For its latest fragrance, Mister Marvelous, Byredo goes against the trend by using
a ‘non-celebrity’ celebrity face from the past – the man who gave Grace Jones a flat-top
Of all the celebrities willing to loan their name and image to a fragrance (see Trousersnake for Givenchy, Orlando Bloom for Hugo Boss), niche brand Byredo sought the unlikely talents of one Christiaan Houtenbos, the marines-trained hairstylist who brought flat-tops to the masses via Grace Jones.
Houtenbos is as (in)famous for his work with fashion editors Calvin Klein and Stephen Sprouse in 70s New York as he is for the sizeable amount of destruction he left in his wake. Yet in spite of his impressive CV (he is currently enjoying something of a renaissance, working on campaigns for Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, H&M) Houtenbos is still a relatively random choice as the ‘face’ of a new fragrance, Mister Marvelous.
Ben Gorham, founder of Byredo, says, ‘My choice was based more on his character rather than any kind of “celebrity”.’ The scent itself is a modern twist on a classic cologne (a theme Byredo has visited before with the fantastic Fantastic Man, concocted in collaboration with the cult magazine of the same name) with citric top notes and a herbaceous, green heart. ‘The modern part, though, is the amber dry down [the base of the scent that lingers],’ says Gorham. ‘It has incredible staying power; it’s delicate but resilient and powerful at the same time.’ Sensible on the surface crazy on the dry down, this one, as Gorham says, is ‘a wolf in sheep’s clothing’. Just like its muse.
Mister Marvelous, £85 for 50ml, exclusively at Liberty and www.byredo.com