It’s safe to say that the current main sports in Japan are baseball and soccer. The older of the two, Japanese baseball, can be defined by its players’ almost militaristic commitment to the game developed through the harsh training they undergo as youths.
However, with soccer, it’s not uncommon to see players with shaggy long hair or even dye jobs, and along with that a new attitude to playing professional sports in Japan. As a result, the nation may be witnessing its first true sports celebrity in Keisuke Honda: AC Milan and Japanese National Team forward and now an award-winning perfumer.
■ L’eau de Diamond by Keisuke Honda
On September 10 the Japanese Fragrance Association got together and honored L’eau de Diamond with two of their prestigious awards: Popular Men’s “Fragrance of the Year” and “Best Bottle Design.”
This scent was a joint venture of Honda and Japanese fragrance maker Fits which was released in 2013.
More than just critically, L’eau de Diamond has excelled commercially as well. It’s said that to be a hit a scent should sell 30,000 units in a year, but Honda was able to move an impressive 140,000 bottles in only ten months. Sales also show no signs of slowing.
Although he’s clearly gearing up for the transition from soccer to business and maybe even public office, it looks as if Honda will try to stay in the game until the World Cup Russia in 2018. We might have seen the 29-year-old make an exit before then, but after the Japanese team’s ousting in the group stage at Brazil with zero wins Honda no doubt has revenge on his mind.
So even despite his line of fragrances, fine clothes, and snappy haircuts, Honda apparently still hasn’t lost his passion to play the game that has given him so much.