Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez have named their first Proenza Schouler perfume Arizona. That’s not where they hail from (Hernandez is from Miami, McCollough born in Tokyo but raised in New Jersey), but weirdly the sheer American-ness of the name is expressive of the identity of their label, now entering its 16th year. The idea of Arizona – the open Wild West, an abstract idea of America – translates well to their debut fragrance offering, aimed at people who may have never heard of Proenza (as the label is often abbreviated), and need to understand the brand’s values at first sniff. All this is distilled in a sweet, light fragrance based on duality, which echoes the partnership (professional and personal) of McCollough and Hernandez. The twin key notes are orris – the headily floral fragrant rootstock of an iris which smells a little like parma violet – and the blossom of the torch cactus, which blooms once a year in Arizona state’s Sonoran desert. Right about where the fragrance campaign was photographed, incidentally. “It’s the sense of the outdoors, of unexplored nature, of a kind of universal energy,” say the design duo, of the name, the concept and the final fragrance itself. “Reconnecting to things that matter most feels both extremely personal and universal. In today’s world, this feeling of wanting to connect to something more real feels right to us.”
Photographic assistant: Johnny Knapp. Production: Webber. Special thanks: Erik Norden at New York City Brewing Company and Antonio Pizzichino.