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  1. #1

    Default 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Alas, no photos - hoping someone took some shots somewhere.

    There was a tube strike in London yesterday, but somehow I dodged it and waltzed in with no trouble at all. When others started arriving I heard quite a range of colourful stories about their journeys in, which made me feel guilty! Roja Dove said: "That means you'll have a hellish journey home", but his prediction didn't come true. Maybe I had some credit in the karma bank?

    The library room where the talk took place was opulently decorated; Roja and his assistant Shimon had arranged all manner of treasures around it, which were used as props during the session. One of the new candles from Roja's own range was burning and the room was filled with its scent. In a way, a little distracting from all the other sniffing, I thought, but soon I was too engrossed to notice.

    If anyone's read his book, you'll get an idea of the type of things that he talked about. He was a confident, charismatic and flamboyant presenter. A little afraid of what "us bloggers" might say afterwards, it seemed, but that only served to add a certain endearing quality to his style.

    We had the privilege of experiencing some of the rarest perfumes in the world, seeing antique Guerlain bottles and rubbing bits of myrrh and olibanum between our palms. Roja also introduced us to his own range - his semi-bespoke scents are all good. My favourites were #4 and #5 (and I'm sure others will chime in with theirs, especially you, Miss Crotch! ).

    Roja's goodiebags contained one of his new candles and a brochure for his Haute Parfumerie.

    The lunch was extremely tasty, but rushed because the talk over-ran. We skipped pudding (!) in order to rush to Ormonde Jayne where they'd thoughtfully provided champagne truffles and champagne to make up for the lost chocolate cake.

    This was the first time I had the pleasure of smelling Ormonde's range and after having given it some thought, the only way I could summarise how the collection feels is by comparing it to art: where Serge Lutens is rich, thick oil painting with visible brush strokes (but beautiful, detailed brushwork) and L'Artisan is watercolours (sometimes vibrant, sometimes muted, but always translucent), Ormonde Jayne is painstakingly airbrushed and edited until you don't see any seams and it's just so darn nice and rounded and sophisticated that you either fall head over heels with love - OR - nod appreciatively, but get left a little cold. I guess there is a middle ground; I'm hovering somewhere there right now. I liked the smell of everything from the range, but only a couple of the scents seemed to sing at me. I tried some on my skin, seduced by the top notes, but within a few minutes they mellowed out in a terribly polite and soft manner. I make that sound like a negative, which is ridiculous, but I think it's more about the psychology of what I already own and what I might now be looking for.

    IF I didn't already own some easy-to-wear scents, I think I'd feel more tempted. Anyway. Jury is still out; I have the full sample set to sniff now (lovely value I thought at £35; would make the perfect perfumed gift). Can't wait to give each scent the time it deserves and review them all.

    In any case, this is a range that every perfumista should try out. There is a definite plus there - I didn't feel a dud existed. Soirdelune and I had a giggle in the corner because we were drawing comparisons between mainstream scents and some of OJ's. Tolu = a soft version of Obsession for Men. And so on. Ormonde Woman seems to have elements of Tocade, but, blasphemously, I prefer it to Tocade. Ormonde is not as sweet and not as sour; it's, well, easier to wear.

    Ormonde Jayne provided lovely goodiebags; a full-sized shower gel, sample of OW and a mini catalogue.

    At Floris, we had a personable and warm talk by Shelagh Foyle, the resident consultant perfumer to the house (and I had a giddy moment when she recognised me from the British Perfumers Symposium the other week). We got to view old ledgers with names of royalty, celebrities and politicians, sniffed & got a sample of Madonna of the Almonds, which was created to go with a book about the birth of Amaretto di Saronno. We had a fun debate about the brand's current packaging, versus its traditional image and it seems that they're at least thinking about how to appeal to the younger consumer and may be developing some new scents and branding to go along with that. Sheilagh let us sniff one of her stripped-down vanilla accords and it was a lovely, boozy Baileys/Tia Maria/Tiramisu-experience. The gem from this house: you can have a semi-bespoke perfume consultation for 90 minutes for only £100 and get a customised fragrance of your own to take away. I did a similar thing with Pecksniffs of Brighton a few years ago (back when their service used to cost £150 - it's over £200 now I think). Even though I'm involved in the industry, I'm still considering it. What a treat it would be!

