interesting, only to be left as a shadow of its former self.  Instead Risqué remains deeply warm, deeply carnal, deeply passionate and beautifully sensual.  And as a plus, Risqué weaves its magic all through the night…leaving a whisper of itself into the morning.

From the Roja Parfums website:

“On The Edge Of The Forbidden”


“When I created this 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”. Roja Dove

TOP:  Bergamot
HEART:  Chamomile, Hyacinth, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang Ylang
BASE:  Cedarwood, Civet, Labdanum, Oakmoss, Patchouli, Vetiver


WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The beautiful Simone Simon as Irena in the 1942 version of Cat People, who turns into a panther when aroused by passion.

THREE ADJECTIVES THAT DESCRIBE RISQUÉ:  seductive, pulsating, intense


BOTTOM LINE:  There are certain perfumes that hit us on a level that can’t be explained. Every breath of Risqué wraps me up in this enchanted and seductive spell never to let me go.  This is a full bottle must for me so I better start saving my pennies…OK dollars, because I’m in love.

  • Bone Rating: 5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Chypre
  • Nose:  Roja Dove
  • Classification: Feminine
  • Expense: $480 for 50 ml Parfum