Vero Profumo Rubj

I received four samples last week which I had intended to write about today. But, three were scrubbers – quite literally, as after 10 minutes I gave up and washed each off on successive days. I can’t recall the last time I couldn’t see a fragrance through its development. Number 4 was meh, and it disappeared quite quickly. So, instead, I’m writing about Vero Profumo Rubj. (NB: I’m pretty sure the flowers in the photo are cherry blossom, but it was really hard to find a pic of orange blossom I could use, so you get the idea.)

Vero Profumo (the nose, Vero Kern, died a few years ago) is a line I very much admire. I made the mistake of wearing Onda, which I think is a truly great creation, a few weeks back during our heat wave. Things did not work well. But that was my fault – nothing to do with the fragrance: it was just too hot and humid for a perfume that shines in colder, dryer weather. Don’t know what I was thinking.

But Rubj. Now, that is a wonderful warm weather scent. Focused on orange blossom, it’s not sweet or cutesy. Rather, modified by basil on top, it actually has a roughness which means the OB probably smells more like it does in nature (than just an aromachemical approximation).

Other notes in addition to orange blossom and basil include bermagot, mandarin, passionflower, neroli, ‘indole’, tuberose, cedar musk and oakmoss. It’s quite classical, but also very modern (a contradiction in terms?), and it smells really beautiful.

As Rubj develops it opens away from the greener aspects into something more indolic (maybe the ‘indole’ note is a conglomeration of animalic chemicals?), but it’s still decidedly a lush floral. However, it never tips over into ‘too much’, as can be the case with some big white floral fragrances. The drydown is lovely: the fruit comes out which is a wonderful surprise in something so animalic. It’s actually a sort of louche perfume in a very attractive way.

Interestingly, Vero Profumo creations were made in Italy rather than her home of Switzerland and as far as I can tell from the interweb they are still being produced post her death but only in the more intense formulations (ie, no more EdP). They were available widely in Italy, at First in Fragrance in Germany (nothing left as far as I can tell), Lucky Scent in the US (it’s no longer on the website, though there was something on the net in 2019 about them expecting last pieces of EdP), and Bloom Perfumery in the UK (looks like samples left but no bottles – I had sampled Mito there, a green chypre which gets fulsome writeups, but don’t remember it at all). A sort of memorial piece on Vero Kern is the last entry I can see on the Grain de Musc blog (ie, last ever) from end of December 2018.

A few months ago, March wrote about a film I intend to watch once I’ve returned to the house-house and am hunkering down through our rainy season into the winter: Only Lovers Left Alive starring Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston. Vampires, but no shimmering and totally grown up. When I was re-smelling Rubj to write about it I thought the Swinton characters might well wear Rubj, along with Onda and, from the description, Vero Kern’s last perfume, Naja. To quote GdM quoting Vero Kern regarding Naja: “Blending tobacco absolute with linden blossom, tenacious osmanthus absolute and succulent melon, Naja is a rough diamond, contradictory and archaic: a spiritual reflection on the future and the soul”.

I only have the three first VP fragrances in samples. They have lasted beautifully. I don’t really know why I never invested in bottles. Perhaps because they did feel like an investment and I had other things much higher on my want list. But, overall, they are beautiful compositions.

Have you sampled any Vero Profumo fragrances? Own any bottles?

  • Patty says:

    Rubj is one of my all-time fave scents, and I am still sad I didn’t stock up on it. I guess I just thought they would keep getting made no matter what. 🙁

  • March says:

    I ADORE Rubj. I have a decant and am sorry I never bought a bottle.

  • Dina C. says:

    I’ve never sniffed any Vero Kern scents, but Rubj sounds beautiful. Thanks for telling all about it Cinnamon. I’ve been on an orange blossom kick this summer.

    • Cinnamon says:

      It is beautiful. I think the only chance of finding it now is swap, eBay or some place like Surrender to Chance. I’m sort of hoping the line might return in some form.

  • Portia says:

    Couldn’t be happier to see a Vero post.
    I have bottles of Rubj, Onda and Mito in EdP and Kiki in extrait plus a couple of Naja samples and a whisper of Rozy in a vial, just dregs.
    Vero was excellent fun and sure knew how to make extravagant perfume.
    Portia xx

    • Cinnamon says:

      That exactly, Portia, she made gloriously extravagant perfumes. So well put. I will enjoy my samples and grump to myself that I didn’t pay more attention to the line when I had a chance.

  • Musette says:

    I absolutely LOVE Rubj, especially as it starts to settle down – that gorgeous orange blossom!!! Kiki is deliriously fun, especially at the first blast. Vero was an amazing artist !!! xxoxoxo

  • Kathleen says:

    I regret so much not purchasing a bottle of Rozy! I always intended to save up for a bottle.
    I recently sampled Rubj and love it as well. Lesson learned; don’t put off purchasing something I love, because it may not be available.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Yup, definitely lesson learned. Sample and buy when you find something you love. As I said below I really wish I had sampled Naja and at least bought a decant of Rubj. Sigh.

  • filomena813 says:

    I own all three versions of Rubj. I also own Onda, Mito and Rozy, but my very favorite has always been Rubj. It is such a beautiful perfume.

  • Tara C says:

    Rubj and Onda were my first loves from Vero. I eventually succumbed to Kiki and Rozy as well. I had several bottles, then as soon as I heard she had passed I went to Luckyscent and bought up several more bottles. I treasure them and remember her fondly. She was a true artist.

  • cookie queen says:

    Hi Cinnamon! So great to see a Vero review come up suddenly!
    Rubj EdP was my first VP. I own every single thing she made. And just for the record I also wore Onda on a 30°+ summer‘s day, to a kindergarten event. Where I am sure I killed off most of the children as well as myself. Onda is better in cooler temperatures! The fragrances were at first made in Switzerland, but that changed to Italy when she worked with an Italian distributor. Unless I am totally uninformed, none of the collection is being made at the moment. And no plans to do so. She created a stunning collection, and if perfume ever was art, this is it. I adored her, we were partners in crime. I will wear Rubj tomorrow. Thankw. Love, Val. ??

    • Musette says:

      I remember your friendship with her – looked like you had a lovely time together!!


    • Cinnamon says:

      Wow, all of them. That’s amazing. I vaguely recall she started out doing them in Switzerland but an agreement was made with the distributor in Italy? What I had seen on the net was at least a year old and that did say no more EdP but other strengths would still be made. Clearly, that’s not the case and I wonder why. The Mona di Orio line continued after she died, so there is precedent within the perfume industry. I’m sorry for your loss. She seemed like a unique and fascinating person.

      • cookie queen says:

        The distributor in Italy had all rights until Jan 2020. (Vero died end of 2018.) And I think there are uhm, challenges with Vero‘s remaining siblings with regards to the business. Anyway even if they remade them it would not be the same. Vero‘s soul would not be in them. And I am absolutely sure that she would find it amusing that her fragrances will become unicorns. I do believe there are still some bottles left at Campomarzio. Might still be possible to grab something.