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?