September 30, 2018
The Love Embrace of the Universe, the Earth Mexico, Myself, Diego, and Señor Xolotl, 1949 Frida Khalo©
The Escencia De El Palacio collection, created by Arquiste exclusively for the upscale Mexican department Store El Palacio de Hierro, was inspired by the botanical treasures, traditions and legends of Mexico. And who better to bring Mexico's rich cultural heritage to the life than Carlos Huber, the creative director of Arquiste, and his longtime collaborator in scent, the prestigious Mexican born perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux. The first five Arquiste Esencia De El Palacio fragrances in the series, Magnolios, Azahares, Vetivers, Limoneros and Guayabos, evoke the air, earth and landscapes of Mexico via the country's most culturally significant flowers, fruits, trees and roots. The three newest additions to the Escencia De El Palacio line – Vainillas, Resinas and Nardos – celebrate the legends and the mysteries of the indigenous plants so important to people of Mexico.
Carlo Huber filling bottles via Instagram
The native Mexican vanilla orchid (Vanilla planifolia) was cultivated in Pre-Columbian Mexico and Central America, centuries before the Spanish invasions. When hand pollination was perfected in the mid 19th century, the lion's share of Mexican vanilla production moved to Indonesia, Madagascar and other tropical climes. But today there is still nothing like the rare, unadulterated, dark, spicy Mexican vanilla, grown in the environs of Papanlta, Mexico.
Arquiste Esencia De El Palacio Vainillas portrays the essence of Mexican vanilla, born of the blood of star-crossed lovers, the Totonac princess Xanath and a handsome young peasant named Tzarahuin. The gods beheaded the pair for their unconventional love, but as their blood fell and soaked the forest floor, the earth wept and transformed the lovers into vanilla vines, clinging to each other for eternity. Arquiste Esencia De El Palacio Vainillas is an olfactory portrait of the pleasures and passions of these legendary lovers.
Arquiste Esencia De El Palacio Vainillas by Gail©
From the first, Vainillas envelops my skin in a smoky, spicy embrace of dark, seductively sweet and mysterious vanilla, lifted and lightened with hints of citron and bergamot. The pleasure intensifies as Mexican vanilla weds Egyptian jasmine to the thick sweetness of benzoin, Guaiac wood suffusing everything with a peppered, rosy glow. The impression of vanilla, dark forests and smoke continues into the dry down, supported by a combination of rich, heady amber and honeyed storax. Esencia De El Palacio Vainillas treats me to a perfume with the highest content of natural vanilla available in the international market, vanilla from Papantla, Mexico and the island of Madagascar. The sweet comfort of Vainillas is at once ethereal and grounding, potent for twelve hours and more, fading at last into a masterfully created accord of civet and musk. Notes: Bergamot, citron, infusion of Papantlan vanilla, Egyptian jasmine, vanilla extract from Madagascar, benzoin, amber, civet accord, storax and pink Guaiac wood.
Quetzalcoatl Diego Rivera©
Arquiste Esencia De El Palacio Resinas opens a window into the distant past, a time when the rites of the ancient Feathered Serpent Quetzalcoatl mingled with the religious rituals of Western Europe, when Vice-Regal Mexico melded with the indigenous Pre-Columbian cultures. From the first wisp of whitish smoke, the sweet scent of ocote (Pinus montezumae) creates a focused, sinuous spirit evocative of jungle trees and tendrils creeping into the sanctuaries of crumbling churches. Smoky clouds of burning woods and resins billow from ancient censors. The spiced, medicinal qualities of myrrh are transmuted by the ethereal ocote, changing earthly experience into a breath of the divine.
Arquiste Esencia De El Palacio Resinas by Gail©
The heart of Resinas beats with the fresh peppered, citrus pulse of Omani frankincense (Boswellia sacra) grounded in deeply herbaceous, almost leathery notes of Portuguese labdanum. Incense and smoke drift in an out of focus throughout the night, settling and condensing, at last, around the green scented Cuéramo wood (Cordia elaeagnoides) and the thick vanillac smoky cinnamon of Peruvian and Tolu balsams. Esencia De El Palacio Resinas integrates the incense resins brought to the new world by the Spaniards with the native Mexican Copal, Ocote and Cuéramo wood, creating a perfume that mirrors the synthesis of cultures that gave birth to a mysterious and uniquely Mexican spirituality. Notes: Cypress wood, white copal, ocote, Ethiopian myrrh, Omani frankincense, Portuguese labdanum, patchouli, Peru Balsam, Tolu balsam and Cuéramo wood.
Diego Rivera —Portrait of Lupe Marin
Nardos (Spanish for Tuberose)! Imagine, if you would, endless fields of tuberose, white, waxen flowers glistening in the moonlight, the intoxicating scent permeating the night air. While the world sleeps, the single white tuberose (Polianthus tuberosa, AKA nardos), a member of the Agave family and another Mexican native, is busy attracting pollinators. The scent of this "Amiga de Noche" - girlfriend of the night - has long been considered a powerful aphrodisiac, and no wonder! The scent of Esencia De El Palacio Nardos is opulent, sensual, and voluptuous. The quintessential white flower, nardos (Omixochitl "flower of the bone" in the Nahuatl language), is a reflection of the Mexican temperament - proud, strong and romantic. Tuberose has always functioned as a kind of narcotic.Just one whiff sends me into a deep, restful sleep filled with pleasant and colorful dreams.
Arquiste Esensia De El Palacio Nardos is one of the most beautiful and thoughtfully created tuberose fragrances I have had the pleasure to experience in a long time. Arquiste Escencia De El Palacio Nardos opens simply and faithfully as a full blown, blousy tuberose, the initial seductive scent of the flower intoxicated by a breath of fine cognac. The drunken blossoms slowly become transparent, dissolving into a tropical breeze of ylang-ylang, jasmine and orange blossom, soothing me well into the morning hours. The scent of tuberose never disappears from Nardos, but as the fragrance fades I find the flower enveloped and supported by dusty-sweet immortelle and the vanillac richness of oak casks, finished with a musky, fruity nuance of castoreum. Notes: An "atmospheric" tuberose accord, sugar cane, essence of cognac, ylang-ylang, Philippine Sampaguita jasmine, orange blossom, Corsican immortelle, castoreum and extract from oak barrels.
Arquiste Esencia De El Palacio Vainillas, Resinas and Nardos Photo by Gail Gross©
Disclaimer: I would like to thank Carlos Huber for my samples of Arquiste Escencia De El Palacio Vainillas, Resinas and Nardos
Gail Gross - Senior Editor
Art Direction - Michelyn Camen, Editor in Chief
Note: Not available in the USA