As a fan of Guerlain as a perfume house as well as classic fragrance, I have been looking forward to reviewing Habit Rouge for some time. I’ve always enjoyed sampling it but I’ve never owned a bottle myself. Until now!
In this review, you will discover Guerlain Habit Rouge with a focus on the following topics:
- Bespoke Unit Fragrance Formula (BUFF)
- Fragrance Overview
- Blend & Performance
- Tested 3rd Party Feedback
- Fragrance Impressions
- Presentation & Value
Use the links to jump ahead or scroll on to read more.
Watch The Video Review
- Brand: Guerlain
- Fragrance: Habit Rouge
- Concentration: Eau de Parfum
- Release Year: 1965 / 2003
- Batch Reviewed: 0E01
- Olfactive Fragrance Family: Woody Oriental Amber
- Related Fragrances: Givenchy Gentleman, Guerlain l’Homme Idéal
- Price On Amazon: From $58 [Buy Now]
- Price On FragranceX: From $45 [Buy Now]
First launched in 1965, Habit Rouge was created by Jean-Paul Guerlain himself. Nearly four decades later, the eau de parfum version was released in addition to the original eau de toilette.
Guerlain Habit Rouge Composition
In the following section, we’ll break down Guerlain Habit Rouge’s individual notes and accords, which you will discover is an overall woody oriental amber fragrance. The batch code of the flacon reviewed in this article is 0E01.
The first thing about this fragrance is the way it gently opens with a balanced delivery of some subtle citrus of bergamot, some fresh basil and some fragrant rosewood. It’s not overbearing. It’s not brash. Indeed, it’s refreshing without being bracing.
Once you move into the heart, it starts to deliver a more floral bouquet with an accord of rose and jasmine.
These are offset by some earthy patchouli and a hint of sandalwood woodiness. What is interesting about the heart is at this point that it starts to reveal the powdery aspects of the fragrance, which is very much part of Guerlain’s overall DNA.
- Oak Moss
Once in the base, you start to experience the wonderfully musky presence of labdanum, which isn’t particularly animalistic. It is a flower after all. So it has a more herbaceous profile.
This is accompanied by some resinous benzoin, which is quite balsamic in presence. It adds a slight oriental aspect to the overall composition. Meanwhile, some earthy and grassy oak moss plays against some soft vanilla, which adds a sweet element to its overall profile.
Habit Rouge’s Life-Cycle, Wake & Strength
Although it has a relatively classic and conventional dry down, it has been masterfully put together. The fragrance will go through some seamless transitions between each phase and you won’t really notice them until they are there.
As for the wake and strength, admittedly this isn’t going to be the best performing fragrance. Even the eau de parfum version is a little bit understated, we could say.
The sillage and projection stay both relatively close to the skin, which isn’t a problem depending on how you’re going to wear it. For the different activities that this is best suited for, it’s actually quite a good thing and we’re going to talk about that later.
Meanwhile, the longevity is actually quite good. If put it on before leaving work, you’ll probably want to top it up in the mid-afternoon, though. So consider using a travel atomiser with this fragrance.
What People Think Of Guerlain Habit Rouge
As for the third party feedback, while it’s true that people could quickly identify that this is not a contemporary or modern fragrance, it has a certain classy and luxurious air about it that makes this completely permissible.
A couple of young people who smelled this said, it’s not something that they would wear as it’s a little bit dated, but they respect it, and they say it’s actually really nice and quite elegant.
Indeed, it does exude a very distinctive, classy vibe, which is something that Guerlain does very well and has done for a number of centuries. Even some of their older releases that can still be worn today, do have that same character. As a result, it tends to be popular among people in their thirties or above.
People in their twenties and teens, this isn’t going to be a fragrance that they will particularly appreciate quite as much in a sense of personally liking it, but they may appreciate it and respect what it represents given that it has a very overtly, classy element to it.
When To Wear Guerlain Habit Rouge
When it comes to the overall seasonality of Habit Rouge, you can wear it pretty much throughout the whole year. It’s very versatile but I wouldn’t wear it in summer or when it’s particularly hot because the powdery and balsamic aspects of this fragrance will feel a little bit too heavy.
