How many times have you been caught up in a fragrance description only to sniff your wrists and smell utterly average fruit punch? Lines like, "It smells manly, like Jon Snow" or "Notes include Matthew McConaughey's bitter tears because you won't return his calls" are not uncommon.
It’s pretty much a perfume cliché at this point: frenzied, over-promising marketing with almost no connection to the scent itself. That’s why I'm thrilled about the latest from Arquiste, The Architects Club.
It's been a long time since I’ve smelled a perfume with notes that actually match its inspiration, which, in this case, is the 1929 Art Deco renovation of London's iconic Claridge's hotel.
Every aspect of The Architects Club paints a Gatsby-esque portrait of glamour and luxury. The bright burst of citrus it opens with is the lemon slice in your cocktail; the tobacco is the air thick with cigar smoke; the leather is the weathered couch where powerful men sit whispering; and beneath it all is a base of smooth vanilla.
Still, with all of those heavy-hitting notes, The Architects Club is a quiet scent, like a low, late-night conversation at the Claridge's bar. And the characteristic Arquiste transparency makes it a decidedly unisex fragrance, even with the vanilla.
If you're wondering about the name, consider that dishy Arquiste founder Carlos Huber was an architecture graduate of Columbia University. A spritz of his new concoction is like being granted entrance to a old boys' club, hence the name. So there’s something a little subversive about a woman wearing The Architects Club. It’s not like Architects Clubs had female members back in 1929.
I used to work at a perfume shop where Mr. Huber, who was always crazy-gracious and exquisitely dressed, visited a few times a month. I'd wanted to tell him how much I admired his line, but never did for fear he'd ask me which of his babies was my favorite. Truth be told, all of his elegant, understated florals and citruses never really resonated with my major perfume sweet tooth. But between The Architects Club and the excellent new Arquiste for J.Crew scents, I have a much better answer for him now.
Are you an Arquiste fan? What scents take you back to the Roaring Twenties?