Vero Profumo Rubj ~ fragrance review

Vero Profumo Rubj extrait

Orange blossom is saddled with associations the perfume lover has to shake off to really enjoy the flower's fragrance. First, orange blossom evokes brides, purity, and white lace. For someone looking to project a more sensuous image, orange blossom might not cut it. Next, a lot of cheap soap smells like orange blossom. As a result, when you sniff an orange blossom-based fragrance, you might be torn between visions of church weddings and of gas station bathrooms. Lucky for us, Vero Profumo Rubj, especially in Eau de Parfum, breaks the mold of the typical orange blossom fragrance.

Vero Kern is the nose behind Vero Profumo, founded in 2007. Unlike some perfume houses that burst onto the scene with a dozen perfumes, so far she's limited her offerings to three fragrances: Onda, Kiki, and Rubj. Each of the fragrances is distinctly different. Onda, with its leathery, almost fetid, vetiver is inscrutable and moody. Kiki's lavender is energetic and crisp. Rubj bursts with feminine light and emotion.

At first, Rubj Parfum smells to me of orange blossom, tuberose, jasmine, and a touch of rose, fruit, and ocean air. It is rich but uncomplicated, and easy to wear. Rubj's ingredients smell good, too — full and natural and expensive. But Rubj Parfum's real payoff comes when the fragrance has settled for an hour or so. The orange blossom turns from pale orange to sunset pink as civet, musk, and something that smells like burnt wood remind me the Parfum is better suited to experienced women than ingénues.

This past spring, Vero Profumo released Rubj Eau de Parfum. Vero Profumo's website doesn't divulge Rubj Eau de Parfum's notes, but Luckyscent lists them as bergamot, mandarin, neroli, passion fruit, cumin, orange flower absolute, tuberose, basil, cedar, oak moss, and musk. Rubj Eau de Parfum is not a diluted version of the Parfum, but is rather a sister to the original. The Eau de Parfum displays all of the sophisticated femininity of the Parfum, but cumin and overripe passion fruit thicken its texture and bring thoughts back to the flesh that wears the fragrance. It is innocent and carnal at the same time. In short, Rubj Eau de Parfum is really sexy.

I wore Rubj Eau de Parfum to a dinner party a month or so ago. Kevin had just sent me a packet of samples, including the Parfum and Eau de Parfum versions of all the Vero Profumos. I already had a few drops of Onda and knew I liked it, and Kiki didn't seem right for an evening out, so I spritzed on a healthy dose of Rubj Eau de Parfum, slid a 1950s black lace cocktail dress over my head, and left the house. On the ride over, Rubj started humming the song the turbaned man in cartoons plays to mesmerize the cobra. When I arrived at the dinner, the host hugged me and said, "You smell good." A few hours later, on the couch, I had a coterie of guests smelling my wrists and neck. We decided the fragrance smelled like a "ravished ballerina." Right then I put Rubj Eau de Parfum on my "to buy" list.

Vero Profumo Rubj Eau de Parfum

Serge Lutens Fleurs d'Oranger is another cumin-enhanced orange flower fragrance, but to me it smells wetter, rosier, and cleaner than Rubj. Unlike in Rubj, Fleurs d'Oranger's cumin wears off quickly. Where Fleurs d'Oranger's surface is moiré silk, Rubj is silk velvet.

Not everyone will like Rubj, especially in Eau de Parfum, my favorite formulation. Cuminphobes will definitely want to steer clear. People who prefer an airy cage of scent to a fluffy blanket might not like Rubj, either. If Fleurs d'Oranger is too thick and suffocating for you, back away from the Rubj Eau de Parfum, although you might like the Parfum.

Rubj comes as a 7.5 ml Parfum (shown at top) and 50 ml Eau de Parfum (lower image). It isn't cheap, with the Parfum going for $195 and the Eau de Parfum $195 at this writing. For information on where to buy Rubj, see Vero Profumo under Perfume Houses.

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  1. 50_Roses says:

    I don’t think I’ve ever encountered a cheap soap that smelled like orange blossom, so I don’t get the “gas station bathroom” association at all, which is probably a good thing. The real problem I have with orange blossom (the real thing at least) is that it puts me to sleep, so it is unsuitable for a daytime perfume.

