Make mine black you little monster. Only Lady Gaga could…
By Marilisa Racco
You know that feeling you get when you open a J.Crew catalogue? Like you want to jump into the pages, envelop yourself in an oversized cashmere cardigan and wrap your arms around a hunk with perfect five o’clock shadow while beaming a Colgate-approved smile into the camera? Yeah, that’s probably not going to happen. But you can spray on one of the brand’s new fragrances, created in collaboration with Arquiste, and smell like the dream, even if you can’t live it.
Arquiste for J.Crew No. 57 and Arquiste for J.Crew No. 31 mark the first fragrances for the preppy-chic brand, and draw from a moment in time when change and revolution hung in the air with the same headiness as cigarette smoke. The fragrances are inspired by Peggy Guggenheim’s trail-blazing Exhibition by 31 Women, America’s first all-female art show in New York in 1943, that featured works by artists like Frida Kahlo, Lee Krasner and Helen Frankenthaler, and marked a pivotal moment in the modern art world.
Master perfumer Carlos Huber and J.Crew creative director Jenna Lyons zeroed in on what they imagined the atmosphere smelled like on the opening night party of the exhibit — specifically booze and moneyed women — for two fragrances that represent a moment in history.
No. 57 is a unisex fragrance with notes of aged whiskey, cedar wood, oak wood, cinnamon bark, labdanum and vanilla bean; while No. 31 reveals bold notes of red vermouth, eau-de-vie accord, Bulgarian rose, patchouli, damson plum and oak moss. Huber and Arquiste, a nose and company respectively, who are known for creating scents based on a moment in time rather than a particular flower or ingredient, are especially well-suited to this collaboration. Because if there’s one thing that Lyons and J.Crew do well, it’s create a scene that everyone wants to get in on.
Arquiste for J.Crew No. 57 and Arquiste for J.Crew No. 31, $78 each, www.jcrew.com, and at J.Crew stores.
Marilisa Racco is a freelance fashion and beauty writer who contributes regularly to The Globe & Mail, ELLE Canada, FASHION Magazine, Flare, Chatelaine, GLOW, HELLO! Canada and King West Magazine. She’s an unapologetic loyalist, especially when it comes to carbs and her signature scent, Gio by Armani, which she has been stockpiling like a hoarder since it was discontinued many years ago.