Luke Bracey smells great. Like, really great. It’s his job now, after all.
The 27-year-old Australian actor is the new face of Ralph Lauren’s Polo Red and Polo Red Extreme fragrances. As it stands, Bracey should never have another stinky day in his life.
“It’s humbling to be a part of such an iconic brand,” says Bracey. “I passed a huge picture of my face the other day at a mall, it was crazy. Learning about cologne from Ralph Lauren’s master perfumer was so cool. He’s a genius. The Polo scents are bold, seductive, and kind of spicy, but perfect to wear all day.”
We sat down with the Hacksaw Ridge and Point Break star to talk about the signature scents, smells from his past, and what it means to be the face of a cologne.
Do people come up to you and smell you now?
Not yet! I have to keep on my game now, though. Make sure I’m always smelling fresh, even after the gym. I need to have a travel-sized bottle on my person at all times, I guess.
What is the optimal time to spritz yourself with cologne?
I think you can do a double spritz. You can do it right in the morning after a shower, and then another one later on before a night out to take you through the evening. Don’t overdo it — you just need a little bit of the essence. You always want to wear your scent, not have your scent wear you. Like a beard. Too many guys nowadays let their beards wear them!
What do you think is the secret to smelling good?
I don’t know that there’s a secret. I think that all scents have their beauty, in a way. If you’re living a life with confidence, I think you can pull off any smell. I shower once a day and I think that keeps me in good shape.
How do you go about choosing a signature scent?
For me, I like earthy, natural kind of scents. Polo Red has citrus with blood orange, an ebony extract, it’s really grounding and natural. It’s not a manufactured kind of smell.
Do you have a best memory that’s related to scent?
Fresh jasmine and eucalyptus leaves were always the smell of the beginning of summer for me. In Australia, when we’re coming out of the winter, the air just smells of eucalyptus leaves. As I said, I love natural, earthy smells and this one is one of my favourites. Luckily, there are a lot of eucalyptus leaves in LA, where I live, so if I’m ever homesick, I can pluck one from a tree, cut it in half and smell home. When I was sick as a kid, my mom would even put eucalyptus drops on my pillow. I love it.
Who is the best smelling man that you know?
I’d have to say it’s me at the moment. I’m the face of a fragrance ad — you can’t get a better smelling man than that!
What was the first cologne you ever owned?
It would have been Acqua di Gio, probably. I also had Issey Miyake. My sister got me that one for Christmas when I was 16. That’s pretty much the age when you start getting cologne and you think, “Oh, I’m a man now.”
What’s been the best part of being the face of a scent?
Watching Olivio work and seeing how a scent totally comes together was pretty cool. But also, for me, shooting the campaign with Bruce Weber was such a thrill. We get along great and he’s a lovely man. We shot in California, just outside of Santa Barbara on a ranch and it was amazing. The whole experience has been great. The travel is fun. I wish I was in Canada longer — it’s like a cold, polite Australia. I love it! [Laughs.]
You just came off of the press trail for the movie Hacksaw Ridge. How was that different than doing promotion for this fragrance?
Good question. There was something so big, important and special about the movie. We showed it to a lot of veterans. I didn’t feel like we were promoting a movie so much as we were sharing it with the people who had the same kind of experiences. It’s really different than this because this is more of a lifestyle than anything else. Film is a fantasy and you talk about what your characters are doing rather than yourself. With this campaign, I’m talking about my day-to-day life, my own experiences and how I personally can relate to this scent. It’s very personal.