Tom Hardy Becomes The Face of Jo Malone London's Fragrance
MW Exclusive: Tom Hardy Becomes The Face of Jo Malone London's Iconic Fragrance

He is the ambassador for the Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense

How does one describe the British actor, Tom Hardy? Cool, intense, masculine, with drop-dead gorgeous looks–that’s what we learn from his characters on-screen and off-screen media interactions. However, it’s tough to find the actor pursuing any commercial collaborations. For the audience, celebrity endorsements are an extension of their personality; perhaps a peek, though veiled, into their personal world. But with Hardy, it’s rare! Therefore, when he signs up to be the face of one of Jo Malone’s fragrances, it’s intriguing, to say the least. We caught up with the actor to understand what led him to take up this commercial role and what went behind the scenes in the making of the campaign. 


Congratulations on your role as Jo Malone London ambassador for Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense. You don’t typically take on many commercial roles. Tell us why you decided to work with Jo Malone London? 

I don't usually get involved in commercials and adverts because I prefer acting and playing different characters. However, Jo Malone London initially reached out about a collaboration due to my affiliation with a charity that I am a trustee of called REORG, which uses Brazilian Jiujitsu and CrossFit to support mental health and physical well-being for veterans, serving military, and first responders. They believed we might share similarities in our approaches to supporting mental health, and that our brands might be of interest to one another. So, we had a conversation and during that time they asked if I would be interested in collaborating on a project, a creative endeavour for Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense. I found that really interesting and refreshing because I was approached as an artist and creator, as opposed to a ‘personality.’  


You also collaborated with Jo Malone London on the concept and brought your father and director Edward Berger on board. How did you all together go about conceptualising the campaign film? 

Jo Malone London has a very familial vibe, so they were very encouraging and allowed me to engage my father in helping create the campaign film, which was brilliant fun for us both. We can't tell you how valuable it is to enjoy the process of making an advert in the way it was once made. I had long been a fan of Edward Berger’s work, so I called him to see if he would be interested in working on this project with us. He was delighted to come on board, followed by cinematographer James Friend and composer Volker Bertelman, and of course, the creative team at Jo Malone London. It was a true creative collaboration in every sense of the word and was an absolute privilege to do things properly with a talented team of experts. The campaign idea began when Jo Malone London first introduced us to the concept of London as inspiration, alongside Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense. The idea of centering a campaign around London was incredibly appealing. Our collective aim was to align Jo Malone London’s London with our London to show what has made the city special to us. 

Similarly, the Jo Malone London fragrances are designed to be for everyone. Although it might seem illogical for certain ingredients to blend—like Cypress & Grapevine, which aren’t typical partners—they work. So, we built on this idea of London having this enormous repertoire of people all happy to be London in their own way, which has become almost a love letter to the city. 


Jo Malone London Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense


Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense is the hero scent behind this campaign. What were your first impressions of the scent? 

I realise I am the ambassador for Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense, but what are the chances of it actually being utterly divine? It’s extremely rare. But it actually is! I’m funny about fragrance, I can’t just buy it off the shelf, I’m not really that way inclined. I think that a good fragrance has to exist without being overbearing and have an assimilation to the human being that is wearing it. To me Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense has this wonderful classic, vintage and earthy scent. A lot of people who have smelt it on me have asked what it is. Even my 16-year-old also grabbed my bottle, so even the kids like it!


How important is a scent to you? Tell us about some of your scent memories. 

I think smell and scent is the precursor to understanding a room or where you are in space and time. I have a palette of memories that are evoked by smells. From the smell of the forearm of my mother and father, a dusty pillow, a dry barn in the sunshine. Smells can be nostalgic, they can influence the atmosphere, they can manipulate, conjure and change the dynamic of an experience very quickly without being seen. So, scent is a very interesting medium, like music, that can change and affect an environment. 


Actor & Producer Tom Hardy in Jo Malone London Campaign for Cypress & Grapevine Cologne Intense


Finally, like us, we know you’re a big fan of dogs. Where did your love of dogs come from? 

My grandad, Ray. He had a dog named Louie. When I was little, I always wanted to cuddle up to Louie and he was having none of it because he was my grandad’s dog. I used to look at the way grandad and his dog were – I didn’t have any brothers or sisters – and I wanted someone to hang out with me like that so I would always have a companion. The dog is a very interesting creature. They are all heart and very honest. Pure unconditional love. I wish I could be simple like that. 


We take it you would be keen on a dog grooming range then? 

I think it’s absolutely essential to have a dog grooming range! I would head up any design opportunity to get involved in that! Kennel spray! That would be great. Sign me up, and my dog Blue. Which is perfect because French Bulldogs snore and fart, so scented things for Blue are ideal. 

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