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  1. #31
    The_Cologneist's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Habit Rouge has a cult following for sure, but it's important not to mistake reviews from people who are long time followers, and people who are reviewing the current fragrance. Read between the lines with reviews, or find honest reviewers who aren't biased toward things just because they are from a certain era.

    For the record, I totally agree on the "old lady's handbag" smell.

  2. #32

    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Currently wearing: Shaal Nur by Etro

  3. #33
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trauerkraut View Post
    ... but ignore references to it being a chypre or fougère: Habit Rouge is known as the first masculine oriental.

    The thing with the older Guerlains is that they are both complex and composed with obvious, rare intelligence, meaning that once they're on the skin they evolve slowly, giving up their secrets little by little. I suspect it was the EdT you tried, which - in its current formulation especially - has a bright, almost harsh citrus opening that many find challenging. It does soften with time, giving way to a dry, spiced powder (opoponax among other ingredients) that many find irresistible. The drydowns of the old Guerlains are where a lot of the magic happens.

    No one is obliged to like the landmarks of Western perfumery, but they do repay attempts to understand them. My advice is to come back to Habit Rouge once you've got to know your way around other classics, if you don't know them already. I remember the first time I tried Mouchoir de Monsieur and wrinkled my nose; it's now as close to being my signature scent as anything else in my wardrobe. Or you can try the EdP, which many find more modern, softer and more approachable. In the end, there's no substitute for sampling.

    PS The original bottle was undoubtedly destroyed by Royal Mail, who refuse to ship perfumes abroad.

  4. #34

    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by hellbentforleather View Post
    Personally, I think Rimbaud would wear Guerlain Vetiver, if anything, particularly when he decided to go the gun-selling, mercenary route .
    Good point

    It's just that I think Habit Rouge is a 'pretty' dandified fragrance and Rimbaud was considered to be very handsome, whereas Verlaine was balding and less attractive and less outrageous.

  5. #35
    Basenotes Junkie Joe Kilroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Trauerkraut View Post

    Thank you. I already have. It's the first thing I always do.
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  6. #36
    Basenotes Junkie Joe Kilroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by saminlondon View Post
    ... but ignore references to it being a chypre or fougère: Habit Rouge is known as the first masculine oriental.

    The thing with the older Guerlains is that they are both complex and composed with obvious, rare intelligence, meaning that once they're on the skin they evolve slowly, giving up their secrets little by little. I suspect it was the EdT you tried, which - in its current formulation especially - has a bright, almost harsh citrus opening that many find challenging. It does soften with time, giving way to a dry, spiced powder (opoponax among other ingredients) that many find irresistible. The drydowns of the old Guerlains are where a lot of the magic happens.

    No one is obliged to like the landmarks of Western perfumery, but they do repay attempts to understand them. My advice is to come back to Habit Rouge once you've got to know your way around other classics, if you don't know them already. I remember the first time I tried Mouchoir de Monsieur and wrinkled my nose; it's now as close to being my signature scent as anything else in my wardrobe. Or you can try the EdP, which many find more modern, softer and more approachable. In the end, there's no substitute for sampling.

    PS The original bottle was undoubtedly destroyed by Royal Mail, who refuse to ship perfumes abroad.
    thanks. That's a good point. There was just a spray and some comments and I don't remember the dry down because I was too busy nursing my hangover.

    As for Royal Mail destroying the parcel. He didn't write "perfume" on the form, and it was tucked in with other things.

    How would they have known about it?
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  7. #37
    Dependent saminlondon's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Kilroy View Post

    As for Royal Mail destroying the parcel. He didn't write "perfume" on the form, and it was tucked in with other things.

    How would they have known about it?
    They scan packages as a matter of course, alas.

  8. #38
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by saminlondon View Post
    No one is obliged to like the landmarks of Western perfumery, but they do repay attempts to understand them. My advice is to come back to Habit Rouge once you've got to know your way around other classics, if you don't know them already.
    Love this s(c)entiment! First time I tried HR I felt much like the OP. Sure am glad I came back to it as it's now one of my absolute favorites scents. I enjoy it in all of it's iterations.

  9. #39
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cologneist View Post
    Habit Rouge has a cult following for sure, but it's important not to mistake reviews from people who are long time followers, and people who are reviewing the current fragrance. Read between the lines with reviews, or find honest reviewers who aren't biased toward things just because they are from a certain era.

    For the record, I totally agree on the "old lady's handbag" smell.
    To me Dior homme smells a lot more like old lady handbag.
    I don’t know about the latest releases but the 70s version I have of habit rouge is nothing less than a masterpiece.
    1976 - Yatagan Caron
    1977 - Snuff by Schiaparelli
    1981 - Kouros YSL
    1988 - Fahrenheit Dior
    1980 - Patou Pour Homme
    1987 - Lapidus Pour Homme
    1981 - Quorum Antonio Puig
    1993 - Insense by Givenchy
    2014 - Dior Homme Parfum
    1987 - Ho Hang Club Balenciaga

  10. #40
    Dependent Paul H's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Acquired taste in my opinion.

