Couture in a Bottle: Roja Parfums
We wax lyrical on the connection between beauty and fashion, but in the case of luxury fragrance brand Roja, choosing and creating a scent is truly as intricate and detailed as constructing an haute couture gown. Roja Dove, a master perfumer who studied with Jean-Paul Guerlain for more than twenty years, offers a bespoke service; a unique, one-of-a-kind fragrance goes for $20,000-plus. That’s not an insignificant sum, but it’s far less than the cost of a made-to-measure dress. And the process is much more personal. “Customers have been known to cry upon smelling their completed perfume,” says Dominic Venton, the company’s director. In a series of consultations with Dove, you are asked to judge a scent—not knowing its name or origin—and your immediate reaction is noted. The result is a perfume that consists of as many (or as few) notes as you like. Dove insists on only the highest-grade ingredients. To produce one kilo of the Rose de Mai oil he uses requires 307,000 roses from Grasse, picked before dawn, because the amount of oil they can produce diminishes as the sun rises. “No synthetics are used,” says Venton, “so no Roja scent will smell like another on the market.” In addition to the bespoke business, there are 17 women’s scents on offer, ranging from heady florals to masculine chypres. Roja recently launched at Bergdorf Goodman, its first (and only) U.S. location. “Roja strives to offer a fragrance that is as bespoke as possible,” says Venton. “Having to travel to a specific destination makes it more special.” Lucky for us, Bergdorf’s is a quicker trip than journeying to Paris to get measured for an haute couture creation.— Tara Lamont-Djite
Roja Parfums are available at Bergdorf Goodman, New York. Prices range from $389.40 to $990.