– a review of vero profumo’s Rubj in parfum and eau de parfum
The List. Every perfume writer or blogger has it. That list of the ones you’re dying to try, the list of the lines you somehow missed in your endless curiosity of Things That Must Be Sniffed, Perfumes To Experience, olfactory epiphanies that beg to be discovered, because you never know where the next love may find you, grab you and dip you to the floor in a tango swoon.
Even I have that list, and well before I even began to write about perfume, I had my own little dirty secret, a habit of mine I’d indulge when no one was looking. I’d sneak off into cyberspace and on to the websites of those wonders that intrigued me most, the ones I had this intuition about, the ones I somehow knew in that locked, private drawer of my heart would be another kind of love in waiting, and once there, I would dream of the day when I could breathe in their beauties whenever I liked, dream of the day I would own those marvels, to love, cherish and adore forevermore.
To be fair, it was an exercise in a refined kind of torture. Yet nothing kept me away. Every so often, I’d have to fall down that rabbit hole of my imagination and dream those impossible dreams…of gardens and flowers and transport to elsewhere and otherwise, of fraught emotion glowing in the space above my skin and through its own unique alchemy breathing that new, improved more beautiful me into being, exuding those new possibilities I can dare to believe in and believe I have the power to manifest.
In my personal top three Dirty Perfume Browsing Secrets was Swiss perfumer Vero Kern’s website vero profumo, and at the very top of her work and my wish list was…Rubj. Even then, even before my own perfume journey began, I had a hunch that told me…Rubj would be special, would be magical, would be one to steal my heart away and never, ever give it back!
My perdition wasn’t helped at all when my friend Lucy of Indieperfumes wrote me to say that Rubj would get me in so much trouble, that it was the quintessence of everything that spelled my perfume doom and quite a lot that described my own personality, that it really, truly did have my soul stamped all over it.
Lo and behold, a little luck and outrageous fortune landed me samples of Rubj in extrait and eau de parfum, and lo and behold…I’m really in trouble now!
Any reader of this blog will know my love of orange blossom. It is without a doubt the most represented flower in my ever-growing collection of florals, and many of my greatest perfume loves are orange blossoms. Something about their heady, opulent aura and unapologetic sensuality connects with this writer’s soul in ways I can scarcely articulate except to say that if I were a flower, I would surely bloom on an orange tree.
Even so, even with what I now know, love and have experienced, nothing could quite have prepared me for Rubj – or indeed what makes Vero Kern so unique as a perfumer. I first discovered her through her new launch ‘Mito’, but I quickly discovered that personal touch, that ribbon of soul that runs through all her creations, even though they are otherwise not at all alike.
The territory is as familiar as a well-beloved face…Moroccan orange blossom, Egyptian jasmine, a delicate, clever touch of tuberose. But Rubj is nothing like those other orange blossom gals, and sings her siren song in a different key. I can tell all those heartbreaker chords are there, but surely this is a song I’ve never heard before?
Lush, luscious, lascivious orange blossom…something about this calls for synonyms and similes beginning with the letter L…or should that be P for Pure Peerless Pleasure?
Pleasure proven by that diaphanous, silky veil of jasmine and tuberose, but don’t be fooled – neither of those two divas are at all obvious and merely add their own sweet soprano harmonies to Rubj’s star of the show. It would have been too easy, too apparent to turn up their volume in the mix, and to a mind that has been fantasizing about this very perfume for a very long time, this lifts Rubj into the stratosphere of As Good As It Ever, Ever Gets.
Don’t be fooled. Rubj will cocoon you in its incandescent pleasures, but as she blooms and you bloom right along with her, she makes no attempt to hide that other secret folded into her charming laugh and those pearl white flowers, and that is her sensuous, seductive side, the one not you nor anyone audacious enough to get closer will be able to resist. The sexy allure of musk breathes its intimations of promises and passions she may even want to show or keep, but from the joyous opening to the starlit aura of the far drydown many hours later, the orange blossom beats its floral heartbeat throughout.
Rubj in eau de parfum – contrary to what you might expect in an eau de parfum, which is usually simply a lesser concentration – is different enough to be another perfume. In eau de parfum, Rubj is greener, brighter and much more diffusive. I’m not sure whether the tangy petitgrain is added or it is the passionfruit that makes it sharper and fruitier, but even this Rubj is far, far removed from ‘fruity-floral’ clichés. This Rubj is every bit as luscious – and even more playful than her sister, daring you to define her in that laugh she leaves behind on your skin.
Heaven help you, you can’t. All you can do is surrender to her many charms and whims, and that’s all you need to do.
Other reviews have called Rubj a diva, a filmstar perfume who stops everyone in their tracks and calls attention to herself. I don’t see her that way at all.
Divas to my mind have too much to prove, too much to declare, are all too busy tooting their virtues (or vices!) to listen to anything or anyone else. They’re too predictable by their very diva status, and Rubj to me (and let me say it – it is indeed, very much…me!) is far too intelligent and much too mischievous to be that apparent.
She is a lilting, laughing, love affair of a perfume in either version and a laughing, not at all conventional woman. She doesn’t need to rewrite the rules for herself, has no need to prove anything at all except the marvel of that laugh and that definite echo of mischief and sumptuous allure she leaves in her wake in either version. Much like the timelessly beautiful Evelyn Tripp in the image I’ve chosen for my review. Look closely, and you’ll surely discover that laughing imp in her eyes…
As for me, I’m doomed. All I can do is to sing along with this particular song (that she surely inspired?) and dream my perfumed dreams of that fatal, flawless, perfect day…
Notes for Rubj: (in parfum): Moroccan orange blossom, Egyptian jasmine, musk.
In eau de parfum: Passionfruit, and likely a few more wonders Vero chooses not to reveal! ;-)
Rubj in extrait and eau de parfum is available from Luckyscent, Jovoy Paris, the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie of Harrods, First in Fragrance and Campomarzio70. A full list of retailers is available from the vero profumo website, or by contacting Campomarzio70.
With thanks to Campomarzio70, and to the always inspiring Vero Kern.
Original image of Evelyn Tripp from myvintagevogue. Photoshop: my own.