And more on his favorite fragrances and deepest hair regrets.
Got a question about men’s cologne? Need a recommendation on the best tea to keep in your cupboard? In a dreams come true scenario, believe it or not, Theo James is your man. Well, at least that’s what we learned when we interviewed the actor about his latest gig as the face of Hugo Boss’s latest fragrance, The Scent Intense, a compilation of rich notes like cardamom, ginger, vanilla, and Maninka fruit. From his very first signature scent to his biggest hair regret, here’s your official peek into his secret grooming routine.
What was your very first cologne was and how did you discover it?
My very first cologne was Eau de Hunk. No, I’m kidding. My very first cologne when I was about 13 was something called Red Spice, and it was a cheap thing that teenagers got. I felt very proud of it because of how tough and masculine it smelled. Then, my first fragrance was actually Huge Boss Bottled because I found it—someone had left it behind. I was very broke at the time, and I found it at a hostel when I was traveling when I was about 18, so that’s my proud first real fragrance.
What’s one female fragrance, or fragrance notes, you think smells amazing?
Sometimes female fragrances have a note of fruit with some leather so you have a kind of mix of sweetness and feminine of the fruit, but then you have something a bit more solid and earthy underneath it, so it’s broader. It’s not just a flowery fragrance. Something of a bit more depth.
I’ve actually been experimenting and wearing men’s cologne too, so I’ve been stealing some of that.
Recently I’ve noticed that they [women] like to wear men’s fragrances because I guess with their skin it doesn’t smell as masculine, so they kind of like the earthier tones.
For sure. What’s one major fragrance mistake that you think guys make?
I would say wearing too much, for one. Wearing it all the time, and wearing it in the morning. I think fragrance should be reserved slightly more special events. Especially if it’s a relatively rich fragrance, you should wear it in the evening. Only wear a little on your neck, on your wrists, and don’t wear it in the morning because there’s something strange about a strong smelling odor at 9 AM in the morning.
How do you apply your fragrance then?
I usually spray it on my neck… and in my mouth… and then behind my ears. No, [laughs], I’m pretty old school. The old school thing is dab on your wrists and a bit on your neck, because if you go too deep, you smell like you should be wearing a leather jacket.
If you could smell one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
This is a random answer, but it’s true. It would be cucumber because I love the freshness of it. I think it’s very clean and refreshing. If it was a drink, it would be tea. I’m obsessed with the smell of tea. I have a tea cupboard at home and every time you open it you kind of get this wash of a mix of different leaves.
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A lot of guys say they regret the frosted tip trend that they took part in the late 90s. Do you have a hair moment that you particularly regret?
I have many hair moments that I particularly regret, including my hair right now. No [laughs], but I think my main regret would be the curly, floppy center-parting I had at a similar time. I never went with frosted tips, but I went with the really goofy, dorky center-parting I didn’t get rid of for years. The thicker my hair got, I looked like some Greek guy advertising McDonalds with their haircut—McDonalds with the M.