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OLFACTORY OPUS: Roja Dove, master perfumer, author and fragrance historian, believes the Internet has changed the fragrance business irrevocably.

 

It “has made us all experts, and has allowed consumers to become informed connoisseurs, no longer prepared to accept what they are given,” Dove writes in the final pages of his newly released book, “The Essence of Perfume,” by Black Dog Publishing. The 350-page tome is an updated version of one Dove published in 2006, and its last pages point to the future of fragrance.

 

“There are houses [today] whose starting point is true luxury. They are creating fine-quality fragrances that appeal to a generation brought up on a diet of olfactory banality and instant gratification, and who begin to realize that what they thought was refined and luxurious is in fact mass-market and crass…. Although small in number and sales, these houses are growing as they allow the perfumers freedom to masterly interpret what people desire today, with no compromise on cost or time,” Dove writes.

 

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The book itself is a comprehensive look at the history of fragrance and the evolution of the business, with chapters dedicated to the human sense of smell, raw materials and methods of extraction, the great classics and the houses that created them, bottle makers, how and why he founded his own business Roja Parfums, and his feeling about what lies ahead.

 

“Innovative, revolutionary perfumery has stirred again,” writes Dove.

 

The book is available at blackdogonline.com.

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