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.
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.
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.