  11. #41
    The Devil in the Details
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Habit Rouge is basically Shalimar for Men in the same way Mouchoir de Monsieur was Jicky for men.
    oh look, I have a signature
    Discover a searchable archive of my reviews and more at The Scented Devil
    Currently wearing: Stetson Black by Stetson

  12. #42

    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    You don't have to like things because they internet tells you to. Even here on Basenotes 20% of the reviewers give it a thumbs down.

    It was an important perfume artistically and commercially when it was released in the 1960's, and it's from one of the most important perfume houses - perhaps the most important - and composed by a Guerlain. It also stands out today because there are few perfumes like it still on the market, probably because many people react like you did, finding it old and feminine. So if you want something really different, if you don't want to smell like something from your average perfume counter, it's an option. The edp is better, in my opinion.

    As always, it's hard to draw conclusions about scent from reading an internet forum. But it's good that you tried it and were honest about your opinions. You might come around to it: Classic Guerlain scents have a way of growing on you, because there is a thoughtful intelligence to their composition that unfolds over time.

  13. #43

    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    I guess I straddle both sides of this thread: no shame if you hate it, but don't anyone try to pry my bottle away from me, please. My initial encounter was with a minimal (1ml) sample which was very misleading (my impression was that it was short-lived, which shows you how off-base I was); I just found it weird, both sweet and dusty -- I was in a used bookstore so go figure. Some impulse made me order a used 50 ml online and the minute I smelled it and had the 'uh-oh' moment where you kind of know that something is a big deal. My wife totally had the old lady perfume reaction (she doesn't like powder on herself either -- she once turned up her nose at being gifted Channel No 5) which probably only motivated me to wear it more... we like each other and all, but this was just too aesthetically nice to let go of, and if you can't make a stand of your own idea of beauty then what are your ethics made of? it also unfailingly puts me in a good mood, which I need to be in because I can be very impatient, and the incense-like patchouli drydown is like wearing the opposite of a hairshirt, whatever that means. Anyway, it grew on me over about five years and has recently shifted into being my signature. It may be that I don't consider powder femme or dandy (my dad, a tough-but-sensitive security guard and war vet, used to splash on powder-bomb Royal Copenhagen after a shave, which blended well with his unfiltered gauloises), but I think it's the androgyny I like... It feels a bit like a 'fuck you' gesture in a period of sometimes brittle masculinity, especially when worn with a suit, which is generally my work situation. But please feel free not to like it! Speaking selfishly, I don't want everyone wearing it out. Also, as somebody whose been carrying Rimbaud around for 30+ years, let me just say that, for me, Arthur Rimbaud was definitely a Habit Rouge poet -- the orientalism suits both his dreamy teenage 'foreign land' poems and his eventual worldly travels, as does HR's sense of being just too much (his extreme precocity) and inappropriately extravagant (his hungry, deft lyricism). Rimbaud was a 'fuck you' poet. Verlaine was a 'pity me' poet; he probably wore something with a lot of musk.
    Currently wearing: Pour Un Homme by Caron

  14. #44

    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    I did not like HABIT ROUGE EdT at all. Got very little out of it. It was a rushed purchase when I first joined Basenotes and saw all the gushing about it. It left me baffled...

    On a sampling field trip with other LA based Basenoters, I got a vial of BEAU CAVALIER (aka HABIT ROUGE EdP).
    After a couple of sample wearings, that one clicked for me in the dry down. It became one of those scents I could't stop thinking about so bought a bottle.

    I like it "ok" but it's not a huge favorite. I do think most Basenoters should sample it as a historically significant scent. But I would not push anyone that this is any sort of must own. It is a very well blended scent, masculine in a modern dandy-ish sort of way to me. Maybe the right word for this scent is "refined." It's not for everybody.

    Being mature helps be it in age or outlook.

    The opening blast is still one of the screechiest and oddest of all the scents I own. This really doesn't lend itself to an in store spray test.

    The DRESS CODE flanker was a really nice "updated' variation on this one.
    Between Covid and retirement I don't get out much. But when I do, I smell real good.
    Currently wearing: No. 89 by Floris

  15. #45
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    I love Habit Rouge. Dusty, powdery. A floral oriental with a crumpled velvet texture and scarlet hue.

  16. #46
    Dependent Foamywax's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    I think it's perfect. I don't find anything polarizing about it at all. It's a piece of art and it's my favorite scent along with Egoiste. The powder in Habit Rouge is my favorite aspect . A true unisex fragrance in every sense of the word, and the fact it came out in the 60's makes me like it even more. A whole book could be written about this scent.
    At the end of the day it's a matter of taste.
    I may not understand how someone might not like Habit Rouge , but I can respect that.

