Arquiste El and Ella : Perfume Reviews


Dark, smoky, spicy – and properly indulgent — is Arquiste Anima Dulcis, a bitter chocolate and amber perfume. In my FT column, A perfumed treat to satisfy a craving, I talk about Anima Dulcis and other Arquiste creations. Also, I recently tried Él and Ella, a duo created by perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux and I include my reviews.


I first came across Arquiste Parfumeur when I was looking for an original gourmand fragrance. Most of the dessert-inspired blends crossing my path were of the cotton candy and crème brûlée variety, but what I wanted was bitter chocolate. “Why not try Anima Dulcis?” suggested a friend, and gave me a small sample of cognac-coloured liquid. It turned out to be the treat I was craving – dark, smoky, spicy and properly indulgent. To continue, please click here.

Have you tried Arquiste perfumes? I’d love to hear your thoughts.



  • Phyllis Iervello: The only perfume I have from Arquiste is Nan-Ban…which I really like. However, I just ordered Ella and am looking forward to receiving it. Now I have to re-visit my Anima Dulcis sample. December 15, 2016 at 10:32am Reply

    • Victoria: I liked Nanban very much too. That smoky incense and sweet wood note in the drydown feels addictive. December 15, 2016 at 9:11pm Reply

  • Annie: I have a sample of Etrog. I like it, except that my skin eats citrus. Any tips to make it last? December 15, 2016 at 10:35am Reply

    • Victoria: One trick is to use an unscented lotion underneath. But citrus colognes generally don’t last for a very long time. I don’t remember how long L’Etrog stays on my skin, but also not for hours. December 15, 2016 at 9:14pm Reply

      • Victoria: By the way, Arquiste has L’Etrog in two formulations, EDP and cologne (Acqua). Not sure which one you’ve tried. December 15, 2016 at 9:19pm Reply

  • Alicia: Well, well…I never had any Arquiste, but after reading your review of Ella, what can I do but run for it? Jasmine, chypre…I am undone. December 15, 2016 at 1:13pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s a clever way to do jasmine, but it’s rather abstract. So, not as photorealistically jasmine as Lutens’s A La Nuit. Which may or may not be a good thing. December 15, 2016 at 9:15pm Reply

      • Nick: Ah… at your mentioning of A La Nuit, I think of it to jasmine as La Fille de Berlin is to a crimson rose. It is tricky to do a classic soliflore, when there have been many excellent such, not to mention those giants like Fracas, Iris Silver Mist, or Pour Un Homme.

        In any case, launches have somewhat hearkened to the classic 1970s as of late. Have you sniffed the new Les Extraits Verts by Tom Ford? Vert de Fleur feels like a twist on N°19 galbanum top. Vert Bohéme and Vert de Bois are essentially leathery and green herbs. The most magnetic to me is Vert d’Encens with its take-no-prisoner galbanum and, of course, incense! Like chills and warmth. December 16, 2016 at 4:29am Reply

        • Victoria: Tom Ford often takes inspiration from classics. There was one other No19 sibling in the Private Blend collection, but I don’t remember off the top of my head which one it was.

          Like you, I noticed a revival of sorts. And I don’t mind, since I like green chypres and accords inspired by them. December 16, 2016 at 5:19am Reply

        • Liz: Still looking for my perfect jasmine. A La Nuit doesn’t stick on me and Ford’s Jasmine Rouge is too sweet. December 17, 2016 at 10:07am Reply

          • Victoria: Jasmine is very tricky, especially when you’re looking for something specific. Another jasmine option is Lutens Sarrasins, although I don’t know if it has been reformulated recently. December 18, 2016 at 2:34am Reply

          • Surbhi: I use jasmine absolute with moisturizer or carrier oil to get my jasmine fix. A la nuit is fleeting on me as well. And I haven’t liked any other jasmine. I believe my issue is that I am always looking for the jasmine flowers smell. December 18, 2016 at 10:19pm Reply

            • Victoria: That’s such a good tip. I adore the smell of a true jasmine attar, and I wear it plain. Except that I usually scent my scarf or clothes with it. December 19, 2016 at 3:18am Reply

