Arquiste: Parfums du Passé

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Ever longed for a time machine? Niche perfumer Arquiste is giving you one in the form of a perfume bottle.

Founded by fragrance developer Carlos Huber in 2011, Arquiste is in the business of creating scents that allow wearers to step into the past. Through painstaking research, each individual perfume (of which there are nine so far) is meant to evoke the aesthetic of a specific moment in history. These settings vary widely, from an ancient Aztec village in August of 1400 (the backstory behind Flor y Canto) to a smoky London club in the 1930s (the inspiration behind The Architects Club). Likewise, the scents themselves appeal to all tastes, ranging form warm and leather-infused to crisp and citrusy. 

Although Huber and his company have spent the past three years below the radar, they were thrust into the spotlight this month following a collaboration with J.Crew. The company assisted the cult specialty retailer in the development of its two debut fragrances: No. 31 and No. 57. The dup are both inspired by a storied January, 1943 cocktail party hosted by art maven Peggy Guggenheim in Manhattan. No. 57 is the muskier of the pair, infused with hints of aged whisky and cinnamon to create an “abstract, mysterious” vibe, while No. 31 is lighter, more “sparkling and radiant”.


With a unique concept, nine fragrances released in just three years and a high-profile collaboration underway, there is no doubt that Arquiste is going places, meaning there is no better time to snatch up your scent of choice. I know I’m eyeing 17th-century-France-inspired Fleur de Louis myself. Whatever are they to come up with next? Only time will tell.


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