    • Angela says:

      It puts you to sleep! That must be kind of nice, really, to know a little orange blossom will relax you.

  2. Bear says:

    Sounds lovely, will have to order a sample.
    One of my favourite orange blossom scents is Navy by CoverGirl (do they still manufacture this?). Its orange blossom and amber and belies its inexpensive price point.
    Cumin heavy Maison Francis Kurkdjian Absolue pour le Soir is perfect for cold weather.
    So many scents ………… little time.

    • FragrantWitch says:

      Ooh, I used to love Navy! …heads off to to see if it still exists…

      • Dolly2 says:

        Bear and Fragrant Witch- Yes they do still make Navy. I saw it the other day while I was in Walmart. Hope this helps.

        • Angela says:

          Thanks for the tip!

    • Angela says:

      Bear, thanks for the recommendation! There’s little I love better than a cheap perfume thrill.

    • ggperfume says:

      A sudden spike in Navy sales ensues. . . CoverGirl retailers wonder what has caused this dramatic upturn.

  3. Karin says:

    CUMIN???? OH!!! Thanks for the warning! I have a sample of the extrait, and think it’s great, though it reminds me of a drugstore perfume from the 70’s or 80’s that I just can’t put my finger on! Wish someone would identify it. As for cumin, I think I’ll stay away from the EDP, though I’m CRAZY about passion fruit…

    • Karin says:

      Oh, and the perfect dress and perfect scent = killer combination. Love the “ravished ballerina” concept. Why a ballerina?

      • Angela says:

        Ballerinas seem so innocent and light, like orange blossom, to me. Maybe I’m thinking of that little plastic ballerina that would spin on the music box of my jewelry box as a girl when I opened the lid.

        • dee says:

          That’s funny: when I think “ballerina” I think of Gelsy Kirkland and her amourous escapades, or the new movie, “Black Swan.” Deviant ballerinas!

          • Angela says:

            That sounds like a movie I need to see!

    • Angela says:

      You’re welcome for the warning! I love it and think it’s a terrific match for the orange blossom, but I know not everyone is a fan.

  4. Whoa. Flerus d’Oranger is plenty carnal for me Angela, so I’m not sure I could handle Rubj EDP, but I’m dying to try it! Luckyscent doesn’t have samples available right now. Very frustrating.

    Also–I swear I must be anosmic to part or all of Rubj in parfum. I get a light, chalky orange blossom and then bubkus. And I keep trying my sample, hoping that something will change…

    • Angela says:

      I wish I had enough to share, or I’d send you a few drops! The EdP and parfum are sufficiently different that you might be able to smell more of the EdP.

      • Alyssa says:

        That’s very sweet of you, but it’s OK! I’m sure some will come my way eventually. I’ve been amazed at what else has over the past couple of years…

  5. Tara says:


    When you say cumin, do mean LeLabo Rose 31 type cumin?

    • Angela says:

      I wish I had a sample of the Le Labo rose right here and I’d tell you for sure. I’d say the cumin in Rubj reads to me less as food-type cumin than as body warmth.

  6. Haunani says:

    “Ravished ballerina” – I love that! :-) I will need to test this. Thanks, Angela!

    • Angela says:

      Let me know what you think of it if you do smell it!

  7. Daisy says:

    How to make a Daisy lure: tie a string around the neck of a bottle of expensive perfume… every time.

    You almost had me running to Luckyscent until the cumin warning popped up—a little cumin is okay but more than a dash and I’m running from the room! The extrait sounds beautiful to me! sigh….

    • Angela says:

      I’d say it has less cumin than Jubilation 25, but it’s still definitely there.

      • Daisy says:

        hmmm….and I like the cumin in Jub 25 so maybe I should pursue a sniff. (I just don’t want to smell like a Taco)

        • Angela says:

          I don’t blame you! Think of all those chihuahuas that would follow you around (or is that commercial even on TV anymore?).

    • Dolly2 says:

      You are so funny Daisy! I know the feeling and I would only share that with my NST people. It reminds me of the Tom and Jerry cartoon where smell was used to lure the mouse out of his hole.

