‘Never overlook fragrance or worse… confuse it with deodorant!’
Architect, perfumer or just global citizen? It’s clear that Mexico City-born Carlos Huber is anything but ordinary! With a background spanning historic preservation and luxury retail, few could have guessed that combining architecture and perfumery would shape his destiny. But after time spent working with world-renowned noses, Carlos launched his own perfume brand ‘Arquiste’ and he’s been bewitching our olfactory senses ever since. Here at The Grooming Guide, we’re happy Mr Huber stopped by to talk about fragrance, grooming and why in the end looking good means…feeling good!
What’s your first fragrant memory and have you always been interested in scent?
I’ve always been very connected to my nose; the experience of a place, a person, a moment and the scent tied to it is very strong for me. I remember the smell of the grass in my grandparents garden and I also
remember the smell naphthalene inside house – the stiffness of the environment and the old furniture.
What was the inspiration for the name Arquiste and what initiated the launch of your brand?
Arquiste is composed from ARQ- derived from Arquitectura (Spanish for Architecture), and ISTE – from History and Artiste. These concepts form the core of the brand. Sure the brand looks to the past for inspiration, but it remains a firmly contemporary project, rather like the concept of “Restoration” itself! Perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux taught and mentored me for a year and a half. Arquiste came about as a crucible between my career in Historic Preservation, Architecture and Perfumery; the aim is to re-imagine and design an olfactive experience tied to a specific time and place.
Any tips for guys on how should approach buying a new scent?
Always try the fragrance on your skin and don’t shy away from floral! Some flowers actually evoke an animalic facet and some of these raw materials can be incredibly deep and rich on a man’s skin. Also remember that fragrance is an important part of the grooming routine, it finishes things off, don’t ever overlook it or worse …confuse it with deodorant!
A smell you can’t bear….?
A smell you love…?
Fresh Gardenia buds.
Which guys get it right in terms of their grooming?
Men who understand cleanliness and style over trends. The same guys know that looking good is part of feeling good.
Do you think men are getting more confident with wearing fragrance?
I think we are exploring a bit more beyond the traditional men’s fashion or grooming palette. We understand that Eau de Cologne and Eau de Parfum may define levels of concentration but they do not limit gender.
So, you’re going away for a couple of nights, what’s your wash bag?
Toothbrush and paste; Roger & Gallet’s L’Homme Deodorant and Jean Marie Farina Perfumed Soap In Travel Box; and the new ARQUISTE Travel Atomizer Sprays filled with L’Etrog and Anima Dulcis.
Name one product you can’t live without and why?
I love my grooming products, but I would never say I couldn’t live without one. Fragrance is important to me, but basic hygiene is primal.
Bath or shower and with what products?
I’m a fan of the traditional Roger& Gallet soaps and bath products;especially the Jean Marie Farina collection.
How would you define your (grooming) style?
Clean and put together, but always leaving a little scruff to keep it
When are you happiest?
Traveling- exploring an exciting city on a warm, sunny day.
Interview by Nick Cox
Additional Research: A. Georgakopoulou
1. Jean Marie Farina Perfumed Soap, £6.00 for 100g, Available in selected Marks & Spencer stores nationwide
2. Cire Trudon Merida Candle in collaboration with Arquiste, £70 for 300g, Available at Cire Trudon stores
3. Rodrigo Flores-Roux
4. Arquiste L'Etro Travel Set Edition (Eau De Parfum 55ml with Custom Atomizer), $185 Approx. £122, Available at Liberty London
5. Arquiste Perfumes by Carlos Huber
6. Gardenia Flower
7. Roger & Gallet’s L’Homme Deodorant, about £20.00 for 50ml, Available at leading chemists nationwide
8. Naphthalene Balls