    I bailed out after Floris because I wanted to meet up with my husband and catch the same train home

    Grant and Dani are wonderful and I admire them so much for their entrepreneurial spirit, for being so down-to-earth and smart at the same time. They had the kids in tow, but it was not the slightest bit inconvenient for us. Just felt sorry for the parent-slash-business-people for having to wear both of their hats at the same time!

    VM I hate civet and Soirdelune were both so articulate, intelligent and classically beautiful (kept imagining VM as a novelist or a reporter, accepting some award or another and Soirdelune as an escapee from a Jane Austen novel). And so funny! I felt so lucky to spend any time whatsoever with them (kind of felt that under other circumstances, they'd have been the cool, professional women in one table, occasionally glancing at the red-headed, garish bimbo in another!).

    Also met some other people who are lurking, but not posting (post, post!) and a charming and eccentric aromatherapist who lives a sort of double life between Grasse and London.

    Today, I headed back to London for some other business, but spent a couple of wonderful hours rifling through, what I now have decided to call, The Best Street In London: Marylebone High Street. On the same stretch, you have:

    - Fresh
    - Cologne and Cotton (an adorable boutique with things you might imagine based on the name, but the cologne part is surprisingly impressive, with brands such as Fragonard, Molinard, D'Orsay, Coudray, Rosine, Annick Goutal and more. I bought some cute earrings and a present for my expectant best friend - a fluffy hedgehog toy, but honestly, I could have spent a fortune in there if I'd had a fortune to spend. I particularly enjoyed the old-fashioned charm of Coudray and have decided that one day I'll get Musc et Freesia EDT as well as the luxurious tub of body cream).
    - Aveda salon/shop
    - Neil's Yard Remedies
    - Space NK (make up, skincare, perfume)
    - L'Artisan

    - Ortigia
    - Diptyque. Had a very long chat with the SAs here; am impressed by their loyalty to the brand, by their pleasant manner and excellent level of customer service & growing more and more appreciative of this house's scents - new loves: Ofrésia (the clever clogs among you may spot an emerging theme) and Eau Lente.
    - The Apartment (a saucy lingerie shop that also happens to stock Etat Libre! Today I've discovered that according to Etat Libre-ology I'm a hotel slut).

    There is also Paul's bakery and a Pizza Express on Marylebone High Street. Seriously: am yet to find a more perfect line-up

    So, overall, I've had two days of perfume heaven & feel excited about the scents I've tried and look forward to spending more time with some of them.

    Looking forward to August very much - the tour will include a few more stops & the group will be a little larger, all of which spells out = awesome. Sign up in the August meet thread if you haven't already. The full schedule will be confirmed soon, but the ticket prices will be very affordable and it'll be money well spent.
    Last edited by Nukapai; 12th June 2009 at 07:19 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    oh my goodness, what a wonderful couple of days! Thank you so much for posting that. I am kicking myself now for all the hours I spent waiting for trains at Marylebone station (in my pre-frag days).

    I am looking forward enormously to August, and will be booking my train tickets just as soon as the itinerary is published!
    Last edited by Hebe; 12th June 2009 at 07:09 PM. Reason: Spelling mistake.

  3. #3

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Quote Originally Posted by Hebe View Post
    oh my goodness, what a wonderful couple of days! Thank you so much for posting that. I am kicking myself now for all the hours I spent waiting for trains at Marylebone station (in my pre-frag days).
    Hah, VM had a similar story about doing a research project in Grasse (!!!) in her pre-perfumista days.
    I am looking forward enormously to August, and will be booking my train tickets just as soon as the itinerary is published!
    Hopefully we'll have the agenda very soon! Dani has had to chase the restaurant of all things; everything else is going well planning-wise. Guess we'll pick a different restaurant!