  17. #47

    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scents And Sense View Post
    I love Habit Rouge. Dusty, powdery. A floral oriental with a crumpled velvet texture and scarlet hue.
    Which one?
    I get way more citrus/lemon with the EdT and more vanilla with the EdP.
    I like smelling it but maybe not on me.
    Still got a good amount left in my decants.

  18. #48
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by FragFrog View Post
    Which one?
    I get way more citrus/lemon with the EdT and more vanilla with the EdP.
    I like smelling it but maybe not on me.
    Still got a good amount left in my decants.
    The one I was talking about in my post was the edt. I like it better than the edp because it's better balanced imo.

  19. #49

    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Scents And Sense View Post
    The one I was talking about in my post was the edt. I like it better than the edp because it's better balanced imo.
    I think I would also prefer the EdT as it has more this bright sparkle.
    If I want vanilla I've got other options.

  20. #50
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    I love Habit Rouge EDT, I wear it once in awhile and when I do I’m reminded of it’s elegance such a excellent fragrance.
    Currently wearing: Vetiver by Guerlain

  21. #51
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    I only have the gold cap EDT from the early 90s.
    Dry, dusty golden vanilla.
    My opinions in weblog form: FragranceReviewer.com
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  22. #52

    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    While most of the explanations posted are most likely both more accurate and more detailed that the personal one of mine, might rather describe this as:

    a wintry leathery vanilla chypre with both wintry spices and a hefty powdery floral and midway phase, maybe at least partly explaining the strong makeup-like/cosmetics bag hints quite distinctively perceived
    Currently wearing: Brut by Fabergé

  23. #53
    The_Cologneist's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Habit Rouge is disgusting and nauseating imo, I can't stand it. I dunno why it gets recommended so much on here, (then again so does Grey Flannel). It's a fragrance with a VERY acquired taste, and very specific, and the people who recommend it don't realize it's just not an appealing fragrance to a lot of people.

  24. #54
    Dependent Foamywax's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    I bought l'instant edt in January of this year and I remember testing Habit Rouge on the same day. The Habit Rouge edt was like an edp. It smelled incredible, it was rich and lasted longer than the l'instant.
    Habit rouge is next on my list BUT if you don't like powder stay away..
    The powder in this is blended so well with the vanilla it's out of this world.
    It is the ultimate dandy fragrance.

  25. #55
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Habit Rouge is disgusting and nauseating imo, I can't stand it. I dunno why it gets recommended so much on here, (then again so does Grey Flannel). It's a fragrance with a VERY acquired taste, and very specific, and the people who recommend it don't realize it's just not an appealing fragrance to a lot of people.
    I second that.

  26. #56
    Dependent Foamywax's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by The_Cologneist View Post
    Habit Rouge is disgusting and nauseating imo, I can't stand it. I dunno why it gets recommended so much on here, (then again so does Grey Flannel). It's a fragrance with a VERY acquired taste, and very specific, and the people who recommend it don't realize it's just not an appealing fragrance to a lot of people.
    I hate Grey Flannel but love HR.

  27. #57
    Dependent Foamywax's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by saminlondon View Post
    ... but ignore references to it being a chypre or fougère: Habit Rouge is known as the first masculine oriental.

    The thing with the older Guerlains is that they are both complex and composed with obvious, rare intelligence, meaning that once they're on the skin they evolve slowly, giving up their secrets little by little. I suspect it was the EdT you tried, which - in its current formulation especially - has a bright, almost harsh citrus opening that many find challenging. It does soften with time, giving way to a dry, spiced powder (opoponax among other ingredients) that many find irresistible. The drydowns of the old Guerlains are where a lot of the magic happens.

    No one is obliged to like the landmarks of Western perfumery, but they do repay attempts to understand them. My advice is to come back to Habit Rouge once you've got to know your way around other classics, if you don't know them already. I remember the first time I tried Mouchoir de Monsieur and wrinkled my nose; it's now as close to being my signature scent as anything else in my wardrobe. Or you can try the EdP, which many find more modern, softer and more approachable. In the end, there's no substitute for sampling.

    PS The original bottle was undoubtedly destroyed by Royal Mail, who refuse to ship perfumes abroad.
    Very well said.

  28. #58

    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Still a mystery to me. Sometimes I dig it sometimes I'm indifferent. Challenging. Only really reach for it for formal occasions. And yes now I think about it, it does have a sense of "f*@$ you" about it !
    Currently wearing: Open by Roger & Gallet

  29. #59
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Foamywax View Post
    I hate Grey Flannel but love HR.
    I’m the reverse. That said, with regard to GF, I’ve tried both deep vintage (Cochran) and current (EA), and it’s only the former I love. Some people find them similar, but to my nose they’re worlds apart. Even then, I fully understand someone hating the vintage, as it’s unlike anything else and not subtle about it.

    As for HR, I’ve only tried one example, and Guerlains tend to be quite variable across vintages and concentrations. I’m open to finding a version I like, but the one experience I did have was sufficiently negative to discourage further exploration.




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