The dynamic husband and wife duo, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, talk Cuba memories and eccentric haircuts.
What is your first beauty memory? RT: My first idea of how women are beautiful was the sound of high heels on the cobblestone streets of Cuba. I remember being a kid and falling asleep in Havana and you could hear ‘clip, clap.’ IT: The shape of women. Not beauty, there are so many shapes. I remember all of my sisters. Shape is a beautiful thing.
What is your five-minute routine? IT: Café con leche with my husband.
If you had ten minutes more, what would you do? RT: Nap. I get up very early and do a million things, and then I finally wake up Isabel with a Cuban coffee in bed. IT: I’m a sleeper. I’m not a routine person. RT: Isabel likes to escape routine big time.
What was your biggest beauty blunder? RT: Isabel is a pro. Oh, haircuts! I’ve known her since I was 13. She’s always been the most daring person visually. She would show up to school with the most adventurous asymmetrical haircuts and yellow and charcoal tinted eyes. Just the most incredible things that a 13-year-old ever saw. IT: The Seventies! RT: I wouldn’t call the haircuts blunders though, except one. It wasn’t a blunder but it was so radical. It was high school prom time and Isabel shows up with this Iggy Pop haircut or David Bowie meets Iggy Pop. It was so radical! IT: I was trying to look pretty! RT: It was a statement. She still looked gorgeous. IT: People called me Keith Richards.
When you’re choosing a personal fragrance, what you do look for? RT: Feeling. IT: That it leaves me with mystery. That it doesn’t just smell of one note, but that I feel a difference. RT: Isabel loves textures and layers, so it’s like her clothes. She likes to discover layers little, by little, by little. IT: Kuba Rose really went there. It’s very deep very layered.
What made you decide to venture into fragrance? IT: I wanted address the soul, so I did perfume. RT: You’re with us. That’s the whole idea. IT: We did get personal with it. I wanted it to change. I wanted it to have different moods.
What was the inspiration behind Crystal Honey and Kuba Rose? IT: They exposed me to different notes, and I just reacted. RT: It was more about a feeling. It really had to conjure up memory, and flavor in your mind. RT: Isabel is very aroma rich in her memories. IT: I remember my aunt’s garden, her rose garden. I remember the smell leaving the soil.
What’s your current obsession? IT: Scents. Wanting my scent to really succeed. That’s an obsession to me right now. Kuba and Crystal are the north and the south, the blonde and the brunette, the fresh and the mystery.
What’s currently in your purse? IT: Pockets! RT: I have it! (Chanel lipstick) The gentleman is a bag. After 30 years of being married, you have to earn your keep.
Kuba Rose is available exclusively at Lane Bryant.