Vero Kern of Vero Profumo
Onda, Rubj, Kiki, Mito and Rozy are jewels with many different facets. It's as if Vero Kern (Perfumer of the Year 2014) feels she cannot portray everything she wants to in just one version of a scent. Each perfume is like a complex being of light and shade, capable of expressing a vast array of emotion, therefore it must have a number of different incarnations. With slight variations in concentration and notes, the fragrances in the collection are available in Eau de Parfum, Extrait and Voile d'Extrait.
Photo: courtesy of Vero Profumo
The Eau de Parfums feel most like a full characterization. Their attributes are all to be found within the curved glass of the beautiful bottles. For example; Onda is overtly sexual, warmed by sun and sea spray; Kiki is frivolous and fun, a flapper girl at a party; Rubj is fully loaded with night blossoms and spice, seductive in the candle light; Mito is a sparkling green fountain, a walk through a beautiful garden. And Rozy, the latest edition to the collection, is a Hollywood goddess, aglow with golden vintage charm.
The original Extraits tend to exaggerate the perfumes’ deeper, darker side. Onda's sexiness turns to smoke and bondage in the night; Kiki's sweet powder grows languorous with caramel; Rubj's white petals become dangerously intoxicating; Mito slips from her marble font into patent heels and knocks back the tequila with lime and road dust. Whilst Rozy turns her charm into predatory musk.
The Bloody Chamber by Caitlin Clarkson
The Voile d'Extraits are the elemental qualities of the perfume, plucked out and suspended. The Voiles contain the most light and shade, transparent yet brightly coloured. They sing from the skin in vivid soprano, somehow sheer and dense, light and intensely pigmented. The resulting fragrances are quite exceptional. It is a mark of true dedication and understanding that a fragrance can have multiple facets and reflect in every one the passion and emotion of its maker, never losing any integrity or drama.
Illustration from The Bloody Chamber
The moment that I touched Vero's 2007 creation Rubj to my wrists, I was pulled into a dark, fairy tale world. I have spent much of my childhood and adult life with my nose buried between the pages of a story book, beginning with the Brothers Grimm and moving on to Angela Carter in my teens. If a page from 'The Bloody Chamber' had a scent, it would smell of Rubj in one of her many incarnations. The Eau de Parfum and the Voile both contain cumin, which gives Rubj a far more animalic, raunchy character.
Art inspired by Angela Carter The Bloody Chamber by Claire Borwell
The enchantress in the EdP version of the story would be a demon, making love to her captive princes then ravaging their hearts as they watched. The addition of passionfruit combined with the cumin is reminiscent of the post-coital reek of cooling skin. Vero Kern is the master of complexity, her emotional understanding of scent and her unapologetic use of reek and skank are both unsettling and exhilarating.
My personal favourite is the Extrait, opening with the most lush and creamy petals. Orange blossom that shimmers slightly with citrus and a heady rush of jasmine that hints at the tuberose hiding within it's heart. I am overjoyed at the orange blossom in Rubj, here it keeps that remarkable bright quality that it has in essential oil form, all the creaminess and fleshliness of the other white flowers holding it gently and allowing it to sparkle.
Illustration from Angela Carter The Bloody Chamber Bluebeard
This perfume has a darkness in its heart. A musky, whispered secret that becomes more noticeable as the perfume warms on the skin. Although the initial visual impression is one of tumbling white petals and a light citrus shimmer, the musky civet deepens the perfume into russet and blood red and gold, ornamented with white blooms. The civet also gives Rubj a warmth and coziness that I wasn't expecting. This is a delightful development. I want to wrap myself up in scented cashmere and while away the afternoon in front of the fire. How strange that this perfume can be both humidly tropical and comforting as a warm blanket at the same time. Rubj is indeed an enchantress, one who can twist your expectations and make you fall in love, whether it is in a wistful, shadow filled fairy tale, or in the lustful embrace of a demon.
Illustration by Katherine Corlett http://www.kathryncorlett.co.uk/The-Bloody-Chamber-Angela-Carter
Rubj is the one for you if you adore orange blossom and musk. The EdP and Extrait smell of intertwined bodies beneath bloom laden branches. It will seduce you completely. If you are looking for a floral fragrance that delivers more than just a pleasant bouquet then the Extrait will not disappoint you. I cannot tell you how bewitching this perfume is. Vero Kern is exceptional, her talent undeniable and everyone who wants to experience intelligent, emotional scent making should seek out these perfumes.
Disclaimer- Fragrance from my own collection, opinions my own.
Susie Baird– contributor and editor of Epiphany.
Editor's Note: The Bloody Chamber is a collection of short fiction of 10 rather adult fairy tales by Magic Realist and feminist British writer Angela Carter. The book was published in 1979 and Susie really identified with both Ms. Carter and these diverse cover and book illustrations. None are affiliated with Vero Profmo nor are endorsements.
We have a 2ml vial of Rubj extrait (2007) for a reader in the USA, Canada or EU. To be eligible please leave a comment with what you enjoyed about Susie’s review, where you live and if you have a favorite Vero Profumo. Draw closes 2/10/2015
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