      • Daisy says:

        yes, I’m afraid it’d work very well on me and before you know it I’d have an anvil on my head or something. ( I’ve always wondered if watching things like The Roadrunner as a child damaged my psyche…..I always sort of rooted for Wile E. Coyote…..sorry, but that bird was asking for trouble!)

  8. I’m rather fond of orange blossom and can’t recall ever having smelled a cheap soap that resembled it. Blessedly this has cumin, otherwise I might not be able to resist. I’m already chalking up a very long Christmas perfume list right now. To make matters worse, I found that a local boutique that deceptively lables itself as a florist carries all the harder to find perfume houses that I adore. I spent an hour and a half playing with everything they had. So no more perfumes for me until Christmas.

    • Angela says:

      Oh, I sympathize with the long perfume list. It is always nice to have something you’re not compelled to buy!

      • You really almost had me at ‘ravished ballerina’ — another former dancer here — however that cumin just is a complete turn off. I wish I could like it, but it smells like a cross between BO & kabobs to me, which while I love some kabobs I dont fancy smelling like them. Oh well. I just know that as lovely as it sounds all I’ll be able to smell is cumin like I did with Jubilation 25.

        But yes, one less perfume to buy I suppose. My ‘want’ list is so long right now I think I’m going to be covered for gifts for all occasions for at least the next decade.

        • Angela says:

          I hope you enjoy that next decade of gifts!

        • Daisy says:

          You need a cat. My cats are extremely generous….they even INVENT occasions to gift me with bottles….

          • Lol. I actually have six cats collectively between my own two — who sadly live w/ my parents — & the four that belong to my fiance’s parents. I do tend to treat myself to gifts on their birthdays.

          • Angela says:

            I’m going to have a talk with my cat right away! Something tells me she might come through with something for me this year…

          • 50_Roses says:

            I have three cats, and two of their birthdays are withing days of my own, and the third was born 2 days before Christmas, so the bottle-on-the-cat’s-birthday thing won’t really help me.

          • Jill says:

            My cat just bought me a pair of boots for his birthday. :)

          • Angela says:

            Good kitty!

          • Jillie says:

            It’s Symba’s birthday today, so how fortuitous that I should be reading all these temptatious comments! So – what is he going to buy for me? I’ve got my eye on Annick Goutal’s Songes, but I’ve never sniffed it. However, whatever he gets me, I know he’ll enjoy licking it off (unlike his brother who actually runs away from me when I’m wearing perfume, with an expression on his face that makes it clear that I stink).

          • Angela says:

            My favorite part is smelling my fragrances on my cat–it rubs off of me onto her when I pet her, and she’s a walking room freshener!

    • RusticDove says:

      What is the name of that local boutique K? I recall that we live in the same neck of the woods or thereabouts and I would like to check it out! [Since I’m a day late here – I hope you see this!]

  9. Jill says:

    I’m not a cuminphobe at all, though as Daisy said, a little goes a long way! You’ve got me very intrigued about this one! Lovely review as always.

    • Angela says:

      I’d love to know what you think if you do try it.

  10. FragrantWitch says:

    Having been a ballerina, I will have to give this a sniff! ;-) Thanks for the cumin warning, though, Angela – I will seek out both but spray the EDP sparingly.

    • Angela says:

      Hey, then you can really tell us if it smells like a ravished ballerina (I’m assuming you will handle the “ravished” part just fine!).

      • FragrantWitch says:

        But of course! My mental scent image is now one of lipstick, face powder, sweat, satin and rosin ( a faint piney tinge) from my pointe shoes, velvet from the curtains, old wood and dressing room flowers. Actually, that sounds like a nice fragrance!

        • Angela says:

          That sounds like a fabulous fragrance! I’d buy it on your description alone. Love your new gravatar, by the way.

          • FragrantWitch says:


        • Jill says:

          Wow, I love the sound of that fragrance too! Care to create it? :)

        • ggperfume says:

          I’d like a decant of that, please.

  11. Tama says:

    Oh what a tantalizing review. After having discovered that I do quite well in cumin after your cumin review, and really loving orange blossom, this is a must-try. I just got a sample of the Onda edp, because I so love the parfum of that, but I think I may have a sample of the parfum of this. I bought them rather early in my perfumista training, and may not have been ready for them. Just the price tags on the samples made me quake. Now I understand a little better about the “I could have 4 bottles of something I like or one bottle of something I love” concept and am not so frightened of shelling out for a love (which you kind of saw in action, I think).

