Arquiste Parfumeur Flor y Canto : Perfume Review

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I rarely encounter a tuberose fragrance I do not like, so I quickly deduced that I would like Arquiste Parfumeur Flor y Canto. Flor y Canto presents tuberose on a tableau of marigold and aims to paint an olfactory portrait of a day in August in the year 1400 when during “the most fragrant festival in the Aztec calendar, the rhythm of drums palpitates as a wealth of flowers is offered on temple altars. Billowing clouds of Copal act as a backdrop to the intoxicating breath of Tuberose, Magnolia, Plumeria and the intensely yellow aroma of the sacred Marigold, cempoalxochitl.” (I will admit to a struggle in pronouncing “cempoalxochitl.”)

flor-y-canto

I fell for the story and I normally don’t. The mention of marigold and the promise of something mysterious was too exciting. Unfortunately for me, the most exciting part of Flor y Canto remains on paper. It’s a tuberose and plumeria fragrance–plumeria smells like jasmine, peach, and coconut, and it’s rather linear and at times approaches bubblegum sweetness before it dries down.

The tuberose note is lightly green and soft, neither minty nor buttery like Serge Lutens Tubéreuse Criminelle or Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower.  Eventually a bit of the marigold peeked out, a little pinched and a little bitter.  Its appearance added something sharp and apple green to the white floral mix, but not enough to really hone the edges. There was no promised “wealth of flowers.” “Intensely yellow aroma” sounded thrilling and novel, but I could barely find it and certainly wouldn’t call Flor y Canto intense.

But now that I think about it, I wafted along on a light breeze of pale petals, and I enjoyed it. While I was hoping for a dramatic development, I got instead a sweet little fragrance that is ultimately very easy to wear and very easy on the nose (and it lasts quite well, despite being mild). It’s fresh enough to work well in hot weather, which is why I wanted to try it. While I miss the tones, textures, and Mexican festivals, I like the scent for what it is, not what it is not.  On the other hand, if you’re a fan of dramatic tuberose fragrances à la Robert Piguet Fracas, you’re likely to find Flor y Canto a bit too tame.

Given Flor y Canto’s high price, being just pretty is not enough for me to splurge on a full bottle, so I wonder if you have any other sheer tuberose favorites?

Arquiste Parfumeur Flor y Canto includes notes of plumeria, tuberose, magnolia, and marigold. $175; 55 ml Eau de Parfum. Arquiste fragrances are available at Barneys New York stores, Aedes de Venustas (New York), Parfümerie Osswald (Zurich, Switzerland), Liberty and Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie at Harrods (London, UK), L’Eclaireur & Jovoy (Paris, France).

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41 Comments

  • Cornelia Blimber: So the drama is in the picture, not in the perfume! Such a pity, i like the dark side of the tuberose. My favorite is Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Tubereuse. And for a bright one of course Fracas, and second best Carnal Flower.
    But tuberose occasionally can be easy to wear, almost soft: I like that in Juicy Couture. April 2, 2013 at 9:42am Reply

    • Suzanna: I have the MPG Tubereuse and love it; it’s not as candy-sweet as flor y canto and the green notes add interesting dimension.

      I tried layering flor y canto with a vetiver showerl gel and this combination was quite nice. April 2, 2013 at 11:41am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: You are so right!! The balance between the green notes and the tubereuse is perfect in Tubereuse MPG. April 2, 2013 at 11:56am Reply

  • Leah: Another money-saving review! Pity, the name sounded alluring as well but I would imagine trying to reach the heights of Tubereuse Criminelle and Fracas must be quite difficult. Thanks! April 2, 2013 at 10:11am Reply

    • Cornelia Blimber: Ah, Tubereuse Criminelle! Strange enough, that perfume is bubble gum on me. I must wait a long time, only the drydown has depth and drama on my skin. April 2, 2013 at 10:20am Reply

      • Suzanna: I agree with that! The jasmine note is quite sweet and bubblegummy on me, and the whole thing is lighter than I would’ve thought! April 2, 2013 at 11:46am Reply

    • Suzanna: It is a lovely, albeit simple, tuberose fragrance. I expected more, wanted more, but ended up accepting it for what it was. April 2, 2013 at 11:41am Reply

