Star rating: 5 stars–outstanding/potential classic, 4 stars–very good, 3 stars–adequate, 2 stars–disappointing, 1 star–poor.
What took me so long to discover Vero Profumo Rubj? March was very enthusiastic about it. Angela’s beautiful review called it a “ravished ballerina” perfume. Nathan mentioned that it is “uniquely suitable for the dressiest of parties as well as the most naked of ambitions.” But better later than never! A luscious orange blossom and tuberose composition, Rubj is underpinned by such a fleshy animalic note that it makes Serge Lutens Musc Koublai Khan seem straight-laced. It not only intrigues and seduces me, but also comforts and caresses.
Rubj, pronounced as ruby, was created by perfumer Vero Kern. She founded Vero Profumo in 2007 and her well-edited line is firmly planted in the tradition of classical perfumery. Classical though the inspiration might be, the distinctive characters of Onda, Kiki and Rubj place them into a category of their own.
When I first sampled Rubj, the fruity hit of mandarin and orange blossom lulled me into thinking that it might be yet another pretty white floral perfume. I let myself be distracted by some chores when I suddenly became aware of a heavy, warm aura. It was so animalic and raunchy that it took me a moment to connect this sultry presence to Rubj. The innocent apricot jam sweetness of orange blossom and jasmine gave way to the lusty hot breath of patchouli and musk. From there, there was a short leap into civet and cumin. I was impressed enough to revisit Rubj again and again.
Rubj is lusty to the point of indecent. Some days, it smells darkly of cumin and musk; on others, it is all about salty strawberries and sweet jasmine petals. Either way, it is devastatingly sensual. For me, Rubj is like a passionate embrace or a kiss in that its presence is almost palpable. Whenever I feel like bringing out my inner temptress, Rubj is my potion of choice.
I also turn to Rubj for a diametrically opposed purpose—to comfort and indulge myself. The heavy warmth of civet smeared flowers reminds me of the balmy air on a hot summer day, the most felicitous of associations. As I press my nose to my wrist and inhale the indolic sweetness of tuberose and jasmine, I forget about the deadlines and the usual stresses of my daily life. Whenever I need a break from it all, I uncork the glass vial, dab a tiny drop on my wrist and carry on with my day. As it seeps into my skin, Rubj becomes my scented amulet.
Rubj is available as the Parfum and the Eau de Parfum. The former is my favorite for its pulpy floral accord, while the EDP places more accents on the smoky animalic notes of cumin and the sweetness of tropical fruit. Either way, it is not designed to please everyone and should be approached with caution by those who shy away from overly animalic fragrances.
Rubj Parfum includes note of Moroccan orange blossom, musk and Egyptian jasmine. Rubj Eau de Parfum features bergamot, mandarin, neroli, passion fruit, cumin, orange flower absolute, tuberose, basil, cedar, oak moss and musk. Available from luckyscent and first-in-fragrance.
Sample: my own acquisition