Perfume Directory

Habit Rouge (1965)
by Guerlain


Habit Rouge information

Year of Launch1965
AvailabilityIn Production
Average Rating
(based on 1145 votes)

People and companies

PerfumerJean Paul Guerlain
PackagingRobert Granai
Parent CompanyLVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton
Parent Company at launchGuerlain

About Habit Rouge

Another Guerlain classic: Habit Rouge (meaning red jacket) combines notes of bergamot, patchouli, vanilla and leather.

Habit Rouge fragrance notes

Reviews of Habit Rouge

Bright, clean, lemon opening. I'm not a note expert but I think it's the faint rosewood or rose giving this a feminine feel. That's just the scent wafting in the air. If you get into where you sprayed it, all you get is lemons.

The drydown is where the old-school magic happens. I'm not a fan of wearing but it definitely has that time machine effect.

I get really good projection.
15th January, 2018
Habit Rouge is one of two 60's siblings that Guerlain unleashed to make it's stake in the then-burgeoning world of men's fragrance. It succeeded Guerlain Vetiver by about 4 years, and arrived just in time to compete with the other French chypres that had been making the rounds. This was a time when male fougeres were still seen as pedestrian (with the exception of maybe Canoe), and the finer French houses serving the uppity clientele still focused on mostly traditional affairs, which explains much of what Rochas, Givenchy, and Chanel had been doing with their debut male scents. Guerlain had gotten the jump on all of them years ago when they released Mouchoir de Monsieur, which was for all intents and purposes a male Jicky made for the man's handkerchief. Habit Rouge then wasn't the first or even the second masculine EDT the house had made, but realistically the third. They kinda didn't need to do another chypre like this but I guess they had to get the point across that they could since Mouchoir de Monsieur was becoming dated after 60+ years. It's hard to say exactly where this falls in line with the other aforementioned mid-century French masculines, since it smells like a time apart despite being what was then a more modern approach, but maybe that's it's purpose since Guerlain doesn't like to perceive the passage of time the way the rest of the perfume world does.

For starters, Habit Rouge has that same waxy and oily ambiance that a lot of it's antique forerunners possess, and this gives it a strange quality akin to the smell of citrus and herb essential oils used for baking. Maybe the rumored "guerlinade" note cocktail that supposedly exists in all Guerlain creations is to blame for this vintage feel, because it does share that commonality with Guerlain Vetiver. I liken the drydown of this to the smell of a specific kind of citrus and bergamot-infused fruit and cheese pie an Italian friend of mine bakes and mails me from across an ocean; it's an interesting association I know, but for those who know what kind of European pastry I'm on about, you won't be able to "unsmell" it once you whiff Habit Rouge. Outside of this accord, it is a typical citrus and animalic chypre from this period: very light and fresh opening with some indiscernible skank undertow that fades on skin, and a warm herbal and amber base. What separates Habit Rouge from other mid-century chypre efforts is it's "kitchen sink" construction: it has everything from vanilla, moss, leather and benzoin to patchouli, rose, sandal, basil, and even oddities like rosewood or pimento. Leave it to such an old-school French house to make a huge melange of notes that must be blended in impossibly specific ratios to conjure this scent, but it results in a light and sweet de-fanged chypre that could only do harm by being too easy-going, which is why a lot of folks leave this to older gentlemen. Habit Rouge, despite it's best advertising efforts to the contrary (still going right up until 2014), is anything but aggressive. Folks in my experience who find stuff like this loud or up-front have usually just never experienced chypres and are used to the synthesized placidity of modern aquatics, because this is softness in a bottle.

Is this classic? Absolutely. Is it essential? Well if you love traditional French perfumery I'd say yes, as most of them even in the 60's had already started becoming more experimental and this was sort of the last of the old guard to hit the street, with Dior's decidedly more timeless Eau Sauvage being the final exclamation point on the whole genre. Otherwise, I'd say no. You can pick any citrus chypre, even the three-note-wonder of YSL's late-coming Pour Homme and get the same point across, it's just all in the angle of attack with these. Habit Rouge comes across as the most mystifying and complex of the lot for sure, and the least potentially offensive one still containing an animal note, but ultimately becomes a slave to it's design; it's so florid in composure that it's only appropriate for holiday dinners, formal occasions, or for that guy that just loves the old "dandy" style masculines that died when chest hair became in vogue. It's oddly more at home in the time period of the aforementioned Mouchoir de Monsieur than the swinging 60's, but if you were gonna have just one classic Guerlain masculine and it -could not be- Vetiver, this stuff is a good choice.
23rd November, 2017 (last edited: 27th November, 2017)
There is something about this fragrance that separate's it from everything I've ever smelt, it's as if all I knew about fragrance doesn't mean sxxt. For a while I used to think the London shaving shops did things fairly classy (and they do), us English know how to do a good fragrance (think sartorial and many others) bla bla ..habit rouge is another world and to be honest I feel very humbled by this ..this is probably as good as it gets. I must of used 50ml in enlightenment.
04th November, 2017 (last edited: 07th November, 2017)
A classic ( edt 2016 ),citrus intense,leather,speacy ,flowers. Habit rouge for me is inferior to Vetiver,Coriolan,Heritage,Homme of Guerlain.Unisex IMO.
19th September, 2017
My review is of the EDT vintage fragrance. Apparently there is much difference between EDP, EDT, Vintage, Reformulation, etc. This opens with a sharp green fougere top, mixed with lipstick and an animalic. There is a subtle old urine smell underneath. Not fresh urine, but the dried urine found in cracks underneath a toilet. This sounds horrible, but in a very small dose, it is not quite off-putting, although once smelled, can't be un-smelled. I couldn't wear this b/c it dries down to a powder fragrance, and I detest powder. Man's fragrance? Perhaps for a 'dandy' or one comfortable with his masculinity. Reserved for formal affairs, I could see Hercule Poirot wearing this while solving a case for Agatha Christie. Spats, leather gloves, a waxed mustache twisted upwards.
15th July, 2017
My husband fits into the Basenotes mould, liking the top ten, and I say that with a note of apology as I fear being a little cliched, but we have both, over time, been captured by Guerlain. At one time I thought we would each find an obscure fragrance that would be our secrets. He came close with Azzaro Acteur, absolutely wonderful on him and complimented wherever he went but it was discontinued.

With Habit Rouge I bought the EDP for him some years ago assuming that the rounded out fragrance with Oud would be more to his taste, but I was wrong. He discovered the EDT at an airport counter and is converted. Habit Rouge has a little Nahema in it, is the male Shalimar and has the sparkle of Thierry Wasser's reinvented Mitsouko EDT. I find myself in Shalimar Cologne 2015 a good deal lately and we must make a Dynamic Duo in the Supermarket. Easily unisex.
10th May, 2017

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