Benedict Cumberbatch exudes the sweet smell of success
Benedict Cumberbatch smells incredible.
It's a scent that's warm, clean and tantalisingly masculine, much like the man himself.
After all, it's no secret that Sherlock star Cumberbatch, who was promoting his new movie, The Imitation Game, at the Corinthia Hotel in London, is the hottest thing to come out of England since Gordon Ramsay's skillet.
Like bees drawn to honey, every reporter in the room - male and female - subconsciously leaned across the table, keen to get as close as possible.
Even his most benign observations ("I just passed a couple down the hall wearing bathrobes!") elicited eager nods, and audible sighs from the ladies among us.
So enamoured was one reporter of his sexy scent, she tweeted about it and had an immediate response from one of his many female fans, dubiously dubbed Cumberbitches.
The mystery fan suggested Cumberbatch was wearing one of his favourite fragrances, Annick Goutal's Eau de Monsieur.
It's official then. Benedict Cumberbatch isn't just the quintessential English gentleman - he smells like one too.
There's been major jealousy in the air too.
Imagine the collective anguish of the Cumberbitches when the 38-year-old announced he was engaged on Nov 5 to theatre director and actress Sophie Hunter.
The couple met while starring in the 2009 thriller Burlesque Fairytales and are expecting a baby together.
They went old-school by announcing their engagement in the Forthcoming Marriages section of The Times, effectively removing him from the list of Hollywood's most eligible bachelors.
Cumberbatch is often cited as the thinking woman's hunk after he rose to international fame as the world's most famous detective in the TV series Sherlock. Displaying massive brain power and a penchant for playing the violin, the role cemented his status as a geek god.
Well, Cumberbitches can rejoice, for their patron saint has embarked on his geekiest role yet.
In The Imitation Game, which opens here on Jan 22, Cumberbatch plays Alan Turing, the father of modern computer science.
The film explores Turing's instrumental role in breaking the Nazi Enigma code, together with a team of cryptographers that included mathematician Joan Clarke (Keira Knightley) and chess champion Hugh Alexander (Matthew Goode).
It's also notable for exposing his personal struggles, as Turing's life ended in tragedy after he was prosecuted for his homosexuality.
"Turing really is a national hero, and deserves to be on the cover of history books," Cumberbatch affirmed. "People are only just starting to understand that, partly because of the secrecy around his role in the War, and the dark stain of how his country treated him afterwards."
He added: "He brought so much to the study of artificial intelligence and philosophy. I thought, we really have to do a good job with this... it's such a good story, and thrilling as well."
To get into character, Cumberbatch devoted himself to Turing's history and work, even drawing out the schematics of the Turing machine to gain a deeper understanding of it.
"It was so important for the actor playing Turing to embody his intellect," director Mortem Tyldum shared. "Benedict was absolutely my first choice for the role, as his intelligence is never in doubt."
But like many intellectuals, Cumberbatch can be mercurial, and admitted he is "very defensive of other people".
For instance, he bristled at the suggestion that Turing was not a nice man to be with, because of his anti-social behaviour.
"What are you basing that assumption on?" he challenged the reporter in question. "Did you talk to people who knew him, like his nieces, who said he made them feel more comfortable than any adult ever did?
"He was uncompromising, but not in a perverse way. He was incredibly kind and caring, and wasn't rude - just ruthlessly efficient.
"He was an outsider, and I could definitely relate to that. I think we've all experienced isolation, and I firmly believe that the more we try to form an understanding of and celebrate what's unique about us, we also form an understanding on what makes us the same."
Cumberbatch's commitment to the role of Turing is paying off. Already there's talk of a possible Oscar nomination, as testament to his sensitive portrayal of the tortured genius.
But the actor remains unfazed, preferring to adopt a Zen attitude towards it all.
"Things like that don't bother me... I've been acting for nearly 15 years, and before becoming famous I had a lot of grounding. I know what it is not to be number one on the call sheet.
"Whether it's TV, films or theatre, whenever I act, I think, 'this is the one chance we get to create this moment of art, so let's work really hard and enjoy ourselves'."
True enough, Cumberbatch doesn't just play high-functioning sociopaths, and has taken on some fun, light-hearted roles as well. He voiced Smaug the dragon in The Hobbit trilogy and the spy wolf Classified in Penguins of Madagascar.
Geekdom's sex symbol may no longer be single, but we're sure the Cumberbitches will be tracking his scent for quite a while.
WEIRD-LOOKING DUDES WOMEN LOVE ANYWAY
You don't have to look like George Clooney to have the ladies lusting after you, as these aesthetic oddities - in order of descending weirdness - prove.
1 Steve Buscemi
2 Andy Samberg
3 Benedict Cumberbatch
4 Willem Dafoe
5 Billy Bob Thornton
6 Adrien Brody
7 Jake Gyllenhaal