Let’s get two things out of the way: First, I can't know for sure what Regé-Jean Page smells like right now, but it's probably Armani Code Parfum.
Second: Yes, Page really is that charismatic IRL (or rather, IR-Zoom). With his British accent and signature swoon-y smile intact, he’s every bit the movie-star-in-the-making you’d expect from the breakout star of Bridgerton’s first season, Armani’s newest face, and a member of The Gray Man’s stacked ensemble cast (seriously, check the IMDB). What’s unexpected is his willingness—and surprisingly genuine enthusiasm—for chatting about minutia with a complete stranger over video.
We covered vibes, smells, and skincare with equal ease as his professional life and mental state. He also gamely ran through his burgeoning "relationship" with fragrance and partnership with Armani (he likens the perfumers’ creative process to a symphony—another show of his inherent curiosity and good humor). Off-screen, he's much less the brooding leading man stereotype and much more the intellectually-curious nice guy—although, one you still develop a crush on.
Ahead, read about Regé-Jean Page's favorite smells and obsession with good sleep—plus, a general vibe check with the internet's favorite duke.
Is there anything particularly personal or special for you about this scent?
"What's special about the scent is how surprising it was to me. So, when I first got the call with Armani, I had no idea what to expect, because I had never talked about smell before. From the very first conversation, I learned a huge amount. I didn't know what that conversation would be, and it turned out it was very passionate and artistic, which wasn't where I thought that would go."
What was the inspiration?
"They [Armani's perfumers] kind of talked much about how they wanted to rewrite the scent and how they wanted to build a campaign around what that would mean. It's a masculine scent, so you're really rewriting a take on masculinity. I had the most amazing conversation with the perfumier. You compose this thing—I've learned to kind of call it 'composing' because that's how I best understood the process on an artistic and personal term. Kind of getting all those things to harmonize with each other—the top note: the modern, dark mystery underneath the Tonka Bean, the Musk, the flowery sophistication in the iris, the vanilla, and the softness.
"Now, all of this needs to kind of work in a delicate balance, and touch you on a personal level, because your scent is very intimate. You tend to only really smell the people who are closest to you. And so we talked about all of that, and then came up with a way to reflect it in the campaign. And so we're talking about: okay, if we're rewriting this code, there needs to be movement because the scent is so multifaceted."
What does rethinking masculinity look like in a scent?
"It's not just one thing, it's not just intensity, it's not just a kind of brood. It's not just a sensitivity. The hero moment is a connection with another human being. And that's how you create a modern idea of masculinity or personhood, or anything else. And so that was a hugely creative process. It's surprisingly creative and surprisingly, passionate and artistic."
It sounds like you've gotten very into fragrance. Did you have a smell, a person, or an experience that sparked an interest in you?
"I think everyone's involved in scent, whether they know they are or not. It just comes down to how conscious you are... Like, you'll smell of something, whether it's your clothes, or your person, or your hair. You're surrounded by scent. It's just about whether or not you use that consciously to express yourself. It's personal, your scent. It can inspire you or comfort you or enliven you or any of these things, but also, it's what that says to other people about you. And I think that I've mostly been learning that language: what your scent can communicate."
Speaking of which, what is your strongest scent memory?
"That's probably seasonal. One of my favorite smells is after it rains."
That's very British of you, but I agree.
"The rain smells different depending where you are, right? UK rain smells entirely different to rain in California... which smells different to rain in New York. Rain brings out a bunch of smells in New York. [laughs] But again, that's it: it's a thing that releases other smells... like rain on earth evaporating in the sun is a really profound smell. Even the UK is different: rain on people and their clothes on the tube in London, or wherever one's escaping the rain, and kind of really warming up is a very evocative smell. But I think rain is such a catalyst for different smells of different environments. So, I always find a fond memory of that."
As a beauty editor, it's my duty to ask this: Do you have a skincare routine? And what does it look like right now?
"I'm a minimalist, okay. Like I kind of turn up and figure it out. But I have the basics: It is literally sleep, water, and good vibes. Those three elements will give you a good base to work from in all other ways, and you know, moisturize too. But, if you're rested, you'll look better. If you are hydrated, you will look better, and you'll probably be more rested. And those two things will take care of the good vibes. And when you feel good, you look good."
I would assume you're doing a lot of press right now. Is there a smell you miss when you're traveling?
"I think that I haven't put my finger on what smell it is. I think it's probably a combination of what you've cooked and just all the little pieces of life. It's that entirely unique combination of how you've lived in your own home that creates some smell. So I do miss that. But not consciously, it's more that I appreciate that when I get home."
What keeps you grounded except for, like, the good vibes? Do you have any sort of wellness practice?
"A big power nap. Which you know, is part meditation—it's just not calling itself that. It's taking a break and closing your eyes and breathing. Resetting throughout a day is very valuable. That preserves the good vibes."
How long is your power nap? Like 20 minutes?
"It can be a tad anywhere between 10 and 20 minutes. I can grab that [amount of time] pretty much anywhere—any shorter than that and I struggle."
Fragrance and fashion are very closely linked. There's a phrase "fragrance wardrobe" which I think of as how scents mix together and sit in your clothes. Do you have a style icon?
"I try to avoid trying to channel anyone in particular, because I think I'm more drawn to collage: different people's expressions and everything in style. And then you kind of piece together the most interesting things and the vocabulary that combination creates. I don't think there's anyone in particular, it's just pieces.
What's your style inspiration?
"Particularly in London, New York, the street is enough. You know, how do people express themselves? Is it subtly or loudly? But I think most importantly, it's what people can live in... what enables your lifestyle. Luckily, Armani and I are in a very similar place with this. I always find that helps me be myself. I always look for those two things."