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  1. #1
    Basenotes Junkie Joe Kilroy's Avatar
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    Default can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    I don't want to sound ignorant or disrespectful. I am fully aware of the dignitas and quality that go hand in hand with the House of Guerlain (speaking of someone who was only aware of and captivated by their female fragrances, apart from L'Instant, which I consider Unisex). Is it just that the modern Habit Rouge is not the same beast ? What is happening with this ?
    My brother bought it, and I tried it, and after a while ( forgive me, I feel like I'm laughing in a church), we both started giggling. We both used the phrase "old woman's handbag" to describe the sweet fusty smell, and since then, he has been trying to give it away. He even , bless him, tried to post it to me here in Nicaragua, but it seems to have been confiscated by either a British or Nicaraguan postal worker, as it still has not turned up after 2 years. I am wondering if they saw the bottle on their scanner, or whether the scent of Liberace's dressing gown managed to seep through the jiffy bag ? I'm sorry, I know I am desecrating hallowed ground here, and part of me feels quite guilty and ashamed. But if someone could explain to me how and why Habit Rouge aquired such a holy reputation , I'd be glad to listen. And who knows, understanding something better can lead to appreciating it more, this is true of many things. Sometimes a thing can be shocking and grotesque because it goes against all our previous expectations and received knowledge about the way we think things should be, not what they are. And by the way, I am not a modernist at all, by taste I am pathetically traditional and conservative. But this seems to hark back to a bygone age, perhaps? Brings to mind Uncle Monty in Withnail and I, or perhaps he would have preferred vintage Pour Monsieur?
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  2. #2

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

    Habit Rouge is ultimately related to Guerlain Shalimar. Shalimar and perfumes in the same genre were used extensively in the past and to some extent have come to define past eras. so perhaps you are just mentally associating it with those eras. As usual, there's no accounting for taste.

    (It is also possible that a bottle is off-but that is less likely)

    cacio

  3. #3

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

    it's a 'marmite' fragrance that's for sure

    Take 2 poets -- Verlaine would wear Heritage and Rimbaud would wear Habit Rouge

  4. #4

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

    Between Shalimar and Habit Rouge (EDP; I'm not acquainted with the other variants), I'll side with Shalimar. Shalimar has a sparkle Habit Rouge lacks; Habit Rouge just wears kinda flat and powdery on me.

  5. #5

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

    Definitely "dandy" and for a man who has interests and tastes in the past (not a bad thing) and also to consider probably before a 'masculine ' type of fragrance was cast in 20th century prior to this what men wore is what we'd likely associate with female perfumery now. Most likely floral.

    To description:
    Starts with a blast of bright sparkly citrus (I always think of when you put a handful of skittles in yer mouth!)
    It's got lots of development as it progresses
    Rose and a dry wood comes out to play and a crackling leather ( not fusty worn leather) and vanilla eases in the base. Its also got a effervescent and powdery aspect. I can see why powdery and rose floral would make one think 'old lady handbag'!

    Sure is difficult to wear, I have only sported it on special occasions where such extravagance is generally accepted!!
    Well wishes ����

  6. #6

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

    In the dry-down Habit Rouge has a huge slug of patchouli surrounded by everything else, mainly vanilla and powdery iris - this is what I get, at least. That powdery/sweet patchouli is quite a dandyish combination and I can see how it wouldn't fit many guys' taste. I love it because it's so well done and always intriguing.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Smells powdery. Citrus clashing with something milky/creamy, almost like turned milk. A dash of leather (like the name implies...'Red Riding Coat').

    I love it. But many people don't. You might be one of those.
    "A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit. "

    -- D. Elton Trueblood
    Currently wearing: Bonheur by Bortnikoff

  8. #8

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

    Just because lots of people like something doesn't mean that you have to like it.

  9. #9

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

    I've always enjoyed it but do find it a touch "Uncle Monty"
    Not sure about the most recent version though. Haven't tested a new formulation for a few years.


  10. #10
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by ultravisitor View Post
    Just because lots of people like something doesn't mean that you have to like it.
    Absolutely.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  11. #11
    Dependent Francolino's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    I love it, it's also a favourite of Keith Richards and that's enough for me!

