On the evening following Peony Haute Parfumerie’s launch of Arquiste Parfumeur I was invited to a dinner with Carlos Huber, the creator of Arquiste and Jill Timms, the owner of Peony Haute Parfumerie. Our host was Frances Peterson, the distributor of Arquiste here in Australia and New Zealand. Seated at a table scattered with picked gardenias in St Kilda’s chic Café di Stasio I was enjoying the diversity of the company I was sharing. We all came from very different backgrounds; we are all on different paths, each of us representing different elements of the perfume industry; the blogger, the retail entrepreneur, the distributor and the brand owner. Frances had offered me some time with Carlos at the bar to conduct an interview but I could see the conversation created by all four of us together was rich and well worth documenting. Putting the list of questions I had prepared for Carlos in my notepad aside I asked the table if they approved of me putting my recording device on the table and we continue our conversation over dessert.
Below is an edit of that conversation, which I hope translates well for you the reader, coming into our discussion towards the … Read More »
Event: Arquiste Parfumeur Launch, with special guest Carlos Huber
Venue: Peony Haute Parfumerie, 107 Auburn Road, Hawthorn
Date: April 11, 2013
Thursday was an evening of fragrance and exquisite company. Lovers of fine perfume and Peony Haute Perfumerie came together to celebrate the launch of Arquiste Parfumeur, a fragrance line created by New York based architect and fragrance designer, Carlos Huber. After writing about the each of the fragrances in the collection, I had the pleasure of meeting Carlos in person; he had travelled from New York to follow the launch of his collection in Auckland (World Beauty), Sydney (Becker Minty) and Melbourne (Peony Haute Parfumerie). At the event’s conclusion, Carlos treated remaining guests to a very personal discussion on each of the seven Arquiste fragrances, sharing his own journey, working with perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux, Yann Vasnier and perfume evaluator, Sophie Bensamou, which lead to the creation of Arquiste in 2011.
Gardenia is a scented flower that holds great mystery. Its petals are among the few nature has provided, which do not allow their odour to be extracted by methods used for flowers such as jasmine and tuberose. Essentially the flower must be reorchestrated by a perfumer, which allows a great deal of subjectivity and requires careful analysis and artistic creativity.
Arquiste’s gardenia is purposely masculine; the preliminary inspiration came from a gardenia boutonniere perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux made for his Arquiste colleagues as an accessory they would wear to a black-tie gala event in 2011. The brand’s founder, Carlos Huber was captivated by the flower’s scent and began researching the history of the masculine boutonniere. His research led him to the Belle Epoque. Men would attend the opera wearing a boutonniere, a fragile picked flower attached to the buttonhole of a formal suit. The captivating odour of gardenia made it a popular choice amongst men of this era as the perfumed flower gave off a social ambiance, capturing the attention of the fairer sex.
After his preliminary research and a year of development, Boutonniere No. 7 is the seventh fragrance created by Arquiste, following the initial six, launched in 2011. Carlos Huber takes … Read More »
Aleksandr is a story of Russia’s most revered poet and founder of modern Russian literature, Alexander Pushkin who died from a gunshot wound in 1837, near St Petersburg. The poet was notoriously sensitive about his honour and fought numerous duels in order to protect it. His success in these duels came to an end in 1837 when the poet was mortally wounded by a bullet from the firearm of a French royalist officer serving in St Petersburg. The duel was fought over Pushkin’s distain for the young Frenchman who had been pursuing his wife Natalya Pushkina, a woman of great beauty.
The fragrance, created by Yann Vasnier, takes its wearer on a journey through Pushkin’s last moments. Arquiste imagines the poet wearing a toilette water steeped in neroli and violet. He dons a heavy fur and polished leather boots, striding off through a forest of fir trees to a clearing bathed in amber light; his fate awaiting him.
Aleksandr is a dandified leather perfume with a gallant aura. The neroli and violet leaf notes have a vintage-like quality, making a big impression when the fragrance is first released from the botte. An ‘iced vodka’ accord gives Aleksandr a steely impression of cold … Read More »
Over the past week as I have been exploring Arquiste, one thing I have come to appreciate about the collection is the clever marriage between tradition and modernity. For Anima Dulcis, Arquiste’s founder, Carlos Huber, calls upon the vast skill of both Yann Vasnier and Rodrigo Flores-Roux to challenge the popular gourmand theme and find an unchartered expression.
Although cocoa notes have been used in perfumery before, Anima Dulcis tells a culinary tale that is uniquely Mexican. And the olfactory backdrop in which the narrative is presented is done in a sophisticated way, meaning there is no risk of feeling like a Cadbury chocolate bar after a few sprays, which is the sentiment some other cocoa laced fragrances fall victim to. On a backdrop of an oriental chypre, Anima Dulcis is as innovative as the story that inspired its creation. The year is 1695 in Mexico City and nuns of the Royal Convent of Jesus Maria are preparing a baroque recipe of spiced cocoa. Today mole is prepared with ground cocoa, at least two varieties of chilli pepper and dried spices such as cumin, cinnamon, cloves and nuts or seeds such as sesame. The spicy chocolate sauce is commonly served with … Read More »