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Roja Dove the smell of success

Concocting the perfect perfume is nothing short of an art, requiring an extraordinarily-fine-tuned sense of smell, a vast knowledge of ingredients and their individual scents, and no small helping of creativity in order to produce a fragrance like no other. To have all that is one thing, but to have the business savvy to build a perfume empire on the back of those talents is another entirely. Luckily, then, Master Perfumer Roja Dove has both in abundance, garnering him a coveted spot at London’s Burlington Arcade and a legion of fragrant followers from every corner of the globe


Roja Dove is a master of his trade, an all-knowing olfactory eye – or should that be nose? It’s safe to say that, after more than 30 years in the industry, what he doesn’t know about the science of scent probably isn’t worth knowing. His earliest memory of fragrance features a goodnight kiss from his mother when he was six years old. Dressed glamorously, she was heading out for the evening, but as she leaned down to kiss him, he caught the scent of her perfume and has been captivated ever since.

Dove’s first foray into the professional business of smelling good came in the early 1980s when he visited the factory of French perfume house Guerlain, sparking a lifelong passion. So much so that after his trip was up, he badgered Guerlain’s press office so incessantly that they offered him a job – it was the start of a 20-year career that ended, on Dove’s terms, when luxury goods conglomerate LVMH took over the business in the early 21st century.

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