Developed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the original Habit Rouge created by Jean-Paul Guerlain.

Habit Rouge Dress Code fragrance notes

  • Head

    • bergamot, neroli, rose
  • Heart

    • spices
  • Base

    • woods, leather, tonka, praline, vanilla

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Latest Reviews of Habit Rouge Dress Code

Habit Rouge is Thierry Wasser's favourite scent, so when he got to do a flanker he must have been in seventh heaven.
But it seems that, out of respect for this icon, he produced something that neither Jean-Paul Guerlain nor anyone else could object to. An ambery 'leather' with a curious boiled sweet effect, and a slightly piquant tang; it's all very nice, but rather timid.
And yeah, the 'moss' ain't good.
23rd July 2022
Yes, how to pay a loyal tribute to a giant of the worldwide perfumery by appointing a separate Habit Rouge with a final contemporary "fancy" soapy/chic (vaguely anisic-lipstick) leather/patchouli's resinous twist. A smooth mélange of almondy/spicy/caramellous/waxy praline, rounded rubbery rose, tonka and Guerlain's vanilla with a less powdery and more soapy-smooth Habit Rouge's wake. Habit Rouge Dress Code starts with a basically old school blast of boisterous spices, crisp bergamot and neroli supported by a touch of rose. This opening is faithful to the original but basically less angular (far less lemon and no lavender imo). It makes It still classic but not straightforwardly cologney. The heart is powerfully spicy and mastered by a dominant accord of clove, huge neroli and nutmeg still loyal to a classic HR Edt's laborious central stage (which is still in this phase powerfully hesperidic, rosey and chaotically spicy in a dusty/earthy/bitter way). All at once at this point Dress Code starts energically to deflect from the baroque rosey/hesperidic potpourri nature of its immane gigantic predecessor by sliding towards a super smooth and "cleaner" dry down of soft woody leather and cosmetical/"pralinic"/tonkinian balsams. The latter (vanilla in particular) are still vaguely in line with the landmark "Guerlinade" (tonka, spicy/almondy/aromatic frankincense, patchouli and benzoin) but in here more buttery chic, sweet, suedish/waxy and smooth, definitely less powdery (far less classically chypre), typically rooty and decadent. Patchouli is heady but is a rouded modern (slightly minty) caramellous soapy patch, a more typically spicy oriental leathery/pralinic patch wity a fancy/chic vaguely anisic spark (vague conjuration of the Lidge's dry down but still with the rosey/moody/melancholic HR's aristocratic twist). It is as caramel and waxy synth balminess finally (in Dress Code) absorb each (presumptively "nowadays" dirty) earthiness, barber shop aromatic crispiness, powdery "equestrian"" dirty woodiness and spicy opaque dustiness (of the classic Edt) in order to unfold a quite linear silkier sweet flow of elegantly moody and elusive soapiness with waxy/suedish/caramellous accents (but still with an aristocratic touch of honeyed/rosey/incensey patchouly). The final outcome is less gloriously aristocratic and more modernly spicy/oriental (still focused on rose/patchouli but with a far more crowd-captivating versatile soapy/oriental/leathery appeal). In conclusion, I'm aware Dress Code could bè more in line with a silkier cleaner contemporary (more minimalistic) sense of aesthetic. Indeed, despite I'm still "nostalgically" fond of my vintage Edt piece of decadent chypre aristocracy I know time and taste have drastically chaged and I rarely attend the palace of Versailles while attending more often shallow clubs and dirty urban latrines. Finally I've purchased a bottle of Dress Code, just few years ago such a blasphemy for me. I'm surprised how wonderfully it develops in my skin. Have a try guys, to each their own Habit Rouge.

15th October 2018

The opening of this had promise, I thought, and it does smell like an interesting, modern version of Habit Rouge, but the oak moss replacement became cloying to me over the course of a wearing.
5th June 2017
Horrible opening. Hideous, bag of make up smell, powdery and very dated. Instant flashback to Burberry Brit. The dry down is more tolerable, but nothing to write home about.
25th April 2017
An orangey citrus, freshened up with whiffs of neroli and endowed with a rather nonspecific floral undertone. This is quite a pleasant mix of top notes, but on my skin they are not particularly memorable.

