Extra! Extra! Read All About It – Roja Dove Scandal Perfume Review

Red Stilettos


OK, OK, so the fact that I love tuberose is hardly a scandal, in fact it is hardly news at all (see The Candy Perfume Boy’s Guide to Tuberose), what is news is the fact that until very recently I had never really paid attention to a tuberose fragrance that goes by the name of ‘Scandal’.

As you probably know, tuberose has a bit of a reputation, she is the bad girl of white florals, she wears bright red stilettos, stays out all night and doesn’t give a damn what you think. So if I love tuberose it is pretty shameful of me not to have paid attention to Scandal, but I do have an excuse, the nearest place I can try Scandal is London and whenever I visit the ‘Old Smoke’ I tend to have a list of about a million things that I need to try, I have tried Scandal but only in passing. Thanks to the lovely Vanessa from Bonkers About Perfume I have had the opportunity to spend some time with Scandal to see what makes it so scandalous.

Scandal is one of three original perfumes created by “fragrance specialist, historian, perfumer” [2] and the man behind Harrods’ Haute Parfumerie – Roja Dove, the others being Enslaved and Unspoken (great names all round). Scandal was released in 2007, and as the name suggests, this perfume is a shocking floral.

Roja Dove Scandal

The Notes

Top: Bergamot, Muguet and Orange Blossom
Heart: Freesia, Rose, Jasmine from Grasse and Tuberose
Base: Sandalwood, Orris, Balsams and Musk [1]

How Does it Smell? 

Scandal opens with a flash of tuberose and orange blossom, both flowers are white hot and the opening certainly lives up to the name. The tuberose adds a rubbery, sweet quality which I’m entitling the ‘raunch’ and the orange blossom adds the sparkle. This hot, white sweetness is a quality that tuberose is infamous for and the blend of tuberose and orange blossom is something that was also put to good use in the queen of all tuberoses – Fracas. The opening is the scandalous part of the fragrance, it’s strong, but not overly so and it definitely has that vampish quality that qualifies it as a true tuberose.

What makes Scandal different from other tuberose fragrances (Fracas included) is the use of rose. The heart reveals a dewy, fresh rose that unravels and becomes jammy and wine like with time. The rose here reminds me of the rose/violet combination made famous by Yves Saint Laurent’s Paris, which is undoubtedly one of the most famous rose scents of all time. I’ve not really smelled a fragrance that puts rose and tuberose together in such a way, it does feel a bit like ‘Clash of the Titans’, both have strong characters and are used to standing on their own, but the combination really works and it does smell fab-u-lous!

So many fragrances smell great during the top and heart notes but very often disappoint with the base, as if they don’t need to worry because we’ll have moved on to something else by the time the base comes around. Scandal is one of those perfumes that doesn’t disappoint, the base is chock full of what I would call ‘good stuff’, the good stuff here being sandalwood and orris. Are there two perfume ingredients more delightful than sandalwood and orris? I think not! The base is rich and creamy thanks to the sandalwood and it also feels powdery and slightly earthy due to the orris. I love the softness of the materials in the base, they cast a striking contrast from the big nature of the opening.

Scandal feels slightly vulgar, but in the absolute best sense of the word. I have said many times that I am drawn to those fragrances that could be described as trashy, showy or vulgar, heck I once said that ‘Sometimes I Just Want to Smell Like a Hooker‘, but that’s a different story. What I think is interesting about Scandal is despite it’s inherent vulgarity during the opening, it does become very pretty and never quite crosses the line to become loud or overpowering, in fact it is relatively quiet by my standards. It’s good to see a fragrance with such a distinct character not overdoing it and becoming just that little bit too much. Scandal makes you sit up and take notice of her, but she is intelligent and pretty enough to hold your interest and if I’m sure of one thing it’s that you will NEVER forget her.


Scandal is available in 100ml Eau de Parfum for £175 and 50ml Parfum for £295.


This review is based on a sample of Scandal Eau de Parfum lovingly donated by Vanessa from Bonkers About Perfume.

[1] basenotes.net

[2] wikipedia

Image 1 aunaturaleart.com

Image 2 kissandmakeup.tv