Trained at the Cinquième Sens, Vero Kern came to perfumery as fully fledged woman with a background in pharmacy and aromatherapy. As declared admirer of classical french perfumery, she apparently takes her inspiration from that original concept and does not shy away from an edgy animalic translation into the present. Enter Rubj extrait. It opens with a succulent burst of mandarin, framed by greenish neroli. A hauntingly beautiful terzet of jasmine essence, orange blossom absolute and tuberose, taking center stage in turns, swiftly follows suit. The verdant trait becomes saline, morphing into plummy. Civet provides a superb fruity finish, which is tweaked by the indolic triad into a vibe of decay, suggesting overripe fruit. That vaguely plastic-waxy sensation evokes a bizarre impression I thoroughly enjoy. Sultry decay is the extrait’s opulent main theme.
The base is delicately shored up by slightly scorched cedarwood that is paired off with a subtle dose of oakmoss. By this means, Rubj displays a dry and tangy twist that leaves me longing for a more pronounced contrast to its lush creaminess. The restrained musk is fused in seamlessly and smoulders in the background, daubed with ambrette I imagine. It oscillates from woody-earthy austerity to savoury-balmy warmth as Vero Kern pulls off its entire claviature truly artfully.
If any of the above Charites are your cup of tea, do not miss out on the extrait. Though somewhat linear, its weirdness is enticing and I appreciate why so many are in raptures about this fruity-floral composition.
The notes of the Eau de Parfum differ and critics vary. Although still structured around a floral heart, it reportedly is much greener and with far less stressed indolic notes.
Rubj is simple yet unbelievably beautiful tuberose perfume. Exotic aspect of tuberose is emphasised by passionfruit, moderately sweetened ,makes that yummie effect all Vero perfumes have, but everything is amazingly simple, clean, natural smelling, though, the musk which holds the whole structure is synthetic, and gives the feeling, oh i have smelled this somewhere before:-) ...thats the musk. Still very simple, sexy and feminine perfume, i think best for summer nights, on some exotic island:-)
Maybe I could say I like this best or find it most enjoyable to wear myself from the Vero Kern trio (Extraits). The mentholated cool vibe along with the tuberose and orange blossom (these two are most prominent to my nose) together with a 'clean aura', as Sugandaraja has referred to it so well, make for tricky territory in my book. The orange blossom by times feels waxy, almost artificial and body product associations are nearly inevitable for me. I think this is the best balanced composition of the trio, but would have wished for a more interesting base bringing a bit of a turn to the whole story. Nice, but not enough at this steep price!
I've had samples of both the parfum and the EDP of Rubj for about a year now and even though I had preciously spritz them on from time to time ( sometimes layering them) over the year to enjoy them, I realized this morning that I had never looked up the notes to either or read any reviews of them. I decided to leave it that way to write this review because I didn't want to be influenced by any list of notes or anyone else's impressions of them.
I say "them" because even though te EDP and the parfum are both Rubj, there are enough differences to give you two slightly different experiences. From the very beginning the parfum is a sweet and quiet skin scent that's so well blended that even as it deepens on the skin, I'm unable to pick out any individual notes. Slightly gourmand, it gives the inpression that someone has just passed you on the street eating a sweet pastry with a hint of anise.
The EDP opens with a sharp citrusy/green blast and as it mellows on the skin, it becomes a soft, gourmand skin scent as well. But where the parfum gives you the feeling of the smell of a pastry caught on a cool breeze, the EDP gives you the sense of holding a warm, freshly baked, lemon cream-filled tart laced with lavender and anise right under your nose. at this point there is a kind of warm doughy note that makes me think of L'Artisan's Bois Farine in that "something just came out of the oven" way. In the middle, the parfum and EDP seem to reach common ground and you can tell they're related, but just briefly, because where the perfume remains more light and anisy and plays with the warm/cool dynamic, the EDP remains warm througout and for reasons I can't explain, starts to remind me of the basenotes in some of the vintage perfumes I love so much.
Now, I'll go read the notes.
On my skin the EDP is much mor intense than the Parfum. I love the way she plays with that warm/cool thing.
The extrait of Rubj takes its wearer into dangerous territory. Picture a young, seductive Miss Havisham, surrounded by heavy drapes and vases of lethal blooms, and you've got a fairly accurate idea of how this juice operates. There's an almost tangible promise of salaciousness behind the jasmine-laden florals and plummy, fermenting fruit notes. A sense of contrast is provided by a judicious selection of woody, astringent ingredients, but the emphasis remains on the sort of decadence not evoked since Dior's Poison. The EDP comes as quite a surprise after the onslaught of its older sister. Although it is still structured around a floral heart, it's much greener and more diffusive, with a far weaker stress on the indolic notes, which have largely been replaced by the sweatiness of cumin. Opulence is sacrificed for the sake of approachability.