Johnny Depp has secretly had a scent designed for each of his film characters for the last 12 years.
The ‘Edward Scissorhands’ actor, 60, has just had his contract as the face of Dior’s Sauvage fragrance renewed for a reported $20 million, and has revealed he has been obsessed with the “meaning” behind smells for years.
He told the South China Morning Post when asked if smell and fragrance helps him get into character on set: “Absolutely! I have a friend who’s made fragrances for me for various characters for years and years.
“It probably started about 10 to 12 years ago or something. It works because the character now has his own scent, his own something that I can use as a sensorial device, really.
“Sometimes you pick up a fragrance and you smell your mum’s cologne or perfume.
“That obviously brings up a memory, and you’re directly somewhere else. “Instead of using all of your senses to help you travel to a place, you can relive these moments simply by scent, by smell. It’s like travelling in a more honest and organic way.”
Johnny was last week seen in his latest Dior Sauvage ad, called ‘The Call of the Blazing Sun’.
He talks about eagles, the sky, dry wood and cold wind in the promo, murmuring: “Bold and powerful, in his essence, his truth, embodies the soul of Sauvage.”
Johnny also told the South China Morning Post he loved the “solitude” of the Dior ads, which see him playing an electric guitar in the wilderness.
He added: “There’s a sense of solitude, but not a lonely solitude. It’s a kind of Zen-like solitude that I feel in those little films.
“You do not quite understand the reason behind certain things, but it makes perfect sense if you just accept what is happening – like the wolves (in the 2021 Sauvage campaign) for instance. That was magic, I thought.”
Johnny has been the face of Sauvage since 2015 and in May it was reported he was being kept on in the role after apparently signing a three-year contract for more than $20 million.
Variety said he was paid nearly twice what Robert Pattinson, 37, earned as a spokesperson for Dior Homme, and more than the $7 million Brad Pitt, 59, is said to have banked to promote Chanel No. 5.
A source told the publication: “Most A-listers with fragrance deals pull in around $2 million-$4 million per year like Chris Pine, whose deal with Armani is valued at $4 million a year over three years.”