Perfume review: Reckless by Roja Dove

I DO wish i could take you all along to perfume launches, they are so other-worldly and glamorous, they really lift the spirits. Last week Roja Dove launched his new perfume Reckless in the fabulously luxurious surroundings of the Four Seasons hotel in London, complete with the best breakfast snacks handed around by white gloved waiting staff. You learn a lot at these launches, for example the luxury end of the perfume market is thriving, particularly for bespoke smells, with Mr Dove inundated with requests from customers to develop individual smells for each of their homes, or yachts (you really don’t want to know how much that would set you back…..oh all right then, about £25,000). Presumably this is so you can find your way home after you fall out of a night club in Saint Tropez “this way everyone! I can smell our boat!”.

Anyway, Mr Dove quite likes a bit of theatre – he started to get teary at the beginning of his speech, it was a big day for him. As well as launching the new fragrance he is extending his presence in Harrods to include the ground floor Black Hall perfumery (he already has the Haute Parfumerie on the fifth floor), where his new counter will be a ‘lovely new version of smelly perfume theatre’, with a counter made from Lalique glass that will release each fragrance from an unglazed porcelain bisque rose, stored under a beautiful glass dome.

I can tease about the drama, but there’s no doubting Mr Dove knows his stuff, he must be one of the most knowledgeable people in perfume today and a generous ambassadour for the industry. The new fragrance Reckless, like all Mr Dove’s perfumes and candles, uses the very best, most expensive and rare ingredients. He described the perfume as an aldehylic floral, where the aldehydes make the floral notes ‘shimmer’. The flowers are violet, jasmine, geranium and rose with underscores of leather and wintery spices.

For me though, it smells of the 1940s. I know that sounds daft and perhaps I’ve been hanging around too many vintage clothes fairs and reading too much Nancy Mitford, but it has an old fashioned, glamourous, grown up smell that I imagine the 40s to smell of. I can imagine fur collars, silk blouses and pearls, upswept hair with a distinctly ‘set’ wave and a faint trace of face powder, red lipstick and cigarette smoke. I love it.

On sale on line and in Harrods from 2nd July (although I was in the Haute Parfumerie today and noticed it’s already there, if you visit, ask for the wonderful Annette). The new perfume counter opens in July.


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