Perfume Pen Pals: Guerlain Habit Rouge


Here's what I've recently ordered, both from your app and elsewhere:

Andrea Maack Sharp
Aramis 900
Bulgari Omnia
By Kilian Sweet Redemption
Eau d'Italie Jardin du Poete
Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Flora Nymphea
Guerlain Habit Rouge
Juliette Has a Gun Lady Vengeance
Kenzo Power
Le Labo Santal 33
Parfumerie Generale Coze
Theo Fennel Scent
YSL Kouros



I predict good things for you with Habit Rouge, Omnia, Coze, and maybe even Power (which I experience as a faded Sarah Jessica Parker Lovely).



Post-run, Habit Rouge, oh my gosh, I LOVE this! This is so pleasing, sweet but not in a sleazy insurance-man way. It's just great and ideally suited for me and I'm suddenly considering selling off everything else I own. (That last part was a joke.) Seriously, I've not been this excited by a smell since...well...since I walked past an Italian bakery in North Beach yesterday. Still, I didn't have to leave my house for this. Wow.

Once again, thank you for the recommendation. I'm going back to your app tonight.



So glad HB is doing you right. Your enthusiasm inspired me to wear it for the past few days. It's gorgeous, isn't it? Nothing else really does what it does with its happy mystery, its borderline leather/incense.



I don't like most orange flower perfumes. In the same way I don't like Katy Perry. Even Francis Kurkdjian's APOM pour Homme was overbearingly sweet. Probably because he added a big dose of amber. Wearing it felt like getting smothered to death in pillow fight.

"All right...who's the joker wearing APOM pour Homme?"

But with Habit Rouge, the sweetness is immediately tempered with that leather/incense, which I couldn't even tell was leather/incense initially, it just smelled like some strange and interesting perfume beneath my perfume. At first I thought it was me but then I realized it couldn't be me because if I smelled that good, I never would've started wearing perfume in the first place.

Habit Rouge is not only an unusual combination, it's somehow an unusual structure, one with dimension, where certain notes rise and fall beneath others. It seems to move, in a way that only a few other perfumes I've tried do. I like it a lot. More than even a pillow fight with Katy Perry. Unless "pillow" is a euphemism for something else.

My, what unusual...atomizers.


Katy Perry pillow fight via


  1. Katie -- I think your Fume Finder app is in danger of bankrupting Dan.

  2. Dan has always maintained that if he's not careful, he'll end up dead in the alley behind Scent Bar. But now I've given him the tools to go to ruin quietly in the comfort of his own home.

  3. You should try the edp version. A cross between the edt and a bonfire.

  4. HR edp is good; it's like wrapping the original around an oud core. Took me a while to warm up to it but I like it now. I thikn I prefer the original overall though.
    (you can get it on eBay for about $100)

  5. I really want to try the edp now!

  6. I love Habit Rouge, and own a vintage bottle of the EDC. My only complaint is that it doesn't last very long (though I can, of course, splash and re-splash). Now I not only want to try the EDP, but I've heard rumors of an extrait, as well (not even sure where to find that).

  7. I have no idea what Dan does for a living - he seems to exist on some sort of perpetual horde-ing plane where the normal rules of capitalism no longer apply.

    Not that I'm jealous or anything.

    No, not at all. I'll just limp along over here at the kid's table with my wan, tiny little .07 samples from luckyscent and pretend one day that all the flacons of the world will fall before me.

    Having whinged thusly, Habit Rouge is a must for all mankind.

  8. Delurking cos I'm really curious to know how many bottles of perfume Dan owns?! Doesnt living with so many bottles constitute a fire hazard of sorts?!

  9. Stefush and Anonymous: I believe Dan has about the same number of bottles in his collection as I do: around 100. At this stage, he seems to have attained a well-organized perfume equilibrium: new perfumes acquired by selling/trading old ones. It's a practice I need to's high time for me to thin the herd.

    As for a fire hazard, I suppose one *could* fashion a quick round of Molotov cocktails out of a perfume collection if the occasion called for it. But there can't be any more danger in a gallon or two of perfume than a liquor cabinet full of libations. Or the ancient electrical wiring in my building that says "Thomas Edison" on the equipment in the basement.

  10. Nina Z - that HR extrait seems like some kind of perfume unicorn.

  11. I saw a bottle of the extrait in the Guerlain boutique on the Champs élysées (400 €, if I remember well)... I love HR!

