We Tried It
proenza schouler arizona

This Is What Proenza Schouler’s First Fragrance Actually Smells Like

According to 6 of our editors.

By: Hannah Baxter

Rumors of cool-girl favorite Proenza Schouler’s first fragrance have been swirling throughout the fashion industry for years, and now the eau de parfum, named Arizona, has finally arrived. Inspired by the designer’s post-fashion-week trip through the American Southwest, the debut scent is the result of two and a half years of planning and testing, all to encapsulate the spirit, beauty, and mystery of the desert landscape. Two notes dominate the blend: a rich orris (aka iris flower root) and blooming white cactus flower, in hopes to invoke the wearer’s own adventurous “Arizona state of mind.” As Jack McCollough said to Vogue, “When we finally embraced that feeling, to properly unplug and get back in touch with ourselves in some way, it just felt like the ultimate luxury. We wanted to bring that into this project.” The fragrance is available February 10th exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Want our take? We got our hands on the stunning, hewn glass bottle and eagerly passed it around the office to test. Below, our thoughts.

Meg Gegler, Audience Development Coordinator: Having grown up in Arizona, I have very distinct memories of the smell there. The closest thing that I can describe it as is petrichor: the smell after it rains. Although I was expecting a similar scent with Arizona, it did not smell like my post-rain desert memories. However, my co-workers described this scent as “very Meg”—subtle, yet powerful! I am actually a huge fan of this and would totally test it out for longer.

Monique Kamargo, Photo Producer: This scent is one of my new favorites. It’s light, refreshing, and smells like an orange Popsicle, but not in an overly sweet kind of way. I’ve never been to Arizona, but if it smells anything like this, I’ll be there ASAP.

Brooke Bunce, Social Media Manager: New York has invaded my taste in fragrance, and now there’s no going back. In a different life, I’d wear Arizona while cruising the cliffs of Big Sur in my baby blue vintage BMW. But in my current reality, I prefer something muskier and heavier, with a bit more mystery. That said, I would definitely pack this scent in my suitcase on a trip out West; it’s light, feminine, crisp, and smells like you’re frolicking in a field of just-ripe orange trees, salty sea breeze included.

Ivanna Martinez, Social Media Intern: I’m a fan of anything cactus flower! I feel like it’s having a moment right now, and this scent is giving it a good rep. I would say this perfume sort of embodies that of a cactus flower—a beautiful scent with a needle-like tingle. It’s softened smell makes the fragrance feminine while also allowing it to have some earthy, organic undertones. I spritzed some on my wrist, and it instantly took me to a dreamy desert vacation. Cabo, anyone?!

Hannah Baxter, Assistant Editor: It’s tough to create a floral fragrance that doesn’t read overly girly, but the warmth and sensuality of Arizona really grounds it. Out of the bottle, the top notes are a bit sweet for my taste, but after it settles, the scent is surprisingly soft and tangy. It reminds me of embracing a girlfriend I haven’t seen for a long time and breathing in her signature scent. It’s a fresh approach to femininity, and the longer I wear it, the more I enjoy it.

Katie Becker, Beauty Director: The coolest thing about this fragrance is the Southwestern canyon-inspired curves of the bottle. I just came back from a trip to see Antelope Canyon in Arizona last week, so I felt like this launch was a very happy coincidence just for me! The fragrance inside is both sweet and botanically fresh at the same time, and dries down to a similar balanced effect.

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