The Scented Hound

Abbreviated perfume & fragrance reviews from one man's perspective


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Guerlain Habit Rouge Eau de Toilette

WHAT I SMELL:  Habit Rouge opens with a bright and sparkling mix of citrus highlighted by a clean barbershop lemon.  It feels neat, brisk and fully energetic.  After a short time, the citrus begins to mute and a warmth begins to wrap itself around the lemon with a light creamed sandalwood at the center.  The perfume still retains its barbershop vibe, but instead of just coming out of the barber’s chair, it feels a bit more like one has prepped for a night out with a great aftershave.  As the perfume continues to develop, a light floral note gives the perfume a bit of a softer and more rounded feel.  After some more time, the perfume dries, flattens and becomes more herbal and vanilla-woody.  Habit Rouge has a proper feel, but not so much as it feels too buttoned up or uptight.  And in the end, it’s a perfume that’s easy to wear, gentlemanly and perfect for the office or for any occasion.

From the Guerlain website:

Habit Rouge Eau de Toilettes is a classic of elegance, glorified by the freshness of citrus notes.

Created in 1965, Habit Rouge was the first oriental fragrance for men in perfumery. From the moment of its launch, this tribute to Guerlain’s passion for the dressage of horses created an element of surprise with its scents of sensual and bold vanilla. An oriental that is by turns citrusy, warm and accented with vanilla, it expresses the genius of contrast and well-mastered emotions.
Habit Rouge embraces a dandy man who dares everything. combining sophistication and refinement. He lives his life fervently and distinguishes himself with a trail of extreme sensuality.

With its modern geometry and mastery of form, Habit Rouge has an eternally elegant French appeal.

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:   Classic man of the mid 1960’s.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE HABIT ROUGE:  tailored, reserved, mature

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT HABIT ROUGE:  Bespoke Unit, Bois de Jasmin, Olfactics

BOTTOM LINE:  I can’t believe that I’ve never reviewed Habit Rouge before even though it’s been part of my collection for years.  It’s probably because it’s one of the perfumes that I take for granted as a workhorse and don’t wear when I go out for the evening, but instead reserve it for running errands and working out where the citrus and florals come front and center with the sun and heat.  Habit Rouge makes it easy to smell fantastic no matter what you’re doing.

  • Bone Rating:  3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Oriental Citrus
  • Nose:  Jean-Paul Geurlain
  • Classification:  Masculine
  • Expense:  Prices vary, but it can be found for around $50 for a 3.4 oz. eau de toilette.


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New Release: Exit the King by Etat Libre d’Orange

WHAT I SMELL:  Exit the King’s opening is bright, light and a little lemony, all of which soon moves to a sparkling pink pepper that quickly melds into a soured, flattened and soapy mix of florals.  From almost the beginning, the perfume has a cottony and gauze like sheath that sits above the muted florals.  Overall, it’s pretty in a inconspicuous and subdued way.  After some more time, a salty edge brings a bit of a bite to the florals floating underneath.  And with the salt, comes a little funk, like a light sweat.   And as I say that, the florals begin to really gain strength while still being muted.  But because of the mix of salt, funk and clean florals, the perfume feels natural, as if it’s just part of your personal DNA.  After some more time, the perfume begins to warm with a lightly sweetened minty patchouli.  Here, the perfume feels like a natural hug with its herbal essence.  As the perfume then slows in development, the herbal becomes more a bit more soapy and a clean woody white musk takes it’s place.  Even without the herbal freshness, the perfume retains its delightful persona.

From Etat Libre d’Orange:


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New Release: Le Joker – Art de Parfum

WHAT I SMELL:   Le Joker takes an immediate dive off the perfumed platform with an explosive charge of pepper and spice which quickly sours into a menacing bite.  Before you can absorb the surprise of the perfume hitting the skin, a rush of leather enters the mix along with a moistened earthy black dirt accord that evens out the biting edge that came on so quickly.  Here, the perfume reminds me of a well worn leather jacket encased in many years and memories of sweat, cigarettes and the sights and smells of the city.  As Le Joker continues to develop, as weird as it sounds, the perfume reminds me of textured flannel sheets that carry a few nights of warmed wear; which I find rather comforting.  In the end, Le Joker’s rough and tumble attributes merge into a salty woody amber accord.  There is no doubt, Le Joker takes the wearer on one wild ride.

From the Art de Parfum website:

Le Joker aims to awaken different emotions in different people; inviting the wearer to be more daring, more evocative, and not afraid to make a statement or challenge the status quo.

This idea has been expertly shaped by Art de Parfum’s French perfumiers in this stand out perfume with its unusual, unexpected pairings, and intriguing ingredients which play with contrasts; light and shadow, moody, mysterious, dangerous.

Le Joker is a fascinating woody fragrance, intertwining fruity spicy notes with powdery notes of make up, smoky cigarette facets and salty ambergris. 

The overall character of the scent plays with contradictions yet creates a magnificent whole. Playful yet dark, the use of sparkling Timur pepper, which is still rare in perfumery, shines in this creation revealing spicy and tropical accents. The Timur offers a sparkling lemony effect on the top with nuances of passion fruit.

Top Notes: Pink Pepper, Timur Pepper, Elemi

Heart Notes: Star Anise, Nutmeg

Base Notes: Atlas Cedarwood, Cypriol, Patchouli

WHAT IT SMELLS LIKE TO ME:  The infamous ‘Joker” fits the perfume’s narrative to a T.  However, to me, the perfume tells the story of the New York City subway of the 1970s:  dirty and dangerous while at the same time exciting and exhilarating.

THREE WORDS THAT DESCRIBE LE JOKER:  complicated, menacing, intriguing

WHAT OTHERS ARE SAYING ABOUT LE JOKERThe Plum Girl, I Scent you a Day

BOTTOM LINE:  Le Joker is not a perfume that is meant to be worn at the office.  It is however, a perfume that evokes the wildly chaotic planet we currently live in and is perfect for wearing when you just want to take on the world.

  • Bone Rating: 3.5 out of possible 5 bones
  • Scent: Woody Spicy
  • Classification: Unisex
  • Expense: $150 for 50 ml parfum extrait

*Sample provided by Art de Parfum.  Opinion my own.