  12. Katie--

    Our house was built in the 20s. Some of our electrical outlets were so old that they had no plastic parts, just ceramic and cloth.

    Oo, I'd best cull the herd, too...oh, wait, I don't have one yet.


  13. So my perfume collection is a danger to something in addition to my wallet, Anonymous? Maybe I could divide up the bottles around the house. Or might that cause several fire hazards? Are several small fires preferable to one large one? I guess that's question for my insurance guy.

    And, Katie, your estimate of my collection is very kind. And spot-on, if "around 100" covers any number with three digits. As you were typing that, I was building shelves. Guess why.

  14. dyg - OMG! You saw the unicorn! Did you smell the unicorn?

  15. Dan - your three digit collection is responsible for your quality decant care packages, so between you, Scent Bar and Sephora, I feel like I've got a pretty good handle on niche/mainstream releases. Just another reason why you're a good man to know.

  16. My herd went past the 3-digit mark some months ago, thanks partially to addictive KP videos of her own collection.

    Now, after selling off some less-loved bottles from Dunhill Edition to Diorissimo, to places as far off as Russia(never for a loss, of course!), I find myself buying more & more expensive bottles, perhaps as a braker to the escalating 3-digit number as my wardrobe burgeons to straining point!

    The line of logic goes something like this : The more I spend on my next bottle, the less I have to spend, and so the slower the buildup rate.

    Talk about rationalising the irrational!

    It's surprising that I've yet to sample Guerlain's HR despite having multiple(30?)bottles of 17 of their scents.

    Don't give me another lemming! The HR extrait idea is starting to play tricks with my mind lol

    After splashing out a 3-digit sum on 7.5ml of a sealed Nombre Noir, I really WANT to be done.

    Full stop. End of story.

  17. Good news, not a unicorn! Last year, the HR extrait was available in the flagship Guerlain store in Paris. It's no longer a numbered limited edition, like it was when it was released in 2009. I bought a bottle when the LE was released, swapped most of it to a friend that was in love with it, then bought another one last year. It's gorgeous, very rich & leathery, and well worth the price. Back-up worthy even! I'm thinking I paid about $400 US?

  18. Dom: those KP collection videos are so wonderful...maybe she has a few more bottles to reveal...

  19. Dom P: I LOVED reading your little confessional! Please tell me you've opened and smelled your Nombre Noir. Owning it and never wearing it would be a waste. And yes, Habit Rouge is a must-own for you. Somehow I don't have faith in your "full stop." I'm sure you're still at the beginning of your perfume story.

    ggs: good update! And way to get the lemming juices a flowin' for the rest of us...

    Fleurine, you sly thing - yes, I do have a few more bottles to reveal. Probably should do a collection update vid at some point.

  20. Fleurine--

    Yes, hearing KP talk about her collection is awesome. Some of my all-time faves.

  21. Fleurine,

    Yes, I watched those collection videos several times over, mesmerised by the beauty of the...ahem..bottles.

    Of course, it didn't hurt that the presenter was articulate about the magical effects of the glamour goo within them!


    I haven't received the Nombre Noir yet; the seller mailed it yesterday, but I'm quite nervous because of the sensitivity of the damascones within to light.

    But rest assured: I WILL unseal it when I get it.

    And if I love it, another 3-digit sum may have to fly out the window!

    And I suspect that you're right: I am at the beginning of this journey of discovery.However, I hope to travel without undue profligacy henceforth.

    (The last bit sounds like an untenable fantasy!)

  22. Dan: how is the Le Labo Santal 33? Any appreciated. TIA>>>>

  23. DP, can't wait to hear about your experience with Nombre Noir's glamour goo!

    Fleurine, ask and you shall receive: Santal 33 discussed in the very next post.

  24. Katie, it arrived a few days ago & this is my review of it:

  25. DP - oooooooohhh...lucky you with your Nombre Noir! From your description, I wondered if there was any resemblance to By Kilian Liaisons Dangereuses, which is big on the plummy, winey rose. I scooted around on the 'Net for references, and came across Barbara at Yesterday's Perfume's review:
    She finds, as you did, a drydown of honey and apple. As for smellalikes, she nominates Dior Poison as a "slutty younger sister", with certain similarities, but less elegance and mystery.

    Looking at some of your other videos, you have a stunning collection of vintage perfumes - fumies, check you DomPerrier's vids starting here:

  26. I'm not profligate enough to try the By Kilian line yet,but thanks for the reference!

    Yes,I've frequently visited Barbara's trips down memory lane, and her writeups have informed many of my vintage shopping choices.

