Haute Parfumerie at the V&A

Haute Parfumerie at the V&A

On Tuesday 3rd August we were invited to see Roja Dove at the Victoria and Albert Museum giving a lecture on Haute Parfumerie.

After being led in the the beautiful Lydia and Manfred Gorvy Lecture Theatre, Jo Banham, Head of Adult Learing at the V&A started her introduction telling us that we were the best smelling audience she had ever experienced. Praise indeed! Roja first became involved with the V&A when he collaborated with the museum on their Diaghilev exhibitions.

The aim of the talk was to detail how the coutourier changed the face of perfumerie. Scents always reflect current trends. It is an innovative way to experience the history of fashion and society.

We were taken on a tour through the industrial revoloution and the creation of synthetic material (allowing the creation of Fougere Royale), to Charles Fredderick Worth creating haute couture, Jean Patou's trend setting bottles, to Rudinitska creating Dorissimo, his last fragrance for Dior, right up to current day. The rennaissance of Perfumers.

Throughout the evening Roja was gernerous enough to share his private collection of some of the rarest perfumes in the world with us. 

Many people profess that Chanel No. 46 is a myth. Well we can proudly say that we have smelt this elusive fragrance that was designed to bring light and luxury back to the world after the war in 1946.

We were also treated to Roja's own creation dedicated to Alexander McQueen called Spiky Face of Classicism. He created this perfume and threw away the formula, with the ideoligy that "Perfume is fleeting, genius endures".

We left the building having smelt the rarest collection of perfumes within one room, and with a dramatically inreased knowledge of the subject. Thank you so much to The Victoria and Albert Museum for hosting such a wonderous event and of course, as always, thank you to Roja Dove and his team for an insightful and inspiring evening.

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