Fashion label J. Crew have partnered with niche perfume brand Arquiste to release their two first fragrances No. 31 and No. 57, which are inspired by a common taste for story-telling...
What Arquiste brings to the mix are their more historical leanings as brand founder Carlos Huber likes to isolate a place, time and event to recreate a nexus of meaning into bottled perfume form.
What is a bit unusual is that J. Crew felt this more laser-focused aspect on fragrance narrative could fit well within their much more mainstream universe. Perfumes made for a larger market are usually vaguer so as to leave room for a more encompassing sense of identification from potential customers.
Culturally speaking however, it means that niche fragrance brands have gained enough credentials that they can influence the mainstream by being perceived as authorities on the topic, as well as business models.
Both perfumes are inspired by a feminist landmark, "the Jan. 5, 1943, opening of "Exhibition by 31 Women," the first all-female modern art show in the U.S., curated by Peggy Guggenheim and displayed at her Art of This Century Gallery on East 57th Street in New York." Artists like Frida Kahlo and Helen Frankenthaler were showcased then.
The decor which was all-wood, with oak chairs, and the Manhattans, negronis, and gin-and-tonics cocktails served that day, which have been researched to be era-compliant, serve as the two main sources of olfactory inspiration for this interpretation in two times co-signed by perfumers Rodrigo Flores-Roux and Yann Vasnier of Givaudan.
No. 57 features notes of aged whiskey, cinnamon bark, labdanum and vanilla which "are meant to reflect the warmth, wood and amber glow in Guggenheim's gallery. "No. 57 is abstract, mysterious, enveloping and feels layered," said Huber."
"The red vermouth, eau-de-vie accord, Bulgarian rose, and damson plum in No. 31 attempts to capture the excitement of the crowd and essence of the cocktails."
Prices: No. 31 and No. 57 are $78 and $25 each for 50 ml and 10 ml