Habit Rouge EDP
Habit Rouge EDP
Habit Rouge, eau de toilette was launched in 1965 by Guerlain and quickly became a Guerlain classic and is considered a masculine masterpiece.
Over the years, it has been reformulated, rejigged and remodelled, but we’re not going to talk about that here. No. We’re here to talk about the limited edition EDP version that was launched in 2003. This is the version I bought that year. A man’s EDP? Yep, one of the very few.
As a young man, Guerlain was an avid equestrian and became an expert in dressage, so Habit Rouge – the name refers to the red jacket worn by fox hunters – was inspired by his olfactory memory of time spent with the fashionable, upper-class, horsy set.
It opens with a deep, rich citrus accord of bitter bergamot sweetened with lime and lightened with a floral note of orange blossom. As it moves to the heart, the orange blossom fades, replaced with a fresh green note from aromatic neroli. I smell lavender here, it's lovely and floral. Then, a surprise: oud - warm, woody balsamic and perfectly placed to transition the fragrance from citrus/floral to warm/woody. This is the alchemy I smell each time I sniff it. Cinnamon is here and gives it a warm spiciness. It all rests on a base of patchouli, vanilla, and leather. The patchouli makes it musky and gives it a ‘dirtiness,’ while vanilla and amber sweeten it up just enough to soften the leather, making it gentle and sensuous.
The drydown is rich, deep and opulent. And, like the well-mannered horsemen that inspired it, elegant, polite and refined. Habit Rouge EdP is the smell of a gentleman.
Notes: bergamot, lime, orange blossom, cinnamon, oud, lavender, patchouli, vanilla, amber and leather.