Red, in perfumery, is usually created with notes of rose, of spice; deep unguents, rich powder; cherry; geranium, carnation. Rouge D’Hèrmes, Giorgio Red; Tom Ford’s Jasmine Rouge; BDK’s Le Smoking Rouge; Comme Des Garçons new Rouge – all of them take the redness of red – a colour that emanates strength and inner warmth, boldness and courage, and orchestrate their ingredients to capture its strengthening synaesthesia (on days I wear red neckties for work, I can physically sense the colour’s innate power and energy: studies have also shown that in sport, competitors or teams that wear red have a much higher statistical chance of being victorious; the human brain responds instinctively). This colour has a forthright energy and confidence – and red perfumes usually follow suit.
Rather than the all-out, jewel-loaned red carpet glamour we often associate with precious gem stones and their liquid inspiration, I find that Puredistance’s new Icon Ruby -—Rubikona, is – perhaps surprisingly – a more introverted and self-enveloping creation than we might have expected: a warm and reassuring scent that is based on the concept of the enduring love that a mother usually feels for her child. With the approach of winter, and of Christmas, and other traditional family celebrations, it thus feels apposite.
Having heard this perfume described in one review as being similar to Hermès’ Rouge Eau Delicate (in my view completely inaccurate), I will admit that before smelling Rubikona I was excitedly gearing myself up for an operatic, powdered rose – a floriental with a hint of the Tchaikovskian tragic.
Adjusting my senses to reality, I came to see that Rubikona is in fact a soft, warm and lingering ambered-patchouli, with glinting floral (ylang, iris, rose), gentle clove, and citrus facets (grapefruit, mandarin, bergamot), notes that all provide the precious sense of transparency, or translucence that the perfumer and the perfume house were looking to capture in a luxurious scent (available in extrait only) based on the ruby — and that it works nicely on its own terms. I have been enjoying wearing this perfume around the house these colder last few days – it is soothing.
Fitting effortlessly into the Puredistance collection somewhere between Warszawa and Gold, I would personally describe this perfume as a lactonic patchouli soliflore, almost like an evolved Thierry Mugler Angel or Cacharel Eden, with the delicate florals and citruses surrounded its milky halo ; quite craveable and smooth, and suffused with light. Although one of the company’s mantras for the perfume is ‘chic inside out’ (and it could certainly work that way on certain individuals, if they actually can find any elegant gatherings to go to this winter), I myself find Rubikona to be much more of a comfort scent – to spray on a freshly tumbled-dried favourite hoodie and spend all day alone. Good for introspection and defending yourself from the outside world: protective. A perfume, in other words, fit for the times.