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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Perfume Review: Guerlain Habit Rouge

I discovered Habit Rouge only recently, thanks to a recommendation from the wonderful tmp00. I mourn the years wasted without Habit Rouge in my life. This 1965 masterpiece is perfection, from its sweet citrusy beginning, to the warm spices and woods in its heart, to the wonderfully earthy, animalic drydown.

The subtle transformations Habit Rouge goes through fascinate me. It starts with a joyous, forceful accord of lemon, bergamot and orange; the citruses are pleasantly sweet and slightly spiced up with cinnamon. The latter serves as a bridge of sorts, between the top and the middle notes, smoothly connecting the bright candied-ness of citrus and the velvety darkness of sandalwood, carnation and patchouli. The earthiness of patchouli extends to the drydown, where it is joined by rather subtle leather softened by vanilla. There are several versions of notes for Habit Rouge, and none of them mentions vetiver or musk, and yet, as far as my nose is concerned, those too dominate the drydown outshining patchouli and leather. When I applied Habit Rouge for the very first time, the unexpected animalic quality of the drydown made me literally squeal in delight (yes, I am a dork). It was musky, rooty, gloriously dirrrty and it made me a slave to Habit Rouge forever.

Another great thing about Habit Rouge? Its price! 3.4oz retails on BigDiscount.com for $22.75, and the whopping 6.8oz bottle for only $32.95.

29 Comments:

Blogger tmp00 said...

{blushing} well, thank you. I am glad in a small way to return the favor- you've introduced me to so many, I'm glad that I could introduce you to one.

11:30 PM EDT  
Anonymous Ina said...

Excellent description! I've only tried it briefly and thought it could very well be called Shalimar Pour Homme. Must revisit soon.

11:47 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

T,
'Tis was love at first sniff. Thank you again!

12:15 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Ina,
Oh, that makes lots of sense, Shalimar Pour Homme. I always suspected that if they made such a scent it would have been way more wearable (for me) than the regular Shalimar.

12:16 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a wonderful scent isn't it? I rediscovered it again recently after a few years break and the seperation only made me appreciate it more. It will always have a place in my fragrance wardrobe and would certainly make any top 5 or desert island lists I make.

12:46 AM EDT  
Blogger The Scented Salamander said...

I like dirty -- must try.

1:05 AM EDT  
Blogger Cait Shortell said...

I wanna squeal in delight, too. Sign me up! Must try this. Thank you Marina and tmp00.

3:02 AM EDT  
Blogger Dusan said...

Oh, do stop writing such mouthwatering reviews :)! I'm green with envy, I am. HR has been topping my to-try list for the longest time. Shalimar for men? Candied citrus, spices, vanilla, leather, patch? Dirrrty? Arrgh, you're killing me!!!

6:53 AM EDT  
Blogger marchlion said...

Well, clearly I need to devote myself a lot more to the "men's section." You know how much I like a drrrty Guerlain. I guess I've never smelled this b/c it's not stocked in the stores? (Too busy selling the latest Marine accord...)

OK I have to ask -- L'Instant PH struck me (still strikes me) as YOU. You were very meh about it. Too sweet? Not enough ... what? PS Do I need to send you a squidge of Tea for Two in your pkg? Mailing it this morning.

8:43 AM EDT  
Anonymous newproducts said...

Lovely review, as always. Ah, how I wish I had had the chance to re-test this before I bought my husband his second bottle of Heritage. We both loved the latter the first time around, but when it ran out, we bought Lolita Lempicka for men because we found it cheap at Costco. We both agreed it was not the best scent for him, so when that ran out, we both decided on Chanel Pour Monsieur, which smelled great on paper. Alas, when we were at Neiman's recently, we tested it on him, and it didn't smell that great. We also tested Terre D'Hermes, which my husband thought was "too orange-y", and Green Irish Tweed, at which my husband scrunched up his nose. So, we decided to buy Heritage again since we liked it the first time around. Well...neither of us love it too much this time around, and we bought the big honking 100ml bottle. *Sigh* I'm trying to get him to wear one of mine. I thought Hiris smelled great on him, but he has this pre-conceived notion that since it's a woman's perfume, it smells too feminine. I think I'll have to trick him next time, and tell him it's actually a men's cologne. Well, sorry for my ramblings. You've made me want to try both Dior Homme and Heritage. Both of those sound like I could wear them too, which would be a plus. :)

9:41 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Being on the Desert Island List is a high praise for a scent. Habit Rouge is certainly worthy of it.

