Some of our newest products in our A.OK boutique are coming from Archer Men. The line of room sprays has caught the attention of our customers and our team alike. The interesting scents made me want to inquire further about the inspiration behind them, and the people behind them. Archer room sprays are available in both stores, and online.


Interview by Mellany Sanchez

Who started this company? When?: John Bleeden, Todd Durston and Berk Wasserman. We started the company in Spring of 2012 and started delivering product to store in late August 2012.

Where are you now based out of? Where are you guys from?: Based out of Chicago and pretty much all from here. (we’ve all been here for over 10 years) That said, John is the only true Chicagoan. I (Berk) grew up in Kansas City, and Todd was more of a nomad living pretty much everywhere you’ve ever heard of, and some you probably haven’t. Like weird parts of Cleveland.

Where do you get the inspiration for some of your scents from… specific kind of men? Nostalgia? Manly moments?: We get our inspirations from masculine places, masculine activities and the masculine men that participate in said masculinity. When concepting for Hunting Lodge there’s of course the scent inspirations of damp timber and gun powder, but there’s also the man inside that lodge. He could be your badass uncle who knows the land like an old Apache tracker or a spy who has found refuge there with a super hot Siberian girl. Either way, we like to  build to a heightened and ultra aspirational level of masculinity. Per nostalgia, definitely playing with that here. Though our product design is modern, many guys see that  industrial can and it takes them back to their grandpa’s garage or work shop. Which is a pretty epic place to go back to. And the sense of smell also seems to evoke memories better than any of the other senses. So from design to the actual experience of smelling it, nostalgia is big for us. AND to pile on nostalgia, we just completed some of our first advertising expressions that play with the idea of nostalgia by taking inspiration from 1960s Bond posters. Manly and retro, but totally timeless.

Not a lot of other masculine geared products in this category, is that exciting?: Totally exciting. That’s one of the main reasons we created Archer. We feel there’s a big opportunity to create masculine products in the home products category as a whole. Launching a dish soap and a hand soap in the next 6 months that are rooted in masculine concepts.

…Difficult? It is difficult. There’s a lot of “what?” in some of our initial conversations, but once people see the product and experience it, they usually love it.
What are your male inspirations – male figures famous or personal?: Sean Connery, Tom Selleck, Bruce Lee, Apollo Creed, etc. Essentially any man that exudes an level of epic masculinity, while not becoming a joke.
If there was a specific moment you could can and sell as a scent what would that be?: There are millions of moments. It’s almost too hard to pick just one. We’re currently exploring several we’re excited about. Some of the concepts are inspired by places, such as Surf Shack and Ranger Station, and others are inspired more by a time or feeling. The term aprés ski is a French term for relaxing in a ski lodge after a day on the slopes with cocktails and dancing. We don’t even really ski, but damn if that doesn’t seem like an awesome place to go and try and recreate. There’s tons of things like this. That’s what fun about it.
Whats the future of Archer Men? Expanding the line, or focusing on room sprays for the long run?: Per my note earlier, branching into more home products, and hope to have two new fragrances out in the next few months.