Arquiste: Carlos Huber Interview 2014


Post by Anslie Walker


Arquiste at Peony Melbourne’s Event

Carlos Huber is director/curator of Arquiste perfumes. I got to have a lunch with him in Melbourne, moments before the Australian launch of new fragrances L’Etrog Aqua and Architects Club at Peony Haute Perfumerie.

Arquiste Peony 2014 #1

Arquiste: Carlos Huber Interview 2014

You are studied Preservation Architecture, did you also study perfumery?

I started as a Preservation Architect and also worked for Ralph Lauren. I met a perfume evaluator who introduced me to perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux. I became friends with him, spending a year studying with him as much as possible. We share a love of history, so he understands my passion and interprets my visions well.

How did the range develop?

I came up with 6 stories, moments in history for the perfumers to translate. I choose places I have visited and connect with deeply to ensure the fragrances are authentic. The aim is to bring olfactive references to life. They are historic moments in time, yet I did not want them to be vintage, I wanted them to be modern concepts where we are dropped in that moment, not have the moment brought to us. We also use the most modern of ingredients to create hyper real experiences.

Tell me about the Arquiste signature bottles?

I love these, they are Italian made, solid and round and if you look closely on the inside you cannot see where the glass and perfume begin and end. I just had the lids remade so they are heavy in the hand. The new fragrances are in 100ml only and the originals are in 50ml, eventually they will all be available in the 100ml size.

Arquiste Peony 2014 #2

Overview of the range with quotes from Carlos:
Woods and Citrus:
Aleksandr is an amber leather developed by Yann Vasnier that interprets a Russian love story in 1837. Violet and neroli is the fired-up lovers after shave products, as he gets ready to leave the house for a dual. He dons his fur coat and leather boots and heads outside amongst the snow-laden fir and birch trees, where in a clearing ahead, the fateful duel awaits him.

Architects Club by Yaan Vasnier “this fragrance is set in The Fumé-the jewel of Claridge’s and has 3 phases – the first fresh icy gin martini phase with juniper, angelica, lavender, clary sage and coriander, the second comfortable woods and amber where oak, guaicwood and sensual ambermax settle on skin and thirdly the dry smoky vanilla tobacco, old books and leather phase. I love wearing this fragrance!!”

L’Etrog is a citrus chypre developed with both Rodrigo and Yann. It’s inspired by Jewish harvest festival Sukkot, which occurs in October. “L’Etrog is Hebrew for Citron and is the balmy sweet night time in Calabria, Italy 1175 where farmers gather after a day in the citron fields. Dried date accord and scents from the wood cabin mix with the intense citron leaving a velvety powder dry down after the zest has died down.”

L’Etrog Aqua is an Eau De Cologne style yet contains 15% perfume concentration!! It’s the morning after L’Etrog, where dew is heavy on the citron fields, green, tart, wet, juicy and cool, it sheds light on aspects of the original and highlights them. “This fragrance contains more myrtle than any other fragrance, along with lavender, rosemary, vetiver and pistachio, which is like a dry cedar.”

Anima Dulcis was developed by both perfumers and is definitely worth a try. Carlos describes it as “a baroque gourmand” combining cocoa, Mexican vanilla, cinnamon and three types of chilli to interpret a convent in Mexico City in 1695 where a group of nuns prepare recipes of bread puddings and hot chocolate.

Fleur De Louis is a woody floral developed by Rodrigo Flores-Roux’s. It’s the French perspective in 1660 on the French and Spanish boarder, where Louis XIV is about to capture a glimpse of his new bride, Maria Theresa. Orris, jasmine and rose represent the French as they peer from a pavilion made from freshly cut pine and cedarwood. Orange blossom wafts from the Spanish infant’s clothing.

Infanta en flor is a floral musky amber and is Yann Vasnier’s take on the same time/place as Fleur de Louis, but from a Spanish perspective. Maria Teresa, blushes, fans herself and steals a look back at the gallant King as he lays his eyes on her for the first time. Cistus, Spanish leather and immortelle dance with the innocent scent of orange flower water, rose-rouge and rice powder.
“The French perfumer did the perspective from the Spanish border and the Spanish from the French!” Carlos marvels.

