Roja Dove

Roja Dove (born Roger Bird, 25 September 1956)[1][2] is a Perfumer[3][4][5] whose fragrances are sold at department stores worldwide.[6][7] Born and raised in Sussex, South East England, his career in perfumery began in 1981 when he joined the French perfume house Guerlain, working there for 20 years before leaving to set up his own companies RDPR and then Roja Parfums.[8][6]

Dove at The Corinthia Hotel London, UK - 25 November 2014

Early lifeEdit

Dove's interest in fragrance was sparked at an early age when his mother kissed him goodnight; as she lowered her head to kiss him, he was aware that her fragrance lingered in his room long after she had gone, keeping the image of her cocktail dress and the kiss alive.[9][10] This interest developed whilst Dove grew up, as a teenager he spent his money purchasing small bottles of scent and was impressed that the tiny containers could contain such an overwhelming effect.[10]

Following his school days, Dove went up to University of Cambridge to study medicine.[citation needed] Whilst studying there he celebrated his 21st birthday with a visit to the Guerlain Boutique on the Champs-Elysées.It was then that he started working at Joshua Taylor’s, a Cambridge department store. He worked in the male fashion boutique of Taylor’s known as the Peacock.[citation needed] Following this, Dove dropped out of university to pursue a career in perfumery and with Guerlain.[11]

Time at GuerlainEdit

In Dove's enthusiasm for learning more following his trip to the Guerlain boutique, he frequently wrote to classic French perfumers requesting information and experience. Eventually, pestered but impressed by Dove's interest, Robert Guerlain offered him a position. In 1981 Dove was recruited into the Training and Public Relations Department where he began to consolidate a professional understanding for the industry. Dove remained with Guerlain for nearly 20 years; after a number of years he was given the position of Global Ambassador, the first non-Guerlain family member to be given the role.[11] He was dubbed "Professeur de Parfum".[12]

RDPR LimitedEdit

After two decades with Guerlain, Dove left the house to set up his own public relations firm RDPR Limited, with a head office based in his hometown of Brighton.[citation needed]

The Roja Dove Haute ParfumerieEdit

In 2004 the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie opened on the sixth floor of Harrods in conjunction with Urban Retreat. "Physically, it is going to be a sensual haven… Silks and satins, lots of glass, mirror and crystal, as well as the black lacquer, give the salon the air of an exotic boudoir".[9]

Since it opened in 2004 the Haute Parfumerie has stocked scents from many famous and unfamiliar brands including Tom Ford, Caron, Lalique, Xerjoff, Dior, Atelier Flou, Clive Christian, and Grossmith.[citation needed]

Dove received requests from customers to smell ‘Roja Dove’ creations. Previously, in 2002, Dove joined names like Manolo Blahnik in donating prizes for the annual Terrence Higgins Trust fundraiser, the perfumer created a bespoke scent for the highest bidder contained within a Baccarat crystal presentation bottle. In 2005, Dove drew inspiration from this event and created a range of semi-bespoke fragrances for customers of the Haute Parfumerie to purchase; however these scents come without bottles, names, and with only enough liquid to make 50 of each.[13]

Other workEdit

Within the perfume industry itself, Dove has been actively involved with The Fragrance Foundation, The Jasmine Awards and The Cosmetics Perfumer Retailers Association.[citation needed]

Dove has written for a range of titles including Vogue, The Times, Vanity Fair, and Wallpaper on subjects such as perfume, celebrity fragrances, classic favorites, or even the ‘Smells of London’.[14]

Dove has also given lectures and spoken at charity events for The Barbican,[15] The Science Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. In 2010 Dove worked closely with the Victoria and Albert Museum for their exhibition Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes, which ran from 25 September 2010 to 9 January 2011, where he created an accompanying fragrance named ‘Diaghilev’ and gave an evening lecture upon 1920s Parisian society and perfume.[16]

With regards to new initiatives, in 2007 Dove teamed up with BA Highlife Shop, the British Airways onboard retail publication for duty-free products, as their regular fragrance expert. Then in 2009 Dove began to work with World Duty Free to create an online resource to help the user discover their ideal scent; (currently out of business). Shortly after Dove collaborated with The Macallan Scottish whiskey house where the perfumer created a new way of experiencing whiskey; using an odour profiling technique referred to now as The Macallan Aroma Box.[17]

List of collaborationsEdit

  • 2005, Hardy Amies, Hardy Amies
  • 2006, Kelly Hoppen Candle
  • 2009, 6, Pierre de Velay
  • 2009, 11, Pierre de Velay
  • 2009, 23, Pierre de Velay
  • 2010, Blessings, Belinda Brown
  • 2010, M, Puredistance
  • 2010, Buzz, The Sun
  • 2010, Diaghilev, The Victoria and Albert Museum
  • 2011, Four Seasons Amenities, Four Seasons Park Lane London

Roja ParfumsEdit

Following on from his bespoke fragrance experience Dove decided to present his own fragrance range. Initially referred to as ‘The Trilogy’, Dove created a scent for each female fragrance family; Oriental, Chypre, and Floral, entitled ‘Enslaved, Unspoken, and Scandal’ accordingly.[citation needed]

In 2011, the existing Roja Dove line became Roja Perfumes.[citation needed] Simultaneously, following two years of research, the first Roja Parfums candle 'Neroli' was released.[citation needed] The same year Roja Parfums was introduced to the Black Hall Perfumery in Harrods, alongside fragrance houses such as Chanel.[citation needed]


  1. ^ "Roja Parfums y La Cure Orchidée Impériale Black de Guerlain, así se hace la cosmética de lujo". Expansió (in Spanish). 2017-07-21. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  2. ^ "The Macallan partners Roja Dove, arguably the world's finest nose, for Edition No.3". Luxury Insider. 2017-10-31. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  3. ^ Binns, Katie (2018-07-08). "Fame & Fortune, perfumer Roja Dove: I never get sniffy about working long hours". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0956-1382. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  4. ^ Carvell, Nick. "Roja Dove, the man who made a career out of smelling superb". British GQ. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  5. ^ "What does your perfume say about you?". BBC News. Retrieved 2019-06-20.
  6. ^ a b Maggie Davis (February 13, 2008). "Smells of London". Time Out London. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
  7. ^ "Retail locations". Roja Parfums. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  8. ^ Helen Greenwood (December 7, 2010). "Roja Dove is making sense of scents". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 2011-01-01.
  9. ^ a b Van Der Post, Lucia (September 2004). "Genius With A Bottle". Financial Times, How To Spend It.
  10. ^ a b Van Praagh, Anna (27 April 2015). "Perfume expert Roja Dove: I can't travel on the tube". The Telegraph. Archived from the original on 2 May 2015. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  11. ^ a b Paton, Elizabeth (2 October 2016). "Roja Dove, a Master Tailor (of Scent)". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  12. ^ Bywater, Michael (31 August 2010). "Scents and sensibility: the history of perfume". The Independent. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  13. ^ Schofield, Diane (24 June 2009). "Roja Dove Interview". Sniffapalooza Magazine. Retrieved 1 April 2011.
  14. ^ Davis, Maggie (February 13, 2008). "Smells of London".
  15. ^ "The Seduction of Smell". The Barbican Website.
  16. ^ Pearce, Antonia. "Roja Dove". The Luxury Channel. Archived from the original on 2011-03-05. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  17. ^ "The Macallan with Roja Dove". 10 April 2010. Retrieved 1 April 2011.

External linksEdit