I’ve already mentioned Rubini on The Best of  Esxence 2015 list. Again, and it does not happen very often, I got something created out of real life and history, not convention and market. We need such bold moves in perfume world.

The story behind is a small perfume shop in Verona in 1937 where the ladies buy their iris-scented face powder. I think story, or maybe even history is an axis of this perfume, everything spins around it. Andrea Rubini comes from a family of perfumers, so these dates and small shops don’t come out of nowhere—they really existed and perhaps some of them still exist in some way. Almost every time I am in peaceful, Western Europe, I contact deeply with a rich past of the place, which, in turn, makes me remember about the past of my city, where story like this just could not happen. Gdańsk was almost completely destroyed during the Second World War (95% of buildings were gone), whoever was a perfumer here died or had to run away. So perfumers workshop didn’t survive, and if it was covered with vine—it burned. I think I event told that to Andrea, but I forgot to add something important: there’s a beauty in every story, not only in these abundant, peaceful stories of the West. It’s wonderful that Rubini makes the best of what’s beautiful in Italy. There’s also a lot of stories in my windy city, and if I don’t tell them, who will? So thank you for inspiration, Sig. Rubini.


Back to perfumes: the iris is the heart of Fundamental, besides the revolutionary Soave grapes accord. Wine is being strongly worked on in perfumes recently, like in Liquides Imaginaires triptych or the newest Etat Libre d’Orange Remarkable People, which smells of champagne, but what is found in Fundamental is the primary material, the source, not the final product. The grapes are raw, reminiscent of those which grow in Baltic climate—awaited, maturing only in late September sun and cut with frost almost instantly. Their sweetness is unparalleled, but there’s a soft tarnish of cold on their skin. Grapes in Fundamental are shadowy and covered with light pollen. The perfume softens a bit in the base, gets warmer as iris entwines with undergrowth scent and shows a creamy facet thanks to sandalwood.

I like the name very much, it’s spot-on: solid foundations, strong roots, persistence.

Packaging is another amazing thing here. It’s made of Glebanite which is recycled fibreglass (old yachts gain their second life). It looks like porous, white stone, but it’s light. A wonderful material, and design, which is not surprising at all, because Francesca Gotti is the person behind.


Longevity is very good, about 10 hours, great saturation, pretty good sillage.

Notes: Calabrian bergamot, Tangerine, Citrus blossom; Beeswax, Florentine Iris, Mediterranean undergrowth, Soave Grape; Java vetiver, Leather, Velvet accord, Sandalwood, Cedarwood;
Released: 2015;
Product and content design: Ermano Picco;
Packaging: Francesca Gotti;
Perfumer: Cristiano Canali (I remember this guy, we met at Esxence 2 years ago, when he created Magnolia Esxentialis, my favourite of the five competing fragrances, a very interesting “linen” magnolia).