Boutonniere No7 was Rodrigo Flores-Roux’s work and is a green floral fragrance made with the brief of “How does a man wear a flower?” Carlos explains “The answer is that men wore white gardenias on their lapel to the opera in Paris in 1899 to seduce women. We originally wanted it to be at the end of the night – it became quite sickly and did not work so we went for the first intermission at the opera combining gardenia with cologne ingredients such as lavender, vetiver, oakmoss, mandarin, bergamot and then added an ultra dose of jasmine”

Flor Y Canto meaning “flower and song” was developed with Rodrigo Flores-Roux and is a fresh, green opulent white floral “mixing Mexican originated flowers of tuberose, magnolia, marigold and frangipani with incense of Tenochtitlan, Mexico in August 1400 to represent a festival of flowers called Tlaxochimaco where flowers are offered on temple alters for the gods and the dead.”

Which are favorite fragrances for you?

My favorites are Cologne Bigarade by Jean-Claude Ellena for Frederic Male, D’Orsay’s Le Nomade, Tom Ford’s Champaca Absolute and Neroli Portofino.

Arquiste Peony 2014 #3

Of the Arquiste line – what do you wear the most?

I have been wearing a lot of the Architects Club lately (I have to say it smells FANTASTIC on Carlos!) and also Fleur de Louis is my other favorite.
In winter in New York I also like to wear L’Etrog /L’Etrog Aqua on my scarf and under layers as they contrast with the winter in a nice way.

Can we have a glimpse into the next story/moment in time you will bring to us with the next fragrance?

I can say it is based between 1614 and 1622 and is based on special cargo that traveled between Mexico, Europe and Japan.

Ainslie Walker x

The Architects Club by Yann Vasnier for Arquiste 2014


Post by Ainslie Walker


Melbourne, the 6th November in Peony Carlos Hubert will launch The architect’s club and a new L’Etrog. Contact Jill in the store for details!

Sydney, the 19th November for a Sydney Perfume Lovers Meetup

The Architects Club by Yann Vasnier for Arquiste 2014

The Architects Club Arquiste FragranticaPhoto Stolen Fragrantica

The Architects Club starts fresh, cool and billowing – soft vanilla, pith-like with orange and lemon rind that fizzes like its just been dropped into tonic. It crackles a little, peppery in nature, though not sharp, rather cushioned. Immediately I realize its firmly unisex. The next stage is tart, astringent. A London Gin cocktail gives a backbone of robust juniper berries.

There’s something slightly musty and resinous on the up – Amber, old books. My mind darts to member’s club lounge chairs –Chesterfields and the like, fireplace in the distance, no smoke, but woody wafts. I remember interiors of Home House and Royal Automobile Club in London – heritage listed clubs that mix stuffy and traditional with opulent, cool and modern. Modern food and drinks served with finesse in comfy rooms that feel like they hold much heritage. Even empty its possible to hear the chatter of times gone by in the high ceilings of these places. The odour of cigars still seems seeps from somewhere. A few women must have visited here wearing Shalimar, as vanilla continues to billow.

The scent of Hotel bars Claridge’s and The Berkeley are captured. “It’s a London thing” as They say and it’s one of the reasons to go there if you haven’t already.


An astringent oak wood note and something herbal, almost aniseedic comes to my attention. I’m reminded of my favorite pub in Soho with its oak interior The French House, serving only half pints, as it’s “a Gentlemen’s Pub” even to this day. Looking up the notes I realize its pepperwood, oak and Guaicwood and clary sage giving a distinctive smell. It’s dapper and timeless. I can see it suiting an English Dandy from years ago to a man in a suit to this day off to work in Sydney.

Its distinctive, solid and luminously light, making it not too over bearing or strong for an office, and certainly comfortable. A balmy Amber fragrance. I rarely wear vanilla, but with the woods, herbs and juniper in balance, I’m enjoying the ride. It’s extremely wearable. You could wear it to work, and out after for an alfresco meal. Smart whilst hinting at fun.

Overall I’ve made myself homesick for London. Which is a good result, as where many fragrances claim to smell like London, this is the first one I have tried which actually transports me straight there.

Ainslie Walker x


Boutonniere No 7 by Rodrigo Flores-Roux for Arquiste 2012




Hello APJ friends! Hope you are all well and enjoy my contribution today.


I’ve loved gardenias even longer than I have loved perfume. The velvety white blooms have been a constant in my house over summer ever since I was a little girl. As a result, I associate their heady scent with freedom, happiness and good times: summer holidays, splashing around in the backyard pool, savouring a cold ice cream, sultry starlight evenings and Australian Christmas. My adoration is so big that I’ve developed a little ritual each time I visit my parents at Christmas. As soon as my suitcase is unpacked, I cut some of the creamy buds and arrange them in a vase to put in my bedroom, their intoxicating scent allowing me to forget my work stress and delve deep into joyous memories.


