New Year's resolutions are often focused on health or work—things…
By Elio Iannacci
Bond mania is upon us. Skyfall, the latest 007 film, which stars two hectically handsome leading men—Daniel Craig (hero) and Javier Bardem (villain)—opens this weekend in the UK (two weeks from now in North America) and is slated to make the box office gods rejoice as its sleek artillery of fashionable gadgets, sharp suits and chic locales will no doubt pack theaters once again.
Britain’s most popular protagonist has always been about details. Although he’s known for the suped-up car he drives and the stunning women he drives crazy, it is precisely 007’s secret weapons that have defined his world for more than 50 years.
The fragrance that this undercover agent/lover wears while serving his Majesty’s secret service has been a bit of a question mark. Floris No. 89—a favorite of Bond’s creator, Ian Flemming (who created the character and wrote most of JB’s books)—has been closely tied to the triple-digit defender. Guerlain Imperiale and Dunhill Elite were also two old school fragrances that made it into the Bond novel, License Renewed (written by American author John Gardner) back in 1981. The rest of 007’s scent preferences remain classified information.
Bond’s big screen portrayal, however, depicted six very different men cast as 007 throughout the film franchise’s five decade-plus lifespan. A guesstimation as to what each of these dapper double agents would be spritzing or dabbing today has never been made. Until now.
1. Actor: Sean Connery
Film count: 7—from Dr. No (1962) to Never Say Never Again (1983)
Fragrance: Tom Ford Noir
Connery brought a rough and tumble sexuality to his 007. His scenes—particularly in You Only Live Twice and Goldfinger—epitomized the spicy, Rated-R notes that the new Tom Ford Noir captures: a mix of bergamot, verbena, black pepper, nutmeg, tuscan iris, amber and Indonesian patchouli leaf. Rich, raw and sexy. Very Bond. (PHOTO: PHOTOFEST)
2. Actor: George Lazenby
Film count: 1—On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Fragrance: Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling
Many critics call his Bond the weakest as Lazenby was the most grounded, soft-spoken and least macho of the bunch. Box office sales reflected the reception (which explains his quick departure from the role) but Lazenby did offer a few heartfelt moments with beautiful co-star Diane Rigg that set him apart. That tenderness is encapsulated in the soothing Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling, a mix of cinnamon, orange brandy, angelica and juniper berry. Bond, bitter sweet. (PHOTO: FILM REFERENCE LIBRARY)
3. Actor: Roger Moore
Film count: 7—from Live and Let Die (1975) to A View to a Kill (1983)
Fragrance: Hugo Boss Hugo Dark Blue Eau de Toilette
Roger Moore brought a cheeky playboy side to the shaken-not-stirred Bond of the 70s and early 80s. His suave and sometimes campy line delivery seemed to ooze a candy-coated sheen in cunning scenes he shared with Barbara Bach (The Spy Who Loved Me) and the unforgettable Grace Jones (A View To A Kill). Not only does the cocktail shaker-shaped bottle of Hugo Boss Hugo Dark Blue personify Moore’s lighter, savvier Bond, the scent itself—which combines ginger, vanilla, sage and grapefruit—also hits the 007 bull’s-eye. (PHOTO: PHOTOFEST)
4. Actor: Timothy Dalton
Film count: 2—The Living Daylights (1987) to Licence to Kill (1989)
Fragrance: Versace Pour Homme
Dalton moved Bond into Zoolander territory as he brought a ’80s-action-hero-meets-male-supermodel quality to his two offerings as the British secret agent. Like the decadent era, Dalton’s take on 007 exemplified an every-thing-but-the-kitchen sink approach to the character, over-expressing, over emoting and, at times, over-acting. The same can be said about the over-the-top Versace Pour Homme with lemon, neroli, bergamot and rose de mai; heady hyacinth, cedar, geranium, tonka bean, musk and amber. (PHOTO: FILM REFERENCE LIBRARY)
5. Actor: Pierce Brosnan
Film count: 4—From GoldenEye (1995) to Die Another Day (2002)
Fragrance: Burberry Sport
Perhaps the most gentlemanly Bond of the bunch, Brosnan brought an English charm to the role that was previously never explored. His regal swagger and ability to show grace under fire reflects the fresh wit of Burberry Sport. Appointed with notes such as dry amber, marine breeze and wheatgrass, this fragrance captures the impeccable coolness that Brosnan brought to the big screen (even during major global threats). (PHOTO: FILM REFERENCE LIBRARY)
6. Actor: Daniel Craig
Film count: 3—From Casino Royale (2006) to Skyfall (2012)
Fragrance: Lorenzo Villoresi Musk
In many ways, the only blonde Bond of the pack is one hell of a wild card. Unlike the others, he broods, is uncouthly belligerent to M and his country, and lacks the private school manners of many of the Bonds before him. However, what he lacks in polish, he makes up for in strength. Which is why he would most likely carry Lorenzo Villoresi Musk in his travel bag. Tonquin musk (used by hunters to lure white tail deer) with undertones of sandalwood and cedarwood is a robust mix that screams “don’t mess with me…or else.” (PHOTO: PHOTOFEST)
Find more James Bond style at the exhibition Designing 007: 50 Years of Bond Style, which is set to open tomorrow at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto (and run until January 20, 2013). For tickets and information, http://tiff.net/bond
PHOTOGRAPHY: BOND IMAGES SUPPLIED BY TIFF BELL LIGHTBOX IN TORONTO (FEATURE PHOTO OF SEAN CONNERY OFF-CAMERA DURING THE FILMING OF GOLDFINGER IN THE SWISS ALPS: 1964 DANJAQ, LLC AND UNITED ARTISTS CORPORATION.