REAL COUPLES is a series where we highlight our inspirational married friends and share their stories with you.
We’ve known Jose for a few years now, and in that time, we’ve come to learn that he truly is a free spirit who fully embraces the adventure of life. His passion for nature, travel, and the power of scent led him to co-found Abbott, an NYC-based fragrance company. His lovely wife, Brooke, is charismatic and hysterical, lighting up every room she walks into. She also has a deep love for travel and never fails to entertain. She had us laughing throughout the entire interview inside their breathtaking Brooklyn loft.
How did you guys meet?
Brooke: We met while we were both working in finance. We had been kind of friends for a long time, but I always thought he was really attractive. Jose used to come by my row at work and say in his loud and rambunctious voice, “GOOD MORNING BROOKE,” and I would burst into the most red, red cheeks.
Jose: She would get so blushed -- we would both just give each other a hard time. She told me she had a crush on another guy in the office to make me jealous. She was playing chess while I was playing checkers.
So you guys just got married. Congrats, and welcome back from your very extended honeymoon. How was the wedding?!
Brooke: So many people who got married before me told me to try and take a couple of moments throughout the night to just take it in; the night just flew by. We picked a barn upstate, so you have to bring in everything, every fork, every piece of furniture. You have free reign, but it’s also a lot of work. To pick out every detail for a year and to see it come together for a night was amazing.
Jose: It had actually been raining pretty hard the entire time leading up to it. Then as we’re driving to the rehearsal dinner, it just suddenly cleared up into beautiful, sunny blue skies. As soon as the rehearsal dinner ended, it started pouring again. It was super gray out on the morning of the wedding, but while we were on the bus on the way to the barn, it suddenly became beautiful again. The whole day just turned out to be perfect weather wise; it was crazy.
Brooke: The reception was just insane! We pulled in different elements of his Nicaraguan and my Jewish backgrounds. We had a 12 piece Latin band playing while we did the Horah. Jose’s mom gave a 15 minute toast, and it was waterworks the entire time.
From pictures it looks like your honeymoon was amazing. Give us the scoop!
Jose: We started in Ubud in Bali. I had been to Bali before, but Bali is very special and I wanted to go there with Brooke right after we got married. It’s an extremely spiritual place in Indonesia with many Hindu temples. As soon as you get off the plane, you notice that Bali has a very particular scent -- like clove, and sweetness, but has the salt of the air and the humidity of the beach, which is right there.
Brooke: We then went to Sumba Island in Indonesia. It’s one of the most remote islands, and it was beautiful to just be in complete nature for a week. After that we went to Tokyo, where we explored the different neighborhoods and ate all kinds of delicious food. It was amazing to see how meticulous they are about everything, with such integrity to quality.
Let’s keep talking about your travels! Besides your honeymoon, what was the best trip you guys have taken together?
Jose: One reason I fell in love with Brooke was that she came to Nicaragua with me. Nicaragua is a beautiful place, but it’s also raw and kind of in your face. Brooke fell in love not only with the country, but also with its people, the culture, and the food. It was very nice to know my girlfriend from Long Island loved my country.
Tell me about your fragrance company, Abbott.
Jose: Abbott is an NYC fragrance house that draws its inspiration from travel and nature. Each scent is inspired by a different location that is naturally beautiful. I really believe in the power that scent has to bring you into the present moment. Travel and scent both allow you to be suddenly aware of the small things, paying attention and taking in things that you normally wouldn’t. Scent also has the power to slow things down for you, forcing you to focus on the details and enjoy what’s important.
OK, now we need the Brooke and Jose guide to Brooklyn.
Favorite casual date spot?
Jose: La Superior for the best tacos.
Favorite fancy date spot?
Brooke: Bistro Petit. It’s run by this Korean guy who’s cool and super nice. Basically every day he shops for the ingredients and only accommodates 8 people at a time.
Favorite neighborhoods and why?
Brooke: Fort Greene for the food and tree-lined streets. It almost reminds me of the West Village. Greenpoint has a chill vibe with lots of Polish influence, and of course we love South Williamsburg where we live.
Best low-key locals spot?
Favorite place to go when you need a weekend away from the city?
Jose: We like to go upstate to Deer Mountain Inn in Tannersville.
Favorite place to go out when you’re with the girls?
Brooke: Downstairs at Acme. We go and get lit.
Favorite place to go out when you’re with the boys?
Jose: The garden at Anella.
Describe each of your perfect days in Brooklyn.
Brooke: The perfect day in Brooklyn is waking up, going to Devocion for coffee, then going to Sprout and picking up flowers for the house. Making breakfast in the morning and then going to yoga in the afternoon, with a really nice dinner out with my husband.
Jose: Wake up, skateboard to get coffee at Devocion. Do some yoga before having breakfast at Egg. Ride a bike around, go to Domino Park before catching a movie at Nitehawk.