Regé-Jean Page Thinks Rain Smells Like Home

The new face of Armani Code Parfum is aware this is a very British statement.

Rege-Jean Page x Armani
Photo: Getty Images/InStyle

Bridgerton fans have Armani to thank for the mini cast reunion at its Men's Spring 2023 show in Milan last month — and Regé-Jean Page's latest role. The Duke of Hastings and Lord Bridgerton (Jonathan Bailey) reunited in the front row, with Page attending on official duty as the new face of Armani's Code Parfum.

Page admits he never thought fragrance "could be this inspiring," but the Armani team's elevator pitch on Code Parfum made him think otherwise. Now, he thinks of fragrance as an abstract painting: the notes are like the shapes and colors, evoking different memories, moods, and emotions specific to whoever is wearing it.

"It excites me that this fragrance doesn't have a particular mood," Page tells InStyle over Zoom. "It's dense. It's not just strong or moody. It's a combination of all of these different facets that make up the whole of a person rather than a piece of them."

The fragrance is a fresh take on the original Armani Code, which debuted in 2004. According to Armani, the new Code Parfum "connects with the contemporary man" who rewrites the codes of masculinity in order to move forward. The "strong yet sensitive scent" includes notes of vert de bergamote, bergamot heart, clary sage heart, iris, cedar wood heart, and tonka bean absolute. It comes in a rounded-square shape black bottle with a refill option.

"We talked about how and why Armani was rewriting the scent to make it more complex and sophisticated," Page says, "And the concept that Code isn't necessarily aimed at just men. It has a masculinity to it, but absolutely anyone can wear it and utilize it to express themselves."

Read on to find out the role scent plays in Page's daily life, from wearing Code to the Met Gala to the smell that makes him feel most at home.

What stands out to you about Armani Code?

I enjoy that it encapsulates a bunch of different feelings, and they are unlocked in different circumstances or at different times of the day. So I feel refreshed where there's kind of citrusy brightness that it has at the top, and it's very exciting and enlightening. But I also enjoy how very quickly it then pulls you into this slightly dark, rolling mystery along the bottom, which is this other side of the intensity, which I think is the musk in the tonka bean. And then somewhere dancing in the middle of that is this complex sophistication that we're talking about, where you get the kind of florals. You get iris. You get the vanilla. You get sage, and there's this natural woodiness in those kind of sage and sandalwood notes.

How do you like wearing it?

It comes out in different contexts, the same way the different parts of myself come out in different contexts of wearing things. From wearing Code to the dive bar, to the beach, to the Met Gala. I've done all three of those things – and it wears differently for each one.

Rege-Jean Page Is the Face of Armani Code Parfum
Damon Baker/Armani Beauty

That's also reflective of how fragrance evokes different moods and memories from person to person.

Highly different. And then when you meet that person, you go somewhere new to both of you when you talk about where you've gone, you know? And then the movement, isn't just personal. It's interpersonal, which is very exciting.

How does scent play a part in preparing for your roles or remind you of filming specific projects?

I don't consciously use scent very often in character building. If I happen to find a scent that works for a character, then that's a fun vocation. But what I do find is that the environments in which we work, in which those characters live, particularly if you're shooting on location, can be very evocative. I still remember the smell of a lot of Baton Rouge [where Roots filmed], beyond any weather. And that was hugely obvious, because we were outdoors a lot. It was hot. It was humid.

What scents bring you the comfort of home or instantly ground you?

I've been told this is a very British answer. I like the smell of rain because it reminds me of multiple places. It rains everywhere, but it just rains differently. The smell of rain in London is the smell of people on the bus with wet coats warming up; it's people on the tube. Whereas the smell of rain in New York is very multi-faceted. And then the smell of rain in California is very different because it's also so rare. And the way that it evaporates off the sidewalk or off of the earth is very different, and it releases a bunch of other scents. So I find rain to be a really fascinating one because it's constant in and of itself, but it means different things and has different grace notes in different environments.

VIDEO: Regé-Jean Page Compared "Bridgerton" to a McDonald's Happy Meal

Food is another very personal, yet polarizing, smell. What food scent do you find irresistible?

Not so much because my favorite foods generally are sushi-based. And so if you're doing it right, it shouldn't have a particularly strong scent. But the subtleness and the cleanliness of that I find quite appealing. So I guess the inverse of that is that I'm not drawn to very, very strong-smelling food.

Moving on to humans, what scent do you like smelling on others?

There aren't any specific notes that I think draw me to people. For me, it's bit like when people are comfortable in their outfit. I think when someone feels comfortable in this scent and in front of other people. That's a very abstract idea, but I get a very specific feeling when someone's scent is comfortable.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Armani Code Parfum will be available September 1 exclusively in Macy's stores and online at macys.com, and then October 1 at all other Armani Beauty retailers.

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