Reviews of Habit Rouge by Guerlain

The opening is a spicy lemony barbershop fragrance, but a bit old fashioned, formal and stuffy. It neither offers of a refreshing clean out-of-the-shower ‘sporty’ vibe, nor a warm, affectionate and inviting vibe. It’s perfect if you want to go around smelling like you e just had an haircut.

After about 4 hours it starts to settle down. The spiciness and lemon fade away into a soapy rose fragrance, not unlike Acqua Di Parma Essenza to my nose, but more powdery with more rose. At this point it’d make a good blousy black tie fragrance or any well-dressed occasion. But it does occasionally teeter on the edge of smelling like grandma’s pot pourri basket.

To me, it’s a bit of a stand-offish scent, but not in an impolite way, just reserved, wary and unwelcoming of any physicality.

The craftsmanship and quality of the fragrance is definitely obvious in tge dry-down. It’s just not my vibe.
3rd March 2023
This fragrance really does have some nice qualities about it.
It's composition is compelling.
The thing is I've had a dozen wears of this and I've tried really hard to like this,but alas I can't.
It has all the old fashioned barbershop qualities that people rave about,but unfortunately all I can really smell is the sweets I used to eat as a kid.....Cola Cubes.
I have however kept hold of my old bottle as I just can't bring myself to part with it.
I've just got a funny feeling that at some point I will finally like it as I head through my fifties towards my sixties.
So for now it's a solid neutral.....but maybe time will eventually bring that thumbs up rating.
29th September 2022

Habit Rouge is not for everyone. It's strong, floral and yes it does remind one of another age. The rose and carnation floral and powder scent are quite pronounced although they are somewhat cheered up by the citrus. The leathery dry down provides some masculinity but not much. The ingredients seem top notch like all Guerlain frags but perhaps there are just too many of them here. Nevertheless, I can't get away from liking the overall effect. There's something intoxicating about it. I use it as an occasional spritz and it makes a wonderful long lasting closet spray.
8th March 2022
Vintage - At the risk of repeating what many other esteemed reviewers have noted on BN and elsewhere, this is one of the very best.

Essentially it's a powdery amber - dry vanilla, with hints of resins. There's a noticeable citrus / bergamot note in the beginning, hints of orange, and touches of rose and carnation in the mid phases. There's a slight leathery element, but very much in the background for me. I don't think of it as a leather perfume.

What I love most here is how it wears - rich without being heavy, and a very restrained sweetness. It is distinctly dressy, but would pair equally well with smart casual outfit or even something bohemian but well put together. For what it's worth, I find it more versatile than Heritage.

Over the years I've come to appreciate Habit Rouge even more, because of its airiness, and the fantastic blending. One of my bottles leaked a bit during transit, and the residual scent in the package is one of the best things I've ever smelled.


Current (circa mid 2010s) - The mid and the base seem to lack a bit of depth as compared to vintage, and there's a pronounced musky element not there in the vintage version. A fine scent on its own if one has never tried the vintage. Also, a bit weaker.

26th February 2022
I am sorry but I'm going to join the 'meh' faction here. Habit Rouge is fine. It smells nice. But it's really nothing special even for the time it was first made and certainly not today. Despite being labelled as masculine, it also strikes me as one of the most unisex, in fact sexless, scents I've smelled. It starts off with an almost imperceptible, sneeze-and-you-miss-it touch of lemon, but that's already surrounded by a rose-carnation florality, which is made tolerable by something of a woody undertone. That undertone fades away in favour of a predominantly vanilla accord, leaving a very sweet and soft vanilla-rose scent, with a very polite and shy touch of leather, and that's pretty much how it stays. Now I'm not really a huge fan of rose or really sweet fragrances, and vanilla has to be combined with either more boozy, leather or tobacco notes for me to really love it, so this is not going to be one I wear very often, maybe only occasionally in summer.
2nd February 2022
If a perfume is great, and you want to write about it, there should be no problem finding something to say. If it's awful, and you can't stand it, you will probably have a few epithets to give vent to.
But what if a perfume does nothing for you: you don't love it, you don't hate it, it's just meh.
What do you do then? What do you say?
It's hard to get worked up about something that doesn't move you:
Nobody writes hymns of praise to plain vanilla.

And that's what this is to me, plain vanilla; sweet, with orange and rose (and a whole lot of other stuff –spices, balsam, blah blah blah)
It isn't bad, or cheap, or clunky, it just that it doesn't say what I want to hear.
I've tried to like it, I‘ve had it for years and it's sat at the back of the shelf.
Even the vintage doesn't float my boat.
It's polite and affable, but complacent; a crashing bore.
There, now I've found something to say about this perfume that doesn't move me...
8th September 2021
Lovely scent, for about 15 minutes. I get lots of citrus and carnation and the sillage is quite good. Then, everything pretty much disappears, and I'm left with a powdery skin scent reminiscent of my grandmother. If the opening wasn't so nice, this would be a hard "no" for me.
3rd August 2021
Habit Rouge(1965)
How classy is this rosy glow? It feels like a perfectly tailored black suit coat, white shirt, proper trousers with fine leather shoes driving a loaded black/deep burgundy 1965 Buick V-8 Riviera that has been waxed and detailed to perfection. That is how classy this rosy glow is.

Out of all my fragrances Habit Rouge made the best first impression of them all.
The first time I sprayed this I was enveloped in this amazing scent orb that was mesmerizing. It was like I was floating in this glowing burgundy bubble of bliss.
That original decant still has some left, but the bottle I have while still fantastic doesn't measure up as the woodiness is way more pronounced and their isn't a magic bubble of rouge-y glow quite like I experience with the decant. I wasn't expecting Habit Rouge to be one of my most worn scents but it is.
Thumbs up for the greatness that is Habit Rouge.

29th September 2020
This most certainly is not a "modern" fragrance nor did it smell dated. It simply smells different. It's a fairly sweet floral scent that I find unusual against most of today's Fragrances - I would definitely consider it unisex.

I find the rose very light and clean and not chemical as others have said. The balance of citrus zest freshen the composition wonderfully and carnation adds that slight spice tone to it. The benzoin-vanilla powdery dry down starts to grow within 15 minutes of application.

If you would like a male rose scent then try it. If you don't like powdery scents then don't try it.
6th August 2019
EDT - tried one from 2011 that was heavier on the citrus, was much fresher and more modern.
Found another EDT bottle from mid 2017 that was much more powdery, had a soapier quality ..
The drydown has a classic musky vibe, like a more floral stetson. Unfortunately the almost ten year old bottle was much better in my opinion and more of a fresh EDT performance
24th July 2019
EDP formulation:

Somehow, I just entered the biggest powder party in the world. Oof. I guess I might be a product of modernity, but these heavily powdered scents smell very dated to me: the smell of a dandy, a man about town. This, to me, is hardly timeless.

After temporarily feeling like I might be my grandfather, 10 minutes in you get a good citrus-cedar opening combination with florals (rose and sage?) for a light, semi-sweet scent. It's not natural, this is very artificial smelling and not in a pleasant way: I'm not sure if it's because this is a newer bottle or not...citrus scents that have elements of artificiality is a particularly dangerous game, and here Habit Rouge is on the losing end. As it further dries down, the patchouli and vanilla combine to make a dark sweetness on the very base that is probably (definitely) the best feature of this for me.

I don't care for this, and likely won't wear it again. There are a lot of ingredients in here, but they smell rather cheap. Some of the elements work well and some don't, but for me ultimately, and at least with the new formulation, time has passed this by.

4th April 2019
This, is for a vintage, EDC version...

There is still some good citrus on top. Lots of lovely lemon. Basil and pimento are vibrant as well. Funny - if I'd blind-tested this, I'd recognize this as a Guerlain - it has that profile / signature.

The heart is a treat of evenly balanced flowers and woody-green things. Just enough cinnamon to give some heat. Carnation is well-behaved (for my nose). HR could easily be androgynous.

The base is a fine, mellow mix. Some green, old leather, a slight fizzy resinous feel. Overall, a sturdy great offering.
23rd March 2019
Habit Rouge is classic in every sense of the word. A refined Gentleman's fragrance for all occasions. Probably not quite in the league of something like Heritage but still very nice. Wears light on my skin.

6th February 2019
Initial blast smells like lemonade. But not sour. It is like smelling lemon juice, is it was made to be not sour somehow. Very pleasant. Once this fades a bit the more subtle rose is allowed to shine through. It is not a sweet jammy rose, but a more photo realistic rose, that does not take it to a feminine space. Fragrantica has 33 mentions of incense for this, but I get none. Cinnamon and sandalwood floating around in the blend, more apparent the later you go. Performance is fine, not stellar, not weak. Standard EDT format. Projection middling. I would put this projection right in the sweet spot, and longevity in the slightly underwhelming for my tastes.

Smells really good. Not dated. Masculine. Rose flavored lemonade.
31st January 2019
I can definitely appreciate this one and its particular beauties without actually wanting to wear it, right? I definitely like it more than Shalimar (stone me now), simply because it isn't as overwhelming and claustrophobia-inducing, but it still contains way too much sweetness and powder for me. I am simply not into orientals, but if I were, Habit Rouge would be one I would definitely consider. I like how aromatic it is and the way it allows some space and light to permeate its rose-carnation-patchouli combo. There is also a beautiful hint of leather in the dry down that I admire.
27th January 2019
Old school and vintage vibe, but not a powerhouse. I do think I wouldn't be comfortable out and about smelling like this.
30th June 2018
I never tried it because it's branded for men, but I saw it among boring stuff at a duty free shop and gave it a try on my wrist. It made me think of Shalimar, only softer, less agressive. I was so happy to have it embracing me during my flight... its powdery bergamot. I also wish I met someone who's wearing it. I'm not sure why. So good.
23rd April 2018
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 (1961) 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 fougères were being seen as pedestrian thanks to drugstore companies getting into them (with the exception of maybe 1936's 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 (1904), which was for all intents and purposes a male Jicky (1887) made for the man's handkerchief. Habit Rouge (1965) 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, at least not until LVMH bought the house and took creative control from Jean-Paul Guerlain.

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 (their "Guerlinade"), 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 (1971) and get the same point across without the bourgeois aesthetic, 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. One thing that bears mentioning is there happens to exist a wild variance between vintages of this, since original Eau de Cologne versions were a tad darker, later Eau de Toilette versions brighter and more projecting, while recent optional parfum concentrations more pillowy, so owning all variants could really be like having three different scents. My review is based off of the Eau de Toilette version, which is likely the most common by now. Cheers!
23rd 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.
4th 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
I just tried the EDT sample of this and it was so much better than I could have expected.

On my skin it is very fresh and green with florals that are present but never in the forefront of the scent. What is in the forefront is the very waxy vanilla. I actually thought I was smelling my cosmetics, but somehow I enjoyed smelling like a candle. I am eager to try the EDP version and see what happens.

The longevity was impressive for a green scent, but only about 6 hours.
15th January 2017