Partial Review, more to come
People seem to be saying that there is no longer any oud note in the EdP. In the latest reformulation of the EdP (bottle looks exactly the same as regular Habit Rouge bottle, no embossed leather jacket or label) there is most definitely an oud note. Not only that, but the Guerlain website lists oud as a note in the EdP.
I am very much liking this so far, and will post a more thorough review after I've had some more time with it
FULL REVIEW: This frag (EdP) opens with a somewhat sharp citrus note, though not as sharp as the EdT. It's accompanied by some obvious woody notes with a clear bit of oud in there. From there it dries down into powdery old-fashioned goodness with some of the citrus still being present. As this progresses the citrus disappears and some leather begins to take shape. Meanwhile the oud is a supporting scent all the way through up to the point. Once the leather takes over for the powder, this evolves into a musky leather scent with a little bit of oud thrown in for good measure. This lasts a good while and it quite soft. Finally this too dries further into the creamy vanilla base Habit Rouge is known for and it stays that way for a good while.
Projection on this isn't so great, so it's a pretty intimate scent. It might have some old man associations, especially in the opening, but I think that the retro smell is part of the appeal Longevity test is still ongoing
This fragrance opens with a bang that a lot of people aren't going to like. I myself don't care highly for the opening. It's harsh, it's animalic, and it's got some STANK but me-oh-my does it mellow out. It starts off as basically straight up a mix of civet, leather and oud with the civet dominating. I usually hate civet but in this case I give it a pass as tolerable. The leather is a dirty leather and the oud plays third fiddle to the two aforementioned notes
The drydown, which comes a mear 2-5 minutes after application, has some of the stank lingering from the opening, but for the most part the civet fades into the background. It's still there but it's nowhere near as noticeable. The leather and oud dominate now and some of the sweet notes, particularly the honey come out. The civet is almost not noticeable at this point unless you stick your nose right up against the skin. Now it really is a mix of leather and oud with some sweet spices and some animalic stank in the background. It's hyper-masculine, a type of scent I'd imagine many women won't love. For me this is something I own for my own personal enjoyment and nobody else's. I've only worn it at home so far, but that may change when the climate cools off.
In any case, I'd recommend going easy on the trigger here. One spray under the clothes is all I'd ever consider if I was going out in public, it's quite pungent and the longevity is absurd. Overall it's an amazing scent that's a bit hard to find the time to wear. But if you love it like I do, wear it for yourself.
Just to balance the scales, and since I appear to be one of like 6 people who own this scent I thought I'd post a review
Wasn't a HUGE fan at first but it's grown on me and it's actually pretty nice. I get a lot of pepper in the opening which isn't exactly my favorite but Isn't horrible. After about 5 seconds that fades and the cardamom seems to dominate. It reminds me a lot of Le nuit De L'Homme, and that's a good thing. If I was going to make a daytime version of Le Nuit, it wouldn't be L'Homme, it'd be this. It's nothing special, I'll admit that, but as a good work/casual scent, it gets the job done and done well. Smells quality and well blended. 7/10
Finally FINALLY got my hands on this yesterday at Bergdorf in NYC. To my understanding they're the exclusive carriers of this scent 9at least insofar as retail sales go) in the U.S. I've never experienced the original so my review is of this scent and how it works as a scent in its own right. Basically, it's really nice. Opens nice and fresh, but still with some of the dirt of a good oud fragrance. Some good potent oud in the middle and base notes but it's well balanced with the myrrh and amber to create a very smooth scent that, while oud dominate, is far less likely to offend than most other oud scents. I went home and ordered it online ($60 there vs the $100 asking price at Bergdorf) and I'm pretty sure that while this isn't my favorite oud (it falls behind Dior Leather Oud and Black Aoud) it'll wind up being my most commonly worn oud, both because of its low price, and how well blended it is. For someone who is new to ouds and want's to test the waters, this is a great place to start. For someone who loves oud scents but wants something a little more wearable (like myself) there's no reason not to pick up a bottle of M7 Oud Absolu
I'm reviewing the EDT, not the EDP. I like this scent, but I can't honestly put my finger on why. It definitely smells unisex, I could see a woman wearing it (I got Shalimar with it today, and while the opening is more feminine the drydown of that supposedly women's fragrance is much more masculine than this is). That's not a bad thing. I often (though not always) find overly masculine fragrances not to be my style.
Having said that I feel like this almost smells generic. I hate to say that because this smells REALLY GOOD but I can't pick out any prominent notes. Honestly, if you asked me what it smells like, I'd probably tell you "Uhhh... cologne?" I get some vanilla, which is odd since that's not a note. I get a little bit of leather. I get some kind fo aquatic almost beachiness in the opening. But I can't really put my finger on WHAT it smells like. Ergo, it's kind of generic.
Having said THAT, this is the best executed fragrance for the money I've ever owned. For less than $40 (4.2 OZ) there isn't a better deal than the EDT on the market to my knowledge. It smells high class, almost like a niche as opposed to a designer. Any guy can wear it because it's so generic, because that makes it a bit versatile. And I'd be remiss not to mention the gorgeous bottle.
Overall, I'd say it's worth a buy. It's a safe and affordable blind buy option.