  • Martha: The text got me going, too. I wore Fracas as my signature fragrance for a number of years, but eventually it wore me out. Now I love Carnal Flower. There is also a Tuberose roll-on by Floracopeia that is nice and simple. April 2, 2013 at 10:33am Reply

    • Suzanna: I will check that out! Thanks! April 2, 2013 at 11:42am Reply

    • Claudia: I wish I could wear Carnal Flower. Somehow my skin amplifies the coconut in there. It’s all coconut all the way. It smells great in the bottle and on a scent strip. On my skin, not so much. So frustrating. April 2, 2013 at 2:33pm Reply

      • Martha: That IS frustrating! I’ve read reviews by other people who also complain of the coconut note predominating overall. April 2, 2013 at 10:42pm Reply

  • Claudia: Hi Victoria, for a lighter, fresher tuberose I really like Mona di Orio’s. April 2, 2013 at 10:56am Reply

    • Suzanna: Another great suggestion, thank you! April 2, 2013 at 11:42am Reply

      • Claudia: I’m sorry, Suzanna, for mistaking you for Victoria! April 2, 2013 at 2:26pm Reply

  • sammm: I 100% agree with you on this one. Love tubey in its many forms, was disappointed in Flor y Canto.

    At first I blamed it on being agreeable but boring and too mild for a festival-themed scent, then I realized I’m willing to respray La Chasse aux Papillons every two hours and had to conclude this one just doesn’t do it for me. April 2, 2013 at 12:26pm Reply

    • Suzanna: I happily respray La Chasse myself! It does have more going for it than this one does. flor y canto is pretty linear and seems to sound a two-note combination of plumeria and tuberose and little more. April 2, 2013 at 7:09pm Reply

  • RVB: I agree with you completely Suzanna.I found Flor Y Canto too light and watery.It’s well done as all the Arquiste perfumes are(I especially love Anima Dulcis) but for the price it’s just not “enough”.I love both Tubereuse Criminelle and Carnal Flower.I’m male and have no problem wearing Carnal Flower.Another interesting tuberose you should try is Flor Azteca by Juan the Exotic Island Perfumer.It’s a dark,earthy, and wild tuberose,truly a scent of the night.It contains notes of Mexican bitter chocolate,massoia bark,datura,ginger,pepper ,copal negro,smoky woods,and benzoin.It’s less perfumey than the Malle and The Lutens but makes me feel like I’m in a dark jungle at night-truly an interesting fragrance. April 2, 2013 at 12:52pm Reply

    • Barbara: Goodness, your description of Flor Azteca makes me hungry for some chocolate! 😀 April 2, 2013 at 1:28pm Reply

      • Annikky: It makes me want to order a sample right now. And I’m now obsessed with the idea of Carnal Flower on a man. April 2, 2013 at 3:52pm Reply

      • Suzanna: Well, that Flor Azteca sounds mighty interesting, all but the price! Sigh!

        Flor y canto smells like a mall, not a Malle, scent :–) April 2, 2013 at 7:12pm Reply

  • Barbara: I like Do Son. It was my first Diptyque perfume and I still wear it. April 2, 2013 at 1:25pm Reply

    • Suzanna: Do Son is another good one! April 2, 2013 at 7:12pm Reply

  • breathesgelatin: Have you tried the new Oscar de la Renta Essential Luxuries Mi Corazon? It’s by Calice Becker and bears some similarities to her By Kilian Beyond Love, but it’s less sweet to my nose. Worth a try.

    My other suggestion would have been the MPG, which I adore and is also in my collection. April 2, 2013 at 1:37pm Reply

    • Suzanna: No, I have not tried the de la Renta, so thanks for bringing it up. I will see if I can find it! April 2, 2013 at 7:13pm Reply

  • Annikky: I was waiting for this one! I, too, agree with everything, from the general tuberose love to not needing a bottle for that price. It is not one to rival Fracas or TC or Carnal Flower or other greats. It is quite uneventful. That said, I love wearing it, it is lovely and just smells good: soft, sweetish, light yellow petals. As white flowers are my comfort zone, no effort whatsoever is required from me when I put it on. I think I need a decant for days when I want to wear SL Fleurs d’Oranger to work but decide I probably shouldn’t. I can also report that it is well suited for a lighthearted coctail party and my boyfriend loves it. Still, the FB money will more likely go towards Boutonniere or Aleksandr. April 2, 2013 at 2:15pm Reply

    • Annikky: Of the ones I’ve tried/like, Tuberose Gardenia is probably the sheerest. April 2, 2013 at 4:35pm Reply

    • Suzanna: I still need to try Aleksandr and Boutonniere!

