I really shouldn't have declared a favorite Arquiste fragrance before I had a chance to wear Flor y Canto during a heat wave or two. After all, Flor y Canto is a white floral and there's nothing quite like tuberose (and its friends) in the heat. Arquiste founder Carlos Huber was inspired by an ancient Aztec festival celebrating Xochiquetzal, a goddess of beauty, flowers, and love.
The Notes of Flor y Canto are Mexican tuberose, magnolia, plumeria and marigold. This is a decidedly big (BIG) floral composition, bold and colorful, and probably very femme, though personally I like men in tuberose. The obvious question is probably about the difference between this Arquiste interpretation of this theme and iconic white flower fragrances from Fracas to Carnal Flower. Kevin from NST called Flor y Canto "a bright, modern white floral perfume". I get what he means: you don't usually think of tuberose as an aloof flower. On the contrary. Few flowers are more "come hither" than this one, yet the coolness of the notes here have an airy and distant quality that manage to keep at bay some of the usual facets of buttery sweetness and loud radioactive green.
Flor y Canto is still very assertive, of course. It's sweet and has enough of that intoxicating quality of big tropical floral perfumes to almost be considered heady. But just almost. Perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux who collaborated with Huber on this creation managed to somehow ground the ripe flowers and the narcotic air around them. Kevin mentioned the promise of a marigold note is not quite fulfilled and I also hoped for a lot more, but I do think that it's the marigold (tagetes) that lends its sobriety to Flor y Canto. As a result, this perfume is a lot more interesting than might appear at first sniff.
Arquiste Flor y Canto ($165, 55ml EDP) is avaialble from Barneys, Aedes and arquiste.com. The samples used for this review were supplied by PR.
Carlos Nieto III- La Encarnacion de Xochiquetzal
Marina Molares- The Marriage of Xochiquetzal
David Mata & Rolando Angulo- The Metamorphosis of Xochiquetzal