  12. #12
    Basenotes Junkie Joe Kilroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    The Keith Richards thing does surprise me. I think it might have been a state of mind when I tried it. I was just home from Moscow after 10 years and the Dandy in me was very jaded at the time. I'd be ready to give it another try any day, maybe that bottle will turn up one day, as other parcels have done, years after they were sent, like driftwood washing up on Robinson Crusoe's island.
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  13. #13
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Referring to the EdT here, I do love it but yes, I can certainly see how it can be a challenge to wear. It is so far removed from much of what we have associated with ‘men’s’ fragrance for so long. It is very ‘dusty’ and the rose has an old era quality about it; it’s not a modern rose, or a deep, dark rose and yet it is very, very prominent.

    Even though I like it, I have to be in the mood for it, so to speak. It certainly is not a ‘dumb reach’. I do think it becomes more masculine as it dries down, though. My wife has commented on how good it smells later in the day.

    And I do love the leather note. It is such a refined, expensive smelling leather; not like other leather fragrances I have/have smelled. And it is very realistic. It actually announces itself quickly on my skin. I’ve always said that the fragrance as a whole smells like sitting in a classic car with exquisite leather interior whilst eating that rose and lemon Turkish Delight that’s dusted in confectioner’s sugar! That description doesn’t address the great vanilla note that it has, though, but for me it is pretty accurate.

  14. #14

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

    For what it’s worth, along the lines of the Keith’s richards thing: over twenty years of touring I’ve noticed that a fair amount of rockers love to contrast dark ripped jeans, leather and dirty hair with clean and powdery scents. One legend was definitely wearing a white musk, when he slapped me on the back. Androgyny can project serious confidence. I love soft scents in rugged situations and vice versa.

    Habit Rouge was quite challenging for me when I first tried it. Now it’s quite pleasing. Some scents take time to get their point across.
    Currently wearing: MEM by Bogue Profumo

  15. #15

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

    Quote Originally Posted by broguesforsir View Post
    Referring to the EdT here...,I’ve always said that the fragrance as a whole smells like sitting in a classic car with exquisite leather interior whilst eating that rose and lemon Turkish Delight that’s dusted in confectioner’s sugar! That description doesn’t address the great vanilla note that it has, though, but for me it is pretty accurate.
    This sounds fantastic!
    ”I want all the perfumes”

  16. #16

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

    It's pretty interesting for me to see multiple people claim that Habit Rouge was challenging for them. For me, it's always been really, really easy. I've always been drawn to Orientals, though, and Egoiste was my second fragrance ever (and it remains my favorite).

  17. #17

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

    Short answer: no. Seriously, I don't think the essential character has changed that much, and many newbies probably couldn't tell the difference, likely due to being overwhelmed by the top notes. To me those top notes register more along the lines of smelling salts than grandma's handbag, actually. Hint: spray it on your skin where you can smell it over time. I spray just above where my crew socks come up to, for example. Then I can cross my legs and use a hand to waft it to my nose to check on it. Pehaps you will enjoy the drydown that way (just be sure to let it dry before placing any clothing on top of the area you sprayed).

  18. #18

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

    Hahahaha it’s okay Joe, I’ve also struggled with many of the fragrance community darlings & sacred cows too.

    I love your “I feel like I’m laughing in church” analogy!

    Habit Rouge is a challenging fragrance, and probably even more so in Nicaraguan weather!

    Guerlain Vetiver would be better suited to your climate. It’s a wonderful citrus/vetiver/tobacco fragrance that’s cheap, easy to wear and works great in the heat.

  19. #19

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaern View Post
    it's a 'marmite' fragrance that's for sure

    Take 2 poets -- Verlaine would wear Heritage and Rimbaud would wear Habit Rouge
    Personally, I think Rimbaud would wear Guerlain Vetiver, if anything, particularly when he decided to go the gun-selling, mercenary route .

