Friday, March 28, 2008

Rubj by Vero Profumo

Many of you already know the admiration with which I hold Swiss perfumer Vero Kern. Her three extraits de parfums (Onda, Kiki and Rubj) provide for endless olfactory fascination. But unlike many niche perfumes, Kern’s actually work as “statement scents” not mere curiosities for me and my wrist. Having lived in that country of milk and mountains, I can say that her creations are most definitely not Swiss in conception or execution. They are very French but without the million-dollar advertising hype we associate with the great maisons de parfums.

Strangely enough, Rubj has been the hardest nut of the three for me to crack. Perhaps because it makes me feel so good when I wear it. No wonder, then, that Kern is an aromatherapist by trade. With Rubj she manages to attune the innocuous white floral with a deep, musk- and jasmine-laden heart. Orange blossom absolute from Morocco (nectar bursting into sunlight) coats the outside of this olfactory objet, and then layered behind it are Egyptian jasmine and tuberose (indolic and sweaty-sweet) and very fine (read: not dirty) musk notes. At first approach, one’s nose might characterize this as borderline fruity, but there’s enough complexity lurking underneath to turn your eyes off the dessert platter and into the candlelit bedroom. If you own and love Fleurissimo, this is the next step.

Kern’s extraits come in gorgeous, vintage-inspired crystal flacons with ground glass stoppers, but there’s nothing old-fashioned about them. 7.5 ml will run you around $165, 15ml around $260. They are available online at, and will soon have limited distribution in the United States.


Blogger Perfumeshrine said...

I had the exact same thought when I reviewed this one last summer: that there is an uplifting, kaleidoscopic quality about this one (although it take 3rd place in my heart after the other two wonders) which borders on the therapeutic. Glad we agree :-)

March 30, 2008 at 7:54 AM  
Blogger chayaruchama said...

I find Rubj to be an exquisite, exuberantly joyful scent.
I admire it, but it doesn't love me, alas.
It sings VERY LOUDLY and not completely on pitch [ OUCH !]-
Which hurts my feelings....

So, I merely smell it often, and wear the other two.

Lovely review !

March 31, 2008 at 7:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

For me, this was the most readily accessibly of Vero's scents (I'm still working on Kiki, bit I'll get there in time) - scenes of the "Thief of Baghdad" (the version with Sabu and Conrad Veidt being one of the first films I remember seeing. I've gone through numerous other versions since then and once wanted to own all of them on Video or DVD. That and all versions of Beauty and the Beast): a spice market, a mysterious stranger selling equally mysterious things, and finally the exhilarating ride on a flying carper, with a wide sky above and soft, fresh breezes carrying up the scent of orange flowers and the odd oasis or two...

There's always the sense of space in Vero's scents, isn't there? A wide, wide, high, open sky....

April 1, 2008 at 6:57 AM  
Blogger Vetivresse said...

Even in darkest, strangest ONDA there's a sense of something beyond, the cerulean sky that peeks in at the cave's mouth. We can only pray that her future scents will be as good as the first three.

April 1, 2008 at 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not certain there will be more scents from Vero - she spent so much time perfecting these, they might well be her "grand oeuvre", the essence of her art and person, the one perfect (triple) peak. But we can always hope!

April 2, 2008 at 12:05 AM  
Blogger carmencanada said...

I don't quite agree with Dinazad, having spoken with Vero... More scents are in the works, though they might take some time to be perfected to her exacting standards. I think what best defines all three compositions is that they have a soul. At least they truly speak to mine. Like Helg, I would say that Rubj is the one that comes in third in my heart, but it has surprising complexity once you dig into it.

April 3, 2008 at 11:26 AM  
Blogger Vetivresse said...

Denyse, Thank you for enlightening us all. I, too, have it from the perfumer's mouth that we haven't heard--or, in this case, smelled--the last of VK. Rubj has complexity and is very wearable. I gave a sample to extremely discerning female colleague, and it has become her "date" scent. Brava!

April 3, 2008 at 11:39 AM  

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