  4. #4

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Thank you for taking the time to describe the exciting Roja meet. For those couple of minutes it took me to read your post, I was there among you, enjoying truffles and all (only didn't have to fly trans-Atlantic!)
    Comme l'amour, le parfum doit captiver la femme dès le premier contact---André Fraysse

  5. #5

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Sounds like a fantastic time, has got me really excited for the August meet up

  6. #6

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Thanks for a wonderful post; I almost felt I was there!

  7. #7
    Basenotes Institution
    Mimi Gardenia's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Thanks for sharing - sounds like you had a very wonderful time !
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  8. #8

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Was this organized for basenoters only? Or via some other route?

    Thanks for the write up! It sounded like a lot of fun!!!
    For sale: Armani Prive (Cuir, Jade), Yves Rocher, Artisan Ambre body cream http://community.basenotes.net/showthread.php?t=228894

  9. #9

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    I also looooooooved Roja Dove's numbered fragrances, I think I fell for 3, 5 and 8 or 9 I believe. I fell hard for them but way outside of my budget and they only come in big bottles.
    But once you get locked into a serious perfume collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.

  10. #10

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Nuka,
    I thogoughly enjoyed your post!
    I can see you and the other perfumistas had a wonderful time. I have Roja's book and would love to meet him some day.
    I am looking forward to the reviews of all the goodies you are sampling.
    Evenstar

  11. #11

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Many thanks for sharing!

    I wish I could have been there, but now that I'm a student again (and on a student's budget), trips to London are out.
    "Wovon man nicht lesen kann, darüber muss man schreiben."

  12. #12

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Lovely post, nuka! It sounds like a marvelous day for all concerned. You've written so well; capturing the excitement and sensual delights of the day.
    I know that everyone must have had the greatest time -- and you do yourself too little justice at one point in the narrative. Having enjoyed the little chat 'n sniff you and I had in April at Starbucks and Liberty (a prelude to these grander things now and upcoming) I know that everyone was absolutely delighted to meet you, as I was!
    The August get-together will be THE event of the year!
    Cheers, (and I do hope someone took pics)...
    Last edited by odysseusm; 13th June 2009 at 01:16 PM.
    odysseusm

    "The force that through the green fuse drives the flower // drives my green age..." Dylan Thomas

  13. #13

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Thanks for the write-up, Nuky; can't believe it's been nearly a week now since we met. I've been immersed in exam papers, and the last six days have flown by.

    Your report on Marylebone High St was phenomenal; it had never occurred to me that so many of these shops (beside the obvious contenders such as L'Artisan) sold scents! Perhaps this would be worth integrating into our August BN tour?

    Oh, and finally, the very LAST thing I would describe you as is a bimbo! Heaven forbid! A clued-up, foxy lady with her finger firmly on the perfume pulse would be far more appropriate. Glamour is good! I certainly wish that I had more of it!

    xxx
    This week, 'Chanel Cuir de Russie: Skin Scent' at http://thescentimentalist.blogspot.com/

  14. #14

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Nuke, superb reporting! Absolutely made me thrilled AND green with envy. Great details, I think you really captured RD's personality perfectly, from what I have heard about him. Sooo happy that you and soirdelune were able to go! sigh.....
    Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses.
    ~~James Oppenheimer~~

  15. #15

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Soirdelune, you are one of the million reasons why this country is known for its politeness; thank you for the comments (Then again, there is a Jekyll and Hyde-side... I can see how we could probably cause quite a lot of mischief together and that wouldn't be so polite, now would it?).

    Lessa, thank you! Maybe you can make it to one of the regional meets this summer?

  16. #16

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Quote Originally Posted by Nukapai View Post
    Soirdelune, you are one of the million reasons why this country is known for its politeness; thank you for the comments (Then again, there is a Jekyll and Hyde-side... I can see how we could probably cause quite a lot of mischief together and that wouldn't be so polite, now would it?).

