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

Anima Dulcis and Fleur de Louis by Arquiste from Carlos Huber

Hiya Gang,

I have a special treat for you all today, a hunka-hunka burning love. A few weeks ago I wrote about Aleksandr by Arquiste for Perfume Posse and I thought we could look at a couple of Arquiste’s other fragrances today, the next paragraph is taken from the Posse expose.

Photo Stolen thenateshow

This is Carlos Huber, New York based, four language fluent, Mexican born architect and avant-garde preservationist, who was lucky enough to do his final study with architect and artist Jorge Otero-Pailos at Columbia where he graduated with honors in Historic Preservation, and now works all over the world fusing old and new in such amazingly braggable places as creating Ralph Lauren stores signature look in historically significant sites to restoring old Venetian Palazzos. Not just uber yummy but clearly clever, likeable and driven too.

The idea behind the Arquiste line is to recreate a moment in time with each perfume, much like Parfum d’Empire, but more a snapshot than a movie, a day rather than an era. It is an interesting idea and ties nicely with Carlos architectural work and need to know everything about his historical contexts. Carlos sees himself as a curator rather than perfumer, much like Frederic Malle, and works with perfumers/noses Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Yann Vasnier. He is like a ridiculously gorgeous, buff, manscaped, adorable, nerd or geek. Very endearing. His partner Nate Berkus is a TV design expert (hosting The Nate Show), New York Times best-selling author and regular contributor to The Oprah Show. This is a power couple if ever there was one.

Photo Stolen guestofaguest

I have stolen some of Carlos Huber’s interview with Marni Golden from TheNateShow

Marni Golden: What was that journey like for you – from conception to inception?
CH: To turn an experimental project like this into a full-fledged product is a long, rocky process that requires a lot of fine-tuning. And I call it a ‘product’ with the utmost respect, because the work that goes into a piece of work that you can share, trust and be proud of is huge. I’ve learned a lot and I can’t wait for what comes next.

MG: What makes Arquiste stand out amongst the very competitive and populated fragrance marketplace?
CH: I wanted to share something that has depth, fantasy and authenticity. To connect with the past, with history and to infuse our life with a real dose of poetry. The fragrances are incredible wearable, and modern, but retain a classical thread to them. I believe in them as masterpieces….

Photo Stolen retrovintagemodstyle

The two fragrances I have chosen to write about today are the two that Carlos himself wears most regularly, as day and night scents, according to the Marni Golden interview. If he loves them so much then we should probably investigate too.

ANIMA DULCIS: November 1695 Mexico City, we are to be transported to a nunnery where they make chili chocolate, for centuries. Well these nuns are a horny bunch, ripe, slightly aroused and lactating. This is chocolate but for the dirty bitch in us all. Yes, it starts out all sweet and gourmand but the problem is when you smell good enough to eat, someone will. He he. The main accords we are supposed to be smelling according to the blurb are Cocoa Absolute, Mexican Vanilla, Cinnamon, Chili infusion. They have kept it streamlined and simple on paper but it is anything but. The cocoa is deliciously bitter, almost burned, the vanilla is clean, fleshy and sensual like privates the day after a wax, the cinnamon and chili sizzle and the dry down is hot, healthy, sweaty humanity in a cup cakery. 4-5 hours is a lovely long wear time before it becomes skin scent and stays for a while longer lost to me but smellable by TSO Jin.

FLEUR de LOUIS: June 1660, Isle of Pheasants, Basque region, on the French-Spanish border. This must be meant to represent only Louis XIV’s side of the meeting between himself and his Spanish child bride Maria Theresa because I smell nothing childlike or innocent in this fragrance. The note list here is again brief, Orange Flower, Florentine iris, Jasmine, and White Cedar.  It is a beautiful white glamour floral given depth and dignity by its iris, which is a slightly bitter backnote along with its powdery dryness floating above and through all. The woods are slightly sharp too at the beginning of this story, like they have just been cut green and hastily erected but they soften and warm as the fragrance ages and blends with your chemistry. Fleur de Louis reminds me of something I smelled recently but can’t put a name or place to, it is familiar yet not. I swear there is some kind of citrus going on here, bright and popping in and out. Somewhere after 4 hours I have lost Fleur de Louis but it was a lovely ride, warm and cool all along. I understand why this is Carlos Huber’s day scent, it will fit all moods and (except for the absolutely repulsed by perfume people) would still be a perfectly acceptable office wear fragrance. This is my current favourite of the line so far but I still have 3 to fully review.
PS I wore Fleur de Louis for the whole day today and it lasted beautifully, there are some moments at the 5-6 hour point where I get a distinct powder puff and oil stick foundation from the 60’s that came upon me by surprise, it doesn’t last and just hits peaks, then runs to dry down at about 8 hours. Serious longevity.

Photo of Carlos Huber & Roja Dove from RojaDove

As you can see, even the power people of perfume are getting right behind the newest luxury fragrance line, Arquiste. When I did the Perfume Posse post Carlos sent me a tweet saying he was tickled that we’d written about him. It’s this kind of thoughtfulness that I hope will take the Arquiste line far and wide. Good product, reasonably priced, beautifully presented & packaged and a delicious hubba hubba of a man out the front.

You can purchase these 55ml fragrances direct from Arquiste, Anima Dulcis is $165, Fleur de Louis $175
I ordered a SurrenderToChance sampler pack of all 6 Arquiste fragrances where they start from .5ml for $29

Here’s one more photo of Carlos, just for gratuitous ogling pleasure.

Photo Stolen haroldluxuryformen

Thanks for coming along this lovely fragrant road with me today,
Have you tried the Arquiste range? Do you have a favourite? Maybe there’s another hunky perfumer out there you’d like to see more of?
Drop us a line here at APJ and we’ll see what we can do for you,
Till tomorrow,
Portia xx

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