The actor talks to PEOPLE about fragrance, his must-have grooming products and more

By Andrea Lavinthal
February 20, 2019 12:08 PM
Courtesy of Armani

He may have his own brand of gin, but these days, Ryan Reynolds smells like rum. That’s because he’s the new face of Armani Code Absolu, the latest fragrance from the Italian fashion brand, which contains the aroma of the liquor along with sexy notes of suede, tonka bean and nutmeg.

Liquor preference aside, Reynolds was perfect for this role. Giorgio Armani wanted someone with “the right dose of irony,” for the new scent (the original, Armani Code, debuted in 2004 and remains a bestseller) and no one embodies that quality more than the 42-year-old actor and producer who’s known for his incredible good looks as much as his searing wit. Case in point, when Reynolds announced the collaboration on Instagram earlier this month, he wrote, “I hope to eventually call Mr. Armani, ‘Papa.’ But let’s take this one day at a time.”

Below, he shares more about his history with fragrance, his must-have grooming products and which Sexiest Man Alive is getting a bottle of Armani Code Absolu.

What’s your all-time favorite smell?

I’m a hometown guy so I love the smell of Douglas fir trees. Growing up in Vancouver, it’s one of the most remarkable natural playgrounds you’ll ever be in. You’re just overwhelmed by the smell. Same when you go to Hawaii and the sweet smell in the air there.

We thought you were going to say when your wife [Blake Lively] bakes since she’s known for making cupcakes?

Yeah, I know but that sort of sounds sexist though. She’s just a lot of other things that smell pretty awesome that don’t involve cooking.

So what does Blake [Lively] smell like?

Cinnamon and a midsummer thunderstorm.

Michael Simon/

What was your first fragrance?

I messed around with my dad’s fragrances a little bit. He had Aqua Velva which no 9-year old should be wearing. I’m the youngest of four boys, and my brothers wore chose the unisex colognes so I would mess around with those when I was older, like in high school. Everything I got was a hand-me-down, like clothes and fragrance.

What’s your go-to application technique?

I spray it at myself while walking towards it, so I should just embrace the idea of spraying it directly.

If Armani Code Absolu was a cocktail, what would it be?

A negroni. It’s pretty hip. I don’t know many people who dislike negronis.

Speaking of codes, do you and Blake have one when you’re stuck at a party and want to leave?

No. I’m hermetic, I don’t go out. I should. My new year’s resolution was to go out more.

What’s a date night look like for you two these days?

It’s different for everyone. It depends on what rings your bell. I love spending time with my kids (James, 4, and Inez, 2) so if a date night can include them, it’s pretty fun.

Do you borrow products from Blake?

I don’t use too much. In the wintertime, if it’s just brutal out and you get that feeling when you get out of the shower and you think your face is going to fall off, I’ll grab a bit of her moisturizer. But I don’t really steal too many things from anyone.

So you’re in charge of your own grooming products?

Yeah, it’s mostly just soap and a little moisturizer.

What fragrance would Deadpool wear?

Do they make one that smells like hot New York summer garbage?

You were PEOPLE’s Sexiest Man Alive in 2010. Do all of the former sexiest men have a text chat or a secret Facebook group?

No, just a secret handshake shimmy, shimmy thing we do when we see each other. We only refer to each other by year. Hugh [Jackman] is ’08. Good old ’08.

Which Sexiest Man Alive would you gift a bottle of Armani Code Absolu?

Hugh, he’s the only one who I speak to on a regular basis.