THE LADY JIMENA ~ Infanta en Flor by Arquiste


(play me)

The thumb of god smudged the Moorish moon across the twilight splendor of the eastern sky, and Spain wept. The very soul of Spain wept for the lady Jimena.

Donna Jimena sat alone and imprisoned in in the cold stone garden of the nunnery waiting for Don Rodrigo’s return from exile. She worked at her needlepoint absently. A small tapestry of the battles of her husband to unite Spain and drive the invaders back to North Africa. Her hand wavered and stopped its fine work and she recalled how when she was just a girl,  she had first loved Rodrigo upon first sight of him in her fathers house all those years ago.

The scent of immortelle blooming on the hills beyond her father’s garden blended in the honey gold noon heat with the orange blossoms all abuzz with bees. She held a small goat in her arms and brushed it to extract the lovely labdanum from its wool. A deep baritone laugh drew her young eyes to the gate where a tall striking man clad in rough leather stood talking to her father. His cerulean blue eyes slid over the flowers and the fountains to find hers and in meeting awakened the girl to womanly desire. In his quick crooked smile she knew him to his core and recognized her destiny.

Now years later and separated from him by civil war and by King Alfonso’s betrayal and treachery, she waited and prayed that once more he would be victorious. He would return with his armies of Christians and Spanish Moors to free her. He would come to take her once again into the safety of his arms. Arms that felt like home to her.  But until that day, the day of the return of her lord, all of Spain wept for the lady Jimena, and her lost love for El Cid.



Infanta en Flor by Arquiste is a lovely romantic perfume created by this wonderful house know for gorgeous niche perfumes each with a great story attached. The inspiration for Infanta en Flor was the border of Spain and France in 1660 and the meeting of King Louis XIV and his bride the Infanta of Spain. But for me it seemed a medieval fragrance and all about Spain. No hint of France at all. Romantic, melancholy, a perfume full of longing and loss but with the promise of reunion breathing life into its soul. It smells to me like what I imagine a 12th century perfume might be like. Simple and elegant and something a lady of the court of Spain might wear.

The perfume opens with clean bright notes of orange water and immortelle flowers. There is a richly smooth leather, Smooth polished and old. Not suede but real, heavy duty expensively worked leather that is rounded out nicely with a sensuous slightly skanky labdanum. This takes what would ordinarily be a soapy clean ordinary floral to an interesting place. Yes it is “Fresh” but not laundry fresh but rather nature fresh of the flesh. It is a liner simple fragrance tha strays true to itself from first to last.

A fine silage that gets attention and lasts well on my skin up to about seven to eight hours. This Infanta is a lady fit for any lord as well, but one with the cojones to sport a floral in a Aqua Di Gio world.




  1. Thank you, couldn’t sleep until I read the story and now I’ll think of orange trees, cold mineral stone, the leather of a cuirassier, and times long ago. xox, V

  2. “The thumb of god smudged the Moorish moon across the twilight splendor of the eastern sky, and Spain wept. The very soul of Spain wept for the lady Jimena.”

    What an opening!

    David O Selsnick eat your heart out.

    An image that will stay for me forever.

    Another absolutely exquisite review for the House of Arquiste. I so want to try their wares for myself after. You’ve enchanted me Me Lanier.

    • Thank you!! David O. Selznick was a great influence on me as a child so that is quite a complement. Friday night on the way home from work I saw just such a moon behind a chiffon thin cloud and the line came to me. I had to repeat it over and over on the walk home so as not to loose it. It was a reliatory moment as I had been looking for a way into this review.

  3. Now that really should have read Mr Lanier, Mar Lanier!!

  4. Yet another lovely text. Spain seems to be very fashionable these days, with a BBC series bousting Spain as the crème de la crème… once more… in the Art world . Yes, it is nice when a man with cojones displays himself with florals. Of course, it is not the case, but a photo of Paul McCartney wearing a pink suit with yellow shirt in the 60’s has always given me the idea that one needs a lot of cojones to do that. well, it was psychodelism then, I suppose. Nothing to do with manhood at all, but alas… It is so nice of you to bring those memories of what a good book/movie used to be. This is the kind of films I reach for when I fell like skipping the never-stopping meanless hectic hours of ours this present times, which didn’t end last December.Can I now face Les Mis ?

    • Jose! Thank you so much for your always spot on point of view. There is a great difference between being of the fashion of the moment and being an original. I am really thrilled you commented on this post. And yes, films of the ilk of “El Cid” really are transporting and magical.

  5. I love the inspiration for Infanta, I love having a story.
    No hint of France! ha!
    How is it that I can actually gather the scent of this fragrance by your words alone? You amaze me.

    • Amaze is a big word! I shall gather it up in my arms and embrace it. Thank you.

  6. I love love love your writing. I think I missed a few posts here and I’m not sure how that happened but I must go and read them now.

    • I love love love that you love love love my writing! thank you luv!

      • I think there was a WordPress glitch because I had been following you and somehow I wasn’t anymore. I just followed again. I wonder how that happened? It did that to another blog once before on me too. Modern technology can be so frustrating.

      • Very happy to have you back

  7. As always Lanier, you can take a perfume that looking at the ingredients would not look appealing to me, but you leave me intrigued. Another one now for my “must sample” list!

  8. Your beguiling review made me go back and revisit my sample. Why, lo and behold I was driven to buy it!

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