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…
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.
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