Like many children, most of my childhood was spent playing imaginary games that took me to different places in history and around the world. Imagination is one of life’s many gifts and I think perfume is such a powerful catalyst for imagination as well as memory; within a microsecond of those odourous molecules being perceived by the brain’s olfactory bulb, the mind is transported to places all over the globe and time becomes irrelevant.
Arquiste is a relatively new perfume line that is highly responsive to this ability perfume has to transport its wearer to another time and place. The brand’s founder, Carlos Huber is a preserver of history; before creating Arquiste he worked as an architect specializing in historic preservation. For now, perfume has become his focus, although he still considers himself to be an architect (a profession that may need to take a back seat if Arquiste continues to gain popularity the way it has so far.)
Arquiste is a curated line Carlos developed using his architectural eye for detail and respect for history. In short, his concept is to tell as accurately as possible, significant stories from history- to restore an olfactory experience. And what I like most about Arquiste is that even if great research has been invested to ensure an old and potentially dated story is told accurately, there is also a modernity to the line, which makes Arquiste refreshing.
Towards the end of last year, the brand added a 7th fragrance to the line of olfactory stories. From the collection, stories take you as far as Calabria, Italy in the 12th century and Aztec Mexico in the 15th century. Each story must hold personal meaning for Carlos and there is a grand invitation for the wearer to engage in the story in his or her own way. For me, when I smell Arquiste’s Fleur de Louis I am taken to the Chateau de Versailles, where, last year I walked through the chateau gardens above the King’s orangerie amidst a fresh downpour of rain.
In terms of partnering with the right perfumers to bring these stories to life, Carlos Huber relied on two of perfume’s rising stars, Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Yann Vasnier. Both men have authored a variety of projects as perfumers for Givaudan; Vasnier has proven his commercial worth with perfumes for Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford as well as taking on more avante garde projects for the likes of Le Labo and Divine. Rodrigo Flores-Roux also demonstrates a diverse body of work including the opulent reworking of Houbigant’s Fougere Royale in collaboration with Roja Dove.
I have been eager to discover the Arquiste range, which has drawn a lot of attention to since the brand launched in 2011. The wait is now over as Arquiste is now being sold in a select number of perfumeries in Australia and New Zealand. Carlos Huber is also here as this post goes live to promote the launch of his perfume line with events in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.
In order for me to discover the line I have been kindly allowed to borrow the entire line of fragrances from Arquiste and each day over the next week I will be writing and posting some impressions of my discovery- 7 days of Arquiste. Following the morning of my 7th post, I will be in Melbourne to attend Arquiste’s launch event, hosted by his Melbourne stockist and my favourite perfume shop in Melbourne, Peony Haute Parfumerie. I am also privileged to be having dinner with Carlos, Jill from Peony and Frances, Arquiste’s official distributor here in Australia and New Zealand before Carlos departs Australia.
So you can expect a lot more Arquiste content to come from What Men Should Smell Like over the next week.
Arquiste sample set giveaway:
And so one Australian reader can personally experience the full collection of Arquiste fragrances, Carlos’ New York press team have kindly provided me with a complete set of 1ml samples I would like to send to a reader. Unfortunately with Australia Post, I can only send within Australia, so if you have an Australian mailing address, you can enter the draw simply by commenting on this post. Begin your comment with the text #enter# so I can differentiate between standard comments and comments that wish to be included in the Australian draw.
The winner will be announced on my Facebook Page and Twitter, Thursday April 11, so please like and follow if you have entered.
The question you need to answer to enter the draw is:
What question should I ask Carlos during dinner next Friday night?