Guerlain Habit Rouge you a Charles Bronson-style olfactory orgasm.

When I am crowned Queen of All Perfume, I shall command Clinique Happy to change its name to the more accurate “Pleasant”, and rechristen Guerlain Habit Rouge “Happy”. Habit Rouge is such a happy smell! It dances in the air around you, swirling out fresh, sweet orange blossoms, a faint milkiness, and soft, soft leather.

This eau de toilette is so instantly uplifting, that at first spritz I find myself trilling “How perfectly delightful!” like some 1930s British ingénue. Then I jet ahead to 1970s Charles Bronson in his Japanese “Mandom” cologne commercials, practically pouring the entire bottle over myself in an ecstasy of olfactory orgasm.

Habit Rouge’s treatment of the often too-shrieky, too-shrill orange blossom is what sits right with me. Here, any sharpness of the floral is tempered with opoponax, a tree resin that is rich and animalic, similar to myrrh but not as bitter. The skin-like warmth is enhanced with a bit of vanilla and amber, and subtle incense and spicy carnation deepen the happiness in the direction of the Orient.

Some experience Habit Rouge as powdery, but I smell the dryness as an aspect of its underlying leathery-ness. After the initial radiance mellows, HR is a beautiful skin-sweetener that’s ingeniously fresh and warm at the same time - a summer-weight oriental.

After "Bronson-ing” myself in Habit Rouge one hot summer day, I zipped out for a haircut.

“Mmmm, you smell good,” commented my stylist, Cherie.

“It’s Habit Rouge!” I trilled, back to British ingénue mode. “It’s actually a classic men’s fragrance from the 60s.”

“Men’s!” Cherie made a face. “It smells like perfume! Good perfume, but perfume. For girls.

Ladies and gents, gender bending has never been so painless. And in the case of Habit Rouge, I think even Charles Bronson would agree.

Habit Rouge is available from and starting at $35 for 50ml


  1. Greatest. Commercial. Ever. Where does his shirt go?

    Now I 'm off to spritz myself with Habit Rouge on my way to the market.

  2. Ahhh, In understand what Mandom is all about. It is an olfactory condom. Cuz if a man pours that much fragrance on himself, well, it ain't happening. I loved how the doorman, speaking English, had the very Japanese-film problem of words not matching the speaking. Yep, great commercial.

    So does wearing Habit Rouge make you want to bathe in the stuff? Ap-par-ent-ly. Since I, as of yet, do not own a scratch and sniff screen, I will have to hie myself to the nearest fragrance counter to give this a sniff.

    Cherie needs to get with the program - this one is a winner!

  3. htroutma, as to the whereabouts of the shirt, I believe Charles gunned it down.

    pino, "olfactory condom", har! I think the doorman is the Japanese Mickey Rooney. But why his demented/sinister laugh as Bronson drives off into the night? Does he suspect that Bronson is off to his empty apartment for a date with himself?

  4. I have not smelt Habit Rouge in ages , now I will have to .
    Loved Charlie Bronson - now there was a movie hero! I think that shirt went right out the window and onto the doorman who is secretly wearing Clinique Happy.
    When I am made "lady of perfumes" - someone has already pinched "Queen" - I shall rename clinique Happy as "Cats Pee" .
    I cannot stand it!
    More charlie please - he was ahead of his time - note the waxed chest hair and it was the 70's ! Guys went "hairy" then!!! LOL

  5. lady jicky, I suspect Chaz's chest hair succumbed to the social pressures of the Japanese audience. Not a lot of body hair seen in that part of the world. And hair would have interfered with the even application of 100ml of Mandom. No wonder he has 10 bottles of the stuff - that's just a week's supply!

  6. I read on FragranceNet that Habit Rouge is the male version of Shalimar. Do you think that is the case? I am wondering since my brother is a big Shalimar fan that maybe he would like this. I will have to determine if he wears fragrance but would love to surprise him this Christmas with a scent he should love.

  7. Of course Katie!!! The Japanese market - they do not have alot of hair - they would not need the amount of Mandom old Charlie would need ,like you said!!

    Pino - do you wear Pino Silvestre aftershave? I think your brother should have a pinecone bottle of that too - so he does not forget YOUR Christmas pressie either! LOL
    If in a Guerlain mood Pino - try Jicky . It started off as a mans scent!
    Sorry Katie - I have pushed in! Ooops.

  8. lady jicky, have I got a post for you - it's a recent Perfume Pen Pal discussion on Jicky. I'd love to hear your insights on the stuff in the comment section there. Folks need Cliff Notes on how to enjoy Jicky. And you'll see Pino getting headed off at Jicky pass...especially since she's not a vanilla-lover.

    I like that Pino Silvestre recommendation - just for the bottle alone!

  9. Pino, I've read on a few blogs people describing Habit Rouge as "Shalimar for men", but I don't see it, myself. Both feature an interplay of citrus and vanilla, but to me, Shalimar is a DEEPLY creamy smoky vanilla, very sensual, and Habit Rouge is a livelier, more "perfumey" concoction that revolves around the florals. My pick for a "Shalimar for men" would be Bulgari Black, a smoky vanilla leather. Can anyone else nominate a "Shalimar for men"?

  10. lady jicky, thanks for the suggestions! I don't wear the Pino Silvestre aftershave. I am not familiar with it, but may just check it out. If Jicky is heavy on the vanilla, I probably would have to pass. Someone I worked with used to burn a vanilla candle every afternoon and it was hard to take. And how she got away with having a lit candle in the office is beyond me. But I digress.. Just to be clear I am not a Shalimar fan. And I saw my brother yesterday and didn't smell any fragrance. I may need to confer with my sister-in-law...
    Katie, Bulgari Black, huh? I shall check it out. Also, I will eagerly await all recommendatons for a Shalimar for men!

  11. Pino - Jicky is alot of Lavender !!!!

    Pino Silvestre is a blast from my 70's past (yeah, I am a old chook) but its piney fresh in a great way!!!

  12. I would be very grateful if you could tell me if Habit Rouge is a sexy perfume?Your opinion?

    1. Ivan, I smell it as rich and sensual, but I don't know that I think of it as sexy. But anything can be "sexy" in a sexy situation, I suppose.

  13. Thank you four your answer Katie.Could you tell me which men perfumes do you found sexy,it is important for me because i apreciate your opinion.

    1. I think Bulgari Black is a wonderful fragrance. Also Donna Karan Fuel for Men and Dior Homme.