Skincare is in Stephen de Heinrich de Omorovicza’s blood. His family, the Omoroviczas, founded the Racz Spa in Budapest in the 19th century. De Heinrich inherited the business and, with his equally chic and beautiful wife, Margaret, turned Omorovicza into one of the most coveted luxury skincare brands in the world today. Despite all that--he's as down to earth as they come. Except when it pertains to his obsession with grooming.
What’s your first grooming memory?
It would be Vichy Basic Homme. The red line. I grew up near Geneva, and the Frenchies were slightly ahead of the Anglo Saxons, in terms of grooming, so we all wore after shave at school. The priest used to go crazy when we’d all walk in in the morning.
When did you start wearing after shave?
Oh god, 13?
What fragrance did you wear?
Drakkar Noir, Polo, of course. Aqua Lavande by Puig. It was a stunning plain old lavender. Then this Vichy Basic Homme. Back then, they had a red line for men. And I can’t believe we all did this. We were teenagers and we wore it all. This special Vichy lotion, then, on top of that, the Drakkar Noir.
So you were layering at a young age?
It’s funny. I went to university in the countryside in the United Kingdom, where you could hardly even find normal food, let alone men’s skin care. In the English countryside, there were two types of soap: you had the Cussons Imperial Leather flat soap, then Pear’s glycerin bar. To this day, when you get out of London, those are the two soaps you’ll find. So, of course, if you come from a land of pampering [like Hungary], you use these soaps and you’re like, “Ouch!” So I sailed in with my Basic Homme and whatever else I had. I think I did do a bit of [Aramis] Lab Series as well. And my classmates would just take the piss out of me. Brits would arrive in my room and say, ‘What are you doing using all these products?” I’d say, “Well, you know what? I don’t want to look like you, so I’m going to carry on doing what I’m doing, thank you very much.” I laid off the aftershave because I reckoned that did piss people off in the UK, so I took a little three-year hiatus, but [still didn't use] the basic lotions. No, no, no.
If we pulled back your shower curtain, what would we find?
A lot of testers. Cleansing foam, actually shower gels and shampoos that we do for hotel amenities. There’s a fantastic brand, Paul Mitchell. He makes great shampoos. Their strengthening one. It’s all about not losing hair. Philip B’s Peppermint & Avocado. It smells fantastic. I spend more on shampoo than most people spend on cars. And I don’t have a car, so that’s where the money goes! And then Omorovicza’s Soothing Shave, always.
What kind of razor?
Basic Gillette. That’s the one thing; I don’t even know if there are fancy ones. Shaving is shaving is shaving. Maybe the blades with the little strip on it because I find without that, it just kills you.
Arm & Hammer.
I love products. I’m in the right industry, clearly.
What beauty look on women do you not get?
Tons of makeup during the day. But I never think that it’s aimed at other men, you’re obviously not going to get kissed with all of it on.
What are you currently obsessed with?
The English countryside. We started going there because of the kids and there are so many of them. Recently, we stayed in the middle of Gloucestershire at this really wonderful place. It’s all the traditional stuff—you’ve got animals everywhere, rolling hills, we go shooting. All the stuff you’re not supposed to do: drink a lot, eat a lot.
Are you a healthy eater?
I don’t have a particularly sweet tooth, but I do eat large amounts and I think it’s important that I keep on eating. I eat huge amounts of food. I love the idea of vast amounts of it, so I try to avoid fried foods. Also, there’s this very Germanic system that you eat a big breakfast and lunch but not so much at dinner. And I’m quite good on my vegetables, I must say.
Are you a good cook?
Hopeless. Hopeless in the kitchen. If I’m on my own, I’ll just have steamed vegetables and salad, because I know I can do that. So when [my wife] Margaret’s around, it’s a lot more fun.
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