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In partnership with luxury perfume

The Macallan Interview - Roja Dove

The Macallan has worked in partnership with luxury perfumer Roja Dove, creating 'The Macallan Aroma Box' to help people better explore and understand the characteristics of The Macallan Sherry Oak and Fine Oak ranges. Here we find out what inspires the man behind the scents...

Tell us in your own words what you do.

I have spent my life trying to help people have a better understanding of scent – it being the most difficult of all the senses to articulate and the one we generally speak least about. This manifests in both my work as a creative perfumer or as one who helps the press.

Where do you draw your inspiration from when you create a new scent?

When I create a new scent I start with its name. My partner Peter and I sit in our garden drinking tea and think of names we like. I think scent should instil a profound emotional response in us – if it does not, the scent is bland or banal. The name helps me think how the scent needs to be. For example, Danger cannot be anything but rich and overtly sensual, whereas Unspoken suggests an effect that is the same as when you catch someone's eye. It is thrilling. Everything is understood without the need for a word to be exchanged.

How did you come to work with The Macallan?

I started talking to The Macallan about flavour and aromas and how, in my opinion, most whiskies are described in such a way that people are often not engaged. We spoke about me creating a series of 'fragrances' which would help people understand the basic concepts of volatility versus depth, immaturity vs maturity and cold vs warm, and then six blends which capture the intrinsic characteristics of The Sherry Oak and Fine Oak Macallan.
I love the fact that when people smell them they understand what they experience in the whiskies immediately and so become totally engaged and, I believe, gain an even greater appreciation of the whiskies themselves.

What are the similarities in whisky making and perfumery?

I would say the greatest similarities are the lengths we both go to obtain the best we can.

There is an inherent knowledge that only the best will do – for The Macallan that means having a barley which is uniquely their own, or spending enormous sums to have the best oak barrels to obtain specific effects which give them an inimitable signature. Whereas I use Jasmine from Grasse in the south of France which requires five million flowers picked before dawn to create a litre of oil, resulting in an oil which costs more than the price of gold bullion.

The other obvious similarity is that both The Macallan and I never hurry – a product is ready when it is ready. For The Macallan that might mean waiting thirty years, which is exactly how long the youngest sandalwood I would consider using will be.

Many newcomers to single malt whisky find the aroma and taste challenging. How do you feel the aroma oils you have blended for The Macallan will help people overcome this sensory challenge to appreciate The Macallan?
I believed firmly that for most people whisky is so volatile it is hard to smell the nuances. With a breadth of flavour as diverse as The Macallan's, I felt it essential that people could understand the basic characteristics available. I was shocked when I first met Bob Dalgarno, their Master of Spirit, and discovered that whisky can be rich and earthy, but also can be delicate and floral. I started creating this highly original tool, as I was determined that people would be able to understand the variety, diversity, and complexity which is The Macallan.

Do you have a favourite scent?

I have always loved perfume and wear my Semi-Bespoke No. V. I love how smoky and sensual it is. Everyone I know, knows me for it – it smells like me.
Do you have a favourite expression of The Macallan?

I love the floral aspect of Blend No. 12 in the aroma box. Which is an expression of one aspect of The Macallan American Fine Oak – I love it as it is unexpected and I hate predictability.

To find out more about the collaboration between Roja Dove and The Macallan, watch our film Roja Dove and The Macallan

The Winners

Behind the scenes at El Celler De Can Roca

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The Macallan

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Today we unveil the winners in our Masters of Photography comp. Discover the 3 winning images... http://t.co/uGahVdaDa7 #Erwitt

23 Apr 14
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Leica Camera AG

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RT @leica_camera: Discover the essence of Leica Camera photography on April 24: http://t.co/TYzS7k7p2W #LeicaT http://t.co/mHjr9HUMCP

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Happy #Easter! Our 18 Years Old pairs perfectly with #chocolate, just like these @Compartes whisky infused truffles http://t.co/iOXc7SDVjg

20 Apr 14
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Capture your dinner & dram using #dramfinefood for a chance to #win a signed Roca book! Here’s ours... http://t.co/tCtCV9Kvl9

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Discover the specially crafted dishes & unique whisky parings created for this year’s #WGS2014 via @danandesther http://t.co/VB4ysIEqrC

14 Apr 14
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Thank you jeffreymbell for a 10am Old Fashioned with your delectable homemade honey syrup. http://t.co/mLKsNRm6Ry

11 Apr 14
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#FilmFriday: Pour yourself a dram & discover Elliott #Erwitt & Bob Dalgarno explore cask no. 0010068: http://t.co/DLimc9pKeb

11 Apr 14
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Luxurylaunches

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RT @luxurylaunches: A match made in heaven - @The_Macallan partners with @CanRocaCeller for the ultimate dinner -http://t.co/QubYJiis5l htt…

08 Apr 14
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RT @jordirocasan: With THE BOSS Bob Dalgamo, the Macallan whisky maker. http://t.co/ZGGufk1oKs

07 Apr 14
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Find out what happens when the worlds of whisky making and craft cuisine combine... http://t.co/XYN2t3ZlY6 #MacallanMasters

07 Apr 14
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Got a question for the Roca Brothers? Send us your questions using #MacallanMasters

07 Apr 14
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The Roca Brothers invite you into their El Celler de Can Roca kitchen – watch the masters at work: http://t.co/BpdI84q4y5 #MacallanMasters

07 Apr 14
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Our partner @CanRocaCeller will take #food pairing to a completely new whisky level #innovation #MacallanMasters http://t.co/fde4edY2Hx

07 Apr 14
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Today we unveil, The #MacallanMasters of Taste: a collaboration of 2 leading masters: @CanRocaCeller & @The_Macallan http://t.co/PgGjCWIzOz

07 Apr 14
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The home of the new Macallan collaboration. #macallanmasters http://t.co/YpzxyYcwEw

07 Apr 14

El Celler de Can Roca

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Find out who has captured the aroma of The Macallan... Tomorrow, 7 April http://t.co/ziuu31jcuc

06 Apr 14
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The citrus notes delivered from a zesty lemon & warming cinnamon are essential in making our 18 Years Old http://t.co/J6Hqnzd7gK

05 Apr 14

The Shortlist

The Macallan Attends SXSWi

Masters of Photography: Master Class

The Macallan’s characters captured continued...

The Macallan’s characters captured

The Straits Adventure

Meeting Elliott Erwitt by Leica’s Robin Sinha

Elliott Erwitt brings his Great Scottish Adventure to Mexico

Sean Lee-Davies captures the character of Hong Kong

Vladimir Vyatkin captures the character of Russia

The Macallan Masters of Photography: Elliott Erwitt Edition UK launch

The Macallan Masters of Photography: Elliott Erwitt Edition LA launch

The Macallan Masters of Photography: Elliott Erwitt Edition

Lalique 62

Introducing The Macallan in Lalique V: The Spiritual Home

The Macallan M Liquid

UK Launch of M Decanter

The Importance of Wood

The 1824 series unveiled

Joy Elliott: The Macallan Brand Ambassador

The Macallan Bond Bottle in Auction

Ken Grier on The Flask

The Flask Give Away

Introducing...The Flask

The Macallan