  • epapsiou: I did try a few at Saks in NY. In fact they had an event where Rodrigo stopped by to talk about it.
    Nice perfumes but anything above $100 has to be exceptional and this is not it. These days not many are. December 15, 2016 at 3:27pm Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, I agree, they’re very expensive. On the other hand, there are few perfume lines that spend this much money on ingredients and development. I don’t enjoy the whole collection equally, but the perfumes that stand out for me like Boutonnière, Anima Dulcis or El really seem special. December 15, 2016 at 9:18pm Reply

      • epapsiou: Don’t get me wrong. I will gladly buy many form this line. But at $190 there are better options out there especially in vintage world.

        And that was Barneys not Saks.
        Saks sucks when it comes to perfume exploration experience. December 16, 2016 at 9:39am Reply

        • Victoria: In the end, that’s subjective, but if you an old school fougere or chypre, yes, I agree, vintage is the way to go. Except that even the vintage is starting to become more expensive as the stocks dwindle. December 16, 2016 at 9:36pm Reply

          • Surbhi: I hear and read so much about vintage. Skin care, oils etc go bad after a certain time. Perfume don’t ? I want to try some vintage perfumes but then shelf life and quality questions pull me back. So, I am curious to know if perfumes don’t go bad ? December 18, 2016 at 10:12pm Reply

            • Victoria: It sure does, especially if it’s not stored well. That being said, I have Guerlain perfumes from the 1930s in a perfect condition. December 19, 2016 at 3:16am Reply

  • sara: El is good but too masculine for me. I’m not yet sure about Ella, like I expected something else based on the notes. It’s too green. December 16, 2016 at 9:41am Reply

    • Victoria: I see what you mean! I’m not sure if I myself had particular expectations, but it took me by surprise how fresh and bright the start was. December 16, 2016 at 9:37pm Reply

  • spe: For me, Arquiste is a niche line in which almost everything I would happily wear. The Enfanta and Louis I remember being quite delightful. I tried Ella a few months ago and it lasted all day and I am somewhat haunted by it. Perhaps it’s time to try it again.
    As someone mentioned above, it’s fabulous that greens are finally making a comeback. I haven’t yet seen Vert Fleur in my city. But the other TF Verts are here. For anyone who misses Gucci Envy, Vert Boheme is for you! Thank goodness for Sisley and Chanel preserving some beautiful greens during this veeeery long dry spell. December 17, 2016 at 10:03am Reply

    • Victoria: Greens is one of those families that I always fall for. It’s a good choice for either a hot day (refreshing without being overwhelming) or winter times when greens evoke spring and sunshine. December 18, 2016 at 2:32am Reply

  • Liz: I was recommended Anima Dulcis in one of your Recommend me a perfume threads, and I loved it enough to put it on my Xmas wish list. Let’s hope my Santa comes through. 🙂 December 17, 2016 at 10:05am Reply

    • Victoria: Keeping fingers crossed, Liz! December 18, 2016 at 2:32am Reply

  • Anne: Dear Victoria,
    I own several perfumes from Arquiste, Anima Dulcis is a favorite .
    I tried Ella , (sample from Beauty Habit).
    I have no idea of the inspiration of Rodrigo Flores-Roux of the Mexican resort of Acapulco in the 1970 . Maybe a more seductive redention of Dior Diorella? (I wish)
    Ella is not Dior’s Diorella .
    But it is very well done.
    Would I purchase a bottle?
    Most likely I will. December 18, 2016 at 4:33am Reply

    • Victoria: Yes, I see that lineage. It’s one of my favorite styles, so Ella was an instant love. December 19, 2016 at 3:14am Reply

  • Aurora: What a good idea to focus on Arquiste. I sampled a few and, liked them all and remember Infanta en flor especially as being lovely, also Boutonniere No 7; but I haven’t tried Anima Dulcis and I will make sure after your irresistible description to do so asap. December 18, 2016 at 4:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s such a well-done and interesting line. Carlos Huber’s background in architecture is also fascinating. For instance, Sophia Grojsman compares perfumery to architecture. December 19, 2016 at 3:15am Reply

What do you think?

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