Battle of the Orange Blossom Beauties

Battle of the Orange Blossom Beauties (Edited)

© thesmellyvagabond

What do you get when L’Artisan Parfumeur‘s Séville à l’Aube meets Vero Profumo‘s Rubj EDP? You get an orange blossom diva-off, that’s what.

Now, Séville à l’Aube and Rubj are two of my favourite orange blossom-dominated fragrances, so as the judge of this extravagant perfume one-upmanship, you can count on me to be absolutely objective, right? Right. 😉 So, down to business. Who’s better, Séville à l’Aube or Rubj?

Before we continue, here’s a quick summary of the two fragrances:

Séville à l’Aube was created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour in collaboration with perfume blogger Denyse Beaulieu of Grain de musc. In her own words:

[Séville à l’aube] was inspired by one of the most beautiful nights in my life, in Seville during the Holy Week under an orange tree in full blossom, wrapped in incense smoke and the arms of a Spanish boy…

© theetherealscent

source: theetherealscent

Rubj was created by indie perfumer Vero Kern and contains, according to the vero profumo website,

Sweet orange blossom from Morocco, in a mellifluous shimmery dress of the finest notes of musk, earnestly courted by tempting Egyptian jasmine. An auspicious alliance, indeed. A rendezvous in Sheikh Nefzaoui’s «Perfumed Garden» – a place of secret passions.

A lovely illustration of Vero © Sofo Berd, taken off Vero's Facebook page

A lovely illustration of Vero!
© Sofo Berd, taken off Vero’s Facebook page

So, we have Séville à l’Aube, a mysterious oriental diva that has the sensual scent of orange blossoms in full bloom married with honey, benzoin and incense versus Rubj, the carnal beauty who combines orange blossom with overripe passionfruit and a heavy dose of cumin that has been described by Victoria of Bois de Jasmin as being “lusty to the point of indecent”. Who wins?

Ah, you know what? I’m not going to do reviews of these two beauties, since I love them both so much and no amount of my waxing-lyrical about them will ever do them justice. After all, there are many individual reviews by amazing bloggers who write far more evocatively than I do, as a simple Google search will reveal. So what’s the point of this article? Instead of reviewing Séville à l’Aube and Rubj separately, I’m going to find out what happens when they meet on the battleground: the same spot of my arm. What happens when you layer Séville à l’Aube with Rubj? Will she be a honey-drenched, cumin-laden orange blossom monster? We’re about to find out.

The immediate impression I get from the opening is an incredibly mentholated (where did that come from?!), bracingly fresh smell of photorealistic (smellrealistic?) orange rind. Wow. That was not expected. I’d put it down to the green-ish, petitgrain opening of Séville à l’Aube interacting with the passionfruit in Rubj? PERFUME IS MAGIC.

Further on, as the concoction brews past its magical opening, the honeyed-orange blossom heart of Séville à l’Aube starts to take over. Strangely, the cumin in Rubj that would otherwise be dominant if wearing Rubj alone is dampened by the sweetness of Séville à l’Aube, so cuminphobes might wish to consider layering the two if they find the cumin in Rubj to be too strong. Personally, I love cumin in fragrance so it’s not a problem for me. The best part of the heart, however, is the intensely narcotic orange blossom that blooms and projects itself above all the other smells. The orange blossom is sensual, lush and very, very heady but not at all indolic. I’ve been to Séville during the Holy Week in Easter, so in some way I’ve experienced walking under the many orange blossom trees that line the streets and catching fragrant whiffs of the scent every time a slight breeze blew past. Now imagine this: instead of merely walking under the tree, you’re caught in an explosive maelstrom of orange blossom petals. That’s what Rubj and Séville à l’Aube feel like when layered together. Oh, glorious, glorious, glorious!