    Dior Poison & Nombre Noir shares(to some degree) the high concentration of damascones in their formulas, if I'm not mistaken.

  27. Katie,

    Have you tried the EDP version yet? Thoughts?

  28. Anon, I did try Habit Rouge EDP in Paris, and I don't remember specifics, but my general impression was that the EDT is my favored concentration, because it's already so full, and beautifully calibrated between and smell and space. When it came to the EDP and l'extrait, denser wasn't an improvement for this scent.

  29. Dear Katie,

    I just got your name off Base notes, which I am not sure why I look at because I am not at all interested in the "hobby" of perfumes. Then I saw one of your interviews. You are beautiful and intelligent, so of course the interview did not go so well ("Sexy fragrances...").

    For me, perfume elicits Proust's memories of madeleines, but deeper, down through my heart into my soul, so while I might like this fragrance or that one, it only makes a deeper connection to me when connected to someone or something I love or loved. My first cologne was Habit Rouge, selected by a rather cruel girlfriend with exquisite taste, and I adore it to this day because I adored her taste if not her personality.

    I love all the Loewe men's fragrances. Loewe pour homme holds the most memories for me because I always smelled it in their boutiques, which my mother compulsively visited every time we travelled to Europe (not so frequent that it wasn't special).

    I would like to say, because perfume lovers are so sexual and preoccupied with sexual metaphor, that there is some fragrance I associate with intense sexual pleasure but there isn't. Perhaps memory of smell is like true dreams, rarely sexual? There is a perfume, an empty bottle of which I keep in a secret place, used by my first and most devastating love, an amour fou and coup de foudre in one, one of the early Krizias, which leaves me paralyzed. I intentionally do not smell it. Perhaps I will use it to revive myself on my death bed?

    Have you seen "The Five Senses"? You can read about it here if you haven't: With your interests it is a "must".

    I am sorry you live in California, far away from me, an East Coast snob.


    1. Gosh, David, with your Krizia associations, maybe you'd better not smell it on your deathbed. It might push you over the edge! With your vulnerability to the manipulations of scent, you're in the right place, here. Welcome aboard.

    2. Haven't you seen "The Brotherhood of the Wolf" where the hero revives his heroine at her death bed with magical dust?

      In any event, you need to see "The Five Senses", composed of a series of interrelated vignettes one of which involves a married couple of perfume designers, and their gay super cleaning-man, who is searching for "the smell of love" by interviewing his past lovers, both male and female.

    3. The habit rouge extrait does exist. It can be found at least in parisian exclusiv store (68 rue Champs élysée, bon marché, etc...).
      It is the same shape and bottle presentation, apart from the "extrait" mentionned on the sticker (and the price of course >240€ for 50ml). Men mostly don't mind that much exclusiv stores and extrait. Both are the reasons why it lays on the shelves quite unrecognized, even for SA.

      I tested it more than once. It is a good one.
      Depiction :
      - the strength is mild, but with very good longevity on fabric
      - overall, you smell a higher quality in the compounds, a quality that has deserted the EDT version
      - with a strength similar to the edp, the extrait does not highlight more the opening notes (don't expect the quality to enhance a sparkling orange flower)
      - good facets are a natural-smelling confectionery liquorice, interlaced with a very good transparent patchouly, dark woods sensations, oud, rosy tones (akin to rosewood?),
      - the patchouly is somewhat perfectly blended with a synthetic patchouly with nuclear semi-life duration (nice!), supported to what I think is a natural orange blossom undertone. The last accord last months on clothes, its murmur haunts you nicely.
      - shiny but mysterious, moody but caressing, refined but raunchy. A sexyness that strangely can work for a man or a woman. Overall, it is radiant more than potent.
      - I don't crave for it, not totally bottle worthy, but it's very nice and worth trying.

      -> I recommend to test it on fabric, really. (my skin kills it, the blotter makes it dull and mild)
      Come with a scarf, a winter coat, or spray the inner of a sleeve, and spray generously. It's the best way to enjoy it.

      P.S.: good work of Thierry Wasser (worth mentionning, because most of the time, this guerlain mainstream work are not worth praising, to my mind)

    4. Thanks for such a thorough and poetic analysis of the HR extrait?, Julien, much appreciated! Who could resist "shiny but mysterious, moody but caressing, refined but raunchy"?