Being the face of anything by Brit luxury brand Burberry has proven to be a stepping stone towards mainstream recognition. Stars such as Eddie Redmayne and Alex Pettyfer have both become known celebrities in their own right after fronting campaigns for Burberry. In fact, Redmayne has earned for himself an Academy Award since being in the spotlight. Fellow Brit Josh Whitehouse seems to be following a similar trajectory—he has a number of films under his belt and has a recurring role in television period drama Poldark.
We were first introduced to the musician, actor and model in Burberry's first launch for Mr. Burberry. Now, Whitehouse is back for Mr. Burberry Indigo Eau de Toilette, the third series in the Mr. Burberry line of fragrances. Press notes describe Mr. Burberry Indigo as "a veritable breath of fresh air" and is reminiscent of the air along the breezy British coast, where photographer Alasdair McLellan captured Whitehouse for the campaign.
We caught up with Whitehouse, asked him what it's like returning as Mr. Burberry and found out what's his idea of the best smell to wake up to (hint: it's not exactly a fragrance).
ESQ: Were you into fragrances before being the face of Mr. Burberry? Or has this whole experience turned you into a fragrance lover if you already weren’t one before?
JOSH WHITEHOUSE: I think it’s fair to say that I didn’t fully understand the work and passion that goes into creating fragrances before working with Burberry. I never really had a go-to signature fragrance that some other men do. Then Burberry came along and I discovered the amazing Mr. Burberry fragrance which I have been using and am happy with for years now! I have learned so much more about fragrance and what goes in to making them, and I certainly have a deeper appreciation for it.
ESQ: How it was like working with Alasdair McLellan for this campaign and being on set this time around?
JOSH WHITEHOUSE: Alasdair was great to work with. I found him really easy-going and reassuring. He uses a lot of really cool camera techniques; it’s inspiring. He works at an incredible pace and his team surrounding him are all amazing—it’s fascinating to watch, which made it great to be a part of. Seeing as I have now shot with Burberry a few times, it definitely felt different to be in front of the camera this time round. Burberry is a real family so having been involved for several years, it was nice to have that comfort on set and feel at home.
ESQ: Which fragrance do you prefer—the original Mr. Burberry or Mr. Burberry Indigo?
JOSH WHITEHOUSE: I have been wearing the original fragrance for a long time now and being a creature of habit, I think I feel most at home with the original scent. But I love the new one too!
ESQ: Both scents are definitely different. How or when do you use each of them?
JOSH WHITEHOUSE: I sometimes choose to wear the Indigo fragrance in the day time and keep the original for the evening. Something about the Indigo fragrance makes me think about summer time and being in the sunshine or a day in the park. I feel like the original fragrance is better suited to the evening, for an event or a night out but that’s just me; everybody's different.
ESQ: In your own words, describe Mr. Burberry Indigo.
JOSH WHITEHOUSE: Fresh and invigorating. The Mr. Burberry Indigo fragrance is light and citrusy with a woody undercurrent.
ESQ: You’re a musician, an actor and a model. How would you say these different experiences have influenced the way you approach each of these hats that you put on?
JOSH WHITEHOUSE: I was a musician first, which I’d say taught me a lot about getting up on stage or somehow being in the spotlight. Overcoming your nerves and having the confidence to see something through—which is not unlike being in front of the camera as a model or being on set on a film. I thrive off the feeling of completing something, a challenge, an obstacle—performing is a challenge to an artist. So for me, challenge is my fuel; I think there’s a big cross over there. I also often use my music to help me learn lines. For instance, if I have a big monologue to learn, I might record a piece of music which I think fits the vibe and the tempo of the scene—essentially scoring the scene—and then make a song out of my monologue to help bring rhythm and fun to the learning process.
ESQ: As an actor, are you allowed to put on a fragrance while on set? Has there ever been an incident where your scent was a distraction to your fellow cast members?
JOSH WHITEHOUSE: I don’t think I have ever done an acting job, where you were not allowed to wear a fragrance. But then I have never been someone who wears an awful lot of fragrance; a small hint of a great scent tends to be enough for me. I think if someone was on set and they were using bottles of the stuff, then perhaps working closely with those people might be distracting. But it’s not something I have ever experienced personally, no.
ESQ: What’s a song that comes to mind that you can relate Mr. Burberry Indigo to?
JOSH WHITEHOUSE: High Cross Society's 'On Hold'.
ESQ: What’s the best smell to wake up to in the morning?
JOSH WHITEHOUSE: The faded fragrance of a loved one.
The Mr. Burberry Indigo Eau de Toilette is priced at SGD86 (30ml), SGD106 (50ml), SGD149 (100ml) and SGD172 (150ml), and is available in all major departmental stores and Burberry.com. A free monogramming service is available on Burberry.com and selected Burberry stores.