Gardenias may be my perfumed perfection, but sadly, as many have encountered, it’s difficult to obtain a perfect gardenia perfume. As most will know, scent can’t be extracted directly from the flowers and needs to be created via synthetics. In addition, most great gardenia perfumes have been discontinued: Tuvache and the wonderful Velvet Gardenia by Tom Ford (which in my estimation is the most exquisitely lifelike rendition of the flower ever). Others are good, but miss the mark in my estimation: Chanel’s is more jasmine and a little uptight, Isabey’s is more of a floral bouquet, Il Profumo’s a much stronger rendition of the Chanel, Van Cleef’s is more lily and not narcotic enough.


Thankfully, the perfume gods were listening in 2012 and a number of perfumes featuring gardenia were released: Ineke’s Hothouse Flowers (which I haven’t tried yet), the dark, brooding gardenia of Serge Luten’s Une Voix Noire and

Boutonniere No 7 by Arquiste 2012

BoutonniereNo7 beyondblackwhitePhoto Stolen beyondblackwhite

Fragrantica gives these featured accords in one line:
Lavender, pettigrain, gardenia, vetiver, genet, oakmoss


Interestingly enough, Boutonniere was conceived as a gardenia fragrance for men. This intrigued me, as when it comes to the flower, I can’t think of anything more femme fatale other than gardenia. According to the copy, the perfume is meant to evoke the scent of a group of gentlemen gathered at intermission at the Opera-Comique in Paris in 1899. They are wearing gardenia boutonnieres; the heady scent from the lapels intermingled with the bergamot and lavender colognes the men are wearing.

Boutonniere does have the crisp feel of cologne and I can see some men wearing it, but it is still decidedly feminine enough to satisfy this girly-girl. What Boutonniere brings to the aforementioned gardenia line-up is a luminous, very green rendition of the flower. The aromatic bergamot and lavender temper the creamy, ripe quality of the velvety petals and give them a soft incandescence. The fragrance has the lush quality associated with the flower but remains bright and soft.

londonDawn Stolen

When wearing it, I have been thinking of a young woman on summer holidays at a country estate. It’s almost dawn and she can’t sleep, restless with excitement about long languid days ahead. In her ivory nightie, she slowly opens the French doors to a luxuriant private garden filled with gardenia bushes, lavender and huge lemon trees. She breathes in the cool air, steps out with grass crunching underfoot. The daybreak sprinklers are on: petals and roots washed fresh under a sky of milky lilac; the air filled with hushed promise of new possibilities.

Boutonniere to me is the first part of a triptych of the perfect gardenia. If Velvet Gardenia is the flower in full bloom, ripe and voluptuous in the midday sun and Une Voix Noire the flower with petals gone sweet and overripe, then Boutonniere is the bloom yet to be born: tight white buds softly creamy and earthy green.

Downton Abbey series 3.Photo Stolen
It’s exquisite.
For other reviews, please see BoisDeJasmin and AnotherPerfumeBlog
You can purchase a 55ml bottle directly from Arquiste for US$195.
SurrenderToChance has samples starting at US$5/.5ml
Have you tried Boutonniere? Do you like any gardenia-based scents? What perfume signals freedom and summer holidays to you?
Until next time!
Madeleine x