Nevertheless, it can be easily worn throughout fall, winter, and early spring. Indeed, it tends to work best between the seasonal transition between autumn and winter, and winter and spring. You could happily wear it throughout the seasons and feel that it’s completely in place.
In fact, although it’s best suited for the colder months, what’s great about it during spring is that it reflects the season’s characteristics with its various floral notes.
Best Ages For Guerlain Habit Rouge
In terms of age range, this is going to be very versatile. For me, I’m in my thirties and I’d say I’m just at the sort of age where I can start to wear this. So, I’d say thirties minimum, but also any age group from there onward.
If you’re somebody who identifies themselves as quite youthful, it’s probably not the fragrance for you. Instead, if you like Guerlain, then you would probably better of with l’Homme Idéal, which is their more youthful alternative.
In terms of the time of day, as I mentioned earlier this is a versatile fragrance. You can wear this all day. It’s very good for winter mornings, but it’s going to be wonderful during an autumn evening or spring night.
As for its occasion, this is a formal fragrance that you can wear with black tie. That being said, I would wear it at the office as well. In fact, it’s an excellent professional fragrance because of its low sillage and projection.
In fact, it has a very clean and elegant profile that is going to deliver the perfect message to your coworkers, clients or superiors.
As for the masculinity, although it’s strongly masculine, there are women who wear this. In fact, my wife is one of them. As it’s mostly oriental and balsamic and quite powdery, it’s reminiscent of l’Heure Bleue or Mitsouko, two iconic women’s Guerlain fragrances.
Presentation & Value For Money
In terms of the bottle, it has a distinctive 1960s look to it. It’s quite geometric and understated in a quintessentially sophisticated way. It’s made of glass with a single, little red panel in the centre.
If you hadn’t have guessed “rouge” means “red” in French. In fact, “Habit Rouge” means “red item of clothing”, or in this context “red jacket”. The bottle cap is made out of wood, which is quite nicely put together and the atomizer works well.
It’s more focused, quite a thick mist. If you don’t press it properly, it can water gun, which is a bit of a disappointment. However, it works well overall.
When it comes to the packaging, I love the packaging, although yes, it screams old-fashioned elegance. It doesn’t feel dated whatsoever. The paper has a nice texture to it with a silver strip that goes around the whole box.
Although it’s from a premium brand and has a steep RRP, it can be found quite cheaply online. For instance, the eau de parfum on FragranceX for just $48! Indeed, that’s cheaper than the eau de toilette from most other retailers!
Indeed, Habit Rouge is a timeless fragrance and it’s one of my all-time favourites. It’s up there for me with Paco Rabanne Pour Homme and Givenchy Gentleman. If you’re looking for real classic retro fragrances, this is a must-have in your collection.
However, if you’re somebody who’s more inclined towards modern fragrances, then perhaps this isn’t your best choice. If you’re desperate to try something from Guerlain, then I would suggest l’Homme Idéal and probably the eau de toilette or eau de parfum.
"A quintessentially sophisticated fragrance, Habit Rouge is an emblematic fragrance of classic French perfumery for men."
Nice! The EDT was one of the first bottles in my collection (which started just two months ago but will top 30 bottles this week). I love it—one of my favorites. I’ve been alternating this on cool days with Terre d’Hermes and Guerlain Vetiver. Not sure if there are any differences with the EDP other than concentration, but your presentation is familiar for the EDT.
Very comforting when I pick up a whiff of the woody, sweet powder during the course of the day. One thing I’ve picked up on in many of the drugstore classics is the prevalence of powdery scents, and of course this is in another league.
Great review. I love this site—reviews here are in their own league, too. Keep up the good work!
Thank you very much for the kind words, Thomas! It’s much appreciated and it’s support like this that keeps us going. Indeed, there are some mild differences between the EDT and EDP. The EDP is deeper with richer aromas and longer-lasting. However, it’s still quite close to the original EDT.
All the best,
Good review ; for me I get mainly floral notes ( Rose ) and vanilla which I am partial to anyway . I found the projection excellent and the longevity excellent as well. A good indicator is when you step into the shower the following day and you get a good hit of the fragrance . Guerlain Vetiver EDT is also an excellent old school fragrance .