      I am greatly enjoying wearing flor y canto and men do seem to like it, I agree!

      Oftentimes I will get a lot of mileage out of linear, pretty scents. April 2, 2013 at 7:14pm Reply

  • Lucas: Arquiste was introduced to niche perfume market just a few weeks ago. I haven’t tried Flor y Canto as this one is missing (it wasn’t brought to Poland yet) I have tried Alexandr, Fleur de Louis and Boutonniere and I really like the first two but Boutonniere was really bad on me. April 2, 2013 at 2:49pm Reply

    • Suzanna: I liked Fleur de Louis also, and yet it reminded me of one of the big drugstore classics from the Eighties, like Tatiana or Gloria Vanderbilt (both lovely white florals in their own right). I might want a decant of that one! April 2, 2013 at 8:41pm Reply

  • Austenfan: I am glad that when I decide to order one sample of the much lauded Arquiste line I chose Anima Dulcis and not this one.
    I love tuberose, but I think I prefer my tuberoses big and with plenty of conversation.
    A tuberose that I haven’t seen mentioned in the comments yet, probably because it does not qualify as light, is Vamp à New York. I think it is very sweet but great fun and gorgeous, and it is probably the tuberose I wear the most. ( I own TC, CF, MPG Tubéreuse, Gardénia Passion and Vamp) There are great reviews of it on NST and Graindemusc. April 2, 2013 at 3:54pm Reply

    • Annikky: I am wearing a sample of it now, thanks to your recommendation. I like it better than Mona di Orio Tubereuse that is on my other wrist 🙂 To my nose, the latter isn’t sheer either. April 2, 2013 at 4:32pm Reply

    • Suzanna: I don’t know that one, so thanks for mentioning and I will go read the reviews. Another to lust after! April 2, 2013 at 7:16pm Reply

  • Donelle Talintyre: Caron Tubereuse in edp is a lovely delicate tuberose, with apricot and vanilla in support. Hoping to order a bottle from Luckyscent as we speak. April 3, 2013 at 2:43am Reply

    • Suzanna: I have a bit of Caron Tubereuse in parfum and it is exquisite. Enjoy your purchase! April 3, 2013 at 8:30am Reply

  • Parfumista: Love tubey in its different incarnations. Haven’t tried any of my Arquiste-samples yet, probably because the line is so hyped, I suspect I will be dissapointed and get bored. But one shouldn’t have biases so I’ll have to test them soon. Lovely lighter tubereuses are IMO: OdlR Mi Corazon, Ramon Monegal Kiss My Name, Antonio Visconti La Divina Tubereuse and old Gianfranco Ferré signature with the same name. MPG Tubereuse and AG Tubereuse for “natural” interpretations that emphasis different aspects of the tubereuse (green vs honeyed) April 3, 2013 at 7:02am Reply

    • Suzanna: Thanks for adding to the list. There are many tuberose scents that aren’t in the mainstream and I think we’ve rounded up a nice collection of them! April 3, 2013 at 8:30am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: Let’s not forget old Chloe from 1975! April 3, 2013 at 8:49am Reply

        • Victoria: That’s one sultry, buxom tuberose! I love it too. April 4, 2013 at 6:10am Reply

  • Civava: Well I didn’t know where to put this among other tuberose perfumes. I usually need more powerful stuff. April 4, 2013 at 10:17am Reply

    • Suzanna: It’s on the milder end of tuberose perfumes, but that didn’t mean that it wasn’t enjoyable and wonderfully wearable. I’ve been wearing it quite a bit. April 4, 2013 at 12:12pm Reply

  • Ninamar: Just wanted to put in a word in favour of Mona di Orio’s Tubereuse, probably not my favourite tuberose (to me Carnal Flower has no rival), but probably one of my favourite perfumes ever! And it has a quality I personally mostly admire which is versatility. I turn to it anytime I don’t know what to wear and always find it perfect. April 6, 2013 at 10:46am Reply

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