We can tell you what Kit Harington smells like: Tobacco, with a spicy blend of cardamom, ginger, cedarwood, and citrus spice accord. That’s because he’s the face of Dolce & Gabbana’s fragrance, The One for Men. And Harington can tell you what Jon Snow, his beloved character on Game of Thrones smells like—but no, he won’t share anything else about his character’s fate before the show comes to an end. He will, however, tell us about his failed attempt as a perfumer and fragrance philosophy, though, so read on.
What have you learned about fragrance and grooming from working with Dolce & Gabbana? I’ve certainly gotten a better sense of style from doing it. That’s one of the great things about a campaign like this—if it’s a brand you like, it encourages you to try dressing in ways you might haven’t before. But my grooming regime is as simple as I can make it.
What is that? One thing I might have been forced to do in these campaigns is take a bit better care of myself. (laughs)
Does that mean washing your face and putting on moisturizer? Yeah, face wash is something I didn’t discover until now.
What do you like about The One? Where I live, it’s all wood paneled, wood beams—it’s an old house. My favorite thing about the scent is it has a wooden, masculine feel to it, but sophisticated, and it’s how I imagine I would like to come across.
What are your favorite scents? Wood fires. I like the smell of an old car, when you get a vintage car, that old musky petrol type of smell. The English countryside has a smell unlike anywhere else, a kind of slightly damp, fresh smell and that’s kind of me. Tobacco which I love, because I used to be a smoker and now I’m not. The smell of cigarettes I just love.
Do certain scents remind you of your childhood? Yeah mum’s roses. Now I’m lucky enough that I’ve got a rose garden as well and it’s one of the things I love. I remember one of my earliest memories to do with perfumes was trying to make my mum a perfume out of her roses. While she was away I picked all her roses and crushed them up with some water, and I look back now and I remember her face and I was thinking ‘why doesn’t she look as pleased as she should be?’ I destroyed her rose bush.
Did she wear it? I think she pretended. She was a good mum and she probably cursed me behind my back.
How do you like to wear fragrance? A little every day. I think that you should have a general scent and grow very attached to it and have it for a while, like a good few years, because it sort of defines you. If you break up with someone and then you smell their clothes, it’s that that you miss, it’s that particular scent. And when you walk into a room, and people need to define you—they’ll define you by your face, by your gestures, by your clothing, by all of those things, but then smell is one of the most evocative things. If you’ve got a specific, not overpowering kind of thing you bring into a room, I think it’s a great asset to someone.
So, you’re a scent monogamist? Yeah, you could say that.
Do you ever use fragrance to get into character? Do you know what, I think I do inadvertently. I remember in drama school there was something called scents memory where you would try and develop a character around things like the touch of their clothes or a smell or perfume they might wear. Now it’s sort of like, how do I remember being Jon Snow? I remember the smell of the costume, the furs, the leathers. So every time you put that on, every year you go back into that scent, it brings me back to the character.
If Jon Snow had a signature scent, what would it be? It would be like a woodsy smoky, musky smell. I don’t think he’s the type really to put a scent on. You could get his smell and put it in a bottle, but I don’t think he’d put it on.
What are you going to miss most about working on Game of Thrones? I’m going to miss the camaraderie. I’m genuinely going to miss the level of amazement every year when you walk in and you see what they are planning on doing. And it’s rare that you have a job where people are as excited to see what we’ve done at the end of it. There’s a focus on Thrones because of its popularity; it means I’m going to miss the expectation of the new season. [Source]