Colin Firth's Kingsman fragrance doesn't explode in real life

Colin Firth poses during the World premiere of Kingsman: The Golden Circle in London on Sept 18, 2017.
Colin Firth poses during the World premiere of Kingsman: The Golden Circle in London on Sept 18, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (NYTimes) - When Kingsman: The Secret Service debuted in 2014, it was accompanied by a menswear line sold on Mr Porter.

Now, as the sequel arrives in movie theatres this week, fragrance has become a focus.

Kingsman TGC, the scent's name, refers to both the new movie's subtitle, The Golden Circle, and the name of its villains organisation. "The product was needed for the story as one of the agents, Harry Hart, uses the high-tech after-shave as a bomb to save his life," said Matthew Vaughn, the movie's director and a co-producer and co-writer.

Although, he hastily added, the bottle works (and looks) like a bomb only when Colin Firth is using it on-screen.

The filmmaker collaborated with Azzi Glasser of The Perfumer's Story, the British scent-maker who has also created custom fragrances for Tom Hardy and Johnny Depp, among others. "We knew each other and we could make it in Britain," Vaughn said.

Kingsman TGC was Glasser's first film fragrance. "I wanted to know every tiny element about the way Matthew briefs his actors to becoming the character," she said, "because once I got that information, I looked at my own characters, which are the ingredients to bring that perfume to life and tell the same story."

Sher said she wanted the smell to be sexy, rich and expensive, so vetiver, the perennial grass native to India, became the first of the scent's 80 ingredients. Earl Grey tea is the main top note; bourbon and rum are in there, too; and cocoa softens the powerful oud base scent.

The 30-milliliter eau de parfum, selling for £95 (S$173), was introduced on Sept 7 on Mr Porter and at its new pop-up shop in the St. James neighbourhood of London, and then at Harrods and on Glasser's website. She intends to add a 150-milliliter version at £195 in November.

Not to be outdone, Julianne Moore, who plays the vampish, scheming Poppy Lane, head of the Golden Circle, wears Kingsman cosmetics: a bright red lipstick named Poppy Lane and a Kingsman-titled nail polish sold online by supermodel Claudia Schiffer, Vaughn's wife.

And Mr Porter is selling the seventh season of the Kingsman clothing line, now a 95-piece collection of smart suits, sneakers, retro shades and more. In another sequel tie-in, the Kingsman-branded Tag Heuer Connected smartwatch, with interchangeable tan and orange straps, is available online and at the pop-up store, while the orange tuxedo with black lapels, a key look in the film, sold out within days (but orders will be taken).

As for Vaughn, he said that, after 30 years of wearing Dior Eau Sauvage, he has ditched it for the Kingsman fragrance, adding: "I've never had more comments about how I smell."