One look at the streetview of Rubini’s address in Mantova is enough to make you drool with envy at the thought that people actually live there. Apparently the Rubini perfumery was there in 1937, supplying fragrances, among other places, to neighborhood brothels. Nothing could be further from a tart’s handbag esthetic, however, than this odd fragrance. The top notes manage somehow to smell close to radish, the heart has a green banana skin and olive oil quality, the drydown smells like white wine left in a glass overnight with a touch of added bitters. And yet the entire thing makes eloquent sense and incomprehensibly radiates refinement. It is as if a French green floral had somehow been translated into an alien language that we had better learn if we want to get close to this beautiful creature. Composed by former pharmaceutical chemist Cristiano Canali, Fundamental is yet another exhibit in support of the idea that Italy has taken the lead in European niche perfumery.
Categories: starred reviews