I keep saying this, but more perfumers and perfume houses should be making perfumes inspired by Mexico. Mexico is a diverse, gorgeous country with a rich history, art, mythology and breathtaking fauna. Everyone wants to use notes that come from Mexico (vanilla, cocoa, frangipani), but there aren’t many perfumes that truly honor Mexico¹. My favorite perfume inspired by Mexico is Exotic Island Perfumer Flor Azteca.
Flor Azteca is a really interesting tuberose. The opening is fiery with red pepper, fresh ginger and dry cinnamon. The tuberose is is in full bloom and has a mushroom-y quality to it. Flor Azteca smells wild. The fiery notes flicker like an outdoor flame. There’s wet earth and fleshy white florals. The fragrance blooms into a true, heady tuberose. My experiences with fresh tuberose blossoms are limited to botanical gardens, but this smells very much like a tuberose in those hothouses. It dries down to a mineral tuberose, like tuberose near a natural water source with smoky woods in the far distance.
The brand describes Flor Azteca as “Tuberose in its original habitat. An olfactory image of tuberoses blooming at night in an Aztec Shaman’s garden“. This is the perfect summary of this fragrance. This is why Flor Azteca stands out. It’s wild, intoxicating. It’s a stand out because unlike other tuberose soliflores, it’s not overly sweet, creamy or “tropical”. It’s green but it’s not icy cool. It also smells very real, corporeal. But, because it’s so beautiful, it’s hard to believe that something like this could be real. There’s some fantasy but that only emphasizes the natural beauty of this flower.
Notes listed include Mexican tuberose, massoïa bark, chocolate, tuberose absolute, magnolia, datura, fresh ginger, pepper, Mexican vanilla, benzoin, tonka bean, copal negro, smoky woods and mineral notes. Launched in 2012. PERFUMER – Juan Perez²
Give Flor Azteca a try if you like white florals, especially tuberose. Or if you like perfumes like Malle Carnal Flower, By Kilian Beyond Love, Arquiste Flor y Canto and/or Annick Goutal Gardenia Passion. I imagine such an unapologetic tuberose is rather polarizing. I don’t consider myself a fan of tuberose, but I love the ones that are like this or Carnal Flower. And from my understanding both of these have a high percentage of real tuberose absolute. When it comes to tuberose, my taste leans expensive.
Projection and longevity are above average. I actually like this one dabbed on rather than sprayed.
The 1 oz bottle retails for $135 here. Samples are also available for purchase.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – A wild tuberose in its natural environment. It’s a stunning tuberose soliflore. If you’re just going to have one tuberose in your possession, let it be this or Carnal Flower. Go big.
²Juan is amazing with florals and his style is not timid. If you like huge florals that haven’t been scrubbed clean of all of their character, this is a brand that you’re going to enjoy. After sampling this again, I’ve been reminded that when I want a huge floral why do I bother with anything else?
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*Sample provided by the brand. I am not financially compensated for my reviews. My opinions are my own. Product pic from the bran. María Félix pic from www.fanpix.net.