    I can see you in your dress, being sniffed by everyone! What fun.

    • Angela says:

      Onda is big guns! It’s not an easy fragrance, but it’s really wonderful, I think. I agree with your philosophy of saving up for the fragrances you love, even if they cost a bundle. It’s so much more worth it to have one bottle you adore than, as you say, 4 you like.

  12. ElizabethN says:

    I love Rubj EdP even more than the original, thanks to that cumin (“ravished ballerina”, ha!). Orange blossom can be so tired, but not here. On the other hand, I really don’t like the Kiki EdP, but love the parfum. As you said, they are sisters that have a few things in common but are very different in personality.

    • Angela says:

      Wasn’t that cumin a genius touch? It really takes the cliche out of orange blossom, that’s for sure.

  13. ol rait says:

    I love this one too, but I don’t think I’d need more than a decant. EdP, not parfum (I haven’t gotten around to the parfum of any of these, though I think I might love Onda parfum). It’s this weird, almost vigorously clean flower with a weird vegan-musk. Fantastic.

    • Angela says:

      It really is nice. A decant might have to suffice for me for a while, too, unless Santa is extra nice.

      • ol rait says:

        Unfortunately, I’m my own Santa. And I just gave myself my Christmas present. Oh, good times.

        • Angela says:

          Do you have a cat? Daisy has pointed out that cats can be Santa, too…

          • ol rait says:

            Dogs, though they aren’t mine. They probably wouldn’t buy me perfume. Selfish pups! :(

  14. lemonprint says:

    Wow, I just sampled Rubj for the first time a few weeks ago and neither orange blossom nor cumin came to mind. What came to my mind was jasmine, and also “This is not entirely appropriate for the office.” (Though one woman wandering by my desk did say “Wow, that smells great.” So it’s not, you know, OFFPUTTING. :-)

    This is one of the ones I may end up doing as a split – I can’t imagine wearing it often, but it’s too gorgeous not to own. I’m kind of afraid to try the parfum – the EDP has a LOT of sillage.

    • Angela says:

      The parfum was kind of quiet on my skin, although I didn’t apply a ton of it.

  15. Jared says:

    Thanks for reviewing this! You’ve painted a really intriguing picture of this, Angela. Orange blossom is not in my scent wardrobe, but this seems like a good place to start! I do like me some sexy perfumes. I am really curious about Onda’s EdP incarnation, too, as I have a bit of the parfum and we’re still “talking.” Either way, I appreciate Vero’s work in its sultry intensity. I’m not sure if these sound like pieces you’d put on first thing in the morning, but I would sure like to converse with them!

    • Angela says:

      Kiki might be the best “first thing in the morning” perfume, I agree. The first time I tried Onda I wore a brown wool dress that smelled Onda-licious for at least a week after.

      • Musette says:

        Onda-licious! Perfect!

        xo A

        • Angela says:

          It was! It’s such a distinct and alluring–but demanding–scent.

    • Tama says:

      I wore the Onda EDP today and am really enjoying it. It reminds me of the tobacconist shop, even though it is not a tobacco perfume. It is lasting quite a nice time, too.

      • Angela says:

        It does last for a good, long time. I never thought of the tobacconist’s shop!

      • gisela says:

        Vero told me that there is tobacco in it – so you’re right!
        I love Onda in both versions; the lushness in the EDP makes it perfect for rainy days IMO.

        • TallulahRose says:

          Me too, I LOVE Onda… of the 3, this is the one that grabbed me. I keep trying to like Kiki, but it is too sweet for me. I can’t wait to try all three EDPs.

          • Angela says:

            I’d be interested to see what you think of Rubj EdP when you get around to trying it. It doesn’t make me think “sweet.”

        • Angela says:

          Someday I’d love a bottle of the Onda EdP, too–but first, Rubj!

