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Alan Cumming Launches his New Perfume, 2nd (Alan) Cumming

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Scottish actor and NYC transplant Alan Cumming launched his new perfume 2nd (Alan) Cumming last night in the basement of the Ace Hotel, clad in a camouflage blazer and matching short pants. The perfume, created with the help of master concept-perfumier Christopher Brosius—he of the fragrances Doll's Head, Pine-Sol, and French Bread, perfumes that smell just like their names—is a sequel to the pair's 2004 effort Cumming. The new scent was available for sampling at the party via a tub of men's underwear doused in the stuff.

When asked why he picked Brosius to work with on the technically-unisex but intensely-masculine scent (which smells, by the way, of Scotch, cigars and rich damp Scottish earth), Cumming said "I admire Christopher so much, I think he's a weird genius and when it came down to it, I just thought that my sense of mischief and his weird genius would be a good combo."

Racked: Honestly though, do you wear your own perfume everyday?

Alan: No, not everyday. I wear it a lot but some days I don't want to wear it — when I wear it I feel a certain way but I don't want to feel that way everyday. especially at work. I mean I don't want to feel all hot and horny at work.

Racked: Why do you think that celebrities like yourself want to make the general public smell like them?

Alan: I don't think it's a case of people wanting to smell like 'me', but I think that people think celebrities are selling a sort of spirit, an essence or a perception of themselves, so if people like you and people have an interest in you, then it makes sense that people would want to buy a perfume you've created... But I wanted to do it as a provocative joke about why celebrities do it in the first place because you know, I am a celebrity, but I'm not the kind of person that you might imagine would do a fragrance. So when we first did the perfume [in 2004] I loved the fact that people didn't know if it was a joke or not, and we did this commercial where I'm rolling around on a bed, talking about what 'sexy'; is, and I loved the fact that I was taking the piss out of that sort of celebrity work but also at the same time doing it. I like that it makes people question why they buy into it, too.

Racked: Would you be interested in doing any more collaborations or endorsements?

Alan: I'm always open to endorsements, but it'd have to be the right thing. I'm always intrigued by what my 'demographic' is and it changes according to what you do, what parts you play in things, so yes, I suppose I would. But I mean, I think that the perfume is a really big thing for me, but in a way I still see it as a kind of a weird art project.

Racked: So how did you and Christopher go about developing the scent?

Alan: Well, I knew Chris's work before and I had bought some of his other smells and so we talked about the things I like in a scent. There was one called Riding Crop, and Dirt... I loooove Dirt. So he collected a whole load of bottles of smells and I smelled them all and we found a way for it to feel like what I had wanted - very Scottish and sexy and earthy, and so we got a combination of all those things in the one scent, Cumming.

Cumming is available from the CB I Hate Perfume boutique in Williamsburg and online. —Ana Kinsella
CB I Hate Perfume [Official Site]
Cumming the fragrance [Youtube]

Ace Hotel

20 West 29 Street, New York, NY