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.”)
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).