After returning from orange blossom heaven, the drydown that follows reveals Rubj‘s cumin still humming along quietly (it has the half-life of a nuclear bomb) with Séville à l’Aube‘s benzoin and honey. It is ravishing to behold. When stripped of their orange blossom armament and finery, the combination of the two fragrances exposes a side that is at once calm and tender, yet mysteriously…human. Throughout the entire journey, I found myself like this dog here, with my nose permanently glued to my arm:



I guess calling it the Battle of the Orange Blossom Beauties was somewhat of a misnomer, since Rubj and Séville à l’Aube are more of a match made in heaven. This is what I imagine the two of them look like in perfect marital bliss:


Magical, simply magical.

Why don’t you give layering them a shot and let me know what you think in the comments section below?


Séville à l’Aube is available at L’Artisan Parfumeur boutiques, Liberty and Selfridges in London, UK where it retails for £88 for 100ml. It is Limited Edition but I’ve heard news that L’Artisan Parfumeur are planning on making it a permanent addition to their range.

Rubj is available at both Harrods and Bloom Perfumery in London, UK for £156. I used the EDP concentration and not the extrait concentration in my layering. Alternatively, check out the vero profumo website for your nearest stockist.

[Experiment based on my own bottle of Séville à l’Aube and my own decant of Rubj. Oh, I’ve got to start saving my pennies for a full bottle of Rubj!]

~ The Smelly Vagabond

16 thoughts on “Battle of the Orange Blossom Beauties

  1. Fun face-off! I could try layering them myself now as Freddie recently gave me a sample of Rubj. And I love the cartoon! I see you liked Seville a l’Aube so much that you went for a full bottle in the end. 😉

    • Hi Vanessa,

      Thanks for popping by my blog! Yes, you have to try layering them, it’s truly a magical experience. Well I like to have fun with my perfumes 🙂 Have you tried the rest of the Vero Profumo range yet? If you haven’t I could send you some of my samples, though I’m guessing you wouldn’t fall for Mito because it’s a chypre. And yes, Séville à l’Aube is too awesome not to have a full bottle of!

      • Mito is absolutely wonderful! What is it you don’t like about chypres, Vanessa? Seville a l’Aube is one of my few full bottles. We used to make Ukranian Easter eggs, which involves drawing on the eggs with hot beeswax before dipping in dye, so the beeswax note brings back such a sense of happiness for me.

  2. Two of my absolute favorites! You know I can’t smell the orange blossom in Rubj edp *at all*, though? I think I’m the only person who’s experienced _that_!

      • Isn’t it weird?!?! I don’t have any problem smelling it in other perfumes with prominent orange blossom. With Rubj edp I get passionfruit and cumin, and I just think it smells *amazing*! Rubj edp and FM Lys Mediterranee are my top 2 of all time, so it’s obviously not a disappointment for me, just a curiosity. I think maybe my sense of smell amps up passionfruit and mango far more than it does in other people–I also get almost none of the white florals in NV Bombay Bling (another favorite!) I adore mango and passionfruit, so this does not in any way pose a problem for me.

      • Hmmm that is very strange indeed! It is true though that the orange blossom is more prominent in the extrait than in the EDP. Pity about not being able to smell the white florals in these fragrances, though, it really makes them very sensual 🙂

      • Goodness–I didn’t think it could get any more sensual! 😀 Honestly, I wouldn’t change a thing about it for me. I do think I’ll try day of layering it with more orange blossom just out of curiosity, though–thanks for the idea!
        (For anyone else reading this, I’m the only person I’ve ever heard of who doesn’t get the orange blossom in it, btw.)

  3. Reblogged this on The Smelly Vagabond and commented:

    It’s been just over a year since I posted this, which is one of my better works. Can you believe that I did that drawing myself? Yep, I’m not very good at it, am I? But guess what – Séville à l’Aube and Rubj are very good indeed. I’m gonna layer them again today just to remind myself of the magic they share.

    Tomorrow, a review of the latest offering by Oriza L. Legrand – Muguet Fleuri, just in time for Labour Day! Have a happy holiday! 🙂

  4. Pingback: Moving to the USA… and some fragrant musings. | The Smelly Vagabond

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