The Power List | Roja Dove,
Our first Power List profile of 2020 features the inimitable Roja Dove, founder of Roja Parfums. Named as a a ‘disruptor’ within the luxury sector, Roja discusses the importance of following your gut, standing your ground and impacting an entire sector.
How important is it to disrupt the sector?
I think it is essential to disrupt the sector – if you don’t end up following your gut, and if you don’t have the conviction to listen to your own drumbeat, what you end up doing is banal, irrelevant and mediocre.
For example, why did the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie – when we opened it 15 years ago in Harrods – rock the perfumery world? Because nobody had thought to do it before. The Parfumerie celebrated the craft and creativity of the perfumer – not the latest ‘blockbuster’. Now, many of the principles on which it was built have become adopted by companies all around the world, with Harrods building an entire sixth floor based on my concept. So it is of course an incredible honour that Walpole has recognised that what we did – in its own way – impacted an entire industry.
But most importantly, whatever you love, and whatever you create – always stand your ground. People will respond to you because they can relate to what you have done or created but, as the old saying goes, you can’t please everyone all of the time, so lots of people won’t like what you do. You don’t need to listen to them – stand your ground, and stand for something.
What fuels your energy and ambition?
As a creative person, the thought of creating something new and exploring the ideas that are always running through my brain fuels my energy. As far as ambition is concerned, I don’t think I am a terribly ambitious person. My ambition has always been to make, do, and be the very best I can.