          • TallulahRose says:

            Rubj has me curious too — I really liked the original, but to me, it is more of an incredibly rich, over-the-top sexy white floral… I don’t specifically remember there being orange blossom… However, the cumin really appeals to me, and I think will make the Rubj EDP even sexier, and maybe less heady.

            Can’t wait to try some EDP samples! (and here I am, in Switzerland!)

  16. March says:

    Oh, I’ll have to try this one! Cumin?! Comparison to FdO, which I wear all the time?!?! Sign me up!!!

    • Angela says:

      It’s definitely more carnal than Fleur d’Oranger, but you might like it! I wish I had enough to send you some so you could try. If you do try it, let me know what you think.

  17. ggperfume says:

    I’m telling myself that I’ll hate the cumin. Can’t afford to try Rubj and love it!

  18. Kitty says:

    Angela: your great review comes right after I admit that I’m having a hard time with cumin in fragrances. Like I said yesterday, maybe one day (but today is not that day – and probably not tomorrow). Definitely JM season .. Time for pear and pomegranate before I mostly smell like turkey stuffing!

    • Angela says:

      It’s good to know what works for you and what doesn’t! Pear and pomegranate sound good.

  19. donanicola says:

    I am a fully paid up fan of the extrait versions of these three. I want never to be without naughty but chic Kiki and Onda always moves me with her primaeval grace. A very good friend of mine wears Rubj beautifully. So I was very excited at the prospect of same same but different versions because, after all, the extraits are spendy. I am still getting to grips with the changes which are very apparent to me and to my friend who does not like Rubj EDP at all. Nothing to do with the cumin but the passion fruit. I think it lightens Rubj and makes it more radiant but she is not converted! One of my favourite orange blossoms is Guerlain’s Flora Nerolia. I love to spray that in my bedroom in the spring.

    • Angela says:

      It seems like for Onda and Kiki the EdP versions, while different, still carry the character of the extrait versions. But Rubj EdP has a different–and beautiful–character than the extrait, so I can see how an extrait fan might be disappointed. But I’m not!

  20. hollyc says:

    Very late to the party yet again, but these are so extraordinary, I had to comment. Rubj (edp) is a neon brocade of white flower extravagance that somehow actually smells “red”. It has a shocking post coital undercurrent that actually made me blush (not an easy task) and then had me reaching for my wallet. Good lord, this is amazing. I must next try the extrait.

    Onda (both EdP and Extrait) go on as intense honey smeared over cardboard and left me disappointed. Now, 5 hours in, every time I move my wrist I’m entranced. When I bring my wrist to my nose, it smells as one might imagine well worn and unwashed leather pants might. While this might sound revolting it isn’t. Rather it is intriguing and mesmerizing. Both these fragrances are shockingly sexual, beautifully done and I would guess use mostly if not all natural ingredients. Genius, pure genius. My bank account weeps.

    • Angela says:

      You’re reminding me how much I long to have a bottle of the EdP! Somehow I was able to put it out of my mind and so not stress my bank account, but now the longing is back full force. Big sigh. What a sexy fragrance.

  21. julie says:

    I am desperate to try the Rubj Extrait, and Luckyscent, my sampling saviour, doesn’t offer samples of this anymore, only full bottles (and by now they are probably out again). Makeup Alley doesn’t list Rubj on their swapping list–anyone have any suggestions? Much appreciated!

    • Angela says:

      It might be worth checking Surrender to Chance and The Perfumed Court to see if they’re selling samples. Good luck!

  22. Lise says:

    I was so intrigued by your beautiful review, Angela. But oh my, this ballerina has been really, really bad. This is the black swan, for sure!

    • Angela says:

      I still haven’t seen the movie–I’m almost afraid I’ll be too disturbed. But I guess if a little Rubj EdP doesn’t disturb me, I should be just fine.

      • Lise says:

        You’ll be disturbed, but in a good way. Rubj disturbed me, and I think it is good to be shaken a little every now and then. Better than bored, as so many scents makes me. Rubj was at least not at all boring! I’ll come back to this one. For now, the vial rests in my dresser until a day when I feel strong enough to Face it again :-)

        • Angela says:

          Have you tried Onda yet? That one is truly frightening–yet gorgeous!

          • Lise says:

            I read your brilliant review, and I am very intrigued by Onda too. Will order a sample!

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