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Issue 96 - Scents and Sensibility

Whisky Magazine Issue 96
June 2011


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Scents and Sensibility

Roja Dove is one of the world's most celebrated names in the fragrance industry. The 'Professeur de Parfums' recently working with The Macallan to help broaden the understanding of the aromas found in single malts.

To spend several hours in the company of Roja Dove is something of a revelation to the senses. A highly articulate raconteur, he has been quoted more times than anybody else about the artistry within the perfume business and many of his creations have helped shape it into the multibillion dollar industry it has become today. But as I discover, strip away the glamour and what lies beneath is an exacting science, as well as a highly complex process of understanding the relationship between scent and the psyche.
Dove's obsession with perfume began at a very early age when he first became aware of the scent his mother was wearing and how it lingered in his room. After studying medicine at Cambridge University he celebrated his 21st birthday with a visit to the famous Guerlain Boutique on the Champs-Elysées, which would ultimately determine his career path – and after ‘bombarding' them with requests for employment, he was recruited to begin the lengthy apprenticeship in learning the perfumer's art. Two decades later and the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie at Harrods has become the destination for the ultimate experience in luxury scent.

Do you think the ability to pick up and analyse aromas is something anyone can develop over time or is it something certain people have a natural affinity with?
“Well, it's interesting to note that the sense of smell is the oldest sense in living organisms, which developed before any other – really to help find food, escape danger and to fin...

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