9:54 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Mimi,
I think you are going to like it!

9:55 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Cait,
It is an embarassing confession, but sqealing is what I do when I try on a new scent that I really, really like. I think the previous time I squealed like that was when I tested Parfums de Nicolai New York :-)

9:57 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Dusan,
At least this one seems to be easy to find. I said seems, because, if you look at March's comment, apparently it is not sold at brick and mortar stores? Hmm. Well, it is available super-cheap online.

9:58 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

March,
Thanky ou very much, I actually have a sample of T42. I sniffed it from the vial, it wasn't as scary as I remembered...but I still hesitate to apply it :-)

I liked L'Instant PH a lot. It's the new summer version I was kind of meh about. But the original men's one is awesome.

10:00 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

N,
Oh, I am sorry to hear Heritage doesn't work for the two fo you anymore. 100ml is a lot to be stuck with...But Habit Rouge is so cheap online, you know...I'm just sayin' :-)

10:02 AM EDT  
Blogger Patty said...

Will I hate this do you think? I love Hermes generally, so I think I just couldn't hate something of theirs? It's one of just two or three I haven't gotten 'round to yet.

10:32 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Patty,
This is actually Guerlain's. How do you feel about Guerlain, not as positively as about Hermes, right?
I still think you might like it. It sure has "skank", but not over the top skank.

10:40 AM EDT  
Blogger lilyofbp said...

Coincidentally, this was recommended to me on MUA last night (in the "name three scents you love and we'll pick another" thread). Sounds like a definite winner for me, and the recommender said it would be great for summer, too. And it's even cheaper at the auction place. But there's only so much I can buy at once (hah!), no matter how cheap, so let me ask you--which comes first for me, this (leaning that way) or Yatagan?
Will undoubtedly get both eventually, maybe sooner, but if you had to pick one first. . . ?

10:53 AM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Judith,
Ah! That's a tough one. They are both great and I think you'd love both, but...I think HR is a safer bet, simply because it is somewhat less "weird" and thus there is less possibility that some note there will smell off/wrong on your skin, you know?

11:19 AM EDT  
Blogger Patty said...

My reading skillz suck. Hermes has a red bottle, and I just dyslexicked them.

3:41 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Patty,
Funny thing is, I *constantly* catch myself thinking about Habit Rouge as of Hermes scent. Not because it smells Hermes-esque or anything, it's something to do with the name I think.

3:44 PM EDT  
Blogger Trina said...

M, you have GOT to stop sending me lemmings. Seriously. Knock it off. Start posting about frags you hate or something. I can't take it! LOL!

4:07 PM EDT  
Blogger colombina said...

Trina,
But it's booooring to write about scents I don't like. Unless it is something I really hate. Then I could be snarky. But those don't appear often.

4:10 PM EDT  
Anonymous teary said...

My first love was a Parisian and both he and I loved Habit Rouge. Just one spray near the navel was needed to diffuse over his entire being. Its intoxicating and it wonderful essences are ever changing - thus remains interesting.

My first love eventually became my husband. And then my late husband, after an unfortunate accident. EVen now I can still discern the scent of Habit Rouge when ever I think of him and disect it's perfectly blended aromas..

He never wore anything else because it was perfection in a bottle.

10:33 AM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

teary,
I am very sorry for your loss.

Habit Rouge is definitely perfection, and a beautiful memory.

10:39 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is this a unisex or a mens fragrance?

8:53 PM EDT  
Blogger Colombina (Marina) said...

Guerlain markets it as a mens scent

8:54 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just purchased the EDC over the EDT so that I could wear it in more contexts--is this a mistake? I hope that it wasn't (I have only smelled the EDT--not the EDC!!!) is there much difference??

9:42 PM EST  

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