"How did you get a whiff of that?" was Arjun Rampal’s reaction to our query about him launching a perfume in October-November. "I was hoping to announce it in a big way, through a worldwide chain of distributors and an exciting ad campaign."
Rampal has been developing a fragrance for the past year and has come up with one that is fruity, with a hint of orange and pomegranate, and light on the nose. "There’s a ‘day perfume’ that is refreshing and one for the evening that is stronger and muskier," he informs.
The 37-year-old National Award-winning actor has always enjoyed good colognes. "When you smell nice, it helps you work better and you feel more alive," he points out, justifying the perfume’s name, Alive. He has been working closely with a Paris-based company and hopes that men will smell better now.
Rampal was in Epernay, France, recently, handpicking grapes with Hollywood star, Scarlett Johansson, English actor Ruth Wilson, French film director Olivier Dahan and French actors Benoît Magimel and Elodie Bouchez, German actor Clemens Schick and Dutch actor Thekla Reuten at the harvest gala of Moet & Chandon, the official champagne of the Golden Globes and the Oscars.
The only Indian on the scene, he admits that he was taken by surprise by the invitation. "The idea was to bring together a Hollywood and a Bollywood star and the organisers thought my work was edgy and iconic enough to merit my participation," he says. "It was an unbelievable experience… Style, culture and class in the midst of history."
Johansson features in Moet’s ad campaign and it is learnt that Rampal may be roped in as brand ambassador too. “I won’t be able to promote the bubbly here since alcohol ads are banned in India. But if it is an international campaign, I’d be delighted. Let’s see where this trip leads,” he says.
There’s been talk of a “merger” with the American actor-singer. Does this mean a movie or the perfume campaign? “Neither,” he retorts. “Scarlett and I discussed cinema and I was surprised at how much she knew about our film industry and country. She’s spent a week in
India, incognito, doing charity work. I’d enjoy working with her but the right script has to come my way. I loved her in Match Point (2005) that got her a Golden Globe nomination.”