Not only is he to star in a nation’s favorite period drama, but Richard E. Grant will have everyone smelling just how he wants them, too.News that Grant was cast in Downton Abbey came earlier on this month on Valentines Day, but now we know who he’ll be playing in ITV’s hit drama. Grant will play Simon Bricker, who visits Downton as a guest of the Granthams.

Richard E GrantRichard E. Grant will turn up to the Downton set smelling of his own product, we predict

It’s been a long road for the British actor, who has been vying for a spot on Julian Fellowes’ popular show. Asked in 2012 why he had not been written in to the show yet, Grant replied: “I have no idea. I know Julian, but I was never asked. I’ve never been up for it. Maybe next series,” according to The Telegraph.

But he’s in now, and will be playing the historian Bricker.

“When you’re born with a 10ft-long face, you don’t get hero roles. But I’m not complaining as I have hugely enjoyed the wide variety of parts I’ve got to play,” Grant has said. “I would love to play your common, everyday guy, but I never get cast as that. It would be fun to play a chav and chav it up, but I can’t see it ever happening.”

But that’s not all for Grant fans, as the headline explicitly suggests: he’s launched his own perfume. "I've obsessively smelt everything all my life,” the 56-year-old actor said.

"Anya Hindmarch, the handbag designer, saw me with my head in a gardenia bush in the Caribbean two years ago, and she said, 'Are you going to do something about that?' And I said, 'What psychiatrically?' and she said, 'No, make a perfume'. So I have done."

Perfumes are usually launched by pop stars, and glamorous Hollywood actors – maybe the odd sports personality. So Grant’s new smell comes as a surprise. "It's self-financed, self-made, everything, it's been my passion for two years, it's a big gamble,” he explained.

"There are 1,100 perfumes released every year, so it's like an old guy releasing a record and hoping people are going to buy it. But it's really good."

Richard E. Grant BaftasHere's Grant flogging his new perfume at the Bafta afterparty