Where do I start with Rudis?
Well, let’s try to get the history of this house out of the way first. Nobile 1942 was founded by Massimo Nobile in 2004 in response to Acqua di Parma being sold to LVMH. Massimo and his wife wanted to start their own brand to showcase Italian elegance to the world.
According to their site, perfumery was a family affair. Massimo’s grandfather, Umberto Nobile (not this one), created Vespri Esperidati in 1942 (see where the name comes from?), which is still available from the house today. Their first house fragrance dropped in 2004 and they’ve been putting out fragrances ever since.
Nobile 1942 pride themselves on not following trends. When the hype train in fragrance land rolled in with the “OUD IN EVERYTHING NOW” trend, Nobile 1942 veered the other way by releasing well-rounded and complex fragrances centering notes that were decidedly not oud.
Which is why I’m sad that I’ve struggled so much with Rudis. Let’s see what Nobile 1942 had to say about this scent in their own words:
Rudis is dedicated to a great virtue: Power. Rudis is the name given as a trophy to victorious gladiators, a wooden sword, that was a tool but also a symbol of freedom: the gladiator is not a slave anymore! To overcome his fear before entering the arena, gladiator drunk a cider made of dried fruit and grape. But why are we talking about gladiators in the 21st century?
Massimo Nobile thinks that today, all professionals and business people have their own battle to win. That’s why we created a fragrance that gives energy to their fight, in a mental and in a physical way. The scent inspired by this object, therefore, had to simultaneously consider strength and gentleness, battle and freedom, life and death, virility and weakness.
I mean, it’s a great concept. And the packaging and bottle are absolutely breathtaking. But the fragrances itself, well…
Top: Grapes, dried fruits, bergamot
Heart: Cedar, rose, saffron, geranium, carnation
Base: Leather, incense, immortelle, vetiver, patchouli, musk
These are all great notes! And the first few minutes you spray this on, you’re in for a world-changing olfactory experience! However…
This dries down after 30 minutes to smell like a box of raisins.
I’m not kidding when I say the first experience of this is absolutely mind-blowing (if you’re a fragrance nerd) and I was incredibly excited thinking I had definitely found something that could be full bottle worthy for me.
But once the dry down started – about half an hour in – I didn’t really get any of the lovely base notes described. I was a walking, talking box of raisins. You know those red boxes of raisins (for those of us who grew up in the US at any rate) that you got as an after school snack as a kid?
That’s what I smell like once this had dried down.
Which, as you might imagine, is not particularly desirable to be catching whiffs of all day.
The performance is definitely there with this scent – you’ll get a good 5-6 hours of it. And it could just be my body chemistry, as I’ve certainly seen other rave reviews around this scent. It just goes to show why it’s so important to sample and trial perfume on-skin first before investing in a full bottle of any fragrance.
Especially when you’re talking about expensive fragrances, because Rudis is not cheap, and you’re not likely to find this on a grey market site. A 75 mL bottle will run you $235 on LuckyScent, though you can certainly try a sample out for $5. Who knows? You might get mind-blowing super wine and wood all the way down without the raisin-y after taste. But you’ll never know unless you try first, and again, I definitely do not recommend plunking down that kind of money without getting to wear it on-skin.
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The Fandomentals “Fragdomentals” team base our reviews off of fragrances that we have personally, independently sourced. Any reviews based off of house-provided materials will be explicitly stated.
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