MEN’S FASHION: We talk fashion and fragrance with Justin Timberlake

MEN’S FASHION: We talk fashion and fragrance with Justin Timberlake
MEN’S FASHION: We talk fashion and fragrance with Justin Timberlake

By James Grainger

All the world may be a stage, but there are few players with as much panache and multi-genre presence as Justin Timberlake. Actor, musician, fashion insider (with his William Rast line) and Saturday Night Live favourite, Timberlake’s most endearing role may be that of good sport. Aptly, the 31-year-old is the face of Givenchy’s Play fragrance portfolio, which grows this spring with the introduction of the woody, gingery Play Sport.

What makes a good fragrance?
“A scent shouldn’t be like an attack. It’s weird how a strong fragrance homogenizes personality instead of adding to it.  [Play Sport] was attractive to me because it was clean, fresh and unobtrusive. When you get close up, that’s when you should notice a scent.”

What are your first scent memories?
“The smell of an iron skillet with any kind of breakfast meat frying on it. I used to go over to my grandmother’s on the way to school and she’d make me sausage and scrambled eggs, or an egg-and-bacon sandwich. The other one is the smell of fresh-cut grass. My chore was to cut the grass. We had a big yard. It was a three-hour job.”

And your favourite smells now?
 “I love the saltwater smell of the beach. Also pines, because of the mountains. All of my favourite smells now are about the outdoors and exploring.”

Are there any youthful fashion miscues you wish you could take back?
“You’re looking at a guy who has unfortunately had worldwide-documented fashion disasters. Middle school was fine because no one was taking pictures.”

Would you place a certain infamous denim outfit in that category?
“I remember no such outfit, so why should you?”

You and your family recently bought the golf course near your hometown in Tennessee.
“The course was called Big Creek, and it’s the place of my first golf memory: On the 10th hole, my stepfather taught me how to hit a ball with a driver. We bought the course because it was going to be turned into a development. It was a good thing to do for the community, which doesn’t have a lot these days. It’s now called Miramichi, which means ‘a place of happy retreat or refuge.’ We transformed the course with a green initiative to make it feel like a retreat. There’s protected wildlife and a walking path that goes all around the park. You can bike or go horseback riding or jog. It’s beautiful.”

Your next movie is Inside Llewyn Davis, a paean to the ’60s Greenwich Village folk scene, directed by the Coen brothers.
“The Coen brothers are like gods to me. They are so warm and squishy in person.”

And you’re also working on a film that stars Clint Eastwood.
 “The first take that we did together, I felt like he was giving me the Clint stare. It was intimidating.”

Sure, there are always trends. But this season, the men’s fragrance industry has produced a remarkable number of new products whose names include the word “sport.”

(Shown above from left to right)

1 | As a visual symbol of energy, the word is often written in red, as it is with Givenchy’s Play Sport (from $65, at Shoppers Drug Mart). The adrenaline boost includes notes of mint, ginger and lemon-tree leaves.

2 | Mint is part of the kick in Kenzo Homme Sport ($90, at the Bay). So too are ginger and cedar, a couple of other trendy ingredients.

3 | Dolce & Gabbana The One Sport (from $72, at department stores)  includes the scents of rosemary and water, both salty and fresh.

4 | Even Chanel’s logo of interlocking Cs has gone red on the cap of Allure Homme Sport Eau Extreme (from $72, at department stores). Here again, mint is part of the game plan.

5 | Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey Pour Homme Sport (from $70, at department stores), which is fresh and woody with touches of grapefruit and cedar, features “sport” in blue. Other distinctions of the bottle—by industrial designer Renato Montagner, a specialist in sporty goods—are a cap that resembles an athletic grip and a mirrored surface reminiscent of ski goggles.


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