As the most prominent floral perfume Arquiste is currently offering, Flor y Canto radiates with exotic blooms that describes a story from Tenochtitlan, the ancient capital of the Aztecs, now Mexico City, the hometown of Arquiste’s founder, Carlos Huber. The Aztecs built Tenochtitlan on and around reclaimed swampland and the city was surrounded by a series of artificial “floating” gardens that supported a population of 200 000 by the start of the 16th century. Not only did the gardens provide sustenance, they also provided a diverse range of native flora, used for ritual and celebration. Flor y Canto is an olfactory portrait of an Aztec ritual, perhaps Tiaxochimaco, a festival during the summer month of August where flowers were offered to Huitzilopochtli, an Aztec deity and patron of Tenochtitlan. You can imagine a rich palette of colours and odours that would have been on show during such a festive occasion. Perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux is the engineer behind Flor y Canto. With Carlos Huber’s direction, the pair explore an opulent bouquet of subtropical flowers. The most prominent is tuberose, a native of Mexico before being introduced to Europe in the 16th century. The Aztecs called it omixochiti or bone flower.
It could be tempting to pass off Flor y Canto, as a classic white soliflore however there are a number of interesting novelties, which make this eau de parfum unique. Flor y Canto begins with notes of Mexican acacia and marigold, a cloying odour with fruit-like qualities. Flores-Roux includes a crushed leaf accent giving the top note a subtle greenness. In the heart note lies a bouquet of intoxicating notes, a melange of tuberose, magnolia with red and white plumeria (frangipani). The base is formed with Mexican incense (Copal), benzoin and Mexican vanilla.
Fans of neon florals, particularly tuberose notes will no doubt enjoy Flor y Canto. It is a modern white floral that strips away much of the complexity found in older French classics such as Givenchy’s Amarige or Dior’s Poison. Instead, Flor y Canto feels much looser and more relaxed. It is another twisted floral, a term Tom Ford used to describe his Jardin Noir collection, which Rodrigo Flores-Roux created for the designer in 2012.
Over 7 days I am writing about my exploration of each of the 7 fragrances that make up the Arquiste collection. Australian readers can enter a draw to win a set of Arquiste samples by clicking here. Tomorrow’s post reviews Fleur de Louis.