Rodrigo Flores-Roux: 6 posts

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.

Tom Ford Private Blend Fleur de Chine : Perfume Review


Tom Ford’s Private Blend Collection is a mixed bag. It’s too large and hard to navigate. Some fragrances are excellent enough to justify the high prices; others barely stand out. I can list further complaints, but the truth is that I keep returning to the collection and smelling all of its launches, because when Tom Ford scores, he really does offer something impressive. Such is the case with Fleur de Chine.


When I first tried Fleur de Chine, it intrigued me, but I wasn’t quite sure what to make of it.  Shanghai Lily from the same Atelier d’Orient collection (it also includes Plum Japonais, Fleur de Chine and Rive d’Ambre) was an instant hit for its lush white flowers and generous dose of spice. Fleur de Chine wasn’t going to open up so easily, though. I loved its baroque, ornate character and its hints of retro glamour, but it took its time to grow on me.

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Tom Ford Sahara Noir : Perfume Review


Just like Tom Ford Noir, Sahara Noir is a perfect cross-over perfume and a good case for disregarding arbitrary gender marketing. In the case of Sahara Noir, you only need to love incense and amber. And love them a lot, because this perfume is incense and amber to the power of 10. A part of Tom Ford’s Signature Collection, along with Violet BlondeWhite PatchouliBlack Orchid and Grey Vetiver, this is a dramatic and dark blend that delivers on its noir promise.


With Sahara Noir Tom Ford is courting Middle Eastern perfume consumers, whose tastes gravitate towards opulent. “A perfume can’t be rich enough,” says a friend who works for a fragrance company in Dubai. Incense is used to perfume homes and public spaces, and a splash of rosewater and a cloud of oud smoke begins and ends any auspicious function.  Sahara Noir would fit right into this scented environment and even hold its own. Depending on your tastes for heavy perfumes, consider yourself warned.

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Arquiste Parfumeur Flor y Canto : Perfume Review


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.

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Arquiste Boutonniere no.7 : Perfume Review


Gardenia is the flower with the most feminine of connotations. It’s a blossom that the jazz singer Billie Holiday tucked in her hair. Its seeds give a vibrant yellow hue that the turn of the century Shanghai courtesans appropriated as a signature shade of their lingerie. More innocently, it’s the preferred flower for a prom corsage–even without water it will remain fresh and fragrant for hours. When Arquiste Parfumeur announced that its Boutonniere no.7  will be a masculine rendition of gardenia, I was intrigued.

The idea behind Boutonniere no.7 was to create a fragrance for a vignette: a group of 19th century dandies standing in the foyer of the Opéra-Comique in Paris and wearing gardenia boutonnieres on their lapel. Perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux received the commission to make this story come to life. Flores-Roux is a talented perfumer, but I still wondered if it’s really possible to create a realistic gardenia perfume and yet make it suitable to men?

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