    Lessa, thank you! Maybe you can make it to one of the regional meets this summer?
    I actually considered it, but dammit, I'm in the heating and air business, and since we're a pretty small company, we don't do any kind of vacations or time off much during the summer. I would love to find a way to plan a future one, though. Gotta be a way sometime!!!
    Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses.
    ~~James Oppenheimer~~

  17. #17

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Just back from a week's holiday in Cornwall, almost completely immobilised by cream teas, fudge and pasties, but wanted to log on quickly to thank Nukapai for her comprehensive and atmospheric report, and to lend further weight to Soirdelune's reassurance to members that Nukapai in person is the most unbimbo-like person you could possibly imagine. I'd go more with "arrestingly attractive, elegant, urbane, well-informed and softly spoken."

    All my Roja Dove paraphernalia - glossy book, glossy bag, candle, notes from the talk, autograph (!), scent strips, scrumpled up purple tissue paper etc has stayed with me in various seaside B & Bs, and when I unpack I will endeavour to identify and name the touches that didn't already have names written on them before being passed around. We did smell some amazing and historic scents!

    To this end, further conferring amongst the three of us may be required, I sense....

    Great to meet - and sniff - Nukapai and Soirdelune. I chickened out of wearing Scandal on the day for fear of looking too keen(!), but this now means that Vanille Galante will be forever associated in my mind with a fascinating and truly memorable day.
    Last edited by VM I hate civet; 18th June 2009 at 07:05 PM.
    "So many scents, so little skin"...

    http://bonkersaboutperfume.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
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    mikeperez23's Avatar
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    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Finally got around to reading your comprehensive reporting Nukapai.

    I was giggling when you described Roja's candle being lit in the room you were in. Like you, that would have annoyed the sh*t out of me.

    It has been a dream to visit London for most of my life. One of these days...
    "The beginning of freedom is the realization that you are not the "thinker." The moment you start watching the thinker, a higher level of consciousness becomes activated. You then begin to realize that there is a vast realm of intelligence beyond thought, that thought is only a tiny aspect of that intelligence. You also realize that all the things that truly matter - beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace - arise from beyond the mind.

    You begin to awaken"

    -- Eckhart Tolle

  19. #19

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Oooh, wonderful post! Thanks for sharing !
    "You...put on cologne to write?"(From Midnight in Paris)

    Stop by for a chat: http://perfumedletters.wordpress.com/
    My book reviews: http://www.nstperfume.com/author/Cheryl/

  20. #20

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Dearest VM, you're making me squirm. Thank you. I shall have to name my next such report "Fishing for compliments". (By the way, my strongest scent associations for the day have turned out to be Ormonde Woman and Madonna of The Almonds).

    Mike, hah, yes, it was annoying, but luckily there was so much else going on that I quickly forgot about it.

    Thanks, Nostalgie!

  21. #21

    Red face Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    amazing two days in a life of a perfumista


    1. Roja Dove: did you smell enslaved? I wear unspoken(I love), can you try to explain the scent Enslave PULEEZ
    2. Did you get a spritz of OJ seraphim?


    living vicariously..
    Last edited by memechose; 20th June 2009 at 05:42 AM.
    "If only there could be an invention that bottled up a memory, like scent. And it never faded, and it never got stale. And then, when one wanted it, the bottle could be uncorked, and it would be like living the moment all over again."
    — Daphne du Maurier

  22. #22

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    1. Yes, but I'll leave the description of Enslaved to Soirdelune and VM I thought his scents were all very nice. I liked the semi-bespoke ones, which figures, since I could never afford them!

    2. Not to my knowledge.

  23. #23

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    I didn't re-smell Enslaved on this occasion as I remembered not caring for it before. Think I found it a bit rich, like L'Enlevement au Serail - but that memory is hazy. The semi-bespoke ones were fascinating, and I liked them a lot!

    We definitely didn't smell Seraphim. I used to have a sample of it though.
    "So many scents, so little skin"...

    http://bonkersaboutperfume.blogspot.com/

  24. #24

    Default Re: 2 Days of Perfume Heaven: Roja Dove & More

    Sorry to say that I find Enslaved , a sumptuous oriental, a little 'over-done'. Just too busy for me, though its blending is impressive and it has really interesting progression.
    This week, 'Chanel Cuir de Russie: Skin Scent' at http://thescentimentalist.blogspot.com/

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