  20. #20

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

    I have it, love it, rarely wear it because it is so.... complex. I find that Habit Rouge l'Eau is much more wearable. On the right people it is a real winner. I was once standing next to a man in the second floor bar at the California Club--the guy was a real captain of industry in a Brioni suit sort of guy and it smelled fiercely masculine on him. Blended perfectly with the smell of his Lagavulin. Nothing old lady's handbag about him.
    Very clearly a case for corn flakes and classics

  21. #21
    Basenotes Junkie Joe Kilroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Opiate View Post
    Hahahaha it’s okay Joe, I’ve also struggled with many of the fragrance community darlings & sacred cows too.

    I love your “I feel like I’m laughing in church” analogy!

    Habit Rouge is a challenging fragrance, and probably even more so in Nicaraguan weather!

    Guerlain Vetiver would be better suited to your climate. It’s a wonderful citrus/vetiver/tobacco fragrance that’s cheap, easy to wear and works great in the heat.
    This is definitely one in my sights thanks Opiate, have you tried a recent formulation of the Guerlain Vetiver ?
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  22. #22

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

    If I remember correctly, Guerlain Vetiver was in fact developed with the Mexican market in mind. And vetivers do very well in hot weather. Unlike vanilla and sweet resins.

    cacio

  23. #23

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Kilroy View Post
    This is definitely one in my sights thanks Opiate, have you tried a recent formulation of the Guerlain Vetiver ?
    I have, I own the most recent version now(tall square bottle with the dark green cap).
    I’ve owned both vintage and current versions and I like the current formulation best. The citrus is brighter and this version just feels fresher and more modern & easier to wear.

  24. #24
    Basenotes Junkie Joe Kilroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bigsly View Post
    Short answer: no. Seriously, I don't think the essential character has changed that much, and many newbies probably couldn't tell the difference, likely due to being overwhelmed by the top notes. To me those top notes register more along the lines of smelling salts than grandma's handbag, actually. Hint: spray it on your skin where you can smell it over time. I spray just above where my crew socks come up to, for example. Then I can cross my legs and use a hand to waft it to my nose to check on it. Pehaps you will enjoy the drydown that way (just be sure to let it dry before placing any clothing on top of the area you sprayed).
    I clearly wasn't doing it right. Spraying it on my wrist in a pub in Frome surrounded by men wearing Beckham Instinct.
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  25. #25
    Dependent NickZee's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    I stay well away from Habit Rouge, that dandy smell is nauseating and explains why many men stuck to the safety of aftershave and drugstore colognes in those days.
    Follow me on Instagram @scentcurator
    Currently wearing: Red Tobacco by Mancera

  26. #26

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

    It was unwearable to me when I tested an EdT in the department store. My wife said it smells like an old lady perfume.
    I have never tried it again.
    Currently wearing: Pour Un Homme by Caron

  27. #27
    Basenotes Junkie Joe Kilroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    I knew I'd feel bad for starting this. I feel like I broke into the church vestry and ate all the holy bread and guzzled all the wine.
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  28. #28
    Basenotes Junkie Joe Kilroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    In fact, this thread kind of goes against some kind of etiquette. If we don't like something , we don't like it. It's not really nice to start desecrating something that others do like...

    I started something here that goes against my belief in leaving people alone and in peace to wear what they want. I'd be quite happy if a moderator here would delete it. I'm better than this..
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis

  29. #29

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

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Kilroy View Post
    I knew I'd feel bad for starting this. I feel like I broke into the church vestry and ate all the holy bread and guzzled all the wine.
    Why do you feel bad? I love Habit Rouge, and I don't think there's anything wrong with what you or anyone else in this thread has said.

    Not everybody has to like the same thing, and not every post about a fragrance has to be unqualified praise. That would be boring.

  30. #30
    Basenotes Junkie Joe Kilroy's Avatar
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    Default Re: can someone please explain Habit Rouge to me?

    Quote Originally Posted by ultravisitor View Post
    Why do you feel bad? I love Habit Rouge, and I don't think there's anything wrong with what you or anyone else in this thread has said.

    Not everybody has to like the same thing, and not every post about a fragrance has to be unqualified praise. That would be boring.
    Thank you.
    Currently wearing: Havana by Aramis




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