Habit Rouge: A Scent for my Son
November 1, 2011

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By Marlene Goldsmith
Co-Founder, creator and artist of A Dozen Roses, Sandy Cataldo, signing bottles
A mother's quest to find the perfect fragrance...
When my son turned twelve or thirteen years of age, I began seeing a few bottles of men’s fragrance appear on the shelves in his room. On weekends I would smell the scent of the more popular brands wafting towards me as he beelined toward the door on his way to weekend fun: Curve, Aramis, Axe. I was thoroughly delighted because the two other members of my immediate family, my husband and older son, had no interest whatsoever in men’s cologne and aftershave. The world of scent did not call to them. Here, finally, was an heir to my love of fine perfume in all its subtle articulations. I was thrilled with the idea of introducing him to a classic fragrance.

I waited until Christmas of his seventeenth year, when I believed he was finally ready to appreciate the complexities of a classic. I had been casually teaching him about top, heart, and base notes, how to distinguish individual scents, and how a fragrance evolved. He had learned his lessons well, and we had had fun in the process. I shopped anticipating his joy when he opened the package containing his first gold ribbon scent. I sniffed various men’s fragrances and was immediately, hands down, drawn to Habit Rouge by Guerlain.

This timeless fragrance begins with the strident but slightly sweet notes of lemon, bergamot, and orange suffused with cinnamon. As the citrus accord fades, cinnamon continues to resonate while sandalwood and patchouli add their resinous depth. Finally, the drydown resolves into a vibrant basso continuo of patchouli and leather, softened by deep vanilla tremolos.

With its cinnamon spice and resinous depths, Habit Rouge makes an excellent holiday fragrance. It adds a festive quality to the scented ambience of the season. I gave it to my son for Christmas, but it will also enhance Thanksgiving celebrations and memories.

My son is twenty years old now and continues to wear Habit Rouge. I imagine he will always wear it, and that thought makes me deeply happy. It is a timeless scent, connecting mother and son through the years. My husband and older son have even expressed an interest in wearing it. Will holiday miracles never cease!

MARLENE GOLDSMITH | Senior Contributor