Scented Niche Christmas Gifts to Impress




Ten Niche Scented Gifts for Christmas

Hello APJ friends! Hope you are all well and looking forward to the festive season.
When Portia suggested I compile a list of niche perfume Christmas picks, I was filled with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Excited because I could get really creative and think outside the square and scared because, well, let’s face it, buying perfume for loved ones, let alone niche, is fraught with difficulties.
So, I have taken a deep breath and hopefully risen to the challenge. For ease, I’ve chosen more approachable scents and assumed price is no object. Enjoy!
1.   Dad: Bigarade Concentree by Frederic Malle
Bigarade concentree Frederic Malle for women and men
Jean Claude Ellena’s modern take on eau de cologne, Bigarade Concentree starts with piquant, zesty blood orange and aromatic cardamom notes before settling into soft orange and hay. This is as refreshing as a dip in an ice cold pool, but still a refined classic scent.
Notes: bitter orange, rose, cedar, grass and hay
2.   Mum: Antonia by Puredistance
Antonia Puredistance for women
Possibly the most beautiful and sublime release of 2012, Antonia is an intricately weaved green floral with galbanum, ivy and jasmine. The Antonia woman is intelligent, graceful, self assured and wise – the best qualities of Mums everywhere,
Notes: jasmine, rose essence, ylang ylang, orris, ivy greens, galbanum, vanilla and vetiver.
3.   Brother: Sunday Cologne by Byredo
Sunday Cologne Byredo for women and men
A slightly balmy and spicy scent, Sunday Cologne combines the freshness of bergamot with star anise, incense and lavender. Clean, cool and utterly debonair, this can be worn equally with a sharp suit or t-shirt and jeans.
Notes: cardamom, bergamot, star anise, lavender, geranium, incense, vetiver, patchouli and oakmoss.
4.   Sister: Nuit de Cellophane by Serge Lutens
Nuit de Cellophane Serge Lutens for women
A refined take on the standard fruity floral, Nuit de Cellophane combines osmanthus and jasmine to create a gorgeously translucent scent. Nuit de Cellophane is demure and pretty with just a hint of coquettishness.
Notes: mandarin, osmanthus, jasmine
5.   Significant other (Male): Amyris Pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Amyris Homme Maison Francis Kurkdjian for men
Sex in a bottle. A blend of aromatic rosemary and mandarin tempered by cool iris and warm woody notes, Amyris is the tall, dark handsome stranger at a swanky bar who buys you an ice-cold martini before saying sotto voce: ’Come hither’.
Notes: rosemary, mandarin orange, amyris, coconut, coffee, iris, milk chocolate, tonka bean and agarwood.
6.   Significant other (Female): Flor Y Canto by Arquiste
Flor y Canto Arquiste for women
A bewitching white floral, Flor Y Canto tempers the heady notes of tuberose and frangipani with bright marigold. Sunny and carefree, but still devastatingly sexy, this is for a confident woman who doesn’t take herself too seriously.
Notes: Mexican tuberose, magnolia, frangipani and marigold
7.   For the budding perfumista friend: Frederic Malle’s Coffrets
In my opinion, Frederic Malle offers the best variety of all niche brands. These coffrets offer small vials of the brand’s scents: men’s, women’s or a 2012 selection. Your friend is sure to find new love, whether it’s the mint barbershop vibe of Geranium Pour Monsieur or the brooding oriental of Portrait of a Lady.
8.   For the friend that hates perfume:  Aqua Universalis Perfumed Candle by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Aqua Universalis Perfumed Candle
An impressive, weighty candle without an oppressive scent, Aqua Universalis is a fresh and delicate blend of green notes, orange blossom and jasmine.
Notes: bergamot, sicilian lemon, lily of the valley, sweet mock orange, light and musky woods
9.   For kids: Les Bulles d’Agathe by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Les Bulles d'Agathe Scented Bubbles 3
These blowing bubbles are lightly scented with pear, violet, mint or cut herbs – fun for the little ones or just for the kid in all of us.
10.  Top niche Christmas pick: La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens
La Myrrhe Serge Lutens for women
In one of those coveted bell jars, Serge Lutens and his partner in crime Christopher Sheldrake have created a luminous rendition of myrrh – the essential oil and resin carried by the Three Wise Men. Warm aldehydes suggest the twinkle of Christmas lights on powdered snow while gentle spices and almond evoke the last bite of Christmas pud washed down with a glass of warm Amaretto.
Notes: mandarin, myrrh, lotus, bitter almond, sandalwood, honey, jasmine, amber, musk, various spices and pimento
Pictures sourced from Fragrantica, Basenotes, Polyvore and Wantist.
Where to Buy:
Arquiste: and Barney’s
Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Serge Lutens: Les Senteurs, Luckyscent and Mecca Cosmetica
Puredistance: Luckyscent
Serge Lutens bell jars: and Barney’s
Hope you’ve enjoyed my picks. What are your top niche Christmas choices?
M x

OMG!! Portia on Perfume Posse?

Hello everyone,

This is a seriously BIG DEAL. Recently there was a shout out for, and after a small series of lost in the ethernet emails I was invited to submit, guest blog material on one of the world’s most popular fragrance blogs, Perfume Posse. Today is my first published Guest Spot on there and I am fit to WIDDLE myself with excitement.

I chose to write about a new kid on the block perfumer, his new perfume house and one of his most popular fragrances.
Carlos Huber (below, I know! HUBBA HUBBA) is the perfumer, Arquiste is his company and Aleksander the fragrance. So please scoot on over to PerfumePosse and have a quick squiz, there are more delicious Carlos Huber pics and the fragrance is so damn yummy. I’ll be tickled PINK if you leave he a Hello so I know you dropped in on me there.

Sometimes life just reminds you to be grateful, doesn’t it.

Have a great day, don’t forget to enter our THURSDAY GIVEAWAY COMPETITION
See you back here tomorrow,
Portia xx

Photo Stolen notablescents