A few months ago I was invited to Madame JoJo's for the launch of Risqué, the latest creation from British fragrance house Roja Parfums. We met the charming creator, fragrance expert extraordinaire and arguably the world's most respected perfumer, Roja Dove, who passionately talked us through the process of creating Risqué and all of its unique ingredients before introducing burlesque star Miss Polly Rae to the stage.
Roja Dove was a medical research student at Cambridge University when he visited the Belle Époque Guerlain boutique on the Champs-Elysees in Paris and fell in love with the perfume world. He went on to work with Guerlain for almost two decades before launching his own collection of fine fragrances for men and women.
His latest women's scent is heady, sultry and sensual, using strong natural ingredients which linger on your skin for hours. Risqué is warm, dry, leathery, earthy, woody - all the things I'd never normally like in a perfume - but it works. The top notes include Bergamot, Lemon and Litsea Cubeba, middle notes feature Chamomile, Jasmine, Rose, Ylang Ylang and Hyacinth and the base notes are Oakmoss, Vetiver, Civet, leathery Labdanum, Cedarwood and Patchouli. I normally opt for quite sweet, feminine fragrances like Chantal Thomass, Lolita Lempicka, Viktor & Rolf's Flowerbomb, DKNY or floral Penhaligon's so this heady, powerful, more masculine scent is a refreshing change.