41 10 Questions: Carlos Huber

Photo: Kevin Tachman

Carlos Huber’s background is in architectural design; he studied and applied his skills in his hometown of Mexico City before transplanting to New York City. He’s inspired by historical elements—from the Palace of Versailles to the works of Theodore Gericault—both of which have been incorporated into his design sensibility. Most recently, he launched Arquiste, a line of perfumes inspired by those same historical notions (he’s crafted them to “transport you to another place and time”), and an e-commerce site where you are able to purchase those fragrances. Here, he fills us in on his recent dreams about Spain, eating too much at dinner, and why living with his partner Nate Berkus makes for one crafty home.

ELLE: What is your favorite smell?
CH: It’s between a freshly plucked gardenia and the coolness of a fresh tuberose.

ELLE: What do you consider the epitome of happiness?
CH: The joy in my work, the calm in my loved-one’s eyes, and the laughter in my family.

ELLE: How do you define luxury?
CH: Luxury for me is the feeling of well-being created by the combination of beauty, quality, and value.

ELLE: What is the last dream you remember?
CH: I was visiting my friends in Spain, and the place had completely changed. I remember picturing a building in Barcelona that I knew very well. I remember concentrating on what it looked like in my dream and then comparing the structure to what it used to look like.

ELLE: What’s your favorite childhood memory?
CH: It’s tough to pick one. There are really fun, quirky memories of trips with friends and cousins, but I will never forget my first trip to Europe with my family. It was the most exciting trip, and there were a lot of firsts during that trip. It was my first time in the Red Light District in Amsterdam (kind of embarrassing to be there with your parents), my first visit to the palace of Versailles, and my first white chocolate covered Magnum ice cream bar.

ELLE: What’s the last book you read and loved?
CH: The Nazi Officer’s Wife: How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust by Edith Hahn Beer. It’s a fascinating story about how some people managed to survive the war under false identities.

ELLE: Describe your home’s aesthetic.
CH: It is full of lots of vintage furniture, books, and antique objects, but it is all put together in a very modern way. I have the great chance of living with someone who is really one of the most creative people I’ve met, and luckily we both love working on the house.

ELLE: What are your vices?
CH: I should probably eat less during dinner. I have a tendency to eat with my eyes and want to order everything in a menu. I end up leaving with a lot of leftovers.

ELLE: Describe yourself in five words or less.
CH: Positive, inquisitive, practical, loyal, and warm.

ELLE: What possession will you never throw away?
CH: There are some really dear photographs of family and friends that I have always close to me; my dad’s old leather gloves; the books I got as a present on my 30th birthday; my first kid watch (it has Schroeder, the piano-playing character from Peanuts on its face), as well as my first grown-up watch.

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