The drydown adds a very subdued spicy backgound notes, which is combined with a somewhat generic woodsy layer that, again, reeks of unexciting but agreeable pleasantness.

Later on, after a rather forgettable attempt at a leather impression, the base announces itself by parading a sweetish tonka impression that constitutes the core chord; together with whiffs of cocoa powder, at times still linked to the restrained background spiciness, they set the tone for the second half of the development.

The performance is impressive, with moderate sillage, excellent projection and a superb longevity of thirteen hours on my skin.

A sweetened autumnal gourmandised and rather synthetic flanker that is quite generic overall and really does not do great credit to the original, at least not the original vintage pre-LVMH version. 2.75/5.
26th October 2016
Habit Rouge Dress Code opens with a delicious sweet orange. Under the orange is a slightly spicy base of dry powder and vanilla. It's a low-key but beautiful opening.

After a few minutes, an unpleasant leather note becomes noticeable. It is not the smell of suede, nor the rich smell of birch tar. Neither is it the airy smoke of cypriol. It is a sharp and aggressive synthetic accord that has been substituting traditional “leathers” for several years [most prominently in Dior masculines].

The synthetic “leather” becomes increasingly aggressive, and the vanilla becomes both sweeter and more tonka-infused. The powder becomes stronger, and it is at this powder tipping-point that the fragrance nods most convincingly towards the old Habit Rouge. The fragrance continues along this vein, but the “leather” aromachemical is so harsh to my nose that I didn't stick around for the rest.

Dress Code is a true variation on Habit Rouge. It is obviously modern and probably deserves to be very successful. I prefer the bracing citrus and true leather accord of the original.
17th February 2016
The opening of D.C. was not to my liking at all....old school and dated citrus blast with some soapy rose smell in there too.

BUT....the drydown is to die for. The most sweet and delicious praline note I've ever smelt. I'm a big time gourmand fan, and this is really lovely and so well done. Good longevity too.
11th February 2016
Lots of citrus straight out of the gate with a sweet chocolate praline and vanilla notes. Its a very gourmand take on Habit Rouge with lots of tonka and sweet notes.

Much later on the sweet spicy woodsy notes come to the forefront.

All in all a nice fragrance but just not to my taste.
28th January 2016
Habit Rouge Dress Code opens with a strong blast of slightly sharp orange citrus bergamot with a hint of underlying dulled soapy rose. As the composition moves to its early heart a slightly spiced woody accord takes control with a co-starring moderately sweet tonka bean and vanilla tandem with moderately rough leather joining the remaining dulled soapy rose in support. During the late dry-down the composition remains highly linear, as the vanilla and tonka sweetened mild spiced woods remain, with the leather gradually receding, revealing a slightly creamy praline supporting note hanging around through the finish. Projection is deceptively outstanding, as is longevity at over 20 hours on skin.

Habit Rouge is one of the most historically significant perfumes targeted to men in fragrance history. As such, any new release that uses its name in the title like Habit Rouge Dress Code does is bound to be heavily scrutinized. In the case of this reviewer, the original Habit Rouge didn't wow on first or even second impressions, taking quite a considerable time to win me over, but while I never *loved* it, win me over to at least a largely positive opinion it did, enough for me to buy and keep a bottle in my collection. In the case of Dress Code, perfumer Thierry Wasser definitely recognizes and honors the original Habit Rouge's roots by keeping many of the classic's characteristics within, but Dress Code definitely goes much further than just rehashing the past. In this case, the lemon open of the original is swapped for a more orange-like bergamot, with an almost gauze-like soapy rose undertone. The result is surely interesting, but a big step backwards, as the lemon open was my favorite part of classic Habit Rouge. Things in the heart then turn to a moderately sweet, near-gourmand aspect in Dress Code, with its heavy reliance on a tonka bean, vanilla and creamy praline trio melding with smooth woods and supporting dulled soapy rose. In my mind, this creamy sweetness is a major step back from the more aromatic dry classic, but there is no denying that Wasser takes some risks here while not tarnishing the original's distinct identity within. On the plus side is very nice leather that is used to balance some of the more gourmand aspects of Dress Code, and in this case it is handled extremely well, mixing with the rest of the ingredients perfectly. All-in-all Dress Code is an intriguing and relatively innovative flanker of a well-regarded classic, but one has to wonder if sweetening the composition was the best way to go. In the mind of this sweetness averse reviewer the answer is a resounding "no," but to those that love the classic and can tolerate moderate sweetness in their compositions, Dress Code could be a great fit. The bottom line is the $100 per 100ml bottle Habit Rouge Dress Code keeps strong ties and reverence to its classic parent, but veers off in an unconventional and potentially polarizing way, earning it an "average" 2.5 stars out of 5 rating and a "neutral" recommendation. If you love the original I suspect you will enjoy Dress Code too, but if the original wasn't your cup of tea and/or you dislike relative sweetness in your compositions like me, I dare say Dress Code may disappoint.
22nd December 2015
This is a very nice semi-sweet spice, citrus and leather masculine fragrance with a lot of class and subtle sex appeal. It is a touch old school; but ok, it's modern enough, I guess. I like it a lot, and I do NOT like very many fragrances with sweet elements. I call Habit Rouge Dress Code semi-sweet because it is not overly feminine sweet; it is not floral sweet and it is not gourmand cookie dough sweet. It just a touch charmingly sweet, that is all. It is less sweet than Heritage, which I ultimately found to be too sweet. The two words that describe this fragrance are: charming and distinctive.
16th December 2015
What a beautiful opening – delicate and sweet, a cloud of bergamot, rose, and vanilla dust just hanging in the air like a rose-gold halo. And in it, I instantly recognized the ghost of Shalimar.

Well, actually, that's not true. If Habit Rouge is the male equivalent of Shalimar, then its flanker, Habit Rouge Dress Code is the male equivalent of (a mash-up of) two of the Shalimar flankers – specifically the Parfum Initial L'Eau and the Parfum Initial EDP. The Shalimar flankers stripped Shalimar of its leather, smoke, incense, and dirty bergamot, and used her structure to turn out streamlined, sweet versions flushed with sweet lemonade, fruit berries, and that smooth pink patchouli that modern girls love so much. Likewise, Habit Rouge Dress Code takes the rose-leather combination of the original Habit Rouge EDT, strips it of its fresh lemon-and-herb-strewn opening, and fluffs it out with sweet notes that modern tastes love, like praline, caramel, and tonka.

But I don't just mean that Dress Code smells like the conceptual twin of the Shalimar flankers, I really mean to say that it lifts entire sections from these fragrances. Dress Code has the hazy but effervescent citrus-rose combo from the opening of the L'Eau, giving off the delightful effect of a huge pitcher of limeade dotted with pink rose petals. Later on, when the sweet praline and caramel come in, it starts to smell a lot like the dry down of the Parfum Initial EDP (minus the iris and berries). The overall feel is pink, balmy, and slightly resinous, so there is obviously a lot of the Guerlainade here too. In fact, at certain points, it reminds me of a sweeter, less complex version of Cologne du 68, which itself is basically an essay on the famous Guerlainade, with anise and angelica stalks added on top.

Two notes take Dress Code away from being a mere pastiche of these other fragrances, though. First, a warm nutmeg note provides a brown, spicy aura that is very striking. It acts upon the vanilla and caramel to produce a sweet, nutty effect very similar to that in Black Flower Mexican Vanilla. Second is a rather strident citronella-like note, probably arising from the geraniol or citronellol compounds in the rose oil used here. Both the nutmeg and the citronella notes die way back in the dry down.

Dress Code is extremely well-done, and is a striking example of a modern gourmand take on a classic. It will suit modern male tastes, I am sure, as it is extremely sweet and has that praline note that people like so much these days. But for me, it runs into “too sweet” territory, and to be honest, I can't stand the boatloads of caramel poured into this – it has that syrupy “catch” at the back of my throat that put me off ever buying Parfum Initial EDP. The opening is beautiful, and I'll admit that within five minutes of applying, I was scouring the net to see where I could find it. But on reflection, I only find the opening alluring because it reminds me of the one Shalimar flanker that I really rate (and own), which is the Parfum Initial L'Eau.

By the way, not that it matters, but if I were smelling this blind, I would swear that Dress Code was a feminine release. It's a good example of how the line between feminine and masculine fragrances is really a thin one these days, and that it essentially doesn't matter at all – if you're a woman and this smells good to you, just wear it.
22nd November 2015
By far the best novelty of 2015 for me, even if the year hasn't ended yet. I must start by saying that I am not crazy for classic Habit Rouge; I really respect and appreciate it, but I like it really mildly – for no specific reasons, it just never completely “clicked” for me. Dress Code instead, I fell in love with it from the very first sniff, and I wouldn't know where to start with to motivate why. It smells at once really complex, really quality, completely new for me yet robustly rooted into the classic heritage at the same time (starting from Habit Rouge itself), and just tremendously good. Basically, I think Dress Code may basically and inaccurately be described as a sort of remarkably inspired blend which brilliantly mixes Habit Rouge, the Guerlain Homme line (notably Intense), several classic French masterworks like Mouchoir de Monsieur or Monsieur de Givenchy, an apparently unrelated contemporary designer vein (mostly for a subtle and sharp smoky-woody base layer) and a tiny bit of vintage Hermès Bel Ami too, especially the way leather gets a floral-sweet treatment there. There's some echoes of Tom Ford Noir too for me, which was however a clear tribute to Guerlain's classics, so here we are again. There's a lot going on here, and yet it is all so well blended it's really hard (and eventually pointless) to “read” it.

Anyway, shortly Dress Code opens with a fresh and soapy bergamot-rose-barbershop accord with some quality vanilla, a sprinkle of mild brownish spices (cloves and nutmeg above all, as a distant whiff of a classic Bay Rum) and a dry, sort of incense-infused leather woody base, all tinged with a really peculiar and quite prominent sort of really sophisticated dusty powdery-gourmand feel of what I think Guerlain calls “praline” here – which is basically a gentle cascade of delightful vanillic powder with a truly clever sort of spicy and “toasted” aftertaste, perfectly keeping the “autumnal” feel of Habit Rouge and balancing the sweetness. I expected something more cloying, while this sweet accord is really subtle and mannered, and yet decidedly there.

At first, Dress Code is quite uplifting, even fresh and well more Oriental than classic Habit Rouge, also pleasantly “barbershop-clean”, showing some slight boozy nuances as well – hence my reference to Guerlain Homme Intense; that same sort of distinguished woody-herbal booziness is partially here too (and actually, with a hint of 2003 Gucci pour Homme's incense woodiness as well) just evolving then under a completely different light. A darker, more luscious, dirtier and, say, “ambiguously sweeter” light – where the ambiguity lies in the Frenchies' tradermark fondness for sweetness and dirtiness . The evolution is truly dynamic and shimmering, and is in fact all about a descent into a dandy's closet; powder, nondescript sweet dust, dead flowers, a whiff of salty antique woods (maybe vetiver), luxury leather (true luxury: tanned, rich, comforting, really smooth but sharp – paired with spices, floral notes and a hint of sweetness, here's why I mentioned vintage Bel Ami). The freshness goes almost entirely away soon except for a hint of citrus, leather becomes earthier and saltier, a gust of warm wind spreads the dirty, spicy, sweet powder all over. And still, Dress Code remains inexplicably gentle, distinguished and almost weightless. This scent is quite all about that - sweet but dark, innocently powdery and dirty at once, mature and really sophisticated yet sort of light and youthful, comprising a whole timelapse over Guerlain's history in a whiff. It's quite hard for me to describe this fragrance and its evolution properly, as lots of nuances and notes smell really new to me (better say, the way they are presented and how they evolve); but well, you can just expect a brilliant, refined, cozy combination of classic and contemporary bearing a lot of echoes of stuff you know (more or less the names I mentioned so far), and yet smelling like nothing else. The evolution is really great, and the performance is really fine – this scent is quite more discreet than it may seem from the composition, but it's not ephemeral at all.

I think Wasser did a truly remarkable job in bringing Guerlain's DNA and specifically Habit Rouge autumnal formal and “dirty” elegance under a completely new light – not a “designer” light, not a “niche” light, just really new and out of boundaries and definitions, as if he almost tried to get rid of any formal training and just compose “out of the box” to create something quality and new yet solidly rooted into the past, avoiding any cliché. And he surely succeeded for me. Superb.

11th November 2015