January 10, 2019
Lupita Nyong'o, Vogue, October 2016
Can a drumbeat have its own fragrance? Rubini Profumi founder Andrea Rubini believes so. Inspired by the sounds of the Horn of Africa, Rubini and nose Cristiano Canali set out to create a perfume that translated certain African rhythms into scent, with orange citrus and coffee keeping the beat against percussive hits of spice, wood and resin. The result, Tambour Sacre, or “sacred drum,” is a bold, unique scent of bright, bitter fruit that burnished with roasted coffee, pepper and cardamom, and one of the most striking perfumes of recent months.
Andrea Rubini and Cristiano Canali
A bright, sharp citrus bursts on the skin the first brilliant smack of palm against drum skin. The opening is equal parts fresh juicy orange, astringent lime rind and the perfumed bite of bergamot. The citrus notes reverberate off each other like a chord, blending together and then bouncing apart again. A woody note thrums in the background as the unmistakable roasted smell of coffee very quickly rises up in between the citric aromas, and an unexpected chewy sweetness from benzoin.
Photo by Galyna Andrushko, Shutterstock
This coffee is complicated; the initial smell is rich and oily, like medium-roasted beans. But then a second, very green scent joins it, the smell of the dried green berry. Cardamom and white pepper (drier, less assertive than the black variety) flank the coffee, adding dark counterpoints that underscore the note’s roasted quality. Then, for a long while, the composition simmers.
Ethiopia, photo by Joel Santos
Tambour Sacre continues to play a warm harmony of coffee, citrus and spice for a long while before sweeter notes add their harmonies. Myrrh adds its furry, anisic scent in the later stages, and the milky sweetness of tonka bean just peeks through with rusty cinnamon. In the dry-down, which comes long after that initial fruity splash, the last notes of roasted coffee and bitter orange quiet down like the shimmer of cymbals.
With Tambour Sacre, Rubini brings a daring, vibrant fragrance to follow 2015’s utterly unique Fundamental. With its sunlit opening and long-lasting, multilayered coffee and spice, Rubini Tambour Sacre reverberates on the skin like the fading echo of the last drumbeat. Notes: Bergamot from Calabria, orange, cardamom, white pepper, cinnamon, acacia farnesiana, tuberose absolute, coffee absolute CO2, Mysore sandalwood, myrrh from Somalia, benzoin, tonka bean.
Disclaimer: Sample of Rubini Tambour Sacre generously provided by Rubini Profumi. My opinions are my own.
Lauryn Beer, Senior Editor
Rubini Profumi Tambour Sacre
Thanks to the generosity of Rubini Profumi, we have 2ml samples of Rubini Tambour Sacre for 3 registered readers in the U.S. or Europe. To be eligible, please leave a comment saying what catches your eye about Rubini Tambour Sacre based on Lauryn’s review and where you live. Draw closes 1/13/2019.
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