PARIS — It was rumored some years back that Johnny Depp was interested in acting in “Perfume, The Story of a Murderer” — the film version of Patrick Süskind’s novel of the same name. That didn’t happen. But fans can rejoice: The actor has just landed another high-octane scent-related role, as the face of Parfums Christian Dior.
It marks the first time Depp will front a fragrance, according to the French fashion label.
He is to appear in the advertising for a yet-to-be-revealed Dior men’s scent, due out in September, which is being created by the LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton-owned house’s perfumer-creator François Demachy.
Branding executives are bullish about the tie-in.
Louise Rosen, founder and chief executive officer of The Message Inc., a Paris-based consultancy for luxury brands, called it “great news for Dior.”
“Johnny Depp is a mainstream eccentric. It’s quite a contradiction, and it is the key conundrum that perfume houses are permanently trying to solve: How to please everyone — to maximize sales — and at the same time be unique, novel, original — to cut through the market noise,” she said. “A somewhat dark, serious, respected actor, [he is] a man who has values, a man of integrity.”
Depp – who has starred in films such as John Waters’ “Cry-Baby,” Tim Burton’s “Edward Scissorhands” and Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Pirates of the Caribbean” — has historically kept fashion at an arm’s length, instead sporting wide-ranging, quirky sartorial looks often paired with eccentric glasses and topped with a hat. He doesn’t shy away from accessorizing generously, either, including with bracelets and necklaces.
Yet Depp’s romantic interests have regularly been entrenched in the fashion scene. Years ago he dated Kate Moss, was long partnered with Vanessa Paradis and has just married Amber Heard.
“He’s the last guy you’d expect to sign for a fragrance, and so, yes, it does bring depth and probably longevity to the story,” continued Rosen. “The latest celebrity won’t do. At a time when everyone can star in their own piece of personal advertising, you need someone who has achieved more than having a Twitter account. This Johnny has.”
And it comes with a price. Industry sources estimate Depp will be paid between $3 million and $5 million to appear in the Dior advertising.
Company executives could not be reached for comment.
The scent will join Dior’s men’s fragrance portfolio, which includes Eau Sauvage, Dior Homme and Dior Homme Sport.
The brand’s other ambassadors are Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert Pattinson and Eva Herzigova.
With Dior, Depp becomes part of the ever-burgeoning list of celebrities appearing in fragrance ads. Just last month, for instance, it was announced that Stacy Martin will front Miu Miu’s first scent; Dree Hemingway was named the face of the Chloé Eau de Parfum, and Liam Hemsworth was tapped by Diesel Parfums to star in a European ad campaign this summer.