For their debut fragrance release, the Proenza Schouler boys have chosen the state of Arizona as their muse, following in the footsteps of the countless artists, writers and film makers who have all gravitated towards its sublime natural beauty. Most of us know it as home to the Grand Canyon, but here Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez offer a dream-like journey into the Sonoran Desert, a place of total escape and surreal, otherworldly landscapes, captured through their Tyrone Lebon-shot campaign. But what does it all smell like? Without having actually caught a whiff of this sweet nectar ourselves, we can report that floral notes are key- a synergy in fact, of orris root, a kind of concentrated root juice that’s worth three and half times the price of gold, and the Torch Cactus blossom, a once-in-a-year phenomenon that here makes its fragrance debut thanks to a new technology that captures the scent without harming nature.
Old and new, innovation and tradition are intentionally brought together, not only to illustrate that Proenza is a brand of evolving energy and contrast, but just as with the symbiotic partnership between Jack and Lazaro, Arizona is the culmination of a melding of minds and differing approaches. This time however, it is the joint talents of Carlos Benaim and Loc Dong, both master perfumers with divergent backgrounds, training and cultural influences, who pooled their knowledge to create the unique scent of Arizona.
“We wanted the campaign to communicate the somewhat psychedelic and mind-bending feeling of escaping your everyday surroundings…to find something deeper, a kind of spiritual and intellectual reawakening” said the pair of the campaign. I once saw Bear Grylls try and escape the Sonoran desert – he urinated all over his t-shirt and wrapped it round his head, but I don’t think that’s the kind of escape they’re referring to. Instead, we think they’re talking about the architectural rock formations, sculpted by wind over the course of a gazillion years and the inspiration behind the asymmetric Arizona bottle, the plummeting ravines and the indigenous flora, the energy, liberation and unbridled freedom that are such a part of this incredible landscape. I’d love to smell like all of those things. And speaking of sculpted perfection, here’s Vittoria